Domain registered with 1and1.com is almost taken away by them!
There was some .com and .org offers going on in month of April at 1and1.com and so I decided to register 1 domain for $3.99/yr (for one year period).
I placed the order by completing the checkout and used Paypal agreements (which allows them to charge up to $500 for my products). I went through Paypal login pages and everything was done. The domain got registered with a contract ID. I put my third-party DNS servers, etc and logged out.
I had never used 1and1.com in past. And only one domain was registered so I did not logged in to their Account section or control panel after April.
The domain was working fine, until 20th June, when I was checking my main email inbox, I found a notice from 1and1.com related to pending-invoice for the same domain. The email arrived on 19th June and asked me to pay the invoice in 2 days.
Usually when I register with any other registrars they take payment during the Order date itself. But 1and1.com seems to work differently. They waited for over 2 and half months without debiting my Paypal and not even attempted to contact me in April, May and 1st half of June for paying the invoice. (They sent pending-invoice just 3-4 days before ending the contract!!)
I logged in to my account at 1and1 and saw the invoice was pending and though I've opted-in for Paypal agreement (and it was still ACTIVE in my paypal account) 1and1 could not debit my Paypal even though I had enough balance. I de-activated/ended the agreement and once again setup the agreement to allow 1and1 to debit my Paypal. The notice appeared that 1and1.com will attempt to take payment from my Paypal.
I was happy that they'll able to take the payment from my paypal account after few moments, or minutes or hours and then I went to sleep.
After about 24-28 hours logged in to see, but yet my paypal was not charged! I logged out and on same day decided to pay with my credit card directly on 1and1 site after I come home in evening from work (I had read on google that 1and1 charges users even if products are cancelled or expired, so I was not happy to provide them my CC)
Guess what: I tried to logging to my account and to my SURPRISED I was locked out.
1and1.com does not cares to tell the customer that she is locked out (Account Locked) message. A generic message is displayed: "Some invalid entries have been detected"
I could change my password, it worked well. But with new password the same error is displayed.
I emailed their Support department and they replied after 2 days with a caned reply and asking me to contact Billing department via phone or email. I emailed Billing department and finally after 5 days got a reply. They said, since the invoice was not paid, the contract ended and since you have only 1 domain in account, and no contract (i.e. empty account) you'll never be able to login again or use that account. that's it.
I again replied them about my domain name, to which their billing department replied they will not be able to restore account, but they will waive the fee for one-time and restore the contract (I think with new contract ID) and I'll have to pay the new invoice. To which I agreed in writing. They replied it can take anywhere 4-6 days and I should contact Support department.
I contacted both support and billing department by email and phone July 1st onward and still they are not able to restore the contract or domain!!!! Though the domain's DNS are still pointing to my custom servers my site is live.
I have seen N number of posts on google regarding these Account Locked/Contract Cancelled complaints about 1and1, but I was very late to see them. Now I fear that I've almost lost my valuable domain name and will have to wait for expiry date till next April/May.
15 days later, They've now stopped responding to my emails. And when I call the only answer is they are trying to retrieve it. (as if I've asked them to retrieve 100TB of backups)
Just a caution to all of you here: If you are going to buy products with 1and1.com please re-check twice that they've debited the amount from your Paypal on the day of ordering the products itself. They will not email you if payment is failed, and will send you unpaid invoice 2 or 3 days before ending the contract and that too after 2 and half or 3 months!!!.
Also, if anyone of you here had domain with 1and1, and could retrieve it then please guide me as how to retrieve it.
Will update this post if they ever retrieve my domain. Though the hopes are almost negligible now. I'm not blaming them for scam, but keeping a customer's domain hostage (even if she has agreed to pay invoice) is also not good deed!
Kudos to their weird way of doing business. Will never use 1and1.com again for valuable domains/websites.
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