Several months ago GoDaddy started adding a $.25 ICANN “tax” to most domain name registrations. It is time for GoDaddy to drop this nonsense and add the fee to its advertised price; and ICANN should require all registrars to advertise its prices inclusive of fees.
Here’s the background. In its latest budget ICANN added a variable fee for all accredited registrars. This fee is $.25 per domain name registered. The idea was to raise money by charging registrars according to sales volumes (i.e., larger registrars pay more than smaller registrars). This $.25 fee is on top of a number of other fees including a $4,000 annual accreditation fee and a variable annual fee in the range of $10,000-$25,000. The latter two fees don’t change much based on the size of registrar.
So is the $.25 fee a “tax”, as GoDaddy calls it? Not really. It’s just a cost of doing business. When GoDaddy started advertising its domain name price plus the $.25 fee, I thought other registrars might start this practice. But they haven’t. Thus, when GoDaddy advertises a $8.95 price, it really charges $9.20; when other registrars advertise $8.95, the actual price is $8.95.
$.25 isn’t a huge deal, but can you see where this is headed? Don’t you hate how your phone bill has all of these surcharges that should just be part of the price you are quoted for service? Next thing you know GoDaddy will advertise domains at $.95 with small print that reads plus $8.00 administrative charge and $.25 ICANN tax.
To make cost comparison across registrars fair, ICANN should implement a rule that requires all accredited registrars to advertise domain prices inclusive of all fees, taxes, and surcharges.