Go Daddy - one customer voting with their wallet is worth 1000 internet petitions
Luke Welling stashed this in Fixitfixitfixit!
Although they are well beyond the startup stage, I think there are many lessons to be learned from Go Daddy's recent PR disasters.
A lot of their coverage I think misses the fact that they seem very happy to be the Budweiser of domain registrars. There is plenty of money to be made catering to people who watch the superbowl, but have never heard of SOPA, Reddit or Hacker News. Let's face it, that's nearly everybody.
They did not blink after the elephant hunting flap, but they must be getting hurt this time.
I like Dave Winer's comments and Tylenol poisoning analogy. http://scripting.com/stories/2011/12/27/whileWeveGotGodaddysAttent.html
People with shorter memories ask me why I've got domains with them at all. My memory is hazy on details, but I don't think they always sucked. Compared to Network Solutions they seemed like a breath of fresh air 15 or so years ago, but that may have been largely because NS was charging $25 a year and GD was charging $10.
I find it interesting that they have a DC office and play the lobbying and "Industry Capture" game in a way that few small tech companies do. See http://www.godaddy.com/newscenter/release-view.aspx?news_item_id=363&isc=gofn2102cc
On the flip side they seem to be truly awful at this decade's social/internet based PR game. I suspect it is partly apathy in that they're happy for the new hotness to be divided between 100s of small registrars while they take the boring business, but the fact that they did a public, embarrassing about face on SOPA demonstrates the effectiveness of a financially effective boycott in comparison to internet rage and petitions about killing elephants.
GoDaddy did get a lot of customers by undercutting Network Solutions' prices. (NetSol now charges $35 a year btw and they still make it very painful to transfer domains, a tactic that GoDaddy now employs as well.)
But GoDaddy was never one of the good guys. They were just cheap for a little while. But they were sleazy: http://blogs.sfweekly.com/thesnitch/2011/12/godaddys_sopa.php
And now there are other cheap alternatives who are not sleazy.
Even Forbes goes into detail about how GoDaddy is one of the least classy companies in the Internet industry: http://www.forbes.com/sites/davidcoursey/2011/12/28/idiot-godaddy-deserves-boycott/
So if ever someone wanted an excuse to leave GoDaddy, they now have several to choose from.
I transferred most of mine today from Go Daddy to Name.com.
I still have more to do, but the ones that I care about avoiding downtime on will need to wait until I am not either flat out at work or on vacation.
That makes sense.
I've been happy with EasyDNS although they are not the cheapest.
MyDomain.com is pretty cheap, and I've been happy with their service, too.