1&1: The Most Hated Domain & Hosting Provider

1&1: The Most Hated Domain & Hosting Provider

By | February 18, 2011 at 11:11 pm | 57 comments | Technology | Tags: , , , ,

As a form of disclaimer before I fly into this post, I have to admit that I worked for 24 Help, a supplier of offsite, white-label customer support to brands such as Sony Erricsson, Xbox UK, Norton and 1&1.  I worked, specifically, on the 1and 1 contract and even visited their head UK office in Slough to liaise with “2nd level support”.  However, this post is regarding their offerings and service – not them as an employer (which they were in an indirect way).

I have dealt with 1and several times in a professional capacity with regards to web development and hosting. Whilst their packages and services are competitive, they rely heavily on their advertising in every tech magazine you can think of with expensive 2-6 page spreads about how they are “Europes #1 Web Host”. Little do they tell you, they are also Europes #1 Hated Webhost.

Hate, for me, is a very strong word. It is a word reserved for sheer contempt towards someone or something. It usually boils over into unbridled anger and – in some cases – violence.  However, having experienced 1st line technical support as a customer, I can see why they are hated. In fairness to them, a lot of their complaints arise through people misunderstanding their service – the usual “non-savvy” customers. However, there are many people I have spoken to who hate them for a variety of reasons:

1&1 Customer Service

This is the single most complained reason regarding 1and1 when I have spoken to people. It comes down to one thing: the lack of it.

Most responses are at 1&1 are spoon fed from a guidebook of palm offs and there is little to no attempt to actually resolve the issue at hand. Whenever I have spoken to customer service operatives via the telephone they are often ill-trained, non-technical and unable to deal with the simple queries a web hosting provider should get including such gleaming responses as “What is an FTP?”, “DNS takes 7 days to resolve” and “We don’t support PHP on our dedicated servers”. (I shit you not at these responses).

In fact, the lack of customer service has annoyed Gary Taylor of 3ac.co.uk to start a campaign called 1&1 Are A Disgrace. I highly recommend you read it as it’s jaw-droppingly amazing at how incredulous 1&1 customer support is via email, telephone and twitter.

SEO Compatibility

Working at a digital marketing agency, I often deal with a large variety of providers, CMS’ and custom builds. 1&1’s “E-Shop” system is so bad that our SEO team have simply advised against dealing with potential clients who are using this system thus losing 1&1 money in the process.

The reasons behind this include:

  • The inability to enter custom Title and Meta Descriptions per page
  • The inability to install Google E-Commerce tracking
  • The inability to install Asynchronous Google Analytics code to the entire shop platform

I mean, seriously, if you were to advertise yourself as Europe’s biggest web host – wouldn’t you at least fix these simple problems within your CMS.

1&1 Hosting Location

Their servers are based in Germany in their very own a state-of-the-art datacenter. It’s nice, it’s impressive, but it’s also in Germany! They don’t tell you this unless you ask for it (or do a hosting lookup).

From an SEO perspective this can create a multitude of problems (not so much as they once did thanks to geo-targeting through webmaster tools). It’s enough to make Baby Jesus cry, and no-one wants that.

1&1 Complaints

They do have a problem with complaints flooding the web. Simple queries such as 1and1 complaints produce over 40,800 results with the following 1st page listings:

1and1 complaints (Google Screenshot)

1and1 complaints (Google Screenshot)

You would think they would fare better with a query such as 1and1 recommendations with 717,000 results, but the 1st page listings tell a different story:

1and1 recommendations (Google Screenshot)

1and1 recommendations (Google Screenshot)

There cover may be blown due to several negative responses are now ranking for brand name searches:

1&1 (Google Screenshot)

1&1 (Google Screenshot)

1and1 (Google Screenshot)

1and1 (Google Screenshot)

If you are still looking to host a website with 1and1, feel free – just don’t come crying to me and the thousands of other people who already hate them.

About the Author

Kev Strong

Kev Strong is an online marketing consultant at Newcastle Upon Tyne based digital marketing agency, Mediaworks. A lover of all things search and an ex-web developer, Kev Strong (a.k.a Goosh) is a specialist in advanced search engine optimisation.

57 Comments

  1. sajal (7 months ago)

    Yesterday I am trying to purchased a domain from 1&1, and they deducted my money without provide any service. Actually they stole money from my payoneer MasterCard, and I also think they stored my account information for future uses. In that case I am so worried about my account information. There is no way to delete my all information from 1and1.com site. I contacted with 1and1.com by mail but they didn’t response my mail, after 10 hours I also contacted with their Facebook fanpage and after 4 hours I got a replay from a 1and1 guy called Joshua. Joshua also disappointed me. Hare is the main thing is they deducted my money and stored my account information for future uses. So 1and1.com is the most fraud, ever I seen.

    Sajal Mondal

  2. Mike (6 months ago)

    Tried to leave this bunch of thieves. Took money even after assuring me they had cancelled account. Poorest service ever experienced. Don’t go near them, if you are already unwittingly part of their sharp practice – cancel any payment details with them and get out now. Good luck.

  3. Matt (5 months ago)

    They must be the only registrar around who pay your renewal against your request (switching off auto renew etc) and then expect you to pay up. I have heard of people who cancelled and the credit used for the account had expired, yet they still renew the domain and pursue for payment.

    If you have a .uk domain and issues with moving a domain from 1and1 contact Nominet their team are fantastic. You see you need to understand the agreement between the registrar and the name provider, Icann I believe are responsible for .com etc. No registrar, regardless of the terms you agree to, can force an agreement which breaches their agreement with the name provider. I tested this and Nominet backed me up 100% because the registrar breached their terms of trading with Nominet.

    If you have any issues with .uk domains, moving them from 1and1 Nominet is the body you need to talk to. Remember when you have a .uk domain you have a Nominet account (simply go to nominet, then online services, enter your email with a .uk domain registered to it and you will then be able to access your Nominet account) within your Nominet account you can cancel and transfer domains, so you’re bypassing 1and1 altogether. Icann should have a system like this so you have more control.

  4. Eric (4 months ago)

    I confirm, they are the worst service provider. However, I had an account with them for years and they do have some benefits to an account that’s grandfathered in. They used to offer unlimited everything etc, so I got one, and human greed I guess keeps me from stopping that monthly $30 payment, plus just a thought of transferring all the domains makes me dizzy. I know if there will be a problem I’m pretty much on my own.

    What they offer today sucks, their interface sucks, their customer service… well I’d like to say it sucks, but unfortunately it doesn’t exist 🙂

    They are worthless for the most part, but I’m tied up with them because I have no time to kick them to the curb. Last week they overcharged my account, I spent 45 minutes on hold, and then some “bruther” answered the call, it took him another 20 minutes to read through his manual I guess and finally the call was lost due their crappy IP phone system.

    If you are thinking you can save some money and will go for their offers, I assure you that you will be paying with a lot more than money – time, nerves and poor performance of your site.

    The same goes for many other hosts out there, even though I found some reliable companies. I don’t want to list them to avoid appearing like I am advertising/representing some company here. I’m just another unhappy !and1 client, and I can only imagine how many of us are out there. Probably thousands…

    But I think 1and1 is truly as their names suggest THE NUMBER ONE WORTHLESS HOSTING COMPANY!

    #1 – For worthless products AND #1 for worthless Service…

    I think we have a winner! Yay!

  5. whaikung (4 months ago)

    suck even now (May 7, 2016)
    I use domain service pointing to the another host. after I have been waiting for 2 days, I requested call back from 1and1 and had a chance to talked to them, CS said “everything work fine, you have to contact your host”. Then I contact my host, my host send me the link to check “intodns.com/mydomain.com” and the result is showing that dns not pointing to the host yet. And now it is already 3 days and domian still pointing to the old one?
    for the godaddy after I change dns I can use it immediately.

  6. Dan (3 months ago)

    Horrible service! Bunch of crooks! AVOID! ZERO support after they take your money. Shut down my server with no notification or email. Emailed them repeatedly and they never responded. They accessed my private files and even my personal accounts and stole data from me!!! Bunch of crooks!! You have been warned!!

  7. praxit (2 months ago)

    ..oh man, I just tried to cancel with these guys and what a pain in the ass. They are devious to how they go about letting you cancel.
    I cancelled same day. I got a ticket and number saying thats it. Nope.. I got a email stating I owe them money. I had to go back to website find that cancellation tidbit. They give you 2 options to either cancel domain and keep service or cancel the whole package. Well,, they dont let you pick the latter. You have to call them. gee whizz…

    So I did.. then the lady has to ask why am I cancelling…?? really..! I told her they’re dozens of hosting sites, they are all making a pitch to grab you. Obviously, yours didnt fit my needs.

    …stay away from these clowns.

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