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  1. #1

    Thumbs down 1&1.com - Failure in Customer Service

    Good Evening, Everyone,

    I am writing this message to share with fellow readers my sincere dissatisfaction and utter disappointment with the low standards and non-performance of customer service at 1&1.com. The following message is a copy of a feedback e-mail that I sent to 1&1 management after cancelling my Dedicated Server. I was a customer since 2005.

    ----
    Dear Sir or Madam:

    I am writing to provide you with feedback on my experience with 1&1, and the events and circumstances that led me to cancel my Dedicated Server Package (a "1&1 Managed Server III"). I have been a customer since 2005, and over the course of these past few years, have witnessed the gradual degradation of service, transparency, and accountability by 1&1 customer service and technical support staff.

    I purchased a Managed Server because I wanted support personnel to administer my system, so that my business team and I could focus on building and developing content. We design and launch web sites and interactive communities focused around creative topics, and our sites are ultimately very successful and highly active. Upgrades of our server's operating system were often done reactively and late, rather than proactively and positively, at times exposing our server to security holes and performance inefficiencies. However, my real disappointment rests with how your customer service has been managed.

    Over the past year, there were complete server outages that lasted several hours at a stretch. When I was aware of these, I would call the 1&1 Customer Service line, via the "dedicated server" 1-800 number that your company had established. What I received was an outsourced call center in India, with absolutely no ability to perform technical or quality maintenance on my server. The customer service representatives were marginally understandable through their thick accents, and were very clearly reading from a script. Their inability to think creatively and adapt solutions to the problems at hand is understandable, even if frustrating; but entirely unacceptable is the fact that, by their own admission on several calls over the past few months, the data center in the United States was unstaffed. Ordinarily, Tier-1 customer service escalates to live Tier-2 and Tier-3 technicians and admins; your customer service department, however, was left lodging help desk tickets into a system that, according to them, would not be checked in days.

    In the latest episode, my dedicated server went offline on Friday night. Saturday morning, I was on the phone with your customer service personnel, who told me that the U.S. data center where my server was located was unstaffed on weekends and admins might not be able to get to my issue until Monday morning. They repeatedly offered insulting "scripted" suggestions as to why my server was offline ("perhaps it was my Internet Service Provider?", for example). Finally, they concluded that there was nothing that they could do - not even a remote-reboot, which is now standard in the industry (such as an APC-reboot). All in all, my server was offline for over 20 hours without explanation, with no clear accountability, and with zero communication. When I kept calling, demanding escalation, I finally got through to an admin in the United States, who managed to remote-force-reboot my machine. After I conversed with him briefly, he simply said he did not know why my server went offline.

    Our Dedicated Server's system specifications were modest, but still competitive (a Pentium 4, 2 Gigs of RAM machine, with around 500 concurrent MySQL connections on a single site). Our site's system specifications, using out-of-the-box software that we licensed to run our site, should easily have supported thousands of concurrent connections before we needed to upgrade our system. Nevertheless, I specifically paid extra and purchased 1&1's "managed dedicated server" option because I wanted the extra care and attention to our business-critical web sites.

    FEEDBACK ITEMS:

    To improve upon your business, I recommend three immediate changes.

    1. Train Your Customer Service Personnel.

    Your Indian/Outsourced customer service appeared generally unfamiliar with both my package (they had to escalate several times, placing me on hold for over 20 minutes at a stretch, before they could conclude that I had a dedicated and managed server), and had been reading from an outdated script that left them uninformed and incompetent to handle even basic queries on system status, server and service readiness, and the functionality of my server. Furthermore, they were completely unsupported by not having any live technical team working during reasonable hours.

    2. Staff your U.S. Data Center.

    It is astonishing, and horrifying, to me that 1&1 is apparently selling any hosting services, much less dedicated/managed hosting services, on a data center that is apparently not staffed with technicians 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. In my situation, my business-critical server went offline for nearly 24 hours, and there was no one that either I, or your Outsourced/Indian Tier-1 customer support could escalate to in order to get accountability. Furthermore, there was no transparency: there is no number to reach a live human being on-site at the data center, and your Customer Service personnel seemed either unable or unwilling to ask questions to figure out if anyone was in charge on the ground. They concluded to me, on the phone, that the "technicians were home for the weekend". That is entirely unacceptable, and it operates on a level of non-performance that is shocking to me as both a business executive and an organizational manager.

    3. Provide full-time, English-speaking, U.S.-based Customer Service.

    Your call center in India was staffed with people who, quite frankly, were neither qualified nor competent to handle the concerns of your United States and European customers. When asked questions that deviated from the script that they were reading (you could hear them both typing and flipping pages to try and find the answer), they ended up placing me on hold for long stretches of time. There is zero innovation, and absolutely no adaptability by your customer service at this call center. When this scenario unfolds, there absolutely must be an immediate, Tier-2 customer service personnel that can promptly, professionally, and courteously handle the concerns of your customers, and they should do so in an intelligent, dynamic, innovative fashion. I am extremely patient and forgiving of outsourced and offshore technical solutions, especially since my business leverages a global model similar to most information technology consultancies. I can only imagine the number of clients that your user-unfriendly, backward, and mentally-atrophied customer representatives have cost you. The fact that they are the only customer support you offer before escalation to a (non-existent or absent) technical team is unacceptable, and speaks of a systematic failure in your organizational management and escalation hierarchy structure. Please, for the sake of your future customers, provide a full-time, intelligent, responsive, and communicative U.S.-based customer service team.

    CONCLUSION

    In closing, I want to reiterate my sadness at having come to the decision to cancel my 1&1 account and close all of my business with your organization. I have been a customer for nearly three years with your company, and have been very patient and understanding of the delays and mismanagement with customer service, especially since it seemed that in previous years, you had an attentive and present technical support team that would resolve matters promptly. However, after the past few months, I have witnessed the apparent absence of any service level agreement to respond to issues, queries, or escalations, the complete incompetence and mismanagement at your outsourced and offshore Indian call-center, and gross non-performance of your technical personnel and utter negligence of your support staff on the data center. Within a matter of moments, I was able to identify a major and large-scale competitor of yours that offered me an enterprise server solution at a U.S.-based data center that was staffed 24 hours a day, 7 days a week; a full-time U.S.-based customer service team that had guaranteed SLA's of responsiveness; and, professional management services for a comprehensive management solution -- all of this at a cost less than what you currently charge new customers.

    The decision was one of the easiest ones I have ever made.

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    For those of you wondering, I went with LiquidWeb and so far, the service is absolutely phenomenal. I placed an order for an Enterprise Dedicated Server solution (Dual Xeon Quad Cores on a Cluster) at 4 am, and by 11 am the following morning, everything was set up and ready for DNS propagation. My advice to readers and shoppers for dedicated servers: stay away from 1&1. It is clear that they are running a failing outfit, and you only put your business at risk by engaging their services.

    Kaelon

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    UK.
    Posts
    225
    Ouch, sorry to hear that you had such a bad experience.

    On the plus side though, glad to hear you're happy with LiquidWeb.
    Current Status: Coming up with ideas for a new SaaS.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Posts
    1,277
    "low standards and non-performance" is actually a 1&1 registered servicemark. You didn't see that on the webpage?
    James Paul Woods
    Operations Manager
    HostKitty Internet Services

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    CA/TX USA
    Posts
    959
    Very nicely done, Kaelon, and glad to hear that you've landed yourself a better host.
    ██ UBERHOST
    NEXT GENERATION HOSTING
    Managed dedicated & shared hosting

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    London, England
    Posts
    965
    1and1 sell clse to 1,500 servers a month.. The service complaint % is not too bad really

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Indiana, USA
    Posts
    16,087
    Now that is an in-depth review if I've ever seen one! Good job! Sorry to hear about your poor experiences.
    Michael Denney - MDDHosting LLC
    New shared plans for 2016! Check them out!
    Highly Available Shared, Premium, Reseller, and VPS
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  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    London, England
    Posts
    965
    Quote Originally Posted by MikeDVB View Post
    Now that is an in-depth review if I've ever seen one! Good job! Sorry to hear about your poor experiences.
    Tell me about it! i dout they even read it, with 3 million odd customers.. did they reply? out of intrest

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Posts
    303
    they are verrry verry bad internet provider, their servers are so bad huh, after reboot your server load is still 5 10 this after reboot , think how good they are, also support , what support you need a? you have automatical reinstall reboot etc... and that is not always work , and when is not working you have to wait atleast 48 hours for someone to fix it , if they have time for you , when you call let me transfer you sir to account manager , and still no one solve your issue , in order to have good services from them you always have to buy a managed plan for your dedicated , they sell a lot of servers , because people have no ideea what they realy looking for .
    DDOS Protected - SSD KVM VDS & Storage KVM VDS.
    http://rackhost.co

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Posts
    1,277
    Quote Originally Posted by LinuxGod View Post
    1and1 sell clse to 1,500 servers a month.. The service complaint % is not too bad really
    how do you know the service complaint ratio, are you a 1/1 employee?
    James Paul Woods
    Operations Manager
    HostKitty Internet Services

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Western New York
    Posts
    86
    here is another complaint:

    http://www.webhostingtalk.com/showthread.php?t=683643

    and there are more here on the forum.

  11. #11

  12. #12
    never had an issue with them.. other then i could not understand there tech support staff.

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