On September 15, 2014 I did a post on FirstData, GoDaddy’s corrupt “merchant services” partner which has thousands of complaints against it. Since then we’ve received a number of emails from very angry homeschoolers and other families who run their business from GoDaddy hosting accounts. Here’s a little history on GoDaddy.
They used to have a “satisfaction guaranteed” claim which meant if you had any problems or were not happy with your hosting account, they would refund your money in full. They’re still saying that you are covered when you call them and order new products by phone. The problem is that they are lying and they no longer honor this guarantee. According to the Office of the President, they put in effect a new “terms of service” which obliterates the old satisfaction guarantee. Now they have pages of fine print.
FirstData is GoDaddy’s corrupt merchant services partner. What we learned from several of our readers is that they partnered with GoDaddy specifically to provide merchant services for e-commerce sites, but they aren’t actually providing merchant services. They have more than 30 pages of contracts that GoDaddy signs you into when you sign up for GoDaddy’s e-commerce site. And few of these families actually knew that this is what GoDaddy was doing with their name and their consent.
After signing them up for these accounts, GoDaddy wiped their hands clean of the whole affair and passed everything off to FirstData. FirstData’s scam is to keep requesting more and more information from their new “customers” who have applied for merchant services and then suspend the account while continuing to charge the customer. Many of these customers were denied accounts and then charged for four years up front, although they didn’t use and don’t want the accounts. At the same time, the e-commerce sites they had paid GoDaddy for were completely worthless because they had no payment method.
Most of these families were dragged along for several months before they finally gave up and tried cancelling their accounts with GoDaddy. GoDaddy refused claiming they were beyond the five day refund policy. 5 Days! If you sign up for anything at GoDaddy, you have five days to figure out they’re cheating you and get out. Unfortunately, they tell these poor families to wait and be patient while their merchant accounts are being reviewed. So FirstData and GoDaddy are in collusion together to scam you out of money.
The reviews posted by GoDaddy for their e-commerce sites are stacked. None of the negative reviews our readers left were posted. Not even one. Don’t believe the reviews. These were people who were excited about putting up a site so quickly and posted before they learned they’d been scammed. GoDaddy is refusing to post the valid negative reviews. Shame on you, GoDaddy.
I’m so saddened to hear this. I used to have a lot of respect for GoDaddy, but I called and verified that they do indeed have a new policy that gives you only five days. And there are no refunds whatsoever on domains. So if you purchase a hosting account and domain name and get that domain for ten years, you are out of money. There is no refund. 🙁
If you have an account with GoDaddy, please write to the following address and voice your concerns:
Office of the CEO – GoDaddy
14455 N. Hayden Rd. Suite 226
Scottsdale, AZ 85260
(480) 505-8828 Phone
(480) 275-3975 Fax
If you’re currently running a family e-commerce site, please drop us a line and let us know how you’re doing it. More than half of our homeschooling readers run online businesses and are struggling to keep up with e-commerce. 🙂
Originally published September 26, 2014.
Since publishing this article, we’ve had several families tells us that after this little fiasco, First Data made several unauthorized charges to their credit cards which they disputed through their financial institutions and were refunded. However, First Data put negative information on their credit reports. It’s also become clear that many of these families were targeted because they were Homeschooling families and in some cases much of their income relied on internet sales. If you’re send an email with a deal that sounds too good to be true, it probably is. 🙁