I've transferred 35 domains out of GoDaddy in the last few weeks. I started the process long before the SOPA thing blew up. What finally got me to move was a $4.99 charge for a service I never wanted. I must have ordered it accidentally when reserving a domain. Something GoDaddy goes out of its way to make difficult and error-prone. We all know this. It could be a lot simpler. We all know that, I'm sure they do too.
It wasn't so much that I had the charge, but that it was almost impossible to get them to remove it. I got in contact with their support people and they said I had to do it myself, they couldn't do it "for" me. On what planet is a customer, expressing a very clear wish, asking you to do something for them. That's what you get paid for. To do things on my behalf. Hopefully you make enough money. If not, you should just charge more, not do these horrible ripoffs.
Even worse, the page they told me to go to, to get rid of the feature, didn't have the command they told me to look for. I used the search command in Firefox. The text wasn't there. I tried looking for text like it on the page. Nope. I tried viewing the source code of the page. Nope. I think they were actually lying about this. Unbelievable. All for $4.99.
Finally, I said I was going to send them a certified letter asking for the service to be removed from my account. When that wasn't enough, I decided to let them have the money and I'd just move off their service. And of course write up the experience here as a warning to any would-be future customer.
Of course there are a huge number of blog posts like that. GoDaddy didn't care. Fresh hamsters keep rolling up to the front door, ready to go through the same process they put me through. And all their other dissatisfied customers.
They like to say they have great support, and in some ways they do. But there is no way to have a line within a company that a customer respects. On one side of the line are the "nice" people, and over there are the assholes. If you, as a structural part of your business, defraud customers (and I believe what they do is fraud) then you don't have a "nice" part of your business. The whole thing is scum and deserves to die.
So, GoDaddy is backing off support of SOPA. But if they want to recover from this the way Johnson & Johnson handled the Tylenol poisoning scare, a textbook example of how a company should deal with a crisis, they must do more than back off SOPA. They must reconstitute the way they do business. Clean that site up. Streamline the domain registration and renewal process so you don't get page after page of boxes you have to check the right way to avoid getting ripped off.
They must change their company so that their support of SOPA could not have happened. Any company that takes sides against their customer's interest is a dead company. Every decision the company makes must be judged on how it effects their relationship with customers. Supporting SOPA was a bone-headed move. But this is a company that fights with customers over $4.99 charges for services they clearly say they do not want and have never used.
I can make them this offer because I still have 45 domains there. I am, as of right now, still a customer. I'm not talking about "progress" -- I want them to redesign their customer interface from top to bottom, and get the bullshit out of there. And teach your people that without customers you have no business, so their needs come first.