Godaddy, secureserver.net, domain suspension and bad communication



It’s almost midnight, and I’ve been awake for more than 24 hours because of the after effects of Friday the 13th. I’m feeling really exhausted and can’t keep my eyes open, but I’m also feeling good for unknown reasons.

Last week I received an email from an unknown sender and domain, “secureserver.net.” The email said it was from Godaddy and wanted to notify me that the email address listed in the whois information for one of my domains was invalid. I was told that I’d 5 days to send an email to an email address listed in the email, if I wanted to maintain the domain name. The email address listed was itself was a generic one and wasn’t from a godaddy.com email account.

I thought the email was bogus, and ignored it. Godaddy, in my view, didn’t send notices without any links to log into the site and check for ourselves. After 6 days, the domain name in question stopped working. I checked everything on the hosting side to see if something had happened; everything seemed fine but the domain name didn’t resolve to anything. That also meant that any incoming email would either have to be delivered again in a few hours, or simply sent back to the original author of the message.

I called Godaddy customer support to ask about the invalid domain. They told me that they had some technical issues and would reset my domain name settings to fix everything. I was given about 24 hours as a time frame to wait for the changes to happen. The domain was inactive after about 12 hours from that time, so I emailed Godaddy just to ask for an update to see if things were progressing. Godaddy responded with the following reply:

Response from Godaddy.com about my domain name being down

Thank you for contacting customer support. As xxxxx.xxx is currently resolving to a third party DNS, we will not be able to provide further assistance for this matter. You will need to contact the current hosting provider for further resolution of this matter.

Please let us know if we can help you in any other way.

Here I was, stuck between Godaddy and the problem. I manage the hosting myself, so I knoiw I hadn’t changed anything on the hosting side. I did some diagnostics via Dnsstuff.com, which showed that the nameservers for that domain weren’t found online. The nameservers were being managed through Godaddy, which meant that it was Godaddy’s problem that my domain name was down. I emailed Godaddy again, this time explaining to them how the nameservers weren’t loading and how it was Godaddy’s side of the equation. I also told them that Godaddy customer support over the phone had told me before that Godaddy knew the issue and would take care of it.

Godaddy replied to me a few hours later, telling me that the domain had been suspended because some of the whois information for that domain was wrong. I was surprised, as that meant that the original anonymous email that I’d received from a domain called secureserver.net was indeed from Godaddy. Why they would use an anonymous email and no Godaddy links in the email is a mystery to me. I changed the whois information for that domain and responded to the email, telling them that the whois information had been changed, even though the previous whois information was valid also and working well.

Godaddy responded within an hour saying that the domain was working again. Even though the domain is working now, I’m unsure as to whether Godaddy can be relied upon when it comes to communication with their customer support. Both their email and phone support had given me wrong information, and I had to waste time before Godaddy told me what the real issue was. I could’ve simply avoided this situation before it even started, had Godaddy sent an email that contained information to prove that it was a legitimate email.

Good night everyone. Hopefully I won’t have to worry about the whois information for my domain names anymore.