Cast your mind back to 1998, when the internet still wasn’t cool and owning your own domain was something of a novelty.

Back then to buy a domain (at least in the UK) was an expensive and time consuming business… enter Just The Name. JTN provided an affordable (for that time) domain name registration service with a simple web interface and a number of basic services such as email and web forwarding and a DNS control panel.

Now of course there is much more competition, and JTN is really starting to show its age. For a start its prices are far from competitive, but while this is irritating it is not necessarily a showstopper (especially when it comes to people who have domains on the service already and can’t afford the down time of a transfer).

What is a showstopper however is that (while its front page has gone through numerous revisions) the back end systems haven’t been updated in the last however long. The upshot being that while you get helpful emails telling you that your domain is about to expire, you can’t do anything about them because the payment system has not been updated to accept a CVV code.

Therefore, all payments get rejected by the bank.

The last time a domain hosted with them came up for renewal I even reported this to them as their head of department took a manual card payment over the phone, but over a year later this issue remains unfixed.

While he may kill elephants for fun, at least Bob Parsons the Godaddy CEO understands that having a way for customers to give you money is fairly important for a successful business.

Since “providing a way to let customers give you money” doesn’t seem to rank on their list of priorities, I figured this didn’t bode well should anything go wrong with their infrastructure. So, as each domain comes up for renewal I’ve been moving them to a different provider.

Unsurprisingly, this isn’t exactly a walk in the park.

In fairness, they don’t quibble about unlocking the domain or providing me with an authentication code. However, since the administrator email is their info@ (unheard of nowadays) and they refuse to change it, the authorisation from the new provider is being lost in the void.

The back and forth with their support department (now going on for over a week) is starting to resemble a Turing test. Ever sympathetic as I am to anyone who works front line support, this is starting to tick me off in no small way and I dread the time when I have to move my main domains over.

Currently, it seems like the only way they are staying in business is by keeping people’s domains hostage.