Heartinternet witholding my domain names

  Eskarina 08:12 23 Mar 08
Locked

Hi,

I purchased several domain names and 2 hosting packages from Heartinternet. I thought they were ok, although I did discover their advertising was deliberately misleading.

Anyway, I didn't realise that they automatically renew all services and therefore keep your payment details on record in order so that they can charge you a year later for the renewal.

When they attempted to charge me, the payment didn't go through because I had ordered a new card sometime during that year. I missed their cancellation warning emails because I use different email accounts for different things I do on the internet and that isn't an address I use on a daily basis.

So, because my payment didn't go through, they have denied me full access to manage my account until I pay the bill and was also told that if I don't pay up, it'll be forwarded to a debt collection agency.

I decided I didn't want to purchase anymore hosting packages with them because I do not appreciate companies that operate like this. I object to any company that sets up automatic renewal charges on my debit card without making it very clear and giving me a choice whether to opt-in option, as opposed to forcing the opt-out option onto me. I consider it very bad business practice and told them so.

However, I'm still stuck in the position that they won't allow me access to transfer my domain names that I have paid them for.

They keep telling me that I MUST pay the outstanding amount, but they how can they force money out of me for something which I didn't ask for, don't want, and more to the point, that they haven't given me.

They just keep repeating their ToS but I don't buy it. Just because they choose to hide their low down business practices in their Terms of Service, it surely doesn't entitle them to blackmail me in this manner ?

It's poor business practice and even poorer customer support.

Any advice or suggestions as to how I can get my domain names transferred to my new hosting company, would be gratefully received.

  Eskarina 09:22 23 Mar 08

Anyone know the law regarding these matters ?

I know good customer service is more important than anything when it comes down to it, but I'd like to know if they can lawfully keep slapping me with their unreasonable and unfair ToS

  €dstowe 10:47 23 Mar 08

I use this company and have recommended lots of people to them. I don't find their business practices at all dubious or devious.
They have Terms of Service which you agreed to when you opened the account and it is your responsibility to ensure that any monies owed are paid on time. It is not the responsibility of Heart to search around all your email accounts to ensure you get their messages - as far as they are concerned (from what you told them at sign up) you have one contactable address which, you confirm, they used to contact you. Neither is it anything to do with Heart that your payment failed. They warned you about it by email and again, because you, for whatever reason, failed to take note of that, they are rightly withholding their services and goodwill until you bring your account up to date.

Pay the money and everything will be back to normal.

  Forum Editor 10:48 23 Mar 08

I think it's worth making a couple of points.

1. Heart Internet make it very clear (in their terms and conditions) that:

"All services will renew until cancelled by the customer. Heart Internet emails the customers primary email address prior to renewal of services, it is the customers responsibility to cancel services prior to renewal as no refund can be made once renewal has occurred."

I don't think it could be clearer than that.

2. "I missed their cancellation warning emails because I use different email accounts for different things I do on the internet and that isn't an address I use on a daily basis."

That's hardly their fault, is it? You provided them with an email address when you registered the domain name, and Heart used that address to send you a message warning you of the impending renewal. The fact that you didn't check the email on the address is your fault, not theirs.

3. Most people are only too pleased that a hosting company takes the trouble, not only to warn you of the renewal, but to make the renewal on your behalf if you forget. Thousands of people lose domain names every year because they forget the renewal date, and Heart knows that - it's why they do the remembering for you.

4. It's your job to remember to update your card details when they change, and Heart make that quite clear when you sign up with them - they even provide you with the opportunity to register what they call a 'fall back' situation with them - you can set up a direct debit mandate and set is as the fall-back billing account, to be used if a credit or debit card charge fails for some reason.


I've been using web hosts for many years, and have hosted hundreds of domain names and client web sites with all the main UK hosting companies. I have a reseller account with Heart, and can honestly say that in my experience they are far and away the most professional and efficient web hosts in the business - I wouldn't go anywhere else for my hosting requirements.

Your comment that "I did discover their advertising was deliberately misleading" is defamatory unless you have concrete evidence to demonstrate that the company deliberately sets out to mislead people - perhaps you would like to explain how you came to that conclusion?

  HEARTINTERNETSUX 11:18 23 Mar 08

Do you work for Heartinternet ?

Anyway, what's the big deal to them ?

Stuff their Terms of Service ! They are unreasonable and are longer than the street in which I live. At the end of the day, they are blackmailing to pay for a product which I don't want. Big deal, I missed 2 emails from them ! ... I don't agree that is sufficient reason to rip me off.

And I do have concrete evidence that one of their adverts was misleading. They rectified it soon after I pointed it out to them so I assume they were in agreement.

I'll be posting it along with other screenshots on my new website which is going to be focusing on hosting companies. The good, the bad, and the ugly.

Guess which department they are going in ?

Will their ToS stand up in court ? Not if they're deemed unreasonable they won't.

And yes, they have made them much clearer now, but they certainly didn't when I first signed up. I actually messaqed a support member to ask how I could turn off the renewal option and was told .... "just go do it under account settings"

Low and behold ! There was no such thing.

I also told them that I would pay the outstanding amount when and only when, I had access to my account. It was ignored.

Now I simply don't want to pay for anything, I want what is mine and then the account deleted.

Now is that unreasonable ? They're a big company after all, why bother ripping the little guys off just because they missed a couple of emails after all ?

Why are they so desperate for my measly 70 quid ?

Pretty bad way to run a business in my opinion.

Any company that doesn't give the customer a choice whether to opt-in for automated renewal charges on their bank card, is cashing in on the very FACT that a large percentage of "noob's" to the industry, will be unaware of what they're really signing up to.

  HEARTINTERNETSUX 11:19 23 Mar 08

And they don't care because their TERMS OF SERVICE cover their asses and they still get their money.

Which is the most important thing after all.

Well, to money-grubbers it is.

  Forum Editor 11:29 23 Mar 08

here, but what you can't do is register yourself with two different names and post from both of them. I have just disabled your silly HEARTINTERNETSUX registration, and if you persist in behaving in that way I'll disable the other one, too.

When you've been with us for a little while you'll come to understand that we will bend over backwards to help you with a problem, provided you behave in a sensible fashion - read the forum rules (downloadable from the link at top right) and stick to them, and we'll help you as much as we can - always assuming you have a legitimate complaint.

  HEARTINTERNETSUX 11:29 23 Mar 08

And edstowe, I don't agree that anybody, not ANYBODY should be blackmailed to pay for a product that they don't want and haven't received.

If you think unreasonable Terms of Service and bad business practice is a good enough reason to basically hijack a customers other property, then I'm glad I don't do business with you.

I certainly wouldn't advertise the fact.

Another thing, I have recommended many, many customers to them before I discovered what sleazebags they really are, needless to say I shall be recommending they all transfer their domains to a new hosting company & cancel their accounts before they're up for renewal.

  Forum Editor 11:39 23 Mar 08

but you're an example of someone who is his/her own worst enemy. Your entire demeanour here indicates that you tend to act before thinking, and then, when people don't agree with you, you lapse into personal abuse and innuendo.

From what you've told us it's pretty obvious that your problem with Heart is entirely one of your own making, and yet you have no hesitation in making all kinds of sweeping allegations about them, and you add in some gratuitous rudeness to another forum member for good measure. If you want to resolve this I suggest you settle down and listen to the good advice you were given earlier by €dstowe - pay what you owe, and all will be well.

  MAJ 12:13 23 Mar 08

Hell, it's a life-saver that the better hosting companies automatically renew the domain registration. I'm also with Heart, but I also have a couple of domain names registered with 1&1 for a few friends who know little about these things. A couple of years ago I had a similar problem in that my card was changed during the year because it was lost. 1&1 not only emailed me about the payment not going through, but they also sent me notification through snail-mail. Most hosting companies are honest and reliable even if they do have the odd glitch from time to time. Talk to them, pay what you owe them and put it down to a good lesson learnt.

  €dstowe 12:23 23 Mar 08

Hmmm.. So you're glad you don't do business with me, are you?

Let me tell you, with an attitude like yours, I wouldn't have you as a customer.

This thread is now locked and can not be replied to.

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