My Complaints About 1and1.com
The 1and1.com Domain Registration portion of 1and1 is a really really terrible company. They provide other services too which I have no experience with.
Their headquarters are in Germany, and their parent company is United Internet, listed on the Frankfurt stock exchange symbol UTDI.ETR ISIN DE0005089031.
At the time of this post, their CEO of 13 years, Andreas Gauger, has FINALLY stepped down. Did his conscious get the better of him?
In my research on 1and1.com, I couldn’t believe how many people have been ripped off. The amounts they were ripped off by 1and1.com aren’t anywhere near what 1and1.com wants ME to pay for the domains I once owned, but no longer own, but still, there are tons of people out there so angry they are complaining. This is not counting how many haven’t complained.
Please check out the links area on this site that is dedicated to 1and1.com complaints.
I’ve been with them since either early 2006 or late 2005. I transferred ALL of my domains from Go Daddy and Blue Razor over to 1and1.com when I realized their price was cheaper and included privatization.
While that was okay for the first few years, what I later realized, is that they only send you ONE domain renewal e-mail notice. Also, the dates in the e-mail are all screwed up and do not compare to the REAL renewal date.
If you miss that one e-mail, or you are too busy to cancel the domains, you are SOL.
While you may think this is normal in the domain registration industry, nothing could be further from the truth. Go Daddy, Blue Razor (now out of business), plus Fabulous.com give you around 6 e-mail notices starting all the way back to 90 days before the domain is up for renewal. Even a week before the domain’s renewal date they send you an e-mail.
1and1 has also configured their system so that you can’t take yourself off auto renew. They did not have it like that before.
Having auto renewal on is great if you want to keep the domain, but if you don’t want to keep the domain, it’s terrible, and here is why.
Let’s say you now want to cancel a domain or a few of them, 1and1.com has built their website in such a way that it makes it very very difficult for you to cancel your domain.
If you only have one or a few domains, that’s fine, but I had over 300 DOMAINS. Yes, I spent thousands of dollars with 1and1.com for 1-2 years.
On their www.cancel.1and1.com site, my 300 domains came to 32 pages of domains based on their amateurish website design. Every time I wanted to cancel one or a few, I had to go through 32 pages just to get to the end because there was NO “finish” or “complete” button anywhere except on the last page of your list of domains.
I believe they make the entire process difficult on purpose so you will give up and just keep the domain with them. Their site design is soooo far from being a web 2.0 design, that it’s clear to me it was designed back in the early to mid 90’s. Or, designed by a terrible database designer.
With Go Daddy, Blue Razor, or Fabulous, you just search for the domain, check the box next to the domain, & click the renew or cancel button, it’s that simple.
Another very easy way to do it with Go Daddy, is you scroll through all of your domains (you can put your entire list on one page) & you will see a flashing red word in all caps that says “RENEW”. You can’t miss it, it’s there plain as day. Then you just go into that domain, renew or cancel it, and you are done.
Here are more details on how 1and1.com purposely confused me.
At the bottom of each of those 32 pages, you get two “continue” buttons, one on top of each other which is very confusing.
Why do they need two?
I once clicked on the second “continue” button by accident, and it logged me out or took me back to the first page <geeze>. Remember there’s no way to get to the last page to click on the “finish” button WITHOUT going through all the pages one by one, so that meant I just wasted tons of my precious time and had to start all over again.
Once you get to your last page, they do something else very sneaky. You have one last “continue” button which you think is the end, but NO!!! they put another “continue” button on the bottom left side below the fold, so you don’t see it, while on all the other pages, it was at the bottom right of the page, so one time I thought I was done the cancellation process and I really wasn’t.
Do you think you done at this point???
Nope, FINALLY you get to a page that has a button called “finish”.
That is THE last and final button you have to press in order to cancel your domains.
As I mentioned earlier, they only send out that ONE e-mail and their company policy is, we are NOT RESPONSIBLE for notifying you when your domain is up for renewal. I’ve now been told this by everyone from customer service to the complaints department.
No of course they don’t want to send you out a notice. Why help the client? In my opinion, they clearly want to hide that information from you so you are clueless with what is going on with your domain names.
Why do you think that is?
So you don’t cancel. Then your domain name(s) renew automatically, and they make money off of you.
They aren’t really giving you a choice. They know you are busy and won’t memorize the renewal dates of every domain you own every 365 days. How could you remember the renewal date of 1 or 2 domain names, let alone 300 domain renewal dates?
Their lovely helpful response is, GO TO Whois and check your expiry date.
Like I’m REALLY going to waste my time looking up 321 domain names on Whois and keep track of everything when it’s the domain registrar’s responsibility (not to mention moral ethics) to make it easy for their clients.
How come Go Daddy, Blue Razor and Fabulous have NO problem telling you when your domains are up for renewal? Or allowing you to cancel and NOT forcing you to be on “auto renew?”
And FINALLY, it appears that they renew domains early, and I’m not talking a few days here, I’m talking 30-60 days before it’s supposed to be renewed.
What a way to steal people’s money and also prevent them from canceling. Then by the time you get that one e-mail renewal notice, it’s too late, the domain has already renewed. Maybe you tried to cancel it, are now being charged for it, and they refuse to give you your money back. So in my case I didn’t have access to the domain because it’s canceled, and they won’t give me my money back.
Last time when the domains didn’t cancel because of the mixup with all the buttons, the manager was nice enough to cancel them for me and return my money, but of course one of their people in the billing department screwed up and didn’t refund me everything, so I had to continue to call and make sure everything was done properly.
This time because I somehow missed canceling some domains (not sure why, as I know I wanted to cancel them), they are refusing to refund me my money. We aren’t talking a few domains here, my bill came to $321 and I wanted to cancel and did cancel 19 domains which still allows 1and1.com to make a lot of money off of me. Plus the other 26 domains I wanted to renew.
What is even more stupid, and I am guessing another ploy of 1and1.com to prevent you from having a choice to cancel the domains, is that they don’t bill you until like 30 days after the renewal date.
Go Dadday renews your domain on the 366 date and bills you right away. This way you see it go through your credit cards statement, and they also give you 6 days to change your mind.
With 1and1.com, by the time you get your invoice and realize you don’t want that domain, or you canceled it but it never went through, it’s already too late to do anything about it.
By and large Go Daddy is still the best registrar (except for the increase in prices), but they make everything easy for you & their tech and sales support is right here in the US, so they understand me most of the time LOL. Note: that I’ve actually been using Fabulous for all my domains since this all happened with 1and1.com With Fabulous you get FREE registration, the prices are very reasonable, and other than one issue I had that was my fault, I’ve NEVER had the TERRIBLE experiences I had with 1and1.com
As for Go Daddy, while I remember in the past there were times when I knew they wanted to make it hard for me to cancel my domains, they were babies compared to what 1and1.com has put me through. The amount of time I have now wasted dealing with 1and1.com far surpasses the savings I might have made off of them.
It took me 7 hours to go through my entire list, make 2 files, ones for canceling, one for transferring to Go Daddy, and then unlock them all individually, because there’s NO way to bulk transfer.
I will be moving all of my domains from 1and1.com as soon as I am allowed, since the rule is, if you just renewed or transferred your domain, you can NOT transfer the domain again for 60 days.
Over the 19 domains I didn’t want that they refuse to give me my money back for, they have now lost my business for my entire life time, AND I will NEVER refer them to any of my clients, but from what I’ve heard from others, 1and1.com doesn’t care. They think they are soooo big, that they don’t care about your small business.
About 6 months ago I did get very angry at 1and1.com for domains being renewed that I didn’t want, but because I’m usually loyal to my vendors, and we all know what a pain it is to transfer domains (remember it took me 7 hours & I’m not even done yet), I stayed with them hoping that now that I knew how NOT to get ripped off by their system, that it wouldn’t happen again.
Unfortunately as you already know, there were problems again twice now and it doesn’t take that much to convince me I have made the wrong choice and should move on to a company who really cares about me as a client.
Good luck with your domain names everyone, I hope I’ve helped educate some of you
P.S. You can read Part II of my drama dealing with 1and1.com