1&1 billing dept. (Again)...

  barryoneoff.co.uk 00:03 04 Nov 2004

Some of you may remember a thread which contained details of my dispute with 1&1 billing department. Because of their refusing, or simply not bothering to answer emails, my sites were down for three weeks.
This matter was eventually settled, when one of their brighter members of staff actually pressed the right button to deduct my bill from my credit card. Although I was charged £15 extra for late payment, I let it go, couldn't be bothered to send any more emails to no one. This was two months ago.

What do I get in the post this morning? A letter from a debt collection agency asking for it to be paid again! Needless to say, they dont bother returning phone calls either, must be why 1&1 use them.

  Taran 12:18 04 Nov 2004

I've stopped using 1&1 after several problems. Some of them were inadvertently my fault, as it turned out, most of them weren't though, and one of them involved my site MySQL database going AWOL for some weeks and when it eventually did return its content was gone.

Letters such as the one you received are normally automated, which still doesn't alter the fact that if you paid your bills you shouldn't have received one to begin with.

It's not very inspirational is it ?

Frankly I can't offer any useful advice that you won't have already considered yourself. I'm sure you're unimpressed enough without me trying to teach you how to suck eggs by suggesting the usual phone calls and so on.

About all I can say is good luck.

  barryoneoff.co.uk 13:07 04 Nov 2004

by phone today (after an angry email I sent last night).

1&1 hadn't informed them that this was settled in August, and they had given them my old address. The last time I moved house was 30 years ago! Anyway, they got through to 1&1 and have stopped the proceedings.

Another point about this though, is that they actually got a debt collector involved. After all, I didn't actually owe them anything, as you pay them six months in advance! This was something the agency could not, or would not, discuss.

I am still determined to end my contract with 1&1. I have found a host that offers everything they do for the same price, with the added bonus of unlimited bandwidth.

Trouble is, I have no idea how to go about this in the easiest way. How do I get all my domains on to the new host, with the minimum of time and disruption to the sites?

  Taran 13:23 04 Nov 2004

"How do I get all my domains on to the new host, with the minimum of time and disruption to the sites?"

This can vary, depending on your new host. The principles are the same for all hosts but some, when you transfer a domain into them, will only allow you to do so if you renew the domain registration for another term, which is about £9.99 for two years for a .co.uk address.

Without knowing which host you have selected it is impossible to offer a clear answer. Basically you request a transfer in option, and once it has been initiated and agreed your site(s) will go offline for about 24 hours or so while the domain names are retagged from one hosts servers to another. You could continue to use 1&1 for your domain registrar, which allows you to use the Control Panel to change the DNS details to point to your new web host space where the site(s) will be, or you can completely transfer the domain names over to your new host and use them as both your registrar and host.

Your new host will have full instructions on their support pages on how to transfer domains in, and they will also supply your login usernames and passwords.

All that happens is the DNS settings will alter and possibly the registrar tags as well, if you select the option to transfer domain names. This takes around 24 hours, sometimes a little longer, to update around the web, the details of which aren't important and make pretty boring reading.

The process is far simpler than it may seem and usually you request a transfer in from your new host who will initiate it on your behalf. You will have to confirm this at some stage and everything else is more or less automated. Try not to worry about it too much.

  Forum Editor 14:26 04 Nov 2004

and they promised to contact you as soon as they had carried out a thorough investigation.

I can sympathise with your obvious frustration, and wouldn't dream of suggesting that you change your mind about moving hosts - but in your interest I do counsel you to give yourself adequate time to reflect. I've used many different hosting companies over the years, and am currently hosting with three different ones. All of them have, at one point or another, made errors - not all serious, but errors nevertheless. Hosting tens of thousands of web sites using multiple technologies, and having lots of customers altering settings via online control panels is far from being a walk in the park. Modern web server technology is very advanced, and a great many procedures are automated, but even so.....mistakes occur.

Your problems with 1&1 haven't been related to the server side of the business as far as I'm aware - it's all been connected with billing errors. It may be that when this is finally resolved - and it looks as though that will be within 24 hours - you might decide to take the "better the devil I know" view.

You may not of course, and that's for you to decide. I have no axe to grind on 1&1's behalf - they've let you down badly, and I had a minor problem with them on my own hosting packages not long ago - but take it from me - there are far worse web hosts out there.

  fly2hi 20:12 04 Nov 2004

I suppose every business is going to make mistakes at some point in time. It's just impossible to be 100% perfect (unless you never actually do anything).

I would prefer to be judged not on the mistakes I make, but on how I go about correcting those mistakes and putting things right with the customer.

I've been with 1&1 for a couple of years now and not had any problems.

You should at least get your £15 back.

Ten points to FE for his efforts.

  barryoneoff.co.uk 00:47 05 Nov 2004

fly2hi... To be quite truthfull, the £15 means nothing. Dont get me wrong, I'm not a rich man, far from it! I have also been with them for more than two years, but I have found out that customer loyalty, and service, mean nothing now that they have become such a big name. They are not bothered about my 8.99 per month, they can't be, they dont even bother answering emails. They used to before they got so big! The original thread is on here somewhere, I should have sorted it out before posting.

Taran... Thanks for the info, I will ask my intended host to send me their policy on transfers. I haven't even ordered a package from them yet, just made an enquiry about the 'unlimited traffic', (which was verified as true), and they responded within the hour and even gave me a freephone number to contact if I had any more queries. This is the difference with a UK based (which they advertise) operation.

FE... I have to agree with you that I could not fault the service as far as uptime, and the control panel features associated with 1&1, they are excellent. I am afraid that the communication end of it is total 'expletive deleted'. Their poor communication system cost me three weeks of downtime on six websites. I may be wrong, but I put this down to too much expansion too fast. If you cant cater for the needs of your existing customers, dont take on any more! You must remember the ignored emails you yourself sent to 1&1 while on the original thread. I gave them the benefit of the doubt then, but not this time

  Forum Editor 07:48 05 Nov 2004

be very careful about "unlimited traffic" promises. No professional hosting company can afford to provide truly unlimited bandwidth to its customers - it would be out of business in double-quick time.

You'll not have any problem with transfers 'IN' to a new host - the problems, if there are any, always seem to occur with the 'OUT' host delaying the transfer for various reasons. The usual procedure is for the 'IN' hosts to make a request to the 'OUT' host for the retag, and provided you have notified the current host (usually, but not always by fax on headed paper) that you consent to the domain being retagged it can happen more or less immediately. As Taran has already pointed out, the new location of the name has to be recorded on the DNS databases around the world, and the Domain Name Servers propagate these changes on a regular cyclical basis. You just have to wait for the next change cycle, and this can be 12 hours or 24 hours - it's never usually more than 24 hours. During that time your site(s) will be unavailable of course, so put an advisory notice on your homepage in advance of the change.

  DoctorButcher 08:56 05 Nov 2004

Hopefully you get everything sorted out. I'm still relatively new to the whole web design ting but i'm learning all the time, and finding a reliable host has been one of the most important things i've had to do since i began.

For that reason, i cannot recommend this company highly enough click here .

I'm a great believer in the old adage 'You only get what you pay for' and i have found them to be courteous and efficient. Their technical support is second-to-none and the few times i have had to contact them, i have had a reply to my problem within 30 minutes.

If you're still undecided on your next host, then have a look at what they offer before making a final decision.

  fly2hi 23:51 05 Nov 2004

Without wishing to wander off-post, but in a similar vein, I've had much the same problem with XLN telecom. The physical side has been fine, calls are much cheaper etc, but about a month ago I had a letter saying I'd cancelled my direct debit (which I hadn't) and they were about to cut me off. We sorted that out, but lo and behold, what comes through the post this morning..exactly the same letter..again...Doh!
Another case of rapid expansion without the infrastructure.

  barryoneoff.co.uk 00:01 06 Nov 2004

four months left with them, so at least I have time to check things out thouroughly before jumping in head first.

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