How GoDaddy Lost a Customer

I have had several sites hosted at GoDaddy for many years.  When I got them, I found GoDaddy to be a nice improvement over Network Solutions.  Today GoDaddy exceeded my level of patience.  I was told that my web site can not have any .ZIP files on it.   What?  the purpose of the web site is to make files available to others, and some of them are ZIP files.   What do they imagine a web site is for?

Web Hosting

What is web hosting?   It is a server that has a bunch of files on it that allows those files to be downloaded using HTTP protocol.  That is pretty much all there is to it.

The email I received today told me in non uncertain terms to delete:

These files are of course part of the web site.  Indeed, that is the point of the web site to give people access to these ZIP and other files.  This is the material of the web site.

Unlimited File Space

I have the Ultimate Linux Hosting Plan, which is not the cheapest plan, and it  specifically mentions unlimited file space:

Of course there is going to be some practical limit on the disk space.  I asked, and nobody at GoDaddy can say what the limit is, because they advertise unlimited.  I was told that more than once:  we can’t say what the acceptable limit is.

The space I was using was equivalent to a small laptop disk:  400GB.   I don’t actually need that much, and probably could trim it down to 100GB on the average, so some house cleaning is due.  One support person said I should reduce the size and wait and see what happens.  However, the message makes it clear that ALL files must be removed:

This is not a high volume site.  There are maybe a dozen people who know it exists, and uploads and downloads are no more than a couple a day.  No issue with bandwidth, just a disk space problem.

Last year at this time, I renewed the server for another four years, so I have three years left on that purchase, and I am being told I can’t have ZIP files in my web site.

Calling Support

The email came from the GoDaddy Network Violations Team, but they did not give any way to contact them.  No email address is given.   They included three phone numbers, but all the numbers go to the same standard support line.

I waited in line to to talk to Colton who was agreeable, however he had no clue as to why this action was taken.  Web sites are supposed to have files, and he could not explain why zip files would not be allowed to be part of a web site.  He suggested replying to the message, however the email message had a “noreply” style from-address.

I called support again to talk to Pat who pointed me to the “fine print”:

What is storing an archived file?   The purpose of the website is to make certain zip files available with content that is part of the web site.  If you leave a file on the webserver for 1 year, does that count as unacceptable storage?  It is not clear what archived files are.  None of the zip files are older than 1 year.  Can we really call them archives if they are all less than one year?   Also, this is not material to downloaded through any other site, but instead it is part of this one site.

I called support again, and reached Mandy who suggested reducing the size of the collection of files. She can’t say if reducing to 200GB would be enough or not, because since they advertise “unlimited” file space, they can’t say how much space is allowed.  The real problem is that there was no way to talk to anyone, or to communicate with anyone, who had any knowledge of what the alleged problem was.

GoDaddy Has Aged

GoDaddy was a nice company when they were young and hungry and disrupting the hosting field.  They offered a self-serve portal that made it easy to set up DNS names and manage your hosting plans.   But recently they re-worked their portal to make it more smurfy with animated graphics, and at the same time forcing you to click through advertisements for other products to get things done.  It has gotten annoying.

They have now become the big guy on the block, and really have lost their sense of service.  To be fair, the customer service reps have been generally fine.  I did call in three times today, and I got real live people who tried to help.  Unfortunately, none of them had any idea how to help this situation, and they were not allowed to refer me to anyone else who did know.  Nobody could say what a reasonable amount of disk space was.

Though I have been hosting for almost a decade with them, I have cancelled all the automatic renewals and I am looking for other options.  I am just floored that they demand I delete all ZIP files from my web site.

Conclusions

I am not sure where this is going to end up.   I have a web site that has ZIP files, and they say I need to remove all the zip files. The purpose of the web site is to provide files to people, some of which are ZIP files.

The advertisement clearly says unlimited disk space, and nowhere in the agreement does it prohibit ZIP files.   I don’t see how this is legal.

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2 Responses to How GoDaddy Lost a Customer

  1. Their fine print allows them to do things like this, since they don’t really want to be a content repository. As an alternative, you can put these in Google Drive and just link to them — that doesn’t lessen your annoyance with GoDaddy, but it’s a solution.

    I abandoned GoDaddy years ago when their upselling became obnoxious, and once when it was super-hard to move my hosting to another platform. They’re quite predatory.

    • kswenson says:

      I also host at A2 hosting. They have an unlimited plan. I asked them: what is the real limit. They said, 50GB because the typical site is about 5GB. I felt that honesty to be worthwhile.

      I have plenty of other places to host, I think it is sad because when I switched to them, they were SO much better than the others, but now they are worse.

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