Existing subscribers will continue to pay $120 per year.
There was an uproar last week when GoDaddy customers who subscribe to the Discount Domain Club received renewal notices with a hefty price hike. Customers were shocked to get notices that the annual membership cost was doubling from $120 to $240.
Discount Domain Club (DDC) is a paid discount program that gives customers heavily-discounted rates on domains. Customers with DDC pay $8.29 for .com domain registrations and renewals, which is substantially less than GoDaddy’s list price. The program also discounts other top level domains.
GoDaddy released this statement to Domain Name Wire after our inquiry about the price change:
When we launched Discount Domain Club 12 years ago, we wanted to create a program that assisted our customers with larger portfolio a way to maintain their portfolios at a reasonable price. While the prices of domain names have increased over the years, Discount Domain Club has not kept up. So for new customers, we have increased the price to bring the program back in line with original intentions. While new customers will have the updated price, existing customers will receive the same price they always have.
It turns out that, despite erroneous renewal notices, existing subscribers have been locked in at the $120 price.
Paying a fee to get discounted prices is controversial. Before it was acquired by GoDaddy, Uniregistry faced a backlash after raising its prices unless customers joined a discount club. Some registrars offer prices that are close to the discounted prices offered with these programs without the need to join a program, and others will extend discounted prices to large customers who ask.
Several registrars currently charge less than $9 per year for .com registrations and renewals. PorkBun, for example, charges $8.56.
.Com prices will increase during 2021 when Verisign increases the wholesale price of .com domain names. Keep a close eye on how much registrars increase their fees in response to Verisign’s increase.