On Monday morning September 10, Go Daddy, the world’s largest domain name registrar and Web hosting provider, with more than 53 million domain names under management, experienced an unprecedented service outage affecting millions of web sites. GoDaddy posted a statement on Twitter as it became aware of the extent of the interruption across its network and issued a public apology late Tuesday night after completing an internal investigation and restoring service to its customers.
According to the company, the service outage was due to a series of internal network events that corrupted router data tables, and not, as initial reports suggested a coordinated attack by the mysterious hacker group Anonymous. Once the issues were identified, the company said it has taken corrective actions to restore services for affected customers and implemented measures to prevent this from occurring again.
On Wednesday morning September 12th, Go Daddy CEO Scott Wagner sent an email to millions of impacted customers apologizing for the disruption and providing assurances that sensitive customer information, such as credit card data, passwords or names and addresses, were not compromised. Go Daddy is also giving customers until Wednesday, September 19, 2012 at midnight (Pacific Time) to take advantage of a credit for the value of one month of service for each active/published site.
Go Daddy is no stranger to controversy. The company’s racy Super Bowl ads, featuring scantily clad women in suggestive situations, have gotten them in hot water with feminist groups and outspoken founder and former CEO Bob Parsons was a lightning rod for criticism by liberal bloggers, animal rights groups and others.
However, the latest service outage is the greatest threat to Go Daddy’s reputation as one of the most reliable hosting and online service providers available. Regardless of what you might think about Go Daddy’s advertising strategy, the company did right by its customers this week and delivered an excellent lesson in online reputation management — delivering prompt notification to their customers on social media, working quickly and efficiently to restore service to millions of customers and issuing a formal apology and credit to restore confidence to business owners who rely on Go Daddy’s hosting service for their livelihood.