I’ve already complained about this once (1 & 1 equals 0), but it’s my blog so I get to again. If 1and1sucks.com wasn’t being squatted, I’d set up a site just so everyone would have a central location to complain about this company.
I just got a letter in the mail from a collections agency, billing me for 24 dollars worth of hosting I never wanted. (Actually $5.88, plus $20 in collections fee, I guess.) The clickthrough agreement for their free hosting allows them to change the conditions of that hosting at their whim, and they changed my hosting from free to pay. This is about as stupid a way of making money as I can think of.
I don’t spend that much on hosting. Every year, I maybe spend $400 total in outside hosting for various projects. I can rely on the university for most of my hosting needs. I probably influence something on the range of ten or twenty times that in companies I advise, students, and the like. Put that at $8,000 or $10,000 a year.
I actually took them up on the free hosting offer to evaluate their services. I wasn’t impressed with the response time on their servers, and went to another hosting company. And I can guarantee that when people say “I saw this ad in Dr. Dobbs for 1-and-1, and they look like a good deal,” they will hear of my experience with the company and stay far away. So, they weasel $5 out of me rather than actually behaving human and winning long-term profitable business. It’s just not a good way to make money.
It’s not like I’m going to fight a $24 collections in court. It’s not worth my time and effort. The most I can do is file a complaint with the Better Business Bureau (they already have several), and tell everyone and anyone who asks to only work with reputable hosts. Never take 1and1 up on free hosting because it is isn’t really free. And if you can’t trust them on something as dumb as this, I sure wouldn’t trust them with any real business.