1and1 Domains + Auto Debt Collection Scam! Help ASAP!

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by coopdog, Oct 15, 2010.

  1. coopdog macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2002
    Location:
    The Great Midwest
    #1
    So I last year I came up with a cool domain name and bought 6 domains (.info, .us, etc.) with 1and1.com.

    I also have a few domains with godaddy.com; I got the renewal notices from Godaddy, but I didn't want to renew the domains and my credit card on file was expired, so I let them lapse and they went back into the domain pool. Yeah I got a few annoying, but friendly and informative phone messages from godaddy saying the domains are about to lapse, they have lapsed, and do you want to renew... I didn't, and everything was fine.

    Yesterday, I got an automated call from an 877# with the message, "this is an attempt to collect a debt, please hold." I thought they must have the wrong number; I don't have any debts but my credit cards which are in good standing.

    In the fine print of the 1and1 TOS agreement there is automatic domain renewal (even if your payment method is dead) unless you specifically tell them otherwise! :mad: My credit card on file was no longer active due to a fraudulent charge attempt months ago. I thought, like godaddy, they would lapse and there would be no problem as they couldn't charge me for them anyways. Boy was I wrong.

    After calling 1and1 they have automatically renewed my domains @ $107 + the $18.95 debt collection charge w/o anyway to charge me. The majority of the domains I no longer want. So according to them they have extended me a credit of $107 and renewed all of them in my name, yet my account is frozen pending payment. No phone calls prior asking me about renewal (according to them they called once), and after digging through my email, only a PDF attached to one of their many marketing-type emails does it say I'm in default and it will be submitted to collections!

    It has not posted to my credit rating yet, but will soon. :eek: I feel this is a totally unethical business practice. Does anyone have any experience with telling 1and1 and their debt collection agency NCO to get lost?! :rolleyes:

    Your immediate help would be most appreciated! $130 is a ton of money for me. :(

    Thank You!
     
  2. GoCubsGo macrumors Nehalem

    GoCubsGo

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2005
    #2
    Send the debt collector a debt validation letter and file a complaint with your Better Business Bureau. 1and1 has no obligation to notify you prior to submitting account to a debt collector. They may not be a debt collector themselves so they may have to give it over right away.

    With the debt validation letter send a cease and desist, they must abide by that in CA.

    The debt collector is required to notify you regarding the unpaid bill. Within 5 days after their first contact they are required to tell you or write you with the amount you owe, who the creditor is and how you can dispute your bill. Usually they call you to inform you of the debt and tell you the rest in one call or letter.

    A note of the BBB complaint: this complaint is not really just to point out that you feel scammed (and you feel it, you weren't technically scammed), but it is a good way to get 1and1's attention. If they're smart they will respond, there will be a dialog between you and the vendor that is essentially mediated by the BBB. It is just a nice way to get things in writing.
     
  3. coopdog thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2002
    Location:
    The Great Midwest
    #3
    Thanks!

    Thanks Jessica! Yes, California is always on the forefront of consumer protection. Unfortunately, I was living and registered the domains to my address outside of Cali. :rolleyes:

    There are tons of angry posts about 1and1 and debt collection on google, but I haven't found a really definitive answer that actually protects one's credit score in the process of resolving this issue.

    I really doubt that 1and1 would really put out thousands perhaps millions of their dollars every year to renew peoples' domains w/o being able to process payment from clients! And they risk all that money for a flat $18.95 collection fee and then send it to collections and then owe that agency about 20% of the collected debt?!!

    I think they just put a "freeze" or "tie-up" the domains for free or a nominal price hoping, in a last ditch effort to not loose an account, that the debt collectors will be able to rattle some people who had no intention of renewing their domains with them anyways.

    Can anyone elaborate on my theory? Shouldn't ICANN have some regulatory power against domain registrars in this case?
     
  4. bobr1952 macrumors 68020

    bobr1952

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2008
    Location:
    Melbourne, FL
    #4
    That really sucks. The economy is lousy so I have had to get rid of quite a few domain names this year. All mine are with Go Daddy and although they don't necessarily like it, they go away without much fanfare with them. They send a lot of reminders and really don't put it up for sale until a month or so later but at least they do go away. Too bad some registrars want to get that renewal even if you don't want it. :( I will say that I do make sure I turn off auto-renew on any of the ones I want to get rid of--just in case.
     

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