I came across another rant about 1and1 the other day and thought I’d post something I’d sent off to Michael ages ago. It sums up my thoughts on the subject completely and required very little editing…
1and1.com has labeled themselves “The worlds No. 1 web host [by the number of sites hosted]”. So they are a big target. It is true that they do not hold your hand, but that’s not what I am concerned about. I don’t care if they have crappy extras, in fact the more extras they add, the more stuff I’m paying for that I won’t ever use. What I care about is that they are willing to give you the access rights to add more to your shared server. Right now the ONLY things that I haven’t been able to do with my 1and1 account involve port access. And that simply isn’t possible with a shared server.
You will always find complaints about a company. Sometime they are valid. For 1and1.com, the complaints seem to come from the less technical users who looked for help. I agree that 1and1 isn’t great about explaining how to do new stuff. Three years ago, I was in the same situation, learning… but that’s what is great about the internet, there are many many resources available. That can help you through the rough spots if you’re patient and willing to work on it… I find that hosting at 1and1.com and searching Google works well for me and I’ve had my now account for three years plus.
Dreamhost* has the best help system out there, AFAIK, but their best service plan is $79.99. Through accepting an advertised upgrade deal for existing 1and1 customers, I have way more resources available and pay only ~12% of what a DreamHost customer is paying. I’m getting more resources for my money. I realized the other day that my 1and1 account has space available than what I’ve partitioned my Windows partitions to and that includes the partition I’ve set aside for multimedia. I’ll take my $839 dollars a year savings thank you very much.
*Update – Since the initial writing of this email, DreamHost has radicaly increase their available space available and resources. The prices are now comparable to what I get from 1and1.com. There are trade offs, but by stats alone they basically even out until you look at the extra charges DreamHost has. DreamHost charges a $50 setup fee (It’s like charging an extra $4.16 per month for the first year) and has 100% higher domain registration fees.
I should leave this out and follow the “If you want comments, leave holes in your posts to allow people to reply.” But I know some WILL say “YEAH – but have you ever tried to cancel a service from them?”. Sure, I’ll address that and then THAT you can reply to. EVERY post I’ve seen about this subject has been from someone who’s filled out a form to cancel the service and then not checked on it until 6 months after the fact when they receive the next bill. I’m sorry but if something is important to you, you, yourself, ensure that it is done.
People would have had no problem if they’d:
1. Ensured that the cancel was on record the week before it was due to happen
2. Ensured that the cancel a week later that the cancel took place
3. Ensuring that the 1and1 representatives made notes on their accounts recording each call.
4. Recorded the name/number date and time of each phone call.
1and1 will retroactively refund if you can prove your case. I’ve read about that happening too. I don’t anticipate a problem if and when I cancel. And I CERTAINLY more willing to work toward cancelling a service if it means that I never have to worry about a site I have worked to build isn’t sniped out from underneath me. 1and1’s process doesn’t let that happen and I never have to worry about paying some scoundrel/thief/blackmailer $800 just to get back what is already rightfully mine.
Support is something I know about. I know what an effort is involved for our office to provide the best tech support in our industry. We’ve spent years learning what works and what does not. Mistakes have happened and we’ve learned from each one. When I make a call to any company, a call that matters to me, I’m going to do my best to make that representative take the steps needed to provide me with a good technical support, whether they are trained to do so or not.
Likewise, I realize that we will have customers that we cannot help for whatever reason. I also know that those customers are likely to complain, as loudly as they can, that we have the absolute worst tech support of anybody in the world. All that matters to them is that we could not help them, whether it was an issue on their side or if we did make a mistake. So, I naturally question the most inflammatory posts I read. Mistakes do happen, but all in all it is in the company’s best interest to provide good support. That’s true for where I work and has to be true for 1and1.
Anyway, that’s my take on it.
I guess some people need more help than others (link)…
UPDATE: Oh, look. Here’s another generic “1and1.com Internet Web Hosting Sucks”
article (link) from an SEO guy…
“They are by far the worst hosting company.”
Ummm… He doesn’t mention a single word about their hosting. So, I’ll ignore this part…
“They make it impossible cancel and account, “
OK, he’s upset. Obvioulsy, he’s gonna have some thick thumbs…
“and if you don’t do it correctly they will keep billing you.”
WAIT? WHAT? If you don’t actually cancel the account, the continue to provide you with service? AND they expect to be paid for that?????
“Think you’ll be ok when your credit card expires don’t worry they will keep billing you and eventually refer you to collections.”
So, he ignored the problem and assumed a business that he had an relationship would simply say “Oh, I don’t care about that money. It doesn’t matter that much. It’s only bad debt. Why collect on that?”
Why in the world would someone be surprised that they would collect upon what they see as a valid debt? Of course it is going to go into their “collections” department and you’ll be sent scary letters! That is evidence that the company is well managed and not that is evil. Just because you don’t feel it is important to follow up where your money goes, you should not assume someone else will be equally lax about where “their” money is.
When you call to speak to a supervisor and tell them to cancel an account you aren’t using anymore and is in collections, they still won’t cancel it.
OK. He had problems with the first cancellation. Don’t you think it would make sense to call and receive confirmation that the account was cancelled successfully? If he did that, I see no evidence of it. I do see that he admits to making a mistake in initial cancelling process. I’d guess that he never verified the cancellation that time either. Obviously, there was a mistake here and 1and1 should have canceled the account, and billed him for only the service up to the day of this “second” cancellation. Hmmm perhaps that’s what they did. It is not clear if the continued debt is the full amount due for that period.
They will however keep sending you an email to an address that no longer is in existence and refer you to their online web form.
So, he didn’t even continue update them with his correct contact information until the situation was finalized??? After all why should he care that they be able to reach him? Maybe he is just to frustrated to type all the details in this article but wait, he can clearly think of all possible search term for his post: (parenthetics mine)
1 & 1 Web Hosting Sucks (um not)
1 & 1 Hosting provider sucks (HA!)
1 & 1 Hosting Sucks (Oh really?)
1&1 Internet Web Hosting Sucks (says who?)
1&1.com sucks (Did you try to protect your money?)
1&1 Control Panel Sucks (HORRAY for those that build their own!)
1&1 Internet Inc FAQ SUCKS (Not really)
1&1 Hosting Reviews (but he never reviewed their services)
Reviews of 1&1 (He still doesn’t offer a review)
From here on he just copy and pastes… yeesh… That’s enough for me…
I think I’ll spend 4.95 to get a domain and then cancel it before the year is out… It would be worth $5 just for the experience… I should make it something like “Wonderful1and1.com” so that people won’t say the name made them cancel it. Hmmm Not a bad idea….
UPDATE: Here’s a nice review of 1and1 (link):
The 1 and 1 services offered to the small and medium enterprise are impressive. Their strength is their excellent value for money, in offering a very large array of services and features with their web hosting products for an extremely low monthly charge.
The 1 and 1 homepage is attractive and is set up to give clear information about their products and services and what they offer. There is a graphic showing very clearly the extras to be had for each package, helping reveal what stands out. This is definitely a plus in deciding which package to choose. The company track record is also clearly stated with financial summaries, and is rock solid.