Sharp practice by 1 and 1 Internet!

  fudge 16:26 21 Dec 05
Locked

12 months ago I took out a domain hosting package with 1 and 1 Internet. At the time they were offering a free 'info' domain with each package. I didn't need this but as it was free it didn't really matter.

Until now, that is! I have just been charged for the renewal of these domains, without knowing anything about it.

When I contacted the company I was told that accounts are automatically renewed after 12 months, as per their terms and conditions.

I don't dispute these terms and conditions but I'm like the majority of people who don't read them fully and I certainly wouldn't have remembered details in them 12 months later.

I would have at least expected a reminder the contract was coming up for renewal but I was told they don't send reminders and neither do they offer refunds for cancelled contracts.

This smacks of sharp practice! They offer free domain for 12 months obviously hoping most people will forget about it and then charge them for the renewal without giving them advance warning. I would have expected better from what is, in all other respects, a reputable company.

I have made a complaint to them so I will keep you posted. Meanwhile, be warned - don't sign up for free domains!

  PaulB2005 16:34 21 Dec 05

"I don't dispute these terms and conditions but I'm like the majority of people who don't read them fully "

Sorry but that was your first mistake. You entered a legal contract without checking the T&Cs fully. Doh!

I've used 1 & 1 for years - no problems.

  fudge 16:57 21 Dec 05

You're right, of course - but I did read them, maybe not fully! Or maybe I didn't see or understand that particular point! I don't remember - it was 12 months ago! Which is exactly my point.

I'm not knocking 1 and 1, just this policy! I too have used them for years without a problem which is why I referred to them as a reputable company.

This sort of 'delayed' contract is exactly how 'buy now, pay later' finance deals make their money - by hoping, several months later, you will forget you signed the contract. It's not what I would have expected from 1 and 1.

  Forum Editor 17:02 21 Dec 05

that someone else would pay the domain name renewal fees for ever?

  ade.h 17:15 21 Dec 05

I would expect it to lapse unless you had requested otherwise. And, yes, I would have expected an email reminder too.

It's an issue of customer care more than anything.

  fudge 18:13 21 Dec 05

"Did you think that someone else would pay the domain name renewal fees for ever?"

No, of course not. But I didn't realise I had any fees. A reminder would have solved the problem.

  knockin on 13:56 24 Dec 05

My Bank pays interest on one of my accounts annually - as per our original contract! Fortunately I don't have to remind them to do so every year.. There have to be somethings in life we manage ourselves.

  anchor 16:32 24 Dec 05

My renewal fees are paid by Freenetname; no cost to me. I don`t even know how much they are.

  ade.h 16:46 24 Dec 05

If a company gives me something free of charge that I'm not going to use anyway, its policy should be "if you still want it after the first year, you'll have to let us know and send a payment"...

not...

"we'll charge you for it after the first year whether you use it or not and won't bother to send an email reminder".

  fudge 17:40 24 Dec 05

Yes ade.h, I would have expected that too!

When I opened an account with Egg Finance they included a years travel insurance free. At the end of the year they emailed me 2 or 3 times to remind me the renewal was due. They didn't just take my money.

I fully acknowledge that 1 and 1 have done nothing illegal (it is in their t & C's after all) but there's a big difference between treating your customers within the letter of the law as opposed to offering reasonable customer service. 1 and 1 may have performed well in the former but rather poorly in the latter.

This is sharp practice in my book (legal or otherwise) and does nothing to improve public confidence in online dealings.

  kev d 17:56 24 Dec 05

It looks like 1 and 1 were banking on this to happen. We are all deluged with freebies via the internet and are vunerable to this sort of unscrupulous practice. You made a mistake Fudge but in my opinion, from the info you have provided, 1 and 1 have pulled a fast-one here.

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