1and1 Incompetence, Part 8

My continuing battle with 1and1’s fraudulent activities…

After creating all of those posts yesterday, I sent a notice to all of those 1and1 email addresses inviting them to visit this blog and read all about it.  It appears that struck a nerve with at least one 1and1 employee.  Here is what I received today:

Dear Brian Gothard, (Cust: XXXXXXXX)

Thank you for contacting us.

The balance that was released to collections was for the January invoice and not for the invoice that was refunded.

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


Sincerely
Brett Neally
Billing Department
1&1 Internet Inc.

Of course, since he was responding to an email I sent that said exactly that, I replied:

Yeah, that’s what I SAID!

The January invoice IS FRAUD!

FIX IT!

His response:

Dear Brian Gothard, (Cust: XXXXXXXX)

Thank you for contacting us.

I’ve looked extensively through your case history and this is what we are willing to do. You previously sent an email with a PDF attachment for domains you wanted to cancel. Please reply back to this email with that list as plain text. We will then forward a case to have those domains removed from your account. We will then pull the balance from NCO financial and wipe it from our systems. I apologize for any inconvenience this has caused and we will work to try to resolve this issue.

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


Sincerely
Brett Neally
Billing Department
1&1 Internet Inc.

And my retort:

This is the 17th time I have submitted this exact same list.  By fax, by email, as an attachment, with and without signatures, to David Rubel, Damien Son, John Keefer, Complaints, Support, Billing, the BBB, the FTC, and whoever else I could find.  It is even posted several times at http://RippedOffConsumers.org.

But I will jump through yet another hoop.

And by the way, the way you phrased your response offends me.  I should hope you would be willing to correct your own errors.  I did not create this problem, 1and1 did, by screwing up the transfer for over a month in the first place and not granting me the ability to cancel these domains until almost a month later, then refusing to fix it in a reasonable time frame.  As you see below, I have been trying to get this fixed since January 10.  Your fellow employees have lied to me and given me the runaround for 2 1/2 months.  So thank you for being willing to do what should have been done in January.  I hope you mean it.

Then I pasted the January 10 email that I sent trying to fix this that included exactly the text list he is now requesting.  Remember, I have sent that same list over twenty times, in half a dozen formats.  Damion Son even made me print, sign, and fax it several weeks ago.  But now they need ANOTHER copy of it, even after he “looked extensively through your case history”.

I am not slamming Mr. Neally, yet.  He seems to genuinely want to make me go away.  I don’t get the impression he is actually sorry it happened, or even surprised, just that he wants me to shut up and go away.

And finally, at 2:18 PM CST today, I received this:

Dear Brian Gothard, (Cust: XXXXXXXX)

Thank you for contacting us.

Thank you for replying with this information. A case has been escalated to remove the account and balance from NCO financial. Please allow a few business days for this balance to be removed. I apologize it has take so long to resolve this issue.

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


Sincerely
Brett Neally
Billing Department
1&1 Internet Inc.

Now, that appears promising.  It is ironic that as I was reading this email message my phone rang.  Caller ID said NCO Financial.  I let the machine get it.

Mr. Neally has made promises that I only half expect to happen, just based on history.  I will have to wait and see.

But, as of right now:

1) My account is still locked, denying me access to the 235 domains I still have registered there that were never in question. (I now make sure to move them to a competent registrar before they expire.)

His message does not address when my account will once again be made available to me.

2) The January invoice has still not been credited, revised, or removed.  It still shows as “Payment declined”.

When I faxed the signed invoice corrections at Damion Son’s request the credit was issued within hours.  I will let you know.

3) There is still a Late Fee of $18.95 showing on my account.

Although every email message I get has some form of apology in it, I do not feel apologized to, if you know what I mean.  I feel more like they are apologizing for getting caught than out of any real concern for the hours I have spent trying to get them to correct their own errors.  Please excuse my language, but I do not feel like anyone at 1and1 gives a damn about me or the problems they have caused.

I understand that companies make mistakes.  It cannot be helped.  But when they first of all refuse to acknowledge the error, then try to blame it on the customer, then continue to antagonize that customer at every turn, that company does not deserve to be in business.

1and1 is just not reliable, ethical, or competent.

1and1 Incompetence, Part 7

I received a message today that my account had been turned over to a collection agency.

I have still not received a reply to my repeated emails and faxes asking why they did not follow up as Damion Son promised when I faxed the signed documentation over two weeks ago.

Once again, 1and1 is proving that they care absolutely nothing about their customers, and do not have the ability to provide even marginally competent service.

Please, please spread this around.

Do not let those you care about get robbed and violated by 1and1.

Stand up now and fight back!

1and1 Incompetence, Part 6

From my last post, Damion Son, supposedly “upper management” according to david Rubel, asked for the list of domains to refund, although i had sent it a dozen times already.  I sent it again.

Here is his reply:

From: complaints@1and1.com
Sent: Monday, March 09, 2009 2:01 PM
To: Brian Gothard
Subject: C122680964

Dear Brian Gothard, (Customer ID: XXXXXXXXX)

Thank you for contacting us.

I have spoken with our billing department regarding this matter.  They have informed me that you would need to fax a list of domain name that you wish to cancel with your signature.  And we can set those domain names to cancel and refund the account regarding the domain names.

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


Sincerely,
Damion Son
Customer Service
1&1 Internet

OK, this time they want it faxed.  This is completely outside their normal procedures and is listed nowhere in their terms and conditions, but I am willing to do what it takes.  So, I made a nice spreadsheet identical to their invoice, and identified each line item as “Keep” or “Cancel”.  I signed it and faxed it to both Damion Son and David Rubel.

One thing I have not mentioned:  the February invoice was wrong, too.  So, I did the exact same thing, and faxed them both together on March 10.  Then I emailed a PDF of the fax to Damion.

They issued a credit for the entire February invoice the same day.  They were not supposed to.  They credited domains that were not supposed to be cancelled as well as those that were.  They did not touch the January invoice which is causing all the problems, and the February invoice was not enough to cover the discrepancy.

I notified Damion Son of this fact by email and fax the same day.

On March 18, I once again sent Damion Son and David Rubel a request for the status of this issue by both email and fax.  No response.

I sent it again on March 23.  No response.

That gets us to the present.  I will post updates here as they occur.

If you waded through all of this, thank you.  It is a whole bunch of information, and i really don’t expect anyone to read all of it, but I hope the deluge makes enough of an impact that people are warned about just how bad 1and1 is.

1and1 Incompetence, Part 5

Continuing proof that 1and1 is incompetent, dishonest, and cares nothing about their customers.

Just a quick recap.  A transfer of 270+ domains was requested on December 8.  1and1 was unable to complete the tranfer until January 15.  During this period, the domains were inaccessible in my account.  1and1 is attempting to charge me for 17 domains that expired between December 15 and January 3; domains I had no ability to cancel and did not want.  They have locked my account, denying me access to over 150 domains that are fully paid and not in question.

I have issued complaints with the Better Business Bureau and Federal Trade Commission.

1and1 has thus far ignored every request to fix this issue and they keep blaming me for their internal system failures.

That’s where this site comes in.  Since 1and1 continues to ignore my complaints, I decided to tell my story here in hopes that I can warn someone else before they subject themselves to 1and1’s atrocious customer service.

Here is what I sent to David Rubel, Billing Manager, and everyone else at 1and1:

From: 1and1 Complaints [1and1complaints@rippedoffconsumers.org]
Sent: Sunday, March 01, 2009 3:34 AM
To: ‘David.Rubel@1and1.com’
Cc: ‘billing@1and1.com’;
‘marketing@1and1.com’; ‘redemption@1and1.com’; ‘complaints@1and1.com’;
‘sales@1and1.com’; ‘support@1and1.com’
Subject: FW: CXXXXXXXXX Re: FW: ATTN: David Rubel FW: KXXXXXXXXX Reminder

Hi, David.

I’m sending this to every address I can find at 1and1 because I’m not sure you are getting my messages, and I really want to make sure you get this one.  At least you choose not to respond to them.

Maybe you’ve just been busy.  I guess with all of the BBB and FTC complaints you have to deal with it must get pretty hectic around there.  I saw in my research that you do get a huge number of those.  Sorry I had to initiate my own, but your customer service really stinks.

You still have not corrected my invoice so I can pay you, even though I have submitted proof on a dozen occasions that I had no ability to cancel the domains due to 1and1’s internal technical problems.

Just in case you have forgotten the details (although after a dozen reiterations I don’t see how), here are the pertinent details:

The contract transfer was requested on December 8, 2008.

On December 10, 2008, Employee Name Removed acknowledged the request and promised a 24 hour completion.  (I sent you the email.)

December 18, 2008, Employee Name Removed acknowledges that they are still having trouble transferring the contract.  (I sent you the email.)

December 22, 2008, Employee Name Removed acknowledges that they are still having trouble transferring the contract.  (I sent you the email.)

January 7, 2009, YOU, David Rubel, admitted the problem, and promised Mr. Seller it would be completed that day.

The domains were not placed into my account until January 15, 2009.  That was the first time since December 10 that anyone outside of 1and1 had any control whatsoever over the domains.  I could not cancel what I could not access.

Every one of the domains in question expired between December 20, 2008, and January 3, 2009.

I had no ability to cancel them.

My account is locked, so I can’t change my DNS entries, therefore I cannot redirect any of my 240+ domains to the websites I am building to generate revenue.  That includes all of the domains that have not expired.  You are denying me access to domains I own that have nothing to do with this invoice dispute.  You are now costing me money.

The good news is that in the same bulk domain purchase I picked up another great domain, and I have been working to get it online.  Luckily, it is registered with a competent registrar, so I have not been denied access to it for even one day, much less the six weeks you cost me trying to transfer the contract, and now two more weeks because you can’t remember to fix my invoice.  You can visit it at http://RippedOffConsumers.org.  I really think it’s going to be very popular once I get some good content posted.

Listen, I know you are very busy, but I think you should be able to spare a few minutes to correct my invoice so that I can pay it and we can move on.

I look forward to hearing back from you at your earliest convenience.

Sincerely,
Brian Gothard
http://RippedOffConsumers.org

David Rubel never replied.  I didn’t hear a word for five days, when I received this:

From: complaints@1and1.com
Sent: Friday, March 06, 2009 10:33 AM
To: Brian Gothard
Subject: C122680964

Dear Brian Gothard, (Customer ID: XXXXXXXXX)

Thank you for contacting us.

I apologize for the delay of response.  We have further review the account with our billing department regarding this matter.

Please provide us a list of the domain names that you wish to have canceled and refunded.  I apologize for the frustration this may have caused you.

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


Sincerely,
Damion Son
Customer Service
1&1 Internet

Hmmm, Damion Son is the name David Rubel claimed was the “upper management” person looking into the original transfer problem.  He is the one who was supposed to fix this originally.  Considering that I have sent that list over a dozen times already, his apologies are not helping much.

But, I sent them again.  With the whole story included.

Next post – Damion’s response

1and1 Incompetence, Part 4

Continuing proof that 1and1 is incompetent, dishonest, and cares nothing about their customers.

Where were we?  Oh yeah, my account is now locked because I refuse to pay a fraudulent invoice.  1and1 is trying to charge me for domains I had no ability to cancel because they were incapable of transferring the contract for over a month.

David Rubel, the Billing Manager, is pretending all of this is my fault and ignoring my messages, even after I have submitted proof on multiple occasions.

So, on February 16, I issued a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission regarding their dishonest business practices.  I sent the reference number to David Rubel, along with another outline of the entire situation.

Here is his reply:

From: billing@1and1.com
Sent: Tuesday, February 17, 2009 12:21 PM
To: Brian Gothard
Subject: CXXXXXXXXX – 1&1 Internet Inc. Billing Re: ATTN: David Rubel
FW: KXXXXXXXXX Reminder

Dear Brian Gothard, (Cust: XXXXXXXXX)
Thank you for contacting us.

Please provide me with an incorrectly charged domain, as my records now show the contact with the domains are on this account and they were correctly invoiced.

Unfortunately the rest of your email are features we just do not offer at this time, except for the cancellation of domains as at any time you can go to can go to cancel.1and1.com to cancel a domain.

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


Sincerely
David Rubel
Billing Department
1&1 Internet Inc.

Can you believe this?  His records show the domains were correctly invoiced?  Again, I question whether he is that incompetent, or intentionally stonewalling me.  I cannot believe anyone is this stupid.  I have sent him emails every three or four days for several weeks with a complete explanation, and spoken with him on the phone!

So, I once again sent him the list he requested, and the entire history, with full documentation.

I sent it again on February 18.

And again on February 24.  This time I added every 1and1 email address I had been able to acquire.

On February 25, I received instructions from complaints@1and1.com on how to cancel domains.  It did not address any of the real problems, just blamed me once again for not knowing how to cancel domains.

That was the day I submitted my complaint to the Better Business Bureau.  1and1 has an “F” rating, the worst you can get.  They have hundreds of complaints, proving that 1and1 does not care about their customers.

I sent the reference number to everyone at 1and1. No one cared enough to respond.

On February 27, I sent another request that they fix my invoice so I could pay it.  Never received a response.

Not being one to just sit down and shut up, I still refuse to just pay the incorrect invoice.  1and1 created this situation, and I intend to make them fix it.

Next post: RippedOffConsumers.org is born!

1and1 Incompetence, Part 3

Continuing proof that 1and1 is incompetent, dishonest, and cares nothing about their customers.

I picked up the phone and called their Billing Department.  The person who answered could not help me, so they took a message.  At 12:18 PM on January 13, 2009, David Rubel called me.  I documented the conversation, and here is what I emailed to him afterwards:

Mr. Rubel,

I am documenting our conversation of January 13, 2009 from 1218 to 1225 CST.

Per our conversation, you stated that

1)  There is no one above you who takes calls.  I am unable to discuss this or receive assurances from anyone with more authority than you have.  You are the most authoritative person I have access to at 1and1.

2)  You see multiple cases open in “upper management” and that they are “working on it”.  One person who may be “working on it” is Damion Son.  You do not have access to any additional information regarding what “working on it” may entail.

3)  “Upper management” will not get back to me until they have a resolution, and I have no ability to contact them to get a status on this promised resolution.  You cannot give me any information regarding a possible time frame for this resolution.

4)  My account is not frozen, and will not be until 28 days after the invoice date.

5)  If “upper management” determines that I did not have access to the contract, they will issue a credit.

6)  You have issued another case on my behalf requesting that my issues be addressed.

If I have missed any salient points, please reply and I will include them in my files.

Thank you for your assistance, and I am truly sorry that you have to catch the brunt of my anger.  But, since you are the highest I can get to, I have no option than to hold you personally responsible for the resolution of this issue.

I appreciate your assurances that the matter is being addressed, but I have been receiving those same assurances since early December, and Mr. Seller was having problems with your system for a month before that.  I have no confidence in those assertions anymore.

I am losing money every day that I do not have access to these domains and I think more than 5 weeks is plenty of time to fix whatever problems you have.
I can honestly say that 1and1 is the worst registrar I have ever dealt with.

Sincerely
Brian Gothard

Does this sound like 1and1 cares about their client?  Not to me.  It sounds like they consider me nothing more than an annoyance that they do not want to deal with.

My next contact was on January 15.  After the conversation I just documented, this reply from David Rubel made me question his competence.

From: billing@1and1.com [mailto:billing@1and1.com]
Sent: Thursday, January 15, 2009 9:07 AM
To: Brian Gothard
Subject: CXXXXXXXXX – 1&1 Internet Inc. Billing

Dear Brian Gothard, (Cust: XXXXXXXX)

Thank you for contacting us.

I have researched and looked into this case, and both contracts with the domains you were recently charged for are available to you under this account number, account number XXXXXXXX. The reason why you were charged for the domains is because all the domains moved to this account renewed between mid December to early January, so this is the time they are normally charged. Please check this account and make sure you see two contracts.

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


Sincerely
David Rubel
Billing Department
1&1 Internet Inc.

He acts as though I had not just two days before submitted full documentation of 1and1’s failures and my inability to access the domains, then spoken at length to him explaining the whole situation.  He once again spouts standard garbage about when things are normally charged, completely ignoring the underlying fact that the charges are invalid because of 1and1’s internal technical problems.

Yes, the domains were now in my account!  Now we were getting somewhere.  At least I could verify the list and make sure what I bought was what was delivered.

So, I replied with another complete explanation of the problem, complete with dated screen shots showing that the domains were not in my account on January 14, and the two lists detailing which domains I wanted and which I did not.

He never replied.  I am dealing with the Billing Manager here.  He claims to be the top guy; the most authoritative person with whom I as a lowly customer can correspond.  Does that seem like good customer service to you?

On January 28, I received another “reminder” that my invoice was unpaid. It stated:

We recently contacted you regarding a declined payment and have not yet heard back from you.

Well, they had heard back from me on several occasions, and had chosen to ignore me.  I forwarded it to everyone at 1and1, again with complete documentation of the situation.

On February 13, my account was locked due to the unpaid invoice.  This renders my entire portfolio inaccessible, denying me access to the DNS settings for all 250+ domains, even those that are fully paid without any question.  I sent a complaint to David Rubel.

He never responded.

More in the next post.

1and1 Incompetence, Part 2

Remember from my last post that 1and1 personnel admitted at 12:47 PM on January 8, that the domains still had not been transferred?

Well, I received an invoice on January 8 for all of the domains that had expired during the time 1and1 was unable to provide me access to the domains.  In other words, I had no way of canceling the ones I did not want.  I had the list from Seller of what he said was in the contract, but I had not yet been able to verify anything because 1and1 still had the domains lost in their system somewhere, unable to complete the transfer.

So, the domains showed up in my account January 8, right?  WRONG!  When I received the invoice, I was understandably upset.  I sent the following message:

From: Brian Gothard
Sent: Thursday, January 08, 2009 10:39 PM
To: ‘1&1 Internet Inc.’; ‘support@1and1.com’; ‘transfer@1and1.com’; ‘redemption@1and1.com’
Subject: RE: Your invoice #XXXXXXXXX of 01/08/2009
Importance: High

Two things:

1)  I do not intend to renew some of these domains, so DO NOT automatically charge my account.  I have not authorized any automatic charges with regards to these domains, and do not intend to.  This is your official notice.

I will renew the domains I want to keep on an individual basis, manually.
You ARE NOT authorized to charge me for these domains.

2)  You have sent an invoice, but the domains are not accessible under my Control Panel, so I still have no control over them.  I find it interesting that the invoice is dated yesterday, but the domains are still not under my account.

It has taken over a month to complete the transfer, and I still cannot access the domains.  I am absolutely unimpressed with 1and1.

I will repeat that you are not authorized to automatically charge me for ANYTHING.  I intend to transfer the domains I want away from 1and1 as quickly as possible based on your atrocious customer service, and others I will allow to expire.

Of course, you will have to GIVE ME ACCESS TO THE DOMAINS before I can do ANYTHING!

Not very diplomatic, I agree, but I think it makes a point, and obviously points out that I have no ability to access the domains.

To further prove their incompetence, here is the reply I received:

From: billing@1and1.com [mailto:billing@1and1.com]
Sent: Friday, January 09, 2009 8:30 AM
To: Brian Gothard
Subject: CXXXXXXXXX – 1&1 Internet Inc. Billing RE: Your invoice #XXXXXXXXX of 01/08/2009

Dear Brian Gothard, (Cust:XXXXXXXX)

Thank you for contacting us.

All domains automatically renew per the terms and conditions you agreed to.

If you wish to cancel your domains please visit https://cancel.1and1.com and use your Customer ID and password to login.

At the end of the process you will need to activate your request. In order to do so, you will receive an e-mail message with a special link which you will need to click to complete the process.

If you do not receive the e-mail with the confirmation link e-mail within a few hours of completing the cancellation, please notify us ASAP.

Please note that if you do not receive this e-mail and click on the link within (7) seven days of the request, your cancellation request will not complete and your services will remain active.

Any refund will be based on our refund policy per the terms and conditions of your account and will be processed within 14 days of your cancellation requests effective date.

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

Sincerely
David Rubel
Billing Department
1&1 Internet Inc.

Notice this is from David Rubel, Billing Manager.  Does it appear he even attempted to read the email?  Not to me.  He blames me for not canceling the domains according to their terms and conditions, and gives me directions for using a system that still does not have my domains in it!  Is this incompetence, apathy, or purposeful dishonesty?

On January 10, in an attempt to proactively fix this problem, I sent a message to all of the 1and1 email addresses that I had a complete explanation of the situation and two lists:  one list of the domains I wanted to keep from their invoice, and one list of the domains I did not want.  There were 21 domains on the invoice.  I wanted to keep four and drop the rest.  I also pointed out that I STILL did not have any access to the domains in my account.

I received no reply at all, so on the afternoon of January 12, I sent it all again, with an additional request for information.  I also canceled the PayPal agreement that would allow them to automatically charge me for the invoice.

The next message I received from 1and1 was January 13.  It was a notification that their attempt to debit my PayPal account had failed.  Of course it did.  They were trying to charge me for a fraudulent invoice that they had not yet fixed.

I forwarded that message back to all the 1and1 addresses with another explanation of the situation and request for correction.  I also pointed out that I STILL did not have access to the domains in my account.

Next post, I actually tried to call.  Read on.