1AND1 INTERNET IS A CHEAP WEB HOSTING COMPANY, BUT AS
WITH MANY CHEAP THINGS, IF YOU USE THEM YOU'LL FIND OUT SOONER OR LATER THAT
THEY ARE IN FACT... RUBBISH!
It's a sorry state of affairs when a call to a customer service call centre feels like as rewarding and fruitful as 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 Joe from speaking with anyone capable of providing us with some real, heaven forbid, customer service!
In 2005 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 it won't break my bank, is annoying nonetheless, however due to the fact that the debit card details 1and1 had on record were out of date, the payment for the auto-renew was declined, yet the domain was itself renewed.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 did make 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 in this case 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 I then said this would "hardly affect 1and1 now would it?"
In october 1and1 passed the disputed debt to BFS finance for collection. I spoke with BFS and advised them that this was a disputed debt, they in turn advised me to call 1and1. I did email 1and1 internet on Monday 24th of October (2005). I decided once more to try and 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 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 a fairly aggressive attitude and, like other before him, tried to push the issue to another department.
>>>> LISTEN TO MY TELEPHONE CALLS REGARDING THIS MATTER
After learning of this website 1&1 internet general manager for UK operations, Neil Hobson, 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's not clear what those might be. In fact judging from the many many email I have since got from people seeking advice from me about their similar complaints, those improvements have not gone far enough.
In the end 1&1 internet did resolve the issue. BFS finance 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.
1and1 internet is the largest web hosting company in the world, handling over five million domain names for nearly four million customers. They say on their website that they "aren’t interested in gaining quick business at the expense of your satisfaction." They also boast about their a "dedicated customer service team" that are "available to answer your issues quickly and professionally via telephone and e-mail." Yet here they lost my business due to my complete dissatisfaction.
1and1 internet's founder and CMO, Ralph Dommermuth, says "Total customer satisfaction is our main objective. We are proud to say that while 2500 customers join us every day, only one actually uses the Money Back Guarantee - however, we’re working hard to make that number zero.” Clearly though, judging by the calls I made to 1and1, there is still much work to be done.
Since I created this site I have had a TON of email from people asking me for advice. I can't really offer you any other advise than the the two options below. (Please try to resist the temptation to email me and ask for further advice, I really don't have any but the following advice is pretty solid.)
1. SET UP YOUR OWN SITE TO EMBARESS
1&1 INTO ACTION
2. WRITE THEM A LETTER
2. TELEPHONE THEM
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 a completely fair response. Had they dealt with this manner in a timely and polite fashion this page would even 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 the one I created and this one invariably 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 and many travel websites. It also appeared in Worthwhile magazine and FHM.