A reader forwarded this GoDaddy message to me (I have anonymized it) asking for advice. Apparently GoDaddy is now charging for handling spam complaints and has a $200 “spam tax” for clients that do email marketing. If they receive spam complaints against you, they are claiming that they will hold your domain ransom unless you pay $75 to release it.
Basically, GoDaddy is saying that if you do email marketing or have affiliates that send emails linking to your site, they don’t want your business.
From: GoDaddy Abuse Department [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org]
Sent: Thursday, June 12, 2008
Subject: RE: EXAMPLE.COM
Thank you for contacting Go Daddy’s Abuse Department.
As the registrant of EXAMPLE.COM you are ultimately responsible for your domain name. Any email mail advertisement that is driving traffic to, or generating revenue for, your website or domain name is your responsibility. If your clients violate our anti spam policy they place your domain name in jeopardy.
You can view Go Daddy’s Anti-Spam policy by clicking on the “Anti-Spam Policy” link located on Go Daddy’s “Legal Agreement” page. Click the following link to access Go Daddy’s “Legal Agreements” page: https://www.godaddy.com/gdshop/agreements.asp.
Please keep in mind that it is not our intention to cause anyone’s business to suffer and we do appreciate your response and cooperation. Because of your willingness to resolve this issue thus far, your services have not been interrupted, however this situation remains unresolved.
While we do consider you ultimately responsible for the use of your domain name, we understand you cannot guarantee that each and every client you provide services to will act responsibly. Because of this Go Daddy offers a solution that may be a better fit for your particular situation. We refer to this solution as our “Abuse Enforcement Program”.
If you intend to provide services to your clients that involve the use, or marketing of, your domain name, you must require your clients to abide by Go Daddy’s anti spam policy. These services include, but are not limited to, the following:
- Affiliate Advertising Programs (aka “clickthru” programs)
- Website Hosting/Email Services (free or paid)
- Multi-Level Marketing Programs
- Independent Contractor Programs
If you agree to the terms of the “Abuse Enforcement Program” outlined below, Go Daddy will accept, in good faith, your commitment as proof of your desire to correct this problem and enforce our anti-spam policy.
“Abuse Enforcement Program” terms are as follows:
1. Authorize GoDaddy.com to charge a $199 non-refundable administration fee* to the credit card on file for your account. This fee is used to cover the costs of responding to or “cleaning up” the outstanding spam complaints Go Daddy has received against your domain name so far.
2. Terminate the services you are providing to the organization circulating the mailing that has generated the complaints we have received.
3. Reply to this message with a statement that you will terminate the services of any future client that violates Go Daddy’s No Spam policy.
4. Provide both a primary contact and secondary contact email address.
In the future, Go Daddy will send a “warning notice” to these contact addresses if we receive additional spam complaints. If you respond to these “warning notices” within 5 days no action will be taken against you. This will allow you handle the problem on your end preventing any interruption of service to your clients that are not at fault. Go Daddy itself has a similar agreement with our upstream provider AT&T.
If this solution is not agreeable to you, or you are unable to comply with these terms, you can transfer your domain name to another registrar. We require that you pay a $75 administration fee before allowing you to proceed with your transfer. Again this fee used to offset the costs of “cleaning up” the outstanding spam complaints against your domain name.
You will need to provide the following in your reply:
1. A statement that you will initiate the transfer of your domain name to a new registrar within the next 24 hours.
2. Authorization for GoDaddy.com to charge a $75 administration fee* to the credit card on file for your account.
• You may want to log into your Go Daddy account and confirm that the card on file is valid and has not expired.
Please let us know what option you choose, thank you for your cooperation.
24/7 Abuse Department Hotline: 480-624-2505