My nightmare Monday, thanks to Godaddy

LATER UPDATE: With the help of Adam Fendelman, I came to an agreement with Godaddy: I manage to retrieve all the data, they refund me the money. As regarding the hosting, I continue with them. While I am not happy with what happen, I am happy that we could understand each others in the end. Thanks to all for their support, and special ones goes to Adam.

Monday morning is probably not a happy time for most people. Maybe you partied all weekend, or you stayed up late to read your favorite novel for the third time . But I highly doubt Monday is a nightmare either. At least for 99.9999% of the people. Well, this Monday, I am one of the 0,0001% of the people thanks to godaddy.com.

My blog has been hosted there from the first day — and so are Miti’s blog and Cornel’s blog. Everything was fine until three or four weeks ago, when I received an email that I exceeded my disk quota. Since I have 150 GB of storage and use the account only for three blogs this was a surprise for me. I used FTP to looking at the folders. It seems one of the WordPress modules (the one for backup) was trying to do backups each day. So I deleted the files, and from that moment on I started to look every day or so for new files, just in case. That worked fine until ten days ago when I received an email from godaddy.com, stating:

Dear Mihai Corlan,
Customer Number: xxxxxxxxxxxx

According to the terms of our agreement(s), we tried to bill your MasterCard card ending in the last two digits XX in the amount of $ 7062.01 for the item(s) below, but our billing attempt failed. This could be for a variety of reasons, including an invalid or expired credit card on file.

Product Name    Next Billing Date     Qty        Price
Hosting Fee - Additional 100 MB - Renewal    10/22/2008    874     $    5934.46
    Bandwidth/Diskspace for 10/02/2008. corlan.org

You can imagine my heart was suddenly beating faster! How in the world could I owe more than $7000  to godaddy.com? I had paid for the deluxe plan for one year, so why? I tried to find out why they thought I owed them this money. I receive a response asking for the last four numbers of my credit card (but no explanation  of why they want to take this money).

This weekend they decided to block the account without any notice, phone call, or explanation. I called them, and they said to me that I have to pay this money because I exceeded the HDD quota.

Funny enough they have an account option called Unlimited (which cost $14 as opposed to my $7) that doesn’t have this limit of 150GB of HDD. So I spent a lot of time asking why they didn’t send me an alert the first time I exceeded the quota, instead of waiting for time to pass and accrue penalties of $7000. Also, I asked which files or folders were so big (“Sorry sir, but the account is blocked and I cannot tell you about the files”). I asked why they don’t send alerts when you first exceed the quota and all the common sense questions. They were polite, but basically they told me that because they have millions of clients they cannot send each one an email. As if in 2008 you have to have a person to check and write an email! Come on, you can hire a Perl programmer who will write you a script and add it as a cron job to check and send alerts wherever you want.

Eventually it became clear to me, that the problem would not be resolved. I told them there is no way to pay $7000 for something that I consider not my fault. I used to be a freelancer for many years; I worked with many hosting sites and never had this problem. Their system seems to be designed that way, just to make some extra money.

After more talking and calls, they offered me this deal: pay $800 for your data, and buy the next hosting plan and we’ll forget about the $7000, even if technically you owe us this money.

So that’s my story,. I still do not believe what happened to me. I spent all day trying to recover the data from Google cache and some old backups. Miti and Cornel are still working to get their blogs up and running.

Sorry for the lost comments, guys!

PS It seems this happened before to other people as well: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/adam-fendelman/why-i-dont-owe-godaddy-65_b_129276.html

36 thoughts on “My nightmare Monday, thanks to Godaddy

  1. Pingback: Cornel Creanga » Blog Archive » GoDaddy and my locked account

  2. Pingback: Gazduire web la godaddy.com

  3. This is a very sad story. So, in how many months were those THOUSANDS bucks accumulated? How much is the additional cost for each supplementary 100MB fraction? Normally, they should announce you from the first month when your quota was exceeded. I have also a Deluxe plan with them, and I will check the limits right now (and after that I will think to move my hosting somewhere else). I think this story should be known by anyone, in order that other people to be able to avoid this unpleasant situation. Good luck to solve your situation!

  4. I had my own bad experience with them. A friend’s domain expired and since he had no time, he asked me to take care of it, see if I can get it back. They wanted me to pay $80 to get my domain back ! I looked on their site and could not find anywhere that amount, or anything about that. Of course, I never paid, screw them.

    I only used them twice to buy a domain but never for hosting. That is clearly a company driven by greed, just have a look at their website with zillions of ads.

    Just get your webspace from a real hosting companies and keep local backups.

  5. @Catalin
    As I start to use their services in late June this year, and I receive the email with 7000 last month, do the math :(

  6. @Dave Duplantis
    Thanks for the info! We are evaluating all the options!

    @all
    In the meantime what hosting company do you use and do you trust?

  7. I would recommend one.com. For 2.60 Euro/Month you get 10GB webspace, unlimited traffic, unlimited email accounts, ASP, PHP, Mysql, FTP, etc.

    I use them since some time now and recently I moved my wordpress-based blog there, works without problems.

  8. Sooo ? Simply refuse payment and tell them to F*CK OFF. I am quite sure that what they do is a violation of the most basic laws of e-commerce and e-services, not only here, in Romania, but all over the world. Like they ask you money (and a huge amount too, not like 10 or 50 dollars) for an inexistent service or penalty ? SCREW THEM !

  9. I am very sad to hear that this happened to you, Mihai. This is Adam Fendelman. The same exact thing happened to me. I’m the one who wrote the Huffington Post story you reference above.

    I just let the right people at GoDaddy know this just happened to you. I hope they choose to fairly rectify it for you as well. You should have just received an e-mail from me.

  10. Pingback: Hosting de la GoDaddy? -- fulgerica’s blog

  11. dude, take the hostgator. i have 10 sites, unlimited bandwidth and, i dont know, 200GB space or smth. 9 USD. my sites have somewhere to 15 000 views.

  12. The reason I recommended one.com is that it’s faster for europeans (it’s a dutch hosting company), it’s cheaper than anything I’ve seen and 10GB, while not unlimited, it’s more than enough for any kind of blog, image gallery, backups etc.

  13. @Adam Fendelman

    Thanks a lot! I received an email from them, and they started an internal investigation and they will let me know within hours about the result. Thanks again my friend.

    I will update my post as soon as I have a final resolution from them.

  14. Pingback: Etherfast’s corner » Fii atent cum iti alegi providerul de webhosting

  15. Imi pare rau ca ti s-a intamplat asta. Trebuie sa fiu si eu atent fiindca am cateva conturi si domenii la Godaddy.

    Norocul meu e ca daca incearca sa-mi traga tzeapa ma duc peste ei (locuiesc la vreo 20 km de sediul lor din Scottsdale).

  16. Hmm…this gets out of hand. I am living 10 miles from Godaddy headquarters in Scottsdale, AZ.

    Maybe I should pay them a visit! Or send a lawywer…
    How come they don’t get their shit together and solve the situation?? It could happen to any of us again (who knows, I could be the next)

    I will write about this awkward matter on my tech blog http://www.mytestbox.com because I have a section dedicated to Web Hosting.

  17. OK guys! First of all thank you all for your support, and special thanks goes to Adam Fendelman!

    Second, Godaddy gave me my data and refund the money, so I think everybody is happy.

    As a final note, my sites remain on Godaddy’s Servers – I am using the Unlimited plan.

  18. Pingback: Combining the forces of GoDaddy and Drupal? Mind your credit card bill

  19. Eu zic sa ii arzi putin in stilul lor, mai ales daca sunt ZORRO si au pachet “nelimitat”.

    Cumapara unu si baga scriptu sa faca backup in nestire si le consume tot hardu de pe server sa vedem ce motiv baga atunci :)

  20. Pingback: Godaddy sunt niste tzepari pentru client …

  21. Pingback: Here’s to Hoping! « PeachyHost.com

  22. Woah, that’s not what you need on a Monday morning.

    I’d like to give my props for 1&1 hosting here in the UK. They complain that I haven’t paid £6 for a domain name that I didn’t even get, and it takes two weeks for them to sort out.

    But hey, 7000 bucks isn’t something you wanna be swindled out of..

  23. I find it much easier (and cheaper) to run your own server (Provided you have the hardware). I began hosting my own website from a home server when I was 9 years of age, and I have since turned into my dedicated server (After installing a Linux distribution, ftp, and ssh for remote administration).

    Any old PC will do (I’ve seen people take laptops with broken screens and convert them into headless servers).

    Anyways, that sounds rough. I’ve heard GoDaddy horror stories before, but this is one of the worst I’ve heard. If you don’t feel like administrating your own server, I would have to recommend Dreamhost.com

  24. I don’t understand…

    Why should you expect them to waive the $7000 because you screwed up? It’s different, of course, if it was due to their error, but as I read the story, it seems it wasn’t actually their error.

    Granted, they should have an automated system to warn you of an overage, but the end of the day, it was either you, or one of your server-side scripts that caused a huge increase in disk usage.

    As a result, they applied penalty charges. They are, after all, a business, and not a charity.

  25. Pingback: Zach Katagiri » Here’s to hoping

  26. Godaddy is one of the most known webs hosting company online today; they are extending their hands to those interested to improve their business.

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