1and1 Incompetence, Day 123

I changed up my post numbering.  “Part” was just not reflecting the extent of this situation.

April 10, Day 123 of my 1and1 Nightmare:

7:47 AM

David Rubel, 1and1 Billing :

Please call me at 877-300-8316 Extension 2525 or please provide me with a numebr and time I can call you at so i can assist you in resolving this issue.

10:51 AM  My Reply:


We tried that on January 13, and you lied to me.  I will only deal with you in writing, and very publicly.

I want your boss.

You told me you did not have the authority to fix this, and that “upper management” was looking into it.  You specifically told me Damion Son was working on it.

Well, Damion is the one who had me sign and fax documents TO YOU to cancel these domains, and is now acting like these are brand new issues unrelated to that.

I think you are both liars and thieves, and nothing you have done has proven me wrong yet.

You have had every opportunity to fix this.  You have proven that you are either incapable of or unwilling to correct your errors.

Besides, there is nothing I can add that you have not already received dozens of times and chosen to ignore.

I have submitted plenty of documentation that would allow you to fix this, and you ignored it.

I have explained it every way possible.

I have sent signed faxes and dozens of emails.

Every email, fax and explanation is now available to the public at http://RippedOffConsumers.org. And from the response I am receiving, they are on my side.

I keep getting messages from people who had similar billing problems with 1and1, and just gave up and paid the bill.

I don’t give up.

I don’t shut up.

For a very quick summary visit OPEN LETTER TO ANYONE AT 1AND1 WITH COMMON SENSE at http://rippedoffconsumers.org/1and1-complaints/open-letter-to-anyone-at-1and1-with-common-sense/

I sent you your own personal copy, but I guess you ignored that, too.

Just in case you “lose” this email and need easy access to the entire history, I am currently ranking number 1 on Google for “David Rubel 1and1”.

11:10 AM  David Rubel:

We are attempting to process refunds for any double charges and other incorrect domains but we will not be able to fully help and figure out what is going on without being able to speak to you and resolve this once and for all.

Please provide me with a number or call me at the number I previously provided so we can resolve this.

12:04 PM  My Reply:

You had your chance(s), and lied to me.

I do not trust you.

If it is necessary to deal with you to fix this, I will only do so in writing so there is absolutely no confusion.  No more runaround.

I want your boss.

Attached is the fax I sent on March 10 at Damion Son’s request, fully two months after I began sending YOU the same information.

The necessary corrections to the April invoice are available in the email I sent TO YOU and everyone else at 1and1 last night, and at http://rippedoffconsumers.org/1and1-complaints/open-letter-to-anyone-at-1and1-with-common-sense/

If you want to go straight to the spreadsheet, just click here.  http://rippedoffconsumers.org/wp-content/uploads/2009/04/summary_of_1and1_fraudulent_charges.htm

The explanations just don’t get any simpler.

Those documents are publicly available, and have already been spidered by Google, Yahoo, Live, and several other engines, so I don’t think you will have any trouble finding them.

No one has yet provided me with the answers to the questions raised in that document.

The only thing you could do by phone that you cannot do with those documents is antagonize me further.

Either fix it according to the provided information, or submit to me IN WRITING why you refuse to do so on a domain by domain basis.

If you are incapable of understanding those simple documents, have your boss take a look at them.

And I want an apology for the way I have been treated.

A REAL one, not just “we are sorry you don’t know how to use our broken and shoddy systems”.

12:18 PM David Rubel:

Dear Brian Gothard, (Cust: XXXXXXXXX)

Thank you for contacting us.

We are issuing a refund for the following domains totaling 179.80. Also your transfer will be activated and processed per your request. If you have any questions comments or concerns please respond to this email.


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

David Rubel
Billing Department
1&1 Internet Inc.

2:26 PM My Reply:

That only fixes a portion of the problems, and creates another opportunity for 1and1 to get “confused” about the situation.

Your $179.80 credit would still leave $423.50 worth of bogus charges on my account.

Invoice XXXXXXXXX is the original problem. It should have been $35.96 instead of $188.79, per the fax I just forwarded.

You refunded the entire amount on XXXXXXXXX. I still owe you $17.98 for that one.

Invoice XXXXXXXXX is a complete fiasco. It includes double billing for the same domains from Invoice XXXXXXXXX, plus all of the domains I canceled during March. That invoice should be credited in full.

Plus there is a Late Fee in my account that I expect to be removed.

I owe you a grand total of $53.94, and have been trying to pay it for months.

I have been running multimillion dollar companies for 15 years, and it is obvious that this mess will continue to get worse unless drastic action is taken. This is not a problem that can be fixed within normal procedures. You let it get way too far out of hand.

Here are my suggestions:

To keep from creating more confusion and screwing up the account even further, CREDIT EVERYTHING. Get the account to $0 and start over.

1. You already credited XXXXXXXXX via XXXXXXXXX. Let it ride.

2. Issue a credit for $188.79 to offset XXXXXXXXX.

3. Issue a credit for $341.62 to offset XXXXXXXXX.

4. Remove or offset the Late Fee for $18.95. I would prefer it be removed completely, because it offends me to be accused of late payments when I have tried every way I know how to resolve this.

5. Issue a brand new invoice. I have created an identical format to your invoice, so it should be easy to understand.


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.

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.

Brian Gothard

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.

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 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.