1and1 Incompetence, Part 13

Well, yesterday I complained that 1and1 had created a brand new invoice that included all of the domains I have been trying to cancel for over three months now, and were also trying to charge me for domains that I have very clear documentation of cancellation on.

I issued a public challenge to anyone at 1and1 to prove me wrong.

I received this reply from joy in Transfers this morning:


I went through some of your invoices and you are correct as some should be refunded. The billing manager currently has someone looking into this and you should receive a response shortly regarding this issue. I apologize that this has been such an inconvenience for you.


Knowing better than to get my hopes up, I awaited the followup.
This afternoon, Damion Son sent me this:

Dear Brian Gothard, (Customer ID: XXXXXXXXX)

Thank you for contacting us.

The latest invoice that was generated on the account was for the domain name renewal in the month of March.  The previous issue was regards to the invoice that was generated in the month of January due to the during the transfer process.

Unfortunately we will not be refunding the account for the domain names on the latest invoice on the account.

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

Damion Son
Customer Service
1&1 Internet

So, it is Mr. Son’s contention that this is a new issue.  How can it be a new issue when it involves the same domains?

Also, these domains are no longer in my account, so for what exactly am I being charged?

Several were already transferred to a competent registrar, prior to the dates 1and1 claims they renewed them.  How did they renew domains no longer under their control?

This is the most blatant attempt to perpetrate fraud I have ever encountered.

Here is my reply:

Once again, you are proving my point that 1and1 is completely incompetent, unethical, immoral and does not care about their customers.

16 of these are the same domains I have been trying to cancel since January.  They are the same domains I have been complaining about since January, and for which I have submitted over twenty cancellation requests by email and fax.  This is NOT a new issue.

The rest were cancelled prior to their expiration dates, and I have all of the documentation to prove it.  I have every email 1and1 sent me confirming the cancellations.  I was very careful to keep records correlating the cancellation IDs to the domains, because I knew 1and1 would try to pull some unethical garbage.

Four of these were actually transferred and renewed with GoDaddy prior to the dates you claim to have renewed them.  Again, I have full documentation.

And to top it all off, all but four of these (not the same four referenced above) are no longer in my account.

I am sick of being treated like I did something wrong.  I have done my utmost to follow your procedures, even submitting additional documentation that is NOT required by either ICANN or your posted Terms and Conditions, yet you still cannot get your act straight.

Your antagonistic and ignorant reply will be posted as the latest proof of 1and1’s attempt to defraud me at http://Ripped OffConsumers.com.

Anyone else interested in a class action lawsuit?  This antagonism and mistreatment is actually causing me health problems!

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.

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.

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 Review: Dishonesty, Fraud, and Atrocious Customer Service

1and1 is the worst company I have ever dealt with.  1and1 is incompetent, dishonest, and participates in fraudulent activities against their customers.  Their internal systems are unreliable, regularly broken, and they are either unwilling or unable to correct their own errors after they occur.

1and1 provides web hosting and domain name services.  I have no experience with their web hosting, but a Google search for “1and1 reviews” turns up hundreds of very bad reviews.  The good ones are obviously boilerplate garbage supplied by the company itself for affiliates to use.  They are absolutely incapable of basic domain name services, as this series of posts will prove without a doubt, and their billing department is obviously designed to steal money from their clients.  Either that or they are so incompetent as to give that impression.

I have been trying for over three months to get my account straight with them, and they continue to stonewall me.  When I receive a response, they act like it is a brand new problem, even though I have submitted dozens of pages of documentation on over twenty occasions proving that the errors are theirs.  But most of the time they just ignore my requests for answers.  Their customer service is unresponsive most times, and antagonistic at others.

Even after all of the clearly documented evidence of their failures, they continue to keep me locked out of my account and refuse to provide access to services which are fully paid.

I continue to email and fax their Billing Department and “upper management” at least twice weekly, and they continue to act in an unprofessional and unethical manner.

As a lowly customer, we are not allowed to actually communicate with anyone in “upper management” so I am posting the full details of my complaint here in hopes that anyone at 1and1 with any modicum of care for the customer will find it and realize how incompetent and dishonest their employees are.

Please read the following series of posts before considering using 1and1.  I have made some strong accusations and claims here, and I intend to back every one of them up with facts and documentation.

Personally, I intend to avoid them like the plague after I get the existing mess straightened out.

Sick and Tired of Getting Ripped Off?

If you are like me, you are fed up with being treated unfairly by big companies.  Once upon a time, the customer was always right.  Businesses realized that only by satisfying their clients could they hope to grow and prosper.

Smart companies still operate that way today, but there are those which have made it their practice to treat their customers like garbage.

Disposable clientele.

They believe that if that customer is not happy and decides to leave, they will just pick up another one or three to replace them.  And sadly, many times that is true.  With thousands of new people getting on line every day, it is not difficult to replace a customer or two.

But what these impersonal monoliths do not realize is that there are those of us out here who will not simply take their crap and move on.  We choose to warn others of our bad experiences.

We choose to stand up and fight.  We choose to spread our stories far and wide in the hopes that someone else can avoid repeating our mistakes.

For that purpose, I have established this website as a digital soap box.  I have a handful of customer service nightmares of my own to post here, and I will be partnering with other consumer advocacy sites to bring you more comprehensive information, but I want to hear your stories.

I am offering you a place to voice your complaint and strike a blow against unfair practices, bad customer service, and in some cases outright fraud. I will also be providing how to articles and links to resources where you can initiate effective consumer complaints, such as the Federal Trade Commission, your State Attorney General, various Better Business Bureaus and the like.

What can you or I do as one person?  Very little.

What can you AND I do, along with a few hundred thousand like minded individuals who are sick of being pushed around?  We can spread the word about these companies who choose to mistreat their customers and convince others to avoid putting themselves in the same situation.

Together, we can strike a blow against indifference and bring customer service back!

This site is in its infancy.  I am still working on a lot of the functionality, including the submission form, but you can submit your story for possible inclusion through our Contact Us page.  Make sure to include as much detail as possible, and be prepared to back up your claims.  I am not interested in undocumented bashing, because that does not do any good.  I want dates, names, and specific details.  Don’t worry if you are not a writer.  Submit your story and I will edit it for clarity.  I may need to contact you for more information before publishing. So, go ahead, click here to submit your story.

Make sure to bookmark the site and come back often to check up on the latest warnings.