After dealing with backlash of the worst kind -- the kind that makes you lose customers, fast -- GoDaddy withdrew their support for SOPA with press releases and Twitter announcements. But was that enough?
Not for one ex-GoDaddy customer, who detailed his exchange with one of their customer service representatives on Google+. Chris Heald's post not only documents why he left, SOPA support, but he also details the surprising level of defeat GoDaddy's customer service staff must be feeling as they try and woo back previous customers.
The first thing that stood out to me, besides the legitimate reason Heald has for moving his 60-plus domains to one of GoDaddy's competitors. Heald believes GoDaddy essentially blew the criticism off. That is, until the mass exodus began:
The rep was quite sincere in his apology to me, asked if there was anything they could do to win me back. He had a "We support IP protections, and now realize that support of SOPA is too broad" song-and-dance routine that probably came in from a PR memo today. I told him "no thanks", and that was that. I'm impressed by the customer service hustle, but it shows that this little incident really spooked them.
I think that the backlash against their support was a lot more swift and severe than they'd anticipated. Their initially glib "lol, whatever" response was replaced by "oh god, please stop punching us in the quarterly financial report!" real fast.
Considering the amount of turnover GoDaddy experienced, the backtracking shouldn't be surprising, even with the existence of GoDaddy CEO tweets like the following:
To many ex-GoDaddy customers, this is a "too little, too late" reaction from a company that seems more concerned about winning their customers back than they do about taking a stand against SOPA. As for Heald, he sees GoDaddy's backtracking as a win for consumers:
GoDaddy capitulating is a huge win, because it's the first stone to come out of the wall. Now that GoDaddy has demonstrated that they were taking too much damage to continue with their support of SOPA, it empowers people to exert similar pressure on other companies, and it demonstrates to those companies that there are enough angry people out there that you need to listen up and pay attention.
Heald also points out the ones at GoDaddy who will truly suffer for the SOPA backlash will be the customer service reps who have to call ex-customers in an effort to win them back:
I feel really bad for the customer service reps that have to do damage control on this. You know that they're going to be pulling overtime this Christmas weekend because their bosses screwed up.
Who knows? Maybe GoDaddy pays double time during Holiday hours...