I Replicated the GoDaddy Auctions “Glitch”

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Andrew Allemann wrote about a GoDaddy Auctions “glitch” that caused a bidder to lose an auction that he thought he had won. I can see how he would be upset because the messaging does indicate that he won the auction despite the fact that he lost the auction.

I received the same email from the person who emailed Andrew, and I spoke with Joe Styler about it yesterday. Paul Nicks provided a comment to Andrew about what caused this situation.

From what I understand, the issue is one of connectivity. If a winning bidder’s connection with the GoDaddy Auctions server is lost as the auction is ending, the timer will continue to count down until the end of the auction. Assuming there was no refresh or reconnection to the GoDaddy server before the auction concluded, the auction will appear to show the leading bidder as the winner.

I wanted to test this out to see if I could replicate it. I was the leading bidder on the SocialAmplify.com auction, which ended this afternoon. With approximately 5 minutes remaining in the auction, I was the high bidder. At that point in time, I turned off my Internet connection to see what would happen as the auction came to its conclusion. As was the case in the auction referenced in Andrew’s article, I was also shown as the winning bidder in the SocialAmplify.com auction:

When I restarted my Internet connection and refreshed, the auction showed that I was outbid and actually lost the auction:

The one big giveaway, though, is that I received an email from GoDaddy telling me I was outbid on the auction. The email came through on my iPhone as my office Internet connection was down:

In the case of the SocialAmplify.com auction, the connectivity issue was mine. I disconnected my Internet to see what would happen with the auction if I did not have a connection. In other cases where this happened, it would not be possible for me to know where the connectivity issue came from. I don’t even know if that is something GoDaddy can determine.

I can see why someone would be upset if they thought they won an auction but did not realize their connection was lost. GoDaddy does send outbid alert emails to let bidders know they were outbid. If someone’s Internet connection went down, and their desktop and mobile connections were lost, the email might not be received until it is too late. That being said, if they lost their Internet connection for more than the extended auction time, I don’t think they would be able to place a higher bid anyway.

I don’t know if it is technically possible or feasible, but I think it would be helpful if GoDaddy displayed a notice informing the bidder that the Internet connection was lost to ensure they know to refresh and/or reconnect during the closing moments of an auction. This is an issue that should be addressed though. Not only is GoDaddy likely losing revenue with this, but it is creating a bad user experience for anyone who is impacted.

21 COMMENTS

  1. This has happened to me many times. The GD auction platform is full of glitches and lags all the time when placing bids. They make so much money on expiring names and put none of it back into the upgrading the actual platform or making afternic better. The GF auction app it totally buggy, slow, and logs you out multiple times a day.

  2. It’s great you can replicate the error, as I have found many others have experienced it as well, but this has been going on for AT LEAST a month that GoDaddy has been aware of this and they have done NOTHING to resolve the matter which is negligence so they are 100% responsible. Business continues as usual @ Godaddy! NO Messages in the auctions informing users of this SERIOUS error after at least a month of it happening with them being fully aware.

    What happens when you’re negligent with legally binding contracts? You suffer the consequences!

    • What would have happened if I did what I did in this experiment on the OrganicFlowers.com auction referenced by Andrew and it said I am the winning bidder at $12 or $500 or $5,000? Should I be awarded that name when others bid more? It seems possible that multiple people could think they are the winner if they lose their Internet connections.

      In essence, if GoDaddy were to let the $9,000 bidder win the auction, others could simply place high bids on other auctions, disconnect their Internet connection until the “Congratulations, your bid won!” message came on the screen, and demand that they be awarded the rights to buy those domain names for much less than the actual winning bid.

      I think something should be done to fix this issue.

  3. Something should have been done a month ago when they found out about it, it should have been a top priority fixed in a day because you can’t run legally binding auctions unlawfully like this and not expect to suffer any consequences.

    Then when they did find out about it at least a month ago, they should have done something Immediately to actually INFORM bidders in the auctions (On the auctions pages) of what was happening, but instead GoDaddy has a long history of sweeping their corruption under the rug instead of fixing problems, they make them worse.

    I can only speak for this auction, and as far as I know, I am the only one who was scammed in this auction.
    And no I never lost my internet connection, GoDaddys Auction software sucks and they are negligent because they have been scamming & screwing over their customers for so long that it just comes natural for them. I was bidding the whole time on my MAC desktop computer.

    • I saw it, think it sucks to lose an auction like that, but I don’t think there is anything that can be done that is not unfair to the other person who won the auction (and others could also replicate and demand that GoDaddy let them win auctions for minimal bids).

      It is a shame you did not see the outbid email on your smartphone or inbox before the auction ended. As I mentioned, when I was doing this experiment to try and replicate, the outbid email came to my phone, which was not connected to wifi.

      • Absolutely, there is! Unfair to the other person, I was the first bidder to win the auction @ the 11:25 end time. Auctions can’t can’t have 2 different end times and then for GoDaddy to honor the 2nd end time is Auction Fraud. Plain & Simple, this is a clear case of fraud and false & misleading advertising ON a Legally Binding Contract.

        Everything else everyone is saying is just excuses covering for GoDaddy as unbelievably as that sounds people are actually normalizing & accepting this corrupt & unlawful behavior as commonplace and expected.

        I have already spent 2 full days on this now and I will spend as much time & money as needed to ensure my legal right to the domain.

  4. Oh the shenanigans.
    I’ve won domains in GoDaddys Auctions, then all of a sudden the auction is running again and lose the auction, nothing new. More Bot bidding is making it worse.

    Their auction platform just keeps getting slower. I have to keep refreshing an auction to make sure I actually won.
    Their Investor app keeps crashing on me as well.

  5. This is nothing new it’s been an issue for years. I reported this to Pheenix when they were alive too. Nobody does anything. We lose our connection here at least a dozen times each day since we use cellular modem in a rural area.

    They need to be careful and not stuff it up like Google and YouTube, where the streaming stops when the connection is offline, but doesn’t resume streaming until a long while after the connection is up, and sometimes the page needs to be refreshed before it works at all. To ‘fix’ it the Google way would make things worse, much worse, by blocking all your bids. You need a very active and persistent polling of the host and open the connection right away.

    But actually it doesn’t have to be so complicated here e.g. simply poll the official time on your server before you say we won the auction! If the timing is off, synchonise the clock on the client side.

  6. The GoDaddy “Investor” app has to be one of the worst pieces of software ever written. It logs you out multiple times each day, it crashes, it changes from pin to face recognition, bids won’t go through, delays in notifications and so on.. It’s like a horror show. Whoever did this should be trialed and send to Gitmo.

  7. The cure for all this nonsense is to use the ebay model.
    Set an ending time. Game over!
    Why waste time every 5 minutes??
    I seldom bid anymore cuz it is such a waste of time.
    We all use the same damn clock.
    Make it end at Noon Pacific and be done with it.
    High bidder wins.
    So simple.
    They want it enough, they will place a high enough bid to cover all others.
    Train folks the right way and everyone wins!

    • Agreed it takes 4 hours to win a godaddy auction these days, nobody has time to sit there, and trade blows with a bot who places a bid every 5 minutes. Godaddy it used to be 2 minutes, then 5 minutes, what is next 60 minutes? Life is to short, people don’t have all day to spend bidding on a damn domain auction.

      • And then be the winning bidder, only to find out someone else outbid me after I already won the auction and it ended.

        • Then spend a never ending amount of time & money to seek legal counsel & pursue legal action against GoDaddy for scamming me & being negligent with a legal binding contract.

          Believe me, GoDaddy has put me thru absolute hell these last few days, I will be going after them for pain & suffering. You just cant do this to people & get away with it. I have been SO depressed, I have not been able to do anything else, but deal with this. I have been in tears about this whole situation. These people just do NOT CARE what they are doing to people, Joe & Paul, so I am going to make them care.

  8. To everyone who knows if Godaddy charged $17.99 for .com renewal? I was wondering if this is a glitch also; Godaddy wants me to pay $17.99 for each .com renewal.

  9. I gave up on Godaddy auctions in 2017… Too many bad experienced. They would have to pay me to get me back on there. They are too big of a player in the domain industry for these nonsense problems. Was a huge turnoff.

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