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1&1 is ripping me off. Is that even legal?

Discussion in 'Legal Issues' started by hvalle98, Jul 14, 2011.

  1. #1
    A year ago 1&1 had an offer of a free .com domain for a year. I was naïve enough to sign up for their service without even reading the customer reviews before. I know that there ain't no such a thing as a free lunch, but this offered seemed to be real good.

    To make a long story short, I got that "free" domain but I just never used it. I even forgot about it until I got another email on June telling me that my account is past due. These people automatically renewed the domain even though they couldn't charge my credit card because it expired two months ago! I spoke with Nora at customer service to see if they could help me with this situation to no avail, she kept saying the same thing over and over and over. So that day I managed to cancel the automatic renewal and sent a request to cancel the domain. They immediately sent me an email telling me that I should receive another one with a link to cancel the domain. That was at the beginning of June and I'm still waiting for that email to come.

    Today I got another email from them telling me basically that if I don't pay, they'll send the debt to a collections agency. Wtf?! They were the ones that automatically renewed the domain without having the money. Other registrars won't renew if if they are unable to get the money.

    My question is, how could they renew the domain even when they couldn't charge my credit card? Is that even legal? What should I do?
    SEMrush
    By the way I've found this in the ICANN registrar accreditation agreement:

    and

    Please help me!
     
    hvalle98, Jul 14, 2011 IP
    SEMrush
  2. RonBrown

    RonBrown Well-Known Member

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    #2
    I'd say you have to pay it. You signed up, you didn't cancel it, the terms said the domain would be automatically renewed unless you cancelled, they renewed it for you. The ICANN stuff you quoted won't help you as it says they can renew it if there is a reasonable expectation that you would pay (you gave them no reason not to expect that) and once they did renew you were obliged to pay (their terms say that).

    Are you really going to get your credit rating stuffed for a few dollars? Pay up, cancel it immediately, and tell them not to renew it again. Some companies do play tough when it comes to debts, no matter how small, mostly as warning to others not to mess them around. Don't know how far 1&1 will take it, but if it goes to a debt collection agency, expect a default on your credit rating and problems in the future getting credit. My opinion - not worth it for a few dollars. Take it as a cheap lesson and be more organized in the future.
     
    RonBrown, Jul 14, 2011 IP
  3. wptheme

    wptheme Well-Known Member

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    #3
    nice advice, practically summed up want I would have wanted to say. oh, and OP, just stay away from 1and1, I can't believe why people are still using them.
    Use decent registrars for your domains (I use Name.com) and get a nice host with a nice support.

    Do you really still want to be with a company that is trying their best to get as much as money from you without really considering your actual intent. though I do have to add you are also to blame here.
     
    wptheme, Jul 14, 2011 IP
  4. tusardi

    tusardi Peon

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    #4
    Seriously,how much they gonna send to collections 20$?
    Never pay a cent!
     
    tusardi, Jul 14, 2011 IP
  5. RonBrown

    RonBrown Well-Known Member

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    #5
    That's fine to say, and probably right in the majority of cases, but it's not your credit that's potentially at risk.

    I once worked for a hosting company (many years ago) who did pursue every debt. They weren't nice about it, and court action was not uncommon even for tiny amounts of money. For them it wasn't necessarily about the money but about the principal, and their attitude was very much "Don't mess with us or you'll regret it". Their customer service was superb in every other way and the majority of their customers loved dealing with them, but I couldn't quite agree with this dogged determination they had about people they saw as attempting to rip them off.

    The OP has got 2 things in their favour.

    1. It is a very small amount of money
    2. They say they are based in Guatemala

    I don't know how far 1&1 will take it, but if I lived in a country they operated in e.g. Europe or the US, I would be paying-up just for peace-of-mind if it was only for a few dollars.
     
    RonBrown, Jul 14, 2011 IP
  6. Dave Zan

    Dave Zan Well-Known Member

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    #6
    That's essentially the question here. I noticed the OP's based in Guatemala City, so I am
    rather wondering if not paying that bill will indeed have that adverse effect.

    I see that 1&1 still hasn't changed that policy of requiring users to cancel the domain and
    what-not to prevent being charged. Guess that still works for them all these years, sigh.
     
    Dave Zan, Jul 14, 2011 IP
  7. hvalle98

    hvalle98 Active Member

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    #7
    Right, I mean, I'm not in the United States, I don't have a SSN to worry about and the credit rating in here is managed in a very different way. Anyway, if I I were an American, how could this possibly damage my credit anyway since they don't have my SSN nor my DOB?

    And also, since I linked a paypal account to them, what personal information were they able to retrieve from it?

    Thanks!
     
    hvalle98, Jul 14, 2011 IP
  8. Jerlene.net

    Jerlene.net Prominent Member

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    #8
    They have your name and a credit card. Credit cards are linked to social security numbers.
     
    Jerlene.net, Jul 14, 2011 IP
  9. hvalle98

    hvalle98 Active Member

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    #9
    Ok I see. But anyway, I paid with paypal and when I signed up I was still a minor.
     
    hvalle98, Jul 14, 2011 IP
  10. Jerlene.net

    Jerlene.net Prominent Member

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    #10
    That's PayPal's issue, not 1&1's. But I went through the same thing. They scammed a bunch of money from me and threatened a bunch of legal crap but never went through with any of it.
     
    Jerlene.net, Jul 15, 2011 IP
  11. wptheme

    wptheme Well-Known Member

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    #11
    lol.. so you never paid them and they never did anything?
     
    wptheme, Jul 15, 2011 IP
  12. plog

    plog Peon

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    #12
    >>> I paid with paypal and when I signed up I was still a minor.

    How? I thought you had to be 18 to use Paypal.

    Also, did you have to enter your age/Date of Birth when you signed up for 1 & 1? Or at least attest that you were not a minor? As long as you didn't lie to 1&1 about that then your golden--in the U.S. minors cannot enter into legally binding agreements which means yours is void.
     
    plog, Jul 15, 2011 IP
  13. Jerlene.net

    Jerlene.net Prominent Member

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    #13
    Right......
     
    Jerlene.net, Jul 15, 2011 IP
  14. hvalle98

    hvalle98 Active Member

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    #14
    Ok something's wrong in here. I wrote "I P AID with paypal" but for some reason when I submitted the post the word PAID disappeared.

    I know that I must be 18, that's why I used my mom's paypal to pay, which is basically mine because she doesn't even use it. I'm saying this because even though it's a contract or whatever they want to call it, I was a minor when I signed up for 1&1.
     
    hvalle98, Jul 15, 2011 IP
  15. plog

    plog Peon

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    #15
    The key though is did 1&1 know you were a minor? Or did you check a box attesting to something different.

    I'm not familiar with their registration process, I'm just wondering if you said you weren't a minor when you signed up. Was their a check box or an input for your age?
     
    plog, Jul 15, 2011 IP
  16. globegenius

    globegenius Active Member

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    #16
    I am not defending 1&1 but maybe people should pay attention when they buy something. Most registrars have auto renew enabled so people do not loose their domain when they forget to renew on time.

    If you log in to your control panel, you can set whether your domains automatically renew or not. Its a good feature that is now being attacked by some one who could not be bothered to check what they bought.
     
    globegenius, Jul 15, 2011 IP
  17. rowza

    rowza Active Member

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    #17
    Hi mate, i signed up to 11&1 it says minimum sign up for 2years to get free year
     
    rowza, Jul 17, 2011 IP
  18. BRUm

    BRUm Well-Known Member

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    #18
    I'd call their bluff. I went through the exact same thing mate, and I'm English - 1&1.co.uk

    I made an account no less than 5 years ago, purchased a domain, which was insidiously renewed. I didn't even log in to the account for many years nor did I use the domain. My card expired quite quickly but I didn't hear anything from them. My only problem was that before my card expired they took out another year's fee. I spoke to my bank about it and they offered to retrieve the money, but I left it.

    Even if the very worse happens, which is highly unlikely, and you receive a court summons, it's likely the case will be dismissed. Mediators don't look favourably upon large predatory companies who lean on people, especially when you're young, have no fixed income or way of paying their (usually bullshit) charges and fees.

    If you used a debit or credit card, ring your bank and say you didn't authorise the transactions and have the money retracted.

    If you need more peace of mind, and your country has the equivalent of a Citizens Advice Bureau, I'd get in touch.

    Of course, this is no legal advice.
     
    Last edited: Jul 18, 2011
    BRUm, Jul 18, 2011 IP
  19. stevebloemer

    stevebloemer Banned

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    #19
    Since you used your Mom's PayPal account, I'd pay the fee and move on. And thanks for the heads up on 1&1's business practices.
     
    stevebloemer, Jul 19, 2011 IP
  20. Internal09

    Internal09 Member

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    #20
    Hah. This happened to me a week ago. Never used my free domain either. They just took the money out of my PayPal without even notifying me. 1&1 is a scam, so please do not use their service. Try netfirms.com they are great.
     
    Internal09, Jul 19, 2011 IP