Trading Standards say that a customer receiving bad service will tell at least nine people about it, but a customer receiving good service will only tell two people. Well, this is me telling at least 5,820 people about the poor service I received from 1&1 lol!
I have been with 1&1 for 10 years. A loyal customer, I hosted quite a few domains with them, used them for my POP3 server, recommended them to many people... you get the drift. They used to be great. They used to be the big company that still looked after the little guy. I guess times are hard even for them - whilst they have their ad on the TV, they are also calling customers touting for extra business.
I got a call from an American woman offering me some web hosting package. She told me the wrong price - it sounded expensive. Not very professional! She told me I could try it free for a month. I was in a hurry, to get her off the phone I said whatever. Big mistake!
I then read up on the package they offered - it's basically a Fisher Price web creation package. In my mind, that's pretty insulting - obviously from my DNS settings, I'm pointing my sites elsewhere. Oh yeah, and she called specifically about one of my domains, which I hadn't done anything with yet. So snooping around my account too, eh? Nice!
I e-mailed them saying I've looked it up, it's not for me - please don't give me it.
A reply came -
A week later, I got an e-mail. Welcome to your new hosting package! Ugh. And a second, most bizarre e-mail...We understand you’ve been upset with the recent call you received concerning our MyWebsite service. This is something that I can only apologize for. This is an aspect of our service that we're always trying to improve. This is why your feedback is so important to us. We can now look through and see where and if improvements can be made.
You will no longer receive any calls from our Sales Department, as we have added your account our Do Not Call list. As well, your account will not be upgraded to the MyWebsite service and will remain in its current state. Again, we can only apologize for this frustration that you've suffered.
Umm, what software package?! I hadn't ordered anything. Had my account been hacked? I had to call them (0844 number - expensive! 5.105p/min from a BT landline, probably 25p/min from a mobile) and speak to someone completely incompetent who couldn't grasp what I was trying to tell her. She told me she would have to e-mail the complaints department and have them investigate. Hmm, I could have done that for free! I think I was on the phone half an hour and accomplished nothing. So I e-mailed, complained about the e-mail, complained about her.please note that your credit card details have expired and we therefore cannot send you the software package you ordered on your control panel.
Please update your credit card details using the control panel so we can process your order.
The response was:
Hmm, that didn't answer my questions at all! I replied, asking why all my questions and points were ignored bar one, requesting this complaint be escalated. The response?.....This e-mail serves as confirmation of the successful cancellation of your 1&1 MyWebsite - Plus Package package as of 25/02/2012. We will deactivate all package features on this date.
We thank you for your trust as a 1&1 customer and we look forward to welcoming you again as one of our customers.
Wow, can they only respond to one point at a time?!At the time that Zachary replied to your e-mail, the contract was not yet set-up by our system. We were hoping to prevent it, but it was indeed automatically processed in the end. We promptly reversed that process and you will not receive any future invoices for it as a result. Your telephone number has been placed on our Do Not Call List and you will not receive any future offers. Our apology again for the inconvenience or confusion caused. Thank you for your patience here.
I replied (on the 24 February), stating her response didn't cover all my questions and I felt that my complaint wasn't being taken seriously. I wanted both her response, and the incompetent telephone operative's call to be investigated. I requested that she passes this on to her manager as previously requested, and I will look forward to hearing back from them.
Now I'm being fobbed off and told that they handle complaints internally and won't discuss them with me! This doesn't answer any of my questions that were left unanswered, nor does it apologize for the poor service I've received or the inconvenience of having to call them at my expense, only to have the person e-mail the complaints department! It certainly doesn't tell me where the hell this supposed software order came from, or what software it was.I will pass your concerns along to our Quality & Assurance Department for further review. That department can review the level of customer service you have received and apply additional training or discipline if/where they deem necessary. This process is handled internally. Thank you.
So, naturally, I reply - pointing out that at this point, the website package was still showing up on my account.
Apart from some spammy advertising e-mails, and the automated ones telling me my Direct Debit was going to come out soon, I didn't hear back from 1&1. So I made a fuss on Facebook. Their social networking person contacted me, telling me she has spoken to complaints and they are looking into it and would be contacting me. They didn't.
A month later, I contacted the social networking woman again, pointing out that I have now been charged for renewal, and I should really have just transferred my domains out and left before that. I told her that I expect a response from complaints by the end of that week, even if only to apologize for the delay and let me know when to receive a response. She replied...
...but they did not.I apologize for the delay. I have escalated your concerns to a senior member of our Complaints Team. I am monitoring the case to further ensure that we will be in contact with you again shortly.
On 23 March, I started transferring my domains out. I wrote to them, pointing this out, asking where my reply was. I got no response.
On 30 March, I wrote back to the social networking woman - a long e-mail pointing out that I was transferring my domains and leaving them, as I was disgusted that I had not received a response. I made clear bullet points of the responses that I wanted from them. I carbon copied this to both the UK and US complaints e-mail addresses. Oh yes, 1and1 is a German company, I believe. They're big in the US, have operations here... but I'm not sure how UK based they are, as I always get an American in Pennsylvania when I call! I also tried a name.surname e-mail address for Oliver Mauss, CEO of 1&1. It didn't bounce.
I did not receive a reply from anyone.
Then, on 4 April, I received a reply. It didn't seem to be a reply to my e-mail of 30 March, but in fact a reply to the one of 24 February. Yes - it took them nearly six weeks to respond! Here's what they said...
What?! I spend over an hour writing an e-mail, and you send a five sentence reply? Actually, some of those sentences should be merged - that's poor punctuation!Thank you for contacting us.
We can assure you that this MyWebsite service has since been cancelled. You will not be billed for this service again in the future. In addition, this is correct. We are currently looking into the customer service aspect of this account internally. Thank you.
If you have any further questions please do not hesitate to contact us.
How does it take six weeks to write that?! And why have they STILL not addressed my questions?
On top of this fiasco, I've noticed several issues with their website.
Firstly, the new control panel is horrible. It's really hard to do anything on it, and you keep coming to dead ends where you can't go back, and have to reload the home page. Secondly, there are parts where there are missing pictures with German text in the X box, or in fact there are other parts with German in amongst the English text on the page! Very unprofessional!
Also, their cancellation method for .com domains, as stated in their FAQ, doesn't work! Yes, it transfers the domain, but it remains on your control panel and you have to cancel it manually in their cancellation control panel! Oh yeah, and I asked them to shut my account down, but they didn't - again I had to find out how to do it myself.
This is by far the worst customer support I have ever seen. They don't seem to value their long-standing customers at all. I would never recommend 1&1, and would urge you all to never even consider using them!