And I am a fool for not believing all the other reviews I had read. I just didn't think it could be that bad, until they did it to me too.
In short, I had registered several domains with 1&1, then transferred them away. No problems here as the transfers were successful. However, shortly after the transfers I received a renewal invoice for the domains that were no longer on my account.
No big deal I thought and explained them that I no longer had these domains, so they should not be billed for either. The first reply I received contained no explanation at all, so I emailed them again and got the following reply:
"Unfortunately domain names are nonrefundable as stated during the
ordering process and in our Terms & Conditions
(http://order.1and1.com/xml/order/Gtc): 3.9. Upon cancellation of this Agreement you will receive a prorated refund
of any pre-paid, refundable fees for the remainder of any term."
That seemed like a canned response completely irrelevant to my issue, so I emailed them again for the third time, and received the following reply:
"Our records indicate that your cancellation request was made after the billing due date for the domain. As such the invoice is valid as domain fees are considered nonrefundable."
And after telling them the above was not true as I had transferred the domains out 40 days prior to the expiration date, and 10 days before even getting their invoice for the renewal fees, the last reply I got was:
"Our records show the effective date of your cancellation was after the billing date for the domains. As such the invoice you received is valid and the balance must still be resolved."
So even though I had transferred the domains out way in advance (40 days prior to expiration) and before ever receiving any renewal invoices for these domains, they claim to still have the right to bill renewals for these non-existing domains. In other words they are charging me renewal fees without renewing anything, which is pretty close to stealing in my opinion. And therefore I am left with no other option that to make this public in hopes of having some good come out of all this.
Monetarily my loss was not a big one (less than $50), but it is annoying to have to waste time trying to resolve issues like this only to find out that they had no intention of doing the right thing but were scams from the beginning.
Please don't make the same mistake as I did, and stay away from 1&1 instead.
05-16-2010 Initiated the transfers (and the transfers were completed in less than a week)
05-25-2010 Received an invoice from 1&1 (after all the transfers had been completed)
06-25-2010 Expiration date of my domains
(I moved my names to NameCheap.com if anyone cares. And no, I am not affiliated with them in any way, just letting you know what I ended up doing after the disasterous experience with 1&1.)
Looks like making the issue public did not only serve as a warning to others, but it actually lead to me receiving a full refund today (no email or explanation accompanied it, so I must assume Christine who replied to this thread made it happen, and therefore I thank her for that).
Naturally I will still never use 1&1 again or recommend them to anyone else either, due to overwhelming evidence that the company is very shady and cannot be trusted, and even I did not get a fair resolution to my issue until I had made it public on the forums.
Christine's guess that maybe the expiration date was not the same as when I had transfered the domain over to 1&1 is probably true (I cannot remember for sure, and won't bother to check). Still, in my case the renewals were charged for without them adding an extra year to the registration, and therefore it was clear that they had no right to charge for them. Yet their email support refused to refund these charges.
Further, a registrar that charges for renewals based on any other date besides the expiration date, is not a company that I will do any future business with. I can't see any other reason for such billing policy but to trick customers into paying for domains they had no intention of renewing.
I'm hoping that with this message I can consider the case closed, but I am still a little worried that I may be billed against my wishes again. This is because I still have a few domains registered with them that I want to let expire. And the problem with that is that I used their interface to cancel future renewals, but instead of canceling them "immediately", I chose to cancel them after the current registration period is over. I'm thinking that this may give them another loophole to bill me one last time before the domains finally expire, and their interface does not let you change this selection once it is made, so I can no longer initiate an "immediate cancellation" for these domains either. I did mention it in one email to them to make sure that I won't be billed for any of these domains as my intention is to let them all expire at the end of their current registration period, but I received no confirmation that this would be the case. So I still cannot be sure that I will never get any more surprise invoices from them before getting rid of 1&1 for good.
exactly... That's what I am getting at, and she confirmed it. Thats the problem with such large domain providers. They are so large, that ICANN will not do anything about it, except maybe fine them, which they make more, buy continuing their fraudulent practices, then they do by paying a fine. Is not like ICANN would revoke their privileges, because what would they do with those 10million domains?
tebou, please let us know if you do receive your due refund and apology.
Chirstine, advise your company to actually read the ICANN policies. Has some good info, like this one:
- Effect on Term of Registration
The completion by Registry Operator of a holder-authorized transfer under this Part A shall result in a one-year extension of the existing registration, provided that in no event shall the total unexpired term of a registration exceed ten (10) years.
That means that even IF a person transfers to you in the middle of their year registration, you MUST add 1-10 years (whatever they pay for) to that registration, which also means you can NOT bill them again and the anniversary of their transfer. It is the anniversary of the DATE of REGISTRATION..
So if they have 8-1/2 years registration remaining and they transfer to you and pay for the extra year you bill them again after one year when they still have 8-1/2 years registration remaining rather than waiting until they use up all 9-1/2 years to when the domain is due to expire. That doesn't sound very fair and isn't the way most other registrars work it.
So the solution is to move the domain to a different registrar that properly recognises the amount fo time that the domain is already registered for.
As long as the registration info is properly recorded you ought to be able to do that and get back the additional time that you already paid for that 1and1 refused to properly credit.
[QUOTE=tebou;4619451] Another reply from 1and1 I received today
Hi T.S. Christine from 1&1 here. I'm sorry to hear about your trouble with our billing department and want to apologize for any inconvenience. It seems like there must have been a miss-communication somewhere in the process.
If your domains were transferred before the renewal billing date, you should not be charged. Is it possible that your 1&1 billing date is different then your actual renewal date? This could happen if you transferred the domains to us, in which case we bill on the anniversary of the transfer.
I would be happy to look into your case personally and hope to assist you in a swift resolution. Please email me directly - online at 1and1 dot com - and include your customer ID number and a list of the domains in question.
I look forward to hearing from you soon,
Christine Skiffington, 1&1 Internet
Hi VicToMeyeZr, I understand your concerns and hope that I can help clarify them. As the registrar of over 10 million domains worldwide and a recognized Domain Pioneer, I assure you that 1&1 is ICANN accredited and we comply with all regulations. To further protect domain owners, we also include a similar statement in our own Terms and Conditions (section 2.2.5) which elaborates on the ICANN regulation quoted above.
In short, if a domain is transferred we add 1 year registration and the billing date is based on the transfer date since that is when the domain contract begins with 1&1. Every year we add 1 year registration and bill the account based on the date that the 1&1 domain contract begins - which, as in most cases with transfers, does not fall on the original renewal date.
That being said, it may or may not be related tebou's issue. I'm very interested in investigating and resolving tebou's case and hope to hear back soon so I can get to the bottom of it.
"2.2.5: 1&1 will accept the transfer of domain names from other registrars, provided however, that you will be required to pay for an initial year of registration fees upon transfer. Domain names which have been prepaid for a period of more than one year but with fewer than nine years remaining may also be transferred, subject to the payment of an initial year of registration fees. An additional year will be added on to the remaining term of any transferred domain. Domain names with more than nine years remaining on the registration period may not be transferred. Upon the expiration of the one-year extension you will be charged an annual renewal fee for any subsequent renewal period. By requesting the transfer of your domain name you authorize 1&1 to debit your Payment Account for the one-year registration fee and any related fees or charges."
Christine Skiffington, 1&1 Internet
Seems unscrupulous of them. Also short sighted. Why chase a client for a few bucks and tarnish your image?
Why did you not file a compaint with your proof to ICANN. Also, SUE them if they did place you in collections, because they can NOT cahrge you renewal for domains they are NOT renewing.
Feeling really sorry for you, next time make sure you read TOS of the company and also check company reviews on public forum like WHT.
The reason I paid the fraudulent invoice was because they threatened to take it to debt collection (and based on other reviews I've read they do keep their promise on that), and I didn't want to have my credit score be affected by of this.
And the reason why I chose 1and1 in the first place despite the bad reviews, was because they were the cheapest. Can't remember the exact offers they had but they also had free 'private whois' that other registrars charge extra for.
Another reply from 1and1 I received today:
"Unfortunately, the domains did not transfer prior to renewal.
Renewal of the domains would have taken place at the beginning
of May, the transfer was acknowledged 5/21. As such, the charges
for renewal would stand."
The first problem with the above is that it is a blatant lie. The domain was not renewed by them in the beginning of May, as otherwise the new expiration date would have been extended by 1 year, which it was not.
They are essentially also saying that if you transfer domains out two months earlier than the expiration date, then you'll be fine, but any later than that and they will screw you over and continue charging you for something that doesn't exist anymore.
At this point I am done with trying to deal with 1and1. I filed a report with Better Business Bureau, who will then contact the company and attempt to resolve the issue, and if that is not successful the complaint will still stay in the BBB records and hopefully help others to avoid this rotten company.
Btw, I had never filed a BBB complaint before, but it was surprisingly easy taking my only ~5 minutes to do so. And for anyone who doesn't believe anonymous reviews on web forums, please check the BBB's report on 1&1 and see how they have a very high complaint rate and the worst possible rating (F): http://www.dc.bbb.org/report.html?national=y&compid=1040770
Why, you paid them? :eek: