1and1 Incompetence, Part 1

This is the first in a series of articles outlining the incompetence, dishonesty, and outright fraud I have been subjected to by 1and1.  1and1 claims to provide web hosting and domain name services.  What they actually provide are headaches and heartaches and very little else.

In November of 2008, I purchased a bulk lot of 270+ domain names from a 1and1 client.  I am going to call him Seller to protect the innocent.  I had never done business with 1and1 before, so I had no idea of the nightmare I was about to get involved in.  If I knew then what I know now, I would have run as far and as fast as I could away from 1and1.  Any benefit I get from that purchase will forever be tainted by their ineptitude.

On December 8, 2008, Seller faxed the appropriate Transfer Request Form, supplied by 1and1, to their Transfers Department.

On December 10, Seller received an email acknowledging the request, along with a promise that the transfer would be completed within 24 hours.  It was not.

Seller contacted them again when there was no transfer or further communication from 1and1, and on December 18, he received this message:

From: <transfer@1and1.com>
To: Seller
Sent: Thursday, December 18, 2008 1:29 PM
Subject: Re: CXXXXXXXXX Contract Move

Dear Seller, (Customer ID: XXXXXXXX)

Thank you for contacting us.

We currently experiencing an issue with the contract moves. Our
administrators are working on resolving this issue as quickly as
possible. We will send you an email with updates shortly.

If you have any further questions please do not hesitate to contact us.


Sincerely,
Employee Name Removed
Transfers Department
1&1 Internet

Seller contacted them again on Monday, and received this reply:

From: <transfer@1and1.com>
To: Seller
Sent: Monday, December 22, 2008 8:36 AM
Subject: CXXXXXXXXX

Dear Seller, (Customer ID: XXXXXXXX)

Thank you for contacting us.

I apologize for the delay in moving your contract over, but we had an
issue with our ability to perform certain tasks within our system.

We will be performing the move today, but before we do that, I would
have to ask that you back up all of your webspace data and any e-mails.

Once you have done this, please let me know and we will begin the move.

If you have any further questions please do not hesitate to contact us.


Sincerely,
Employee Name Removed
Transfers Department
1&1 Internet

Seller told them to go ahead and do what he had asked on multiple occasions for them to do.

On December 30, I sent the following message

From: “Brian Gothard”
To: <president@1and1.com>
Cc: <transfer@1and1.com>; <support@1and1.com>; <complaints@1and1.com>; Seller
Sent: Tuesday, December 30, 2008 8:22 PM
Subject: FW: CXXXXXXXXX

Dear Sir or Madame,

As a technology consultant, I regularly recommend web services to my clients.  I am expanding my services to include more web related products and have been researching and evaluating providers for several months.

1and1 has failed miserably.

The inability of your company to complete the transfer referenced in the thread below in a reasonable amount of time has left me with a very bad impression of your service.

I fully understand how much impact software systems problems can have on a normal business.  That is my job: to address and correct issues with technology.  I can commiserate with your situation.  But this process was started on December 9, according to Employee Name Removed.

Even accounting for the holidays that is 12 normal business days.  That seems an unreasonable amount of time to me to perform something that ties directly to your core business process.  This is a simple transfer from one customer number to another.
No matter how extensive or convoluted your processes are, this cannot possibly require that much time to complete.
Keep in mind that Mr. Seller has been having extensive problems managing the domains for several weeks prior to this.  It seems your entire system is insufficient for your business.

My customer number is XXXXXXXX.  Please address this situation with your employees and let me know when I can expect some results.

Respectfully,
Brian Gothard
Technology Consultant
http://BrianGothard.com

The president account bounced, of course.  I didn’t really expect it to land, but I had to try.  More importantly; I never received a response from anyone at 1and1.  Not even an acknowledgment.

After several more days with no further information from 1and1, Seller called them.  Here is what he sent me:

From: Seller
Sent: Wednesday, January 07, 2009 2:44 PM
To: Brian Gothard
Subject: FYI: Re: CXXXXXXXXX – Follow Up..

Brian,

I just spoke with Dave at 1and1. He is a manager at 1and1. He confirmed to me that they have moved some of the domains to your account. The move will finish tomorrow.

Regards,

Seller

That is David Rubel.  Remember that name; he is the Billing Manager and he comes up quite often.  Notice he confirms that some of the domains have already been moved. That is an outright lie, as proven by the email Seller received the following day:

From: <redemption@1and1.com>
To: “Seller” Seller
Sent: Thursday, January 08, 2009 12:47 PM
Subject: CXXXXXXXXX contract move

Dear Seller, (Customer ID: XXXXXXXX)

Thank you for contacting us.

We are currently having issues with our contracts not moving correctly.
We are working on resolving the issue as quickly as possible. What we can do for you is transfer the domains into another contract but this requires you to back up all of your information. If this is something that you would be interested in, email us back and we can start that process for you. We will be sending you an update via email once we have this issue resolved.

If you have any further questions please do not hesitate to contact us.

Sincerely,
Employee Name Removed
Transfers Department
1&1 Internet

Seller replied immediately that they should just perform the transfer as requested.

So, as of January 8, we have several 1and1 employees admitting that they cannot accomplish the transfer, and that the domains are still not accessible by either Seller or myself.  That is a full month during which 1and1 was unable to provide any administrative interface to their customer.  No way to manage or control any of these 270+ domains.

The domains were not actually transferred until January 15, but I will continue the details in my next post.

One thought on “1and1 Incompetence, Part 1

  1. I am a reseller at 1and1 and have been since 2004. my problem is that the president doesn’t know what his tech support and billing people are doing. All my problems have not bn with the sympathetic 1st line techs its the fact that they are not empowered to fix things. In fact they seem to be so whipped that they don’t dare even call a manager when requested. Tonight 2 different techs refused to get a manager on the line. That tactic is a customer service nightmare in the making.
    I have a problem which possibly 1000 1and 1 customers face tonight: 1and 1 has been labeled a spammer in Trend Micro Interscan Messaging System for Enterprises. That is very large customer like Comcast and other large ISPs. The result is that millions of emails have been bouncing all day because Trend Micro engineers are not working on problem due to 1) no referral from 1&1; 2) no referral from Comcast or 3) database hack at trend Micro was lazy, ineffectual, unable, untrained or any of a number of reasons.
    Generslly:
    1and 1 does answer their phone albeit, slowly and needlessly puts you on hold and does not understand the problems when explained.

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