From my own personal experience . . . and hundreds of other disgruntled 1&1 users – with great difficulty I’m afraid. Read on :>
I have a hosting account with 1&1 Internet. I transferred my domain to a new server and received an email from 1&1 confirming that I would no longer incur any charges on my account. However – 1 month later another £35.00 was taken from my bank account. I disputed it but customer services ignored my request for an investigation. I rang my bank and reversed the payment, and now I have received a bill (including interest charges) from 1&1’s debt collection company called Arvarto.
Although I have tried to settle my billing dispute with both Arvarto and 1&1 billing – I am constantly fobbed off with evasive responses and the staff at Arvarto are very intimidating and speak in a condescending manner.
I have written and emailed 1&1 billing department as to why they have charged me for a years hosting (despite me having an email from them stating that ‘charges will no longer occur on my account, but they never answer my queries.
All correspondence with them at their billing department is a total nightmare as they use outsourced staff from Asia, hence – any response that you receive will be in broken English and their answer will be totally unrelated to what you ask . …
For example – I asked for an explanation as to why I have received a bill for another years hosting when I have previously had a confirmation email from them stating that ‘ I WILL NO LONGER INCUR CHARGES ON MY 1&1 ACCOUNT’. This was their response . ..
‘Thank you for your email. As we have checked, we were not able to process the payment for £35.86 from your bank account. Please be informed that the charge was for the 1&1 Beginner package basic fee. Please see some Handy Billing tips – Here are a few additional tips that may help you with your 1and1 experience. . . . then I was presented with a list of 1&1 hosting tips. bla bla bla. . . WHAT!!
What I eventually did find out is that ‘1&1 have this sly ‘Auto-renewal system’. In the very wee small print, it states that any domains that have not been cancelled will be automatically renewed! THERE IS NO PRIOR WARNING FROM THEM. If you have not cancelled your account with them – and have no credit card details on your file – YOU WILL RECEIVE AN OUTSTANDING BALANCE FROM THEIR DEBT COLLECTORS ‘ARVARTO’ PLUS INTEREST CHARGES!
TO AVOID FALLING INTO THE TRAP THAT I DID – HERE ARE SOME HANDY TIPS FROM ME IF YOU STILL HAVE AN ACCOUNT WITH THEM:
- CONFIRMATION OF TERMINATION – Make sure you get one! If cancelling an item or contract please ensure you receive confirmation that your feature was cancelled, the confirmation will be sent within 10 days of your request. If you do not receive any form of confirmation please contact our support team. Your feature may still be live and being charged.
- CANCELLING DOMAINS– If you cancel/transfer all domains out of your contract always ensure you cancel the account also, this is where 1&1 can suck you dry! The contract can still be used even without a domain and so charges will still be applied.
- AUTO RENEW – Remember, to take the hassle out of running your account 1and1 automatically renew the domains/features unless you have informed us in advance via the online tool. MAKE SURE YOU STOP THEIR AUTO RENEWAL!
- DON’T CANCEL YOUR CARD/PAYMENTS ON YOUR ACCOUNT: 1&1 will lock your entire account – even if the dispute relates to one domain only. Worst of all – you can’t gather any relevant info/evidence like important dates from your account that is crucial to fighting your corner.
- KEEP A RECORD OF ALL EMAILS FROM THEM. Especially emails relating to any changes or requests on your account.
- TOP AND BEST TIP OF ALL: DO NOT BOTHER TO SET UP A HOSTING ACCOUNT WITH 1&1 INTERNET. The emotional stress will be an even greater cost than to you than any financial loss. The frustration that you will endure in dealing with them will leave you feeling like you are one of the victims from ‘The War Of The Worlds’ movie!.
- 1&1 internet is a hosting company from Hell. They need to put an end to their ‘DOMAIN AUTO RENEWAL SYSTEM’ and employ staff that can actually deal with customer queries.
- I still haven’t paid this bill to ARVARTO, because they haven’t responded to my queries. I expect that they never will . . .and just keep on adding interest charges on top. I am guessing that all these unauthorized payments that 1&1 rob from their customers is TAX FREE money for them???
- I have been hosting with Hostmonster.com for the past 2.5 years and their customer service is excellent. Initially – when I was completely new to the internet – I set up with 1&1 through this pushy affiliate. He set it all up for me, there was no database, and I was paying for a beginner’s package that offered me sod -all! I have now learned my lesson.