1and1 fail: retrieving domains

Oneandone or 1and1, a domain registrar and webhosting provider has had its share of praise and criticism. Some claim they are the largest in the world. Here the story of a customer attempt to regain control of their domains after what the customer felt was unfair treatment by this corporation.

1AND1 Boss Andreas Gauger looking a little strangeA long time ago I registered a number of domains with 1and1 in USA. The interface was clunky and slow and the support pretty bad, but domains were cheap and easy to order, so I ordered a few. Unfortunately, when I tried to transfer out domains or cancel them it didn’t work, then I was upgraded without my permission and against my will to a more expensive and unneeded plan. Then my credit card expired and upset with their lack of response and consideration, I did not update it. Then they blocked my domains.

I sent their CEO a letter on June 27 at 8 am with a deadline requesting they release my domains and tell me how much they claim I owe them.

Dear Mr Mauss:
Re: User –, Contract -
I have repeatedly tried to contact your billing department via email (billing@1and1.com) but to this date received no reply.
I started my service with 1&1 years ago, when you ran the 1 or 2 years free promotion. I even told a few friends about your service. I used your service mostly for domain and email hosting and less so for actual file serving. Eventually, the Professional Linux package was discontinued and I came under intense pressure to “upgrade” to something else. On quite a few occasions, your agents became rather pushy and impolite. However, that package was perfect for my needs and without it I would have rather downgraded. The problem is that I had quite a few domains and moving each one individually would have been quite difficult.
Toward the end of 2011 I became ill having lost my voice. That made it impossible to call your company, but when your agents tried again to move me to a new package via billing / email, I sent several emails protesting the change. I was nonetheless switched to a new package that was more expensive and provided greater transfer limits which I have never used. At the present, I am interested in a few of my existing domains. I cannot and will not register a new credit card on my account before knowing how much it will be debited. I want to regain control of my domains and, if we cannot reach an agreement - more specifically, that I will not be again “upgraded” without my approval - transfer out my domains, which had been previously paid for.
Please provide a clear account of the following:
1. What are the charges since changing the plan from "Linux Professional" and why was that plan changed without my knowledge and approval
2. What are the steps necessary for me to regain control of my domains.
I am looking forward to your reply no later than June 28, 2012. Thank you for your consideration.

Yours truly,

I followed up with an email sent also June 27.

It appears to me that my account has been frozen several months ago, after having been moved to a higher cost plan without my knowledge or approval while I was being ill. Repeated attempts to contact you have been unsuccessful. I was furthermore unable to access or move domains that I registered and fully paid for long time ago.

Please provide a clear account of the following:

1. What are the charges since changing the plan from "Linux Professional" and why was that plan changed without my knowledge and approval

2. What are the steps necessary for me to regain control of my domains.

I am looking forward to your response no later than June 28, 2012.

Sent at 7:31 AM (GMT-04:00). Current time there: 6:30 PM.

Predictably, both of my messages were ignored. Today (29th) I called Billing, where I spoke to Frances, who told me to Tech Support who will help me transfer out my domains. There, Michael told me that it can’t be done because the email they had on file was with them and when he sent me an email with the codes I could not retrieve it. I again had to call Billing, where after a long explanation, Danielle sent me by email a link to a form to complete and send back. She also told me that they claim I owe them $128. I requested details on the charges but they have yet to be sent.

Yet another phone call established that it takes them 24-48h to effect the email change.

Out of curiosity, we thought we had a look at their domain listings, in both Canada and USA.

USA was their first stop on the continent.

Reverse Whois: "1&1 Internet Inc." owns about 340 other domains

Email Search: is associated with about 237 domains

Registrar History:  1 registrar

NS History: 2 changes on 3 unique name servers over 9 years.

IP History: 5 changes on 5 unique IP addresses over 7 years.

Whois History: 3,012 records have been archived since 2003-05-30 .

Dedicated Hosting: 1and1.com is hosted on a dedicated server.

domain:                          1and1.com
created:                         28-Sep-1997
last-changed:                    28-Sep-2011
registration-expiration:         27-Sep-2012
nserver:                         ns-1and1.ui-dns.com 217.160.82.200
nserver:                         ns-1and1.ui-dns.org
nserver:                         ns-1and1.ui-dns.de
nserver:                         ns-1and1.ui-dns.biz
status:                          CLIENT-TRANSFER-PROHIBITED
registrant-firstname:            Andreas
registrant-lastname:             Gauger
registrant-organization:         1&1 Internet Inc.
registrant-street1:              701 Lee Rd.
registrant-street2:              Suite 300
registrant-pcode:                19087
registrant-state:                PA
registrant-city:                 Chesterbrook
registrant-ccode:                US
registrant-phone:                +1.8774612631
registrant-fax:                  +1.6105601501
registrant-email:               

Canada followed a few years later.

Reverse Whois: "Domain Robot Enterprises Inc." owns about 67 other domains

Email Search: is associated with about 1,382 domains

Whois History: 81 records have been archived since 2006-10-31 .

Dedicated Hosting: 1and1.ca is hosted on a dedicated server.

Domain name:           1and1.ca
Domain status:         registered
Creation date:         2009/12/09
Expiry date:           2016/12/09
Updated date:          2012/03/21
Registrar:
    Name:              Domain Robot Enterprises Inc.
    Number:            3501804
Registrant:
    Name:              Domain Robot Enterprises Inc.
Administrative contact:
    Name:              Markus Huhn
    Postal address:    1100-1200 West 73rd Avenue
                       Vancouver BC V6E3C9 Canada
    Phone:             +1.6042677091
    Fax:               +1.6042646133
    Email:            
Technical contact:
    Name:              Markus Huhn
    Postal address:    1100-1200 West 73rd Avenue
                       Vancouver BC V6E3C9 Canada
    Phone:             +1.6042677091
    Fax:               +1.6042646133
    Email:            
Name servers:
    ns-ca.ui-dns.biz
    ns-ca.ui-dns.de
    ns-ca.ui-dns.org
    ns-ca.ui-dns.com

Let’s see how fast they’ll do the email change. They stated I will receive an email with the results.

Sources / More info: 1and1 webhosting, treg-1and1, avoid-1&1, 1and1 DOWN

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