simon jones info 1AND1 INTERNET IS A CHEAP WEB HOSTING COMPANY, BUT AS YOU YOU MIGHT HAVE FOUND OUT BY NOW, THEY'RE BAD! IF YOU NEED TO COMPLAIN TO 1AND1 INTERNET THEN READ ON, I'LL TELL YOU HOW I GOT MY MONEY BACK, AND THEN I'LL TELL YOU HOW TO GET 10% OFF A DECENT WEB HOST.

It's a sorry state of affairs when a call to a customer service call centre feels like a bare knuckle bar fight. But it's a situation that many of us are all to familiar with. So called 'off shore' call centre's and phone drones who tell us that "management are not customer facing" are pretty much part of the standard armour that companies use to keep the average peson from speaking with anyone capable of providing us with some real, heaven forbid, customer service!

1and1 internet : They're rubbish!Some time ago I had reason to take up a complaint with 1and1 internet over a domain name that they automatically renewed, despite my attempts to request they do not do so. The auto-renew, in August, cost £10.45 which, though inexpensive, is annoying nonetheless. However due to the fact that the debit card details 1and1 had on record were out of date, the payment for the auto-renew was declined, yet the domain was itself renewed.

A few weeks later 1and1 'locked' my account and stopped all services running across various domain names I had on this particular account. I made several phone calls to 1and1 to discuss the matter. Each time I asked to speak with a manager but on every occasion call centre staff told me in various different ways that management don't speak with customers, ever!

1and1 insisted the auto-renew was valid and they were under no circumstances prepared to show any latitude or understanding whatsoever. I explained that should 1and1 choose to pursue the matter I would simply move all of my domains away from them and close other 1and1 accounts that I administrate. The operator then said this would "hardly affect 1and1 now would it?"

In october 1and1 passed the disputed debt to BFS finance (a 1and1 company) for collection. I spoke with BFS and advised them that this was a disputed debt, they in turn advised me to call 1and1. Once more I tried to speak with someone in management on the telephone, however the debacle only went from bad to worse at this stage. In a series of telephone calls to 1and1's abysmal customer call centre, I was repeatedly given wrong information, fobbed off, lied to, cut off and generally ignored.

When I eventually got to speak with Mr Daniel Bromley who I was informed was a manager, I found that he was in actual fact merely a lowly billing team leader incapable of using any discretion or customer service latitude in order to save the account and the face of 1and1 internet. In fact Mr Bromley adopted an aggressive and confrontational attitude and, like others before him, tried to push the issue to another department.

See my email to Mr Bromley (he never responded). And the response to that email that arrived 6 days later.

>>>> LISTEN TO MY TELEPHONE CALLS REGARDING THIS MATTER

Date Call Outcome Listen
October 19th, 2005 1 An excerpt from a support call. MP3 (84)Kb
       
October 24th, 2005 1 Call to BFS finance. Advised me to speak to 1and1. MP3 (352Kb)
  2 Advised to speak with a "Mr Daniel". MP3 (768Kb)
  3 Advised 30 mins later "Mr Daniel" still unavailable.  
  4 Advised to email Daniel Bromley at billing@1and1.co.uk. MP3 (204)Kb
       
October 25th, 2005 1 Cut off MP3 (156)Kb
       
October 26th, 2005 1 Cut off MP3 (96Kb)
  2 Told that Daniel Bromley doesn't speak with customers. MP3 (596Kb)
       
October 27th, 2005 1 Requested a note be stuck to Mr Bromley's forehead. MP3 (804Kb)
       
October 28th, 2005 1 More telephone strangeness and then cut off MP3 (116Kb)
  2 Cut off. "Good afternoon billing department." MP3 (148Kb)
  3 Cut off after asking if Mr Bromley was dead. MP3 (192Kb)
  4 Call terminated after unacceptable period on hold. MP3 (600Kb)
  5 Mr Bromley is alive! Alive and abruptly defending 1and1. MP3 (2.2Mb)


1&1 EVENTUALLY RESOLVED THE COMPLAINT

In my frustration I created this website. That was a smart move and drew an almost immidiete response from 1&1 internet general manager for UK operations, Neil Hobson who called me to discuss the issue. Mr Hobson was understandably unhappy after hearing the recordings. He informed me that a full review would be taken and that improvements would be made where necessary, though it seems pretty clear from the mountain of email I get from people in similar situations, that this was entirely uneffective.

In the end 1&1 internet did resolve the issue. BFS finance (a 1and1 company) were advised the debt was no longer valid and 1&1 reimbursed me for expenses I had incurred during the complaint (£47.20).

Regardless of the fact that 1&1 did eventually resolve my issue, it reflects very poorly on them that I had to employ such extreme measures to get the kind of customer service that should be available to anyone.


HOW TO COMPLAIN ABOUT PROBLEMS WITH 1&1 INTERNET

Since I created this site I have had a TON of email from people asking me for advice. First I would say move to a better webhost, like my current webhost EZPZ hosting. After that I suggest the following..

1. SET UP YOUR OWN SITE TO EMBARESS 1&1 INTO ACTION
I suggest that you check to see if your mobile phone can record calls, if so then record the calls and place them online. (The geographical numbers for them that I found were 01753 490401 and 01753 490402.) Set up a blog on blogger, Wordpress, or some similar service, then upload the audio to something like YouTube.

Call and email 1and1 and tell them about the site then wait for them to call you.

2. WRITE THEM A LETTER
Sadly phoning 1&1 seems to be a complete waste of time as anyone who is capable of applying a little sense to your situation "is not customer facing." Email them but in truth this is also likely to be a waste of your time. As with most companies, the only real way to get on the right road to resolution is to send a letter to the top of the company tree. I contacted the UK's operations manager Neil Hobson. However I do not know if he is still in that role.

Complaints Department
1&1 Internet Limited
Aquasulis House
10-14 Bath Road
Slough
SL1 3SA

3. TELEPHONE THEM
Call their customer advocate team. In the UK the number I used was 0800 917 6273.

4. COMMENT ON THEIR BLOG
It's probably a waste of time. But they have a blog. You could unleash some rage on that. Comments are held for approval, so you'll have the satisfaction of knowing that someone probably saw it. .. Then deleted it!


WHO SHOULD YOU USE INSTEAD?

ANYONE! But the company I use is called EZPZ Hosting. I've been really happy with the speed of their US, UK, and Asia based servers, and their personal service has been superb. I run a number of sites with them, including my own blog, and have never had a reason to complain. Their support desk answer questions very quickly and their prices are competative too. Check them out (Read on for a 10% discount code too!).


WHY DID I DO THIS?

The reason for creating this particular web page is to highlight the problems of bad customer care by 1&1 internet to anyone who might search for the web hosting company both in the United Kingdom (UK) or in the United States (US). The company pigheadedly stick to their guns in such a way that doing this seemed like an entirely reasonable response. Had they dealt with this matter in a timely and polite fashion this page would exist.

I have complained in this way in the past. On that occasion it was to the Howard Johnson chain of hotels in America. Websites like this often get found by bloggers and journalists. In the case of the Howard Johnson site I created it was linked to from many sites including pre-marketing.com as well as top travel websites. It also appeared in Worthwhile magazine and FHM.


CAN I HELP YOU WITH YOUR COMPLAINT?

I get a LOT of people contacting me asking for further help with their 1and1 internet problems. I am not an expert. I'm just a persistant guy who refused to be screwed by a bad company. That said, if you would like to contact me regarding 1&1 then click here to send me an email. You'll get a super fast auto-response with the answers to the commonly asked questions, plus a code that will give you 10% off EZPZ hosting! I do read the emails, so if there is anything I can do, I'll get back to you.


WHAT HOST DO I RECOMMEND?

If you're going to ask me to recomend a new webhost for you then that's simple. I use EZPZ hosting. They're based in the UK but have fast servers in the US and Asia too. They're not as cheap as 1and1, but I can confidently say you'll never look back. This site and my many others are hosted by them and I can confidently say you would have to look long and hard to find a more responsive, efficient, and savvy hosting company. Check them out today.


For more links and information about Simon Jones including
who he is, isn't and some of his more obscure work, click here.