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    • jacobsdaduk
    • By jacobsdaduk 23rd Nov 11, 4:25 PM
    • 163Posts
    • 57Thanks
    1&1 internet persuing me via debt collection agency Arvato
    • #1
    • 23rd Nov 11, 4:25 PM
    1&1 internet persuing me via debt collection agency Arvato 23rd Nov 11 at 4:25 PM
    Not sure where to post this - hope this is the right place...

    About 18 months ago I bought a domain name and basic hosting package from 1&1 internet. It got to the end of the year and I had no intention of continuing with the service so let it expire.

    Around this time, I got an email from 1&1 telling me that they had tried to take monies for the next year but my debit card had been declined for around £70. I emailed them back within 30 minutes of the email saying that I didn't want the service anymore. Annoyingly, I got an auto response telling that the email address concerned didn't accept incoming email so I had to go on their website and send a message.

    A few days later they replied telling me I have to go online to cancel my account which I did immediately and received a cancellation email.

    That was the end of it….or so I thought.

    Recently I got an email from a company called Arvato who are instructed by 1&1 to pursue me for the “debt” (they had to email me as I have moved address). I explained to them that I cancelled the domain, supplied them with lots of emails to show I had acted in good faith and also a copy of the confirmation of cancellation.

    Today they have replied to say “Unfortunately, your cancellation was processed after the date that your invoice was raised. 1&1 Internet Ltd’s terms and conditions stipulate that cancellations must be processed at least fourteen days prior to the renewal date which has not been the case with your account” and asked me to pay.

    I’m not aware of any agreement that said I would allow repeat billing and I certainly didn’t sign a credit agreement. I did act in good faith as soon as I saw that I had been invoiced and I did take all steps to cancel the service as soon as I realised I was being billed for it.

    I think it’s grossly unfair that I am now being pursued for this given that it was never made clear to me and I would like to know who/where I can turn to next. Would this be a matter for the FOS? Should I let them issue proceedings and then show the court what I did? Are there any documents I can request to help my case?

    Any advice would be gratefully received. This has now become a matter of principal for me and I’m not prepared to have my credit record blighted by 1&1’s sneaky business practices! Have I got any rights?
    Happy with my advice? The please use the 'thanks' button vvvvvvvvvvvvv
Page 5
    • geordie joe
    • By geordie joe 11th Sep 14, 11:49 AM
    • 8,401 Posts
    • 8,454 Thanks
    geordie joe
    Hello everyone! We've just been granted permission to post and are happy to be here and able to assist with any issues that forum members have experienced with their service or products at 1&1.
    Originally posted by 1and1Internet
    OK, I have emailed you about 1&1 continuing to try and charge me for an account I cancelled, and passing on the account to Arvato.
    You are never wrong about anything.
    Originally posted by DPJames
    • geordie joe
    • By geordie joe 11th Sep 14, 2:32 PM
    • 8,401 Posts
    • 8,454 Thanks
    geordie joe
    Just got back home and I've had two emails, time an hour ago.

    One from Brittany saying she has cancelled my account and escalated it to the second level billing team to have the balance cleared and the account pulled from collections.

    And the second one was from 1&1 saying my account has been cancelled.......Result!

    Thank you Brittany
    You are never wrong about anything.
    Originally posted by DPJames
  • warthpublishinginc
    One and One Internet
    In my opinion, of all the internet companies to get involved with, 1&1 would be the last. I curse the day I ever registered any domains with them. Check out ripoffreports for some customer comments.
    It should be a warning that when their phone was answered by a recording that tells you if you have gotten a notice from NCO, a collection agency, to press a certain number. If they are a reputable business, why did they have to send so many accounts to a collection agency?
    The Eastern Pennsylvania /Washington DC Better Business Bureau had given 1&1 an “F” rating. An investigative journalist, Kelli Jack has written a series of articles about them and had a pending lawsuit. She said: “1and1 Should Be Shut Down.”
  • batcat07
    After being harassed by Arvato for several months and looking on this forum for a solution, I today emailed (who has recently posted on this forum asking people who have had negative experiences to get in touch) and explained my situation (that Arvato were pursuing me for fees generated by a continuous payment authority that 1&1 had hoodwinked me into signing up for) she replied with the following:

    Thank you for the message and for taking the time to explain the issue that you've been experiencing. I deeply apologize for any distress or inconvenience that you've been caused by your account being placed in collections. With the information you've provided, I've sent a case over to our billing department and requested that they pull your account from collections and clear it so you're not called by Avarto again.

    When dealing with any webhosting, my best tip is to always ensure that anything you don't want to renew is set to expire or soft expire at the end of the term. This means that we, or any other company, will not attempt to renew that product or service. In the past, this has been more complicated than necessary, but we have taken steps toward making it clearer and easier for customers to do. We want to ensure that all customers have control over their payment and finances so they're always charged correctly.

    Again, thank you for your email. I really do appreciate you getting in touch, and I'll have everything cleared out for you right away. If you have any other questions or need assistance, please always feel free to email again.

    So that sound pretty promising! And good to hear they are making steps to change their ways.
  • 1and1Internet
    Hi warthpublishinginc! We did have an F with the BBB in the past but have changed that over the past year. We now take all BBB issues very seriously, with our highest customer resolutions team handling anything coming in via that channel as soon as it lands on our desks. There has been some negative press in the past but we're taking serious steps to turn that around. Part of that strategy is reaching out to customers in forums like these, listening to their feedback and using that to improve customer care.

    Batcat07, I've just got a message back from the billing team confirming that they took the requested action to pull you from collections, and have seen the email sent to Avarto with the request myself. All domains are set to expire and all debt is cleared out. Thanks again for getting in touch!

    Official Company Representative
    I am the official company representative of 1&1internet. MSE has given permission for me to post in response to queries about the company, so that I can help solve issues. You can see my name on the companies with permission to post list. I am not allowed to tout for business at all. If you believe I am please report it to This does NOT imply any form of approval of my company or its products by MSE"
  • jaysymer
    Well it's good to know someone is looking out for the customers who have been impacted by terms and conditions.

    I have emailed the email address you provided now twice. I hope that my case will be resolved too - all I wanted was a website on which to promote my new book, but when I cancelled due to unresponsive customer service 1&1 started sending me threatening emails about payments not made. I swear I cancelled before the next payment was due! I only had the account for two weeks or so.

    Arvato is now harassing me. I have legal experience and I know a solicitor, but I just want to be left alone. I don't have the money to be able to pay any invoices. I'm stressed out of my mind and I don't know what to do. I can't pay, there's no way around that.

    What do I do??
  • TheWoodster
    I too have had an on going issue with 1 & 1 which I thought was over. I left my account to lapse and they sent me a reminder telling me that my card had expired PRIOR to my renewal date. Whilst being fully aware that there was no means of payment, they continued to automatically renew my account and then proceeded to chase me for funds. I tried to close the account via email and they refused to do that but sent me a link to where I could do it via their website. I tried that and it failed with a message telling me I had to ring them on a premium rate number to do it. I then sent a strongly worded email explaining that I would not entertain any unscrupulous methods of trying to extort money from me, that they had renewed my account whilst being fully aware that there was no means of payment and requested a signed copy of a their terms and conditions by mail so I could pass it on to my solicitor.
    They responded to say that they could not provide the terms and conditions in writing but that the account was now closed. I then received a phone call bolt a week later assuring me it was indeed closed and the matter was resolved. I mentioned to the caller that I had still received another invoice and she assured me that it was just an electronically generated letter and she would deal with it. Well guess what? Yep, I am now being harassed by Avarto and have had 4 text message phone calls and an email within the last 2 days.

    1 & 1 SHOULD BE AVOIDED AT ALL COSTS. They say they are working to improve customer service but they aren't. They are continuing with their same old tricks in the background whilst posting on forums like these in an attempt limit damage to their business.
    • jacobsdaduk
    • By jacobsdaduk 8th Nov 14, 1:42 AM
    • 163 Posts
    • 57 Thanks
    I have posted about this before. Many times.

    Ignore them. They are trying their best to bully people. There's not one case that I can find where 1&1 or Arvato have sued. They won't sue because they know they don't have a leg leg to stand on and they also know they will be investigated if they continue. 1&1 don't have power over your legal rights as much as they might try and bully people into thinking otherwise.

    They're chancers. Nothing more. Nothing less. They'll never risk Small Claim action against individuals because they know it's very unlikely they'll win.
    Last edited by jacobsdaduk; 08-11-2014 at 1:47 AM.
    Happy with my advice? The please use the 'thanks' button vvvvvvvvvvvvv
  • TheWoodster
    What is needed is some publicity around the unscrupulous methods they are using to extract monies by deception. The BBB 'F' rating is not surprising given the evidence on this site. It still amazes me as to how poorly these cowboy companies are regulated.
    • jacobsdaduk
    • By jacobsdaduk 8th Nov 14, 10:48 AM
    • 163 Posts
    • 57 Thanks
    What is needed is some publicity around the unscrupulous methods they are using to extract monies by deception. The BBB 'F' rating is not surprising given the evidence on this site. It still amazes me as to how poorly these cowboy companies are regulated.
    Originally posted by TheWoodster
    Sadly there is almost no regulation. These companies are run by shareholders. Customer service doesn't come into it despite what they might try and claim.

    If you are interested in a UK based company who provide domain names and hosting at a reasonable cost and whom I have found to provide excellent customer service you won't go wrong with 123-reg in my opinion. I've been with them since I moved everything away from 1&1 and have recommended them to a lot of friends and family.

    Next month will be 3 years since I last heard from Arvato. As far as I can see they have been behaving like this for 4+ years and no one has jumped on them yet. BBC Watchdog weren't interested either.
    Happy with my advice? The please use the 'thanks' button vvvvvvvvvvvvv
    • JonoClouds
    • By JonoClouds 26th Nov 14, 12:41 PM
    • 54 Posts
    • 111 Thanks
    1 and 1 are still at it, sending out threats of debt collection. I had a couple of domains with them, the cost was about £7 a year. I cancelled my direct debit prior to the renewal date, I also used their website to delete the domains.
    Sure enough I got threatened with debt collectors. I wrote several stiff emails, the last of which produced this response from 1 and 1:

    "Further to our telephone conversation (ref. C xxx), I can confirm that I have scheduled the closure of your 1&1 Instant Domain package (contract number: xxx) to take effect on x November 2014. All data will be irrevocably deleted on this date.
    As a gesture of goodwill, I have cancelled the current invoice relating to this package (invoice no. xxx)."

    (I never rang them. Well, I tried, but no-one ever answered the phone!)

    So, on the face of it they have closed the matter. Still, I wonder if I'll be hearing from Arvato in a few weeks.
    Would they really take someone to court for £7? Frankly, I doubt it!

    Regards to all you MSErs and remember, 1 and 1 does not make 2...
    • Penn Wooding
    • By Penn Wooding 17th Dec 14, 2:39 PM
    • 24 Posts
    • 1 Thanks
    Penn Wooding
    I see I am not the only one who has been affected by 1 & 1's renewal scam. I had two domains registered with them and recently one of my "clients" told me that he no longer wanted the website so I just ignored renewal e-mails. I didn't think there was anything wrong with doing this, after all I have domains registered with, low-cost &, None of these companies automatically renew domains unless told to do so, even so if they cannot obtain payment then that's it, your domain goes down until you do pay. Come to think of it, dream host will lock your account 60 days after payment is required, even so, your domains are not taken down, you just cannot gain access to your account until you pay what you owe. They certainly don't pursue you for money, they just rely on the fact that eventually you will have to pay if you want control over your domains.

    I think that 1 & 1's policy of automatically renewing domain name and then insisting that you pay absolutely sucks, it's basically their way of getting the money out of you whatever the situation.

    They have locked my account which means I can't gain access to a perfectly valid domain which is up-to-date. That domain does not expire until sometime in 2016, I have no plans to renew that particular domain so it's not really a problem. Having said that, if I can't gain access to the account, how can I cancel this domain? Absolutely ridiculous.

    Anyway, they have been ringing me over the last few months. The phone would ring, you would answer it, there will be a big long pause and then this American accent. other members of the family just assumed they were cold calling and hung up. Now I've received a letter telling me I owe them £8.38 & To be aware that if the matter is not resolved I will be sent to a debt collection agency.

    I feel very strongly about this, yes, I could simply pay up £8.38, but out of principle I think what they are doing is completely wrong.

    I'll tell you something, I will never ever uses company ever again, and make sure that everyone knows what a bunch of con artists they really are.
    Last edited by Penn Wooding; 17-12-2014 at 2:55 PM.
  • H Morgan
    Must try harder, 1&1
    ........ There has been some negative press in the past but we're taking serious steps to turn that around. Part of that strategy is reaching out to customers in forums like these, listening to their feedback and using that to improve customer care.


    Originally posted by 1and1Internet
    I have received a bill by email, and my credit card has been charged, for a hosting package renewal, despite cancelling in plenty of time, and receiving an email confirming this.

    I have emailed 1&1 and heard nothing, so have written a hard copy letter to them, to be signed for, copied to Local Trading Standards, and to my credit card company.

    Annika, if 1&1 were taking serious steps to improve your image, you would have ensured by now this sort of thing, which I see from many reports on the internet is a common practice by 1&1, would not be happening.

    I don't trust 1&1 one little bit, and don't believe a thing you might say on this forum.
    • chanz4
    • By chanz4 27th Dec 14, 10:10 AM
    • 9,885 Posts
    • 2,872 Thanks
    They also dont need as long as they demand to stop a renewal, domains are renewed on a live system with the registras
    Don't put your trust into an Experian score - it is not a number any bank will ever use & it is generally a waste of money to purchase it. They are also selling you insurance you dont need.
    • Jeems
    • By Jeems 27th Dec 14, 1:05 PM
    • 182 Posts
    • 110 Thanks
    While I'm glad many people's issues have been resolved, I dont like the fact that people use ignorance as an attempt to get out of paying. If you dont read and understand the terms of a contract, who's fault is it? "Assuming" things is the worst, would advise everyone to fully understand what they sign up for - not just for web hosting, but for phone contracts, gym memberships, budget airlines etc.

    You dont need to read every small print, but make sure you read the important parts, in this case what to do when you want to end the contract and when you need to act.
  • H Morgan
    Must try harder, 1&1.... much harder
    Thank you for contacting us.

    Upon checking your account, it shows that the account was already cancelled. The most recent invoice of £nn.nn has already been collected by our system. However, I have now cancelled the invoice and this will be credited back to the payment details registered on file within the next 7 to 14 days.

    If you have any further questions, do not hesitate to reply to this e-mail or contact us during office hours by phone at 0330 123 0276 from 9am-5pm Monday through Friday.

    Kind regards,

    Billing Department
    1&1 Internet Ltd.
    No apology. Incompetent, unprofessional, rude. I won't believe this until the credit is applied, and no further invoice is sent between now and next December.
  • awidgery
    Exact same issue here.
    1and1 auto-renew, but don't take the payment from a card on file. I email to say I don't want it. They ignore it.

    They then send to debt collection (Arvato). I phone 1and1 and the (British) guy on the end of the line is obstinate and unhelpful. He says there's nothing he can do as it's with Arvato.

    They now claim to have closed the account down, but there's no way to be sure. I've paid up because it's not worth the hassle.

    The important thing to realise from this is: USE GODADDY! Clear interface and very obvious whether auto-renew is on or not.

    1and1: never again.
  • Kprop
    1&1 scam

    I had the same problem. I wrote to the CEO of Arvato with a copy of various blog posts from others who had the misfortune to be former 1&1 customers suggesting that he keep an eye on the due diligence undertaken on their clients:

    Achim Berg, Esq.
    Arvato AG
    Bertelsmann Group
    An der Autobahn 22
    33333 Guetersloh

    I also wrote to the CEO of Bertelsmann, their parent:
    Dr Thomas Rabe
    (same address)

    and to the Director-General of the German-British Chamber of Commerce:

    Dr Ulrich Hoppe
    German-British Chamber of Industry & Commerce
    16 Buckingham Gate
    London SW1E 6LB

    German culture is different regarding what is considered acceptable practice in business - they have a greater sense of propriety, and the more people that inform them of the sharp practices of 1&1, the better the outcome will be. Their former CEO, Thomas Middelhoff was recently sent to jail for embezzlement, so this organisation ought to be sensitive to questions of public perception.

    Bertelsmann - the owners of Arvato - have a code of ethics, which supposedly applies worldwide to their subsidiaries:

    The head of ethics and compliance in Europe is as follows, and I am sure that she would be interested to hear about your experiences with Arvato's due diligence process in selecting the kinds of shady customers they decide to act for:

    Dr. Christina Möller
    Senior Director Ethics & Compliance
    Bertelsmann SE & Co. KGaA
    Ethics & Compliance Department
    Carl-Bertelsmann-Strasse 270
    33311 Gütersloh
    Phone: +49 (0) 52 41-80-42322
    Fax: +49 (0) 52 41-80-94274

    I called one and one's customer service/billing department, and they agreed to cancel the charges and inform Arvato.

    I did this on a recorded line, and informed them that it was being recorded and asked them to give their consent.

    I have written to the Competition and Markets Authority (who take over from the Office of Fair Trading):
    Complaints Manager!
    Contacts Team!
    Competition and Markets Authority!
    Victoria House!
    37 Southampton Row!
    London! WC1B 4AD!

    This whole scam operates on the basis of it not being worth the time to fight it. It just takes a few of us who are bloody-minded enough not to put up with this to make this a less appealing strategy for them.

    Hope this may save someone else some time and effort.
    Last edited by Kprop; 31-03-2015 at 4:54 PM.
  • Wont be Broken
    This might work
    Got the same problem so I have researched the interent and here is the letter I am about to send. Ill post here if it works.

    Arvato Limited
    PO Box 321
    HU10 6WF

    8th April 2015
    Your Ref:
    Dear Sir/Madam
    Further to your letter dated the 31 March 2015, I am writing to inform you that the debt you claim is due to 1&1 is disputed by myself on the basis that the service required was for a fixed term and I paid for that term in advance. The service was not required and not paid for beyond that term.

    Any claim to the contrary will remain in dispute and will need to be settle in a UK court of law or arbitration on the basis that Clause 3, Duration and Renewal of service, of the 1&1 contract is incompatible with the UK’s Unfair Terms in Consumer Contracts Regulation 1999, Schedule 2, section H) copied for your information below.

    Should you wish to dispute this you are required to provide evidence to the contrary as per section Q) of the regulations also copied below and agree to arbitration?

    As per clause 32 of the 1&1 contract it is recognised by 1&1 that some terms and condition may be incompatible with some law and I believe clause 3 to be such a clause for the UK.

    “The Unfair Terms in Consumer Contracts Regulations 1999

    h) automatically extending a contract of fixed duration where the consumer does not indicate otherwise, when the deadline fixed for the consumer to express his desire not to extend the contract is unreasonably early;

    (q)excluding or hindering the consumer’s right to take legal action or exercise any other legal remedy, particularly by requiring the consumer to take disputes exclusively to arbitration not covered by legal provisions, unduly restricting the evidence available to him or imposing on him a burden of proof which, according to the applicable law, should lie with another party to the contract.”

    “1&1 Terms
    3. Duration and Renewal of Services
    Unless otherwise specified, Services are provided for a minimum contract term of 12 months and unless cancelled in accordance with Clause 4 below will automatically be renewed for the billing period You chose on sign up.

    32. Severability
    In the event that any provision of this Agreement is deemed unenforceable or invalid under any applicable law or pursuant to a court decision, such unenforceability or invalidity shall not render this Agreement unenforceable or invalid as a whole. We will amend or replace such provisions with one that is valid and enforceable and which achieves, in our reasonable opinion, to the fullest extent possible, the original objectives and intent between You and Us.”

    As the next step I recommend you confer with your client as to whether you wish to pursue this claim in the light of the legal standing protecting me from such clauses but note that should I need to engage legal counsel or incur any other costs in respect to this matter these will be submitted to the court or arbitrator as costs to be repaid by 1&1 and / or Arvato Limited should your claim be rejected and my position found in law to be accepted.

    I must also advise that any time taken to present this position in court or to an arbitrator that results in a loss of earning will also be included in any claim as part of reasonable costs.

    Thus far, time and effort is limited to this letter and I attribute no cost to this however should you wish to pursue this claim costs will be incurred on my part thereafter and added to any costs claim in court or with the arbitrator.

    Note any claim for costs on my part falls outside of clause 18 of the 1&1 liability disclaimer as it is not attributed to the service but to the defence of the claim against me.

    I look forward to your reply stating whether you intend to pursue this claim or accept that it is in fact based on a clause that is incompatible with “The Unfair Terms in Consumer Contracts Regulations 1999” as stated above.

    For clarity I have also included below the guidance notes for “The Unfair Terms in Consumer Contracts Regulations 1999” concerning the practices employed by your client.

    Unfair contract terms guidance 49
    Group 8: Excessive notice periods for consumer cancellation – paragraph 1(h) of Schedule 2.
    Schedule 2, paragraph 1, states that terms may be unfair if they have the object or effect of:

    (h) automatically extending a contract of fixed duration where the consumer does not indicate otherwise, when the deadline fixed for the consumer to express his desire not to extend the contract is unreasonably early.

    8.1 A clause which states how long a contract has to run is likely to be among its most important 'core' terms

    24 If a lesser term in small print can be used, relying on customer inertia, to extend the contract period beyond what the consumer would normally expect, it is not a core term, and is liable to be considered unfair.

    8.2 Particular suspicion attaches to a term in a contract for a fixed period which, if early notice to cancel is not given, automatically commits the consumer to a renewed fixed term.

    Yours sincerely
  • Kprop
    Arvato - I am still waiting to hear back from their head of ethics.

    I do suggest writing to the Competition and Markets Authority (who have taken over from the Trading Standards Authority). Their mode of operation is not to look into individual complaints but to tackle one sector at a time. So nothing happens for ages, but then they deal with all the stored up problems in one go.

    I received a letter from Rosalind Barrie, Complaints Team Leader, arvato Financial Solutions in response to my letter to Achim Berg. It was a very courteous, and well-written letter (unusual for our age) but filled with empty platitudes and it gave no indication that they are taking any action to put right something that should not happen.

    Since Arvato hide behind a PO BOX:

    Her email is
    Generic email
    Address: 24 George Square, Glasgow G2 1EG
    Telephone: 0141 221 4567
    Fax: 0845 300 6898

    If you are primarily concerned with making the problem go away, call 1&1 and speak to a customer service rep. After 5 minutes tell her/him that you are not satisfied and wish to speak to a supervisor. At that point make very clear that you find their behaviour unacceptable, and that you wish them to credit your account and compensate you for the waste of your time. Be polite, but don't be afraid to raise your voice (just do not make it personal - say that you understand that it's not their decision, but a result of the unethical practices of their employer).

    Their behaviour appear to be contrary to ICANN rules also, as well as market convention for how the market in domain registration services operates. It's sharp practice, and possibly fraudulent. I will post the rules in the next message.

    I do suggest you write respectfully to Ms Barrie and to Ms Moller (head of ethics at Bertelsmann - address in previous message) expressing your concerns about the behaviour of their client. Large companies do care about public perceptions, and over time these things do make a difference, even if there seems to be no impact immediately. By doing this now, you make it harder for them to cause distress for the next victim - one small step to making it a better world.

    BTW Arvato have read this thread, because I pointed them to it in my letter to the arvato Finance CEO, and the Group CEO, and they acknowledged having read it in response.

    They actually brag about their relationship with 1&1 (I cannot post the link):

    As the world’s number one web hosting company, 1&1 is known for offering its customers reliable, user-friendly web design and hosting services, so it is imperative that its payment methods meet the same high standards.

    1&1 is working with long-standing partner, arvato, to develop an innovative solution to support both legacy and future payment methods, throughout its international expansion.
    Robert Hoffmann, Spokesperson of the Management Board, 1&1 Internet, said: "arvato’s future-proof payment platform meets our needs today and will ensure a smooth transition to full SEPA requirements as the 2014 deadline approaches. More importantly, this will all be seamless for our customers."
    Last edited by Kprop; 19-04-2015 at 11:49 AM.
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