You may be familiar with 1&1 because of the commercials they have been running on television lately for their “1&1 My Website” offer. Unlike EIG who tries to get as many sign ups as they can through affiliate programs, 1&1 is trying a different tactic. They are trying to use television commercials to get as many businesses as psossible to sign up and create a website with them. While there is nothing wrong with TV ads, there is something definitely wrong with the 1&1 service.
Why 1&1 is one of my Worst Hosts
To put it bluntly, their service sucks. It’s horrible. Their web hosting is the most restrictive I have ever tested by a long shot. Everything they do is an attempt to try and move you up to a higher package and give them more money. Their billing practices are questionable at best, and (I hate using this word because it gets thrown around way too much with web hosting) a borderline scam at worst.
1&1 Review on Price
1&1 follows what seems to be the industry standard at this point. They offer low starting prices and then increase renewal prices by a huge percentage, 201% in this case. While their starting prices are relatively low, their hosting packages are so restrictive that it almost forces you to upgrade to the unlimited plan from the beginning. If you make it far enough with 1&1 to renew, you are going to be hit with these types of renewal fees.
As if that wasn’t bad enough, 1&1 has a tendency of sending their customers to collections for unpaid invoices, even if the services were cancelled. Good luck cancelling them, though. I had one hell of a time actually cancelling my account. Here are the steps you need to take to fully cancel an account.
Step 1: Fill out a cancellation form and FAX it to them. Yes, fax. It’s amazing how quickly you can sign up online, but cancel online? Nope, not an option.
Step 2: Log in to a cancellation page online and select which packages you want to cancel.
Step 3: Confirm the cancellation by clicking on the link in an email that they send you. Don’t worry, you’re almost done!
Step 4: Call them and confirm the cancellation. Yup, they won’t call you. You have to call them. if you don’t the cancellation won’t be voided. No, I’m not joking.
Seems like a lot of work just to cancel an account. There are a lot of potential mis-steps that you can take which will allow them to automatically bill you. This probably explains the amount of BBB complaints they have regarding billing and collection issues.
1&1 Review on Features
1&1 is by far the most restrictive of any web hosting company when it comes to features on their most basic package. I have never come across another web host that restricted the number of websites that can be built using their website builder, and the number of pages that could be included in those websites. Their basic package only allows you to have 3 websites built with 15 pages each. If you want any more pages you have to upgrade. They also don’t allow you access to CloudFlare (which is FREE) on their basic package. It costs no extra to them to give you access to that, but they still force you to upgrade. Everything is set up to force you to upgrade to a higher package. It’s all just a huge gimmick.
1&1 Review on Reliability
While their uptime guarantee is 99.99% (which means they won’t have any more than 8 hours of downtime in a year) good luck proving it to them. While my uptime wasn’t horrible at 99.86%, out of curiosity I contacted their support to see what the procedure was when they didn’t meet their guaranteed uptime. I explained to them that my monitoring software showed this downtime and sent them screenshots. They basically told me that I was complaining about negligible downtime and that it didn’t count because their software showed 99.99% server uptime. They then refused to show me proof of this. You basically have to take them at their word even if their word is wrong.
1&1 Review on Technical Support
The 1&1 technical support is generally not very knowledgeable, and for the most part pretty rude. I only tried calling them a couple of times (there is no live chat option) and I was greeted as if I was being a bother to them. Like I described a little bit above, when I called them about my downtime they told me that I need to stop worrying about it so much because it’s not that big of a difference. While it’s not a big deal to me, it should be a big deal to them with the number of businesses they host. If a business website is down that means lost revenue. That is not a professional way of handling issues.
Before writing any of my reviews I had a preliminary ranking of the list of hosts I tested before launching this website. My first list had 1&1 at the 3rd worst host. After writing this review I am moving them straight to the bottom. After thinking about how they treated me as a customer, their outrageous cancellation procedure, and their shoddy service, they don’t deserve anything but the basement.
To learn more about 1&1, visit http://1and1.com