Saturday, June 16, 2012

Nearly Thirteen Months Later, FINALLY Square with 1and1 Internet (Updated2)

Good golly.

After over a year of phone calls, emails, credit report disputes, and separate complaints to both the Pennsylvania Attorney General's Office and the Better Business Bureau -- 1and1 Internet and I might finally be on the same page.

Their service is no longer required. And my money is not there's (no matter how many times they have kept asking for it after the fact.)

This all started in June 2011. My latest issues not withstanding, I was already not particularly satisfied with 1and1 for a variety of just small reasons which simply added up over the years. So I moved christoperj|[.com] to a new hosting and registrar provider as time allowed. Migrating the site was easy peasy. Quick, simple, finished. And then I called to cancel my service and received a verbal assurance that everything was closed from the 1and1 Cancellation Team.

So after all that, I thought I was done. Turns out breaking up with the 1and1 Billing Department was not so simple.

It instead kept billing me for services I no longer authorized. I repeatedly called back trying to correct their mistake. Their billing system kept trying anyway. The (unauthorized) past due total eventually hitting $57.92 and ended up with their NCO Collections team. I (mistakenly) paid the past due amount within a few days of receiving the NCO notices trying to keep it from hitting the credit report. But NCO posted a collection account anyway where it impacted my Experian report credit score.

NCO has never responded to my written requests for information. But they did respond to the first dispute via Experian to say the entry was 'valid'.

What finally got 1and1's attention was official complaints with the PA Attorney General and the BBB. Ended up getting my money back and $49.99 more.

So after all that, I thought I was done. Again. Or at least just about to be. 1and1 fixed their mistake, wiped my credit report (via NCO), and refunded my money. Sure it was after a full year of back and forth frustration, but whatever.

Turns out actually seeing the refund from the 1and1 Billing Department was again not so simple. Even after being issued the refund internally in their billing system, they still purposely made it an overly convoluted process to actually get the cash in my hand.

First they refused to cut a check, saying that they needed a credit card to issue the refund. Not sure why this would be as I've actually never ran into a company who owned money to somebody else and couldn't cut a check to take care of it. Not to mention that I had paid their faulty NCO bill by check and they were very quick to cash it. But whatever.

So I gave them the requested credit card for a 'one time transaction'. At the time I was told 7-10 days for processing. Again, not sure why this would be as my card seems to always seems to work quite fast when I use it for payment (and refunds) at any other business. Usually just 2 days (and no more than 4) between authorization and posting of the transaction. But again, whatever.

Day 12 comes around and still no refunds have been posted to the credit card. I contact the 1and1 Billing Team back only for them to tell me the refunds didn't go through. They reran them and using a 24 hour turnaround that was apparently available, but not used the first time around.

Day 13 brought a third credit to my 1and1 account. So I asked the 1and1 Billing Team to refund it back to the same credit card as the others. They quickly agreed, noting a 7 day turnaround. I asked about the 24 hour window committed to on the other refunds but was told they could not do that. (Um, what?)

Day 22 comes around and still no refunds have been posted to the credit card. Apparently there really wasn't a 24 hour turnaround after all. Now 0-3 on the Billing Team 'attempts to' process the refund, I contact them (sigh) again for status. They say the refunds were submitted into the Billing System on June 6th (refunding the first two credits) and 7th (refunding the third). And they ask me to fax over my billing statements to show nothing has been posted. After which they say the "agent who will review this case is out til Monday". (Clearly still treating my complaint without any urgency)

On Day 23 (ironically), winner winner chicken dinner. Both refunds posted to the credit card. Oddly both posted on the same day and also show a 6/15 authorization date. Looks like the 1and1 Billing System was holding on to them long after they were submitted on "June 6th and 7th."

But whatever.

Here in the here and now, my webservice is up and running on the other provider. My credit report is clear of NCO/1and1 garbage. And I now (finally) have my money back.

But this all started in June 2011. Not to be fully fixed until nearly a full 13 months later. Way way WAY too much time spent on what should have been just a cordial goodbye. I never imagined just how much time, trouble, and frustration closing out with 1and1 was going to be.

Or how there was 10 separate times (at least) where the 1and1 Billing Team could have stepped up and quickly resolved this issue. Only to have them (and/or their Billing System) instead choose to handle my case so lackadaisically, dragging it out for months over months even after I escalated the whole thing to the PA Attorney General's Office and the Better Business Bureau.

That's a deeply crazy lack of customer focused service. And I have no additional words for that.

Maybe (hopefully) posting this will help the next guy who wants off of this 1and1 roller coaster. Just wish I had kept better notes prior to April 2012.

Update 6/20:
Apparently Joseph (the 1and1 Complaint Department contact responding to the BBB) wasn't following along and helping as much as I had thought as he sent a vaguely curt "it's been 10 days, can we close this BBB complaint now" message through the BBB system (even though he was CC'ed on every single one of my responses to the last 13 email conversation I had with his Billing Department -- including the one that said the refunds had finally posted to my credit card)

Sigh. Not sure why I thought he was doing more than he 'had to' do

Update2 7/26:
Now 3+ months after I filed a complaint with the PA Attorney General's office, 1and1 finally responded to them and said the issue was closed. I received a courtesy followup from the PA-AG's office to verify along with the letter 1and1 sent them.

Unsurprisingly, 1and1 didn't address, acknowledge, or accept fault in the complaints -- and lied misstated how the account was closed on March 10th, 2012 (ignoring my attempts to close the account in 2011).

Weirdly, the letter also lists me and my address as a second recipient. I have not received this letter from 1and1 directly.

But at least the matter is still closed



June 2011:
Contacted the 1and1 Billing Department via 1877-300-8316 to cancel the service. Their Billing Team confirmed the cancellation and I believed everything was done.

Unrelated to the migration, the credit card 1and1 had on file also expired 6/30/2011. As the account was closed, this really did not seem like a concern.


July 2011:
1and1 attempted (and failed) to autobill the expired credit card for services I was no longer subscribing to. (Sigh.)

They auto-emailed me looking for new credit card information for the closed account.  I called their Billing Department again and noted the account had been canceled on the previous call. They apologized and said again the account would be closed.


September 2011:
1and1's Billing system emailed me again for a new credit card to bill for a now past due amount on the closed account.  I called their Billing Department a third time and noted the account had been canceled. They again said the account would be closed.


October - November 2011:
1and1 sent me written requests for a new credit card to bill for the past due account, which I admittedly ignored since I had canceled the service thrice.


Late December 2011:
I received a collection notice from NCO Collections (on behalf of 1and1) for the 4 months of service from July through October 2011 even though the account was closed in June (and reclosed several times after). The collections past due amount was $57.92 and was sent as two separate collection notices.


January 2012:
Tried to pay NCO through their online site, but they wanted to add about $50+ in service charges (partially because the charges were spread across two separate invoices) for the privilege of paying them faster.

So paid them by check on January 4th to "go away" before it would hit my credit report. This turned out to be a mistake.

NCO dinged my report anyway with a Collection Account.  (How nice of them to not even give me the customary 30 days to respond to their notice)

Filed dispute with Experian over the collection entry and requested additional info in writing from NCO

Received a system generated email from 1and1 thanking me for my payment via NCO for the past due amount, and also saying that the account would be closed within a month if no valid credit card was registered on the account. (Maybe at least some progress being see, the account might stay closed now)


February 2012:
Experian verified the collection entry with NCO and retained the ding on my credit report.

NCO did not respond to my written request for information.


March 2012:
Re-disputed the entry with Experian requested their investigation evidence and noted NCO did not respond to my written request when I contacted them directly.


April 2012:
Filed separate complaints on April 10th with the PA Attorney General's Office and Better Business Bureau concerning the matter.

Date: April 10th, 2012

Problem:
I was not satisfied with 1and1 webhosting service, and transferred my (christoperj.com) domain and associated hosting to another provider.

I contacted the billing department @ 1877-300-8316 to cancel my service in June 2011 once moving the webpage data over to the new provider's servers. 1and1 confirmed the cancellation

Unrelated to this migration, the credit card I registered for their autobill also expired in jul2011.

1and1 attempted to autobill the expired credit card (and failed). They contacted me for new credit card information. I contacted their billing department again and noted the account had been canceled. They indicated again the account would be closed

1and1's billing system auto-emailed me again in september about needing a new credit card. I contacted their billing department a third time and noted the account had been canceled. They indicated again the account would be closed

In late December 2011, I received a collection notice from NCO collections (on behalf of 1and1) for 4 months of service (57.92 total) I did not authorize. I paid the collection notice to have it "go away" before it hit my credit report on January 4.

NCO dinged my credit report anyway in January with a collection account. I have written NCO directly for more information about this incident, but they have not responded to my requests. I have disputed the entry via Experian, but they responded with "accurate" to their investigation

I have also filed a complaint with the PA Attorney General's Office and they are also investigating


Desired Outcome:
Removal of all negative collection account information from all credit reports, written confirmation of the removal, and a written agreement to never contact me againA refund of the $57.92 charges incurred after the service was canceled in June2011 would be considered a goodwill act by 1and1, but is not expected based on previous experience with the company.

I received nothing from NCO.  Experian, however, deleted the record from my credit report in response to my second dispute.  I did not know (at the time) if NCO did it on their own in response to the complaints or Experian's request -- or if Experian did it at their own decision.

I did receive a separate email from the Better Business Bureau acknowledging my individual complaints promising to investigate.

From: Complaints BBB
To: Christopher J. Marcinko
Date: April 10th, 2012

Thank you for submitting your complaint to us.

The BBB that will process your complaint is:

BBB of Metro Washington DC & Eastern Pennsylvania
1411 K St. NW, 10th Floor
Washington, DC 20005-3404
Phone: (202)393-8000
Fax: (202)393-1198
Email Address: info@mybbb.org
Website: www.mybbb.org
You will hear from this BBB soon regarding your complaint.

What's next?

Did you know BBB does more than just collect complaints? Use BBB to get news and tips concerning the marketplace. Or to find a great BBB Accredited Business.

Also received a separate hard copy acknowledgment letter from the PA Attorney General's Office on April 12th

Bureau of Consumer Protection
444 East College Avenue, Suite 440
State College, Pennsylvania 16801
814-863-3900
April 12, 2012

Christopher J. Marcinko
[Address Masked]

Re: 1&1 Internet, Inc
BCP-12-05-011118

Dear Mr. Marcinko:

Your complaint has been received by the Bureau of Consumer Protection and I have reviewed it. Please refer to your File Number BCP-12-05-01118 when corresponding with this office, to help us keep accurate and up-to-date records.

The Bureau will attempt to resolve your complaint within a reasonable length of time based upon the information you have presented to us. We will keep you advised of significant developments as your case progresses.

If your complaint has been settled or you have new information that would have a bearing on your complaint, please inform us. We encourage you to submit such information in writing.

On behalf of the Office of Attorney General, thank you for bringing this matter to our attention. We hope to be of assistance in resolving your complaint.

Very truly yours,

Thomas [Last Name Masked]
Agent Supervisor

mh
20A


May 2012:
On May 10th, I received the following standard status email from the Better Business Bureau which noted 1and1 had not replied to their (2) requests for response to my complaint

From: BBB
To: Christopher J. Marcinko
Date: May 10th, 2012

Dear Christopher Marcinko :

This message is in regard to your complaint submitted on 4/10/2012 12:00:00 AM against 1 And 1 Internet, Inc.. Your complaint was assigned ID 8988450.

We have written to the firm referenced above on two previous occasions. Since we have not received a reply to our requests for a response, a final notice will be sent to the company today.

Perhaps the firm has already contacted you. If so, please advise us of the situation immediately. If you do not hear back from us, it means that our attempts at conciliation have been exhausted and you may wish to contact an attorney or your local or state office of consumer affairs to pursue the matter further.

Please know that we are, unfortunately, not able to compel a firm to answer and resolve complaints. Since this firm is not a BBB Accredited Business, it is not obligated to respond and resolve consumer complaints with us.

In those few instances where our requests have been ignored, the information is made a part of the firm's file at the BBB. In many cases this will result in an adverse BBB Reliability Report being issued on the firm.

Please feel free to contact us with any further questions.

Regards,

Sabrina
The Better Business Bureau

I hadn't heard squat from 1and1 and figured they were just continuing to ignore my complaint

But on May 15th, 1and1 finally did respond:

From: Joseph (via BBB)
To: Christopher J. Marcinko
Date: May 15th, 2012
Subject: Christopher Marcinko v. 1&1 Internet Inc. (Case #8988450)

Dear Christopher Marcinko, (Case #8988450)

We understand that your Customer ID #10615554 was passed to NCO Financial, the collection agency that we use. We had done all that we could to contact you regarding this matter. We send numerous email reminders to the email address that is on your account with us. As well, we place automated phone calls to the phone number that you have on file. In addition, we now send physical dunning letters to the address that you gave us upon sign up. Lastly, we freeze / lock any account well prior to using a collection agency to grab the customer’s attention. However, for whatever reason, we understand that this account is no longer needed. We can see that this Customer ID #10615554 has since been cancelled and removed from our internal system. In this, you will not be billed or invoiced for this service again in the future. Lastly, we can confirm that you have since resolved this matter with NCO Financial. If you have resolved this matter within the first 30-days with NCO Financial, they will remove you from any list that they have.

Thank you.

Joseph
Complaints Department
1&1 Internet Inc.
http://www.1and1.com

His response did elude to why NCO is no longer reporting this as a collection account, but it didn't address the complaint. So I officially rejected it through the BBB website later that afternoon and basically restated the original complaint about how the service was canceled way back in June 2011 and they were still trying to charge me.

From: Christopher J. Marcinko
To: Joseph (via BBB)
Date: May 15th, 2012

Josepeh,

I am rejecting this response because:

This response openly ignores my multiple attempts to close the account through normal channels.

Quoting the original complaint:
I was not satisfied with 1and1 webhosting service, and transferred my (christoperj.com) domain and associated hosting to another provider.

I contacted the billing department @ 1877-300-8316 to cancel my service in June 2011 once moving the webpage data over to the new provider's servers. 1and1 confirmed the cancellation

Unrelated to this migration, the credit card I registered for their autobill also expired in jul2011.

1and1 attempted to autobill the expired credit card (and failed). They contacted me for new credit card information. I contacted their billing department again and noted the account had been canceled. They indicated again the account would be closed

1and1's billing system auto-emailed me again in september about needing a new credit card. I contacted their billing department a third time and noted the account had been canceled. They indicated again the account would be closed

In late December 2011, I received a collection notice from NCO collections (on behalf of 1and1) for 4 months of service (57.92 total) I did not authorize. I paid the collection notice to have it "go away" before it hit my credit report on January 4.

NCO dinged my credit report anyway in January with a collection account. I have written NCO directly for more information about this incident, but they have not responded to my requests. I have disputed the entry via Experian, but they responded with "accurate" to their investigation

I have also filed a complaint with the PA Attorney General's Office and they are also investigating

As the 1and1 contact did not address the steps I took in an attempt to close the account through normal channels, and several times -- I reject the response provided as incomplete.

Regards,

Christopher Marcinko

And from there I guess Joesph was able to work some customer service magic, as I received two system generated credit notices on May 16th totaling $77.94 (20.02 more than what I paid to NCO).   Not sure why they're refunding more than I've paid, probably a goodwill gesture though.

So I responded back to the billing team asking them to simply cut a check to the address on the account so we can all move on

From: Christopher J. Marcinko
To: billing@1and1.com
Date: May 17th, 2012

As the Credit Card account in question is expired, and the 1and1 account has been closed -- please send a refund check for the credit balance to the address on file

Thanx

christopher

To which they quickly responded that they cant do that (sigh)

From: billing@1and1.com
To: Christopher J. Marcinko
Date: May 17th, 2012

Dear Christopher Marcinko (Cust: 10615554),

Thank you for contacting us.

I sincerely apologize, but we do not send checks for refunds. Please call us at the number below and we would be able to take a card for a one time refund transaction.

If you have any further questions do not hesitate to reply to this e-mail or contact us during office hours by phone at 1-877-300-8316 from 9am-5pm EST, Monday through Friday.

--
Sincerely
Richybille
Billing Department
1&1 Internet Inc.

And their automated survey system apparently has a sense of humor as on May 17th, I received a system generated email asking if I was satisfied with the "we don't issue checks, you must give us your credit card number to get a refund" response. Really thinking "No"

From: announce@1and1.com
To: Christopher J. Marcinko
Date: May 17th, 2012

Dear Christopher Marcinko,

Thank you again for choosing 1&1 web services. We are writing to follow up on your recent
contact with Richybille. As 1&1 is constantly striving to improve service
performance and provide greater value to our customers, we ask that you please take a moment
to follow the link below and answer a few survey questions.

http://survey.1and1.com/survey.php?survey=257649795195&case=278640267&pg=7722

Your opinion is greatly appreciated. The survey will only take a minute or two, and will
help us to better serve you in the future.

Thank you for your time and consideration.


Sincerely,
1&1 Internet, Inc.

Finding a time during their 'business hours' was a challenge until May 23rd or 24th (misplaced my exact notes the shuffle) when I called in and after verifying they would not under any circumstances try to charge the credit card for any services -- gave them the credit card for the one time refund use.

The Billing representative was very friendly but also gave me a heads up that it would take another 7-10 days for the refunds to post out to my bank. He said there was no way speed up the process in their system.

Hung up the phone thinking that all was finally turning good.

Now May 30th, and getting back to the BBB compliant, Joseph with 1and1 responded further with an apology and how they 'wiped clean any outstanding balances'. Guess he meant the refund as there was no balance to wipe. No worries though.

From: Joseph (via BBB)
To: Christopher J. Marcinko
Date: May 30th, 2012

Dear Christopher Marcinko,

I understand that you've been upset with our technical support team. This is something that I can only apologize for. This is an aspect of our service that we're always trying to improve. This is why your feedback is so important to us. We can now look through and see where and if we made mistakes. Then, we can look into making sure that this doesn't happen again. Again, we can only apologize for this frustration that you've suffered. We will continue to work on this to serve you better.

Lastly, as previously mentioned, we have already since removed this account from collections and wiped clean all outstanding balances on this account.

Thank you.

Joseph
Complaints Department
1&1 Internet Inc.
http://www.1and1.com


June 2012:
As I was told that refunds could take up to 10 days to process, I sent the following response on June 1st through the BBB website thanking him for his help (but that I was still waiting for the actual refund to be received)

From: Christopher J. Marcinko
To: Joseph (via BBB)
Date: June 1st, 2012

Joseph,

I appreciate your help, but I still haven't fully received the refund you noted

About 2 weeks back, I started getting system generated emails about the credits to my 1and1 account. I responded to the billing@1and1.com address asking for a refund check to be sent to the address listed on the account.

The billing department quickly emailed that they do not send checks out and I would have to call and present a valid credit card for the refund to actually be given back. This remains a concern to me as I do not like providing credit card numbers to companies for which I am not doing business, regardless if the relationship is not currently positive.

But I did call on May23 or 24. The Billing team representative was helpful and said it would be up to 7-10 days before the refund would be processed by my bank.

As of today (day 8), my bank has not received refund. The credit card activity list of pending preauthorizations does not list anything from 1and1 (though it does show a different pending refund from an unrelated merchant on tuesday)

Again, your help is appreciated. I have made more progress working with you than all the other calls I made last year on the matter. But I can not consider this closed until the refund is fully processed out

Regards,

Christopher Marcinko

Joseph researched further on his end, and sent the following reply on June 4th

From: Joseph (via BBB)
To: Christopher J. Marcinko
Date: June 4th, 2012

Dear Christopher Marcinko,

We have already refunded two (2) invoices for the $38.97 amount. You should see these refunds already. To simplify matters, we have simply refunded an additional $29.97 invoice. You should see this additional refund within the next fifteen (15) days.

Thank you.

Joseph
Complaints Department
1&1 Internet Inc.
http://www.1and1.com

This was the first I heard of the additional $29.97. Thought this was just confusion on his end. But checked my credit card statement online, and saw the original refunds were still missing. Sent this response through the BBB website

From: Christopher J. Marcinko
To: Joseph (via BBB)
Date: June 4th, 2012

Joseph -- thank you again for your efforts

You are correct, I received system generated emails that the refunds had posted to my 1and1 statement. However -- these refunds have not been posted to the Visa credit card ending in 1573 (as of my checking at 2:55PM CDT today) I gave to your billing department on May 23 or 24th. At the time, they noted a 7-10 day delay between submission on their end and posting on my end. As today is june 4th, it seems like the full refund should have posted by now. But I was going to wait a few more days for safety before yet another call to 1and1 billing to have to explain again what is going on

Again, I thank you for your help. I feel as if you have gotten part of issue resolved. That said -- I'm sure it is very understandable that until I actually see the money in my personal account, I can not consider this matter closed

Anything you can do to resolve this last step will be equally as appreciated


Regards,

Christopher Marcinko

On June 5th, I checked the credit card and still no refund.

But suddenly I received the third credit refund notice for the $29.97 Joesph mentioned in his last response. That puts the refund total up to $107.91 ($49.99 more than what I was originally billed for the services I didn't authorize.

I sent an email to the 1and1 Billing Team to have them kick this refund back to the same card as the others.

From: Christopher J. Marcinko
To: billing@1and1.com
Date: June 5th, 2012

Please issue a refund for the credit balance to the visa on file

christopher

But since the original refunds were still missing, I also separately pinged the 1and1 Billing Department for a status.

From: Christopher J. Marcinko
To: billing@1and1.com
Date: June 5th, 2012

I called 11 days ago and gave a credit card number for a one time refund -- but it has not posted yet on my end

What is the delay?

christopher

To which they checked and responded

From: billing@1and1.com
To: Christopher J. Marcinko
Date: June 5th, 2012

Dear Christopher Marcinko (Cust: 10615554),

Thank you for contacting us.

The invoice in question is pending. We have submitted a request to have your credit processed within the next business day. We apologize for any inconvenience.

If you have any further questions do not hesitate to reply to this e-mail or contact us during office hours by phone at 1-877-300-8316 from 9am-5pm EST, Monday through Friday.

Sincerely
Frank
Billing Department
1&1 Internet Inc.

Apparently they can do refunds next business day after all. So why did they quote 7-10 days originally?

From: Christopher J. Marcinko
To: billing@1and1.com
Date: June 5th, 2012

I appreciate the extra effort, but why couldnt that not have been done in the first place? Why the 11 day wait to do something that could have been done originally?

christopher

To which they responded. . .

From: billing@1and1.com
To: Christopher J. Marcinko
Date: June 5th, 2012

Dear Christopher Marcinko (Cust: 10615554),

Thank you for contacting us.

Sometimes, our system takes some time to process the information automatically to the card on file. This method will process the information more immediately. We apologize about the delayed resolution.

If you have any further questions do not hesitate to reply to this e-mail or contact us during office hours by phone at 1-877-300-8316 from 9am-5pm EST, Monday through Friday.

--
Sincerely
Frank
Billing Department
1&1 Internet Inc.

This didn't actually answer the question of why not just submit the refund quickly instead of maintaining a process with a customer impacting delay. But whatever.

Meanwhile they responded to my other email about adding the third credit to the refund pile, which caused some confusion

From: billing@1and1.com
To: Christopher J. Marcinko
Date: June 5th, 2012

Dear Christopher Marcinko (Cust: 10615554),

Thank you for contacting us.

The invoice you have received is in reference to your refund. If you open the attachment, you will notice that we are issuing a credit to the payment method on file, or against any outstanding balance on this account.

This will be credited on the payment settings you have on file in a few days.

We apologize for any confusion that we may have caused you.

If you have any further questions do not hesitate to reply to this e-mail or contact us during office hours by phone at 1-877-300-8316 from 9am-5pm EST, Monday through Friday.

--
Sincerely
Errol
Billing Department
1&1 Internet Inc.

This confusion made it seem like this invoice was actually intended to instead officially cover the original 2 refunds. So I responded with that mistaken understanding

From: Christopher J. Marcinko
To: billing@1and1.com
Date: June 5th, 2012

Ok

What about the remaining balance to be refunded? The amount quoted in this particular invoice appears to be only a portion of the total

christopher

Although they had been responding within minutes of my emails up to this point (as long as they were sent during normal business hours), and this one was sent at 2:18cdt -- weirdly, they did not respond until 10:13a the next day (June 6).

But they checked and gave this status

From: billing@1and1.com
To: Christopher J. Marcinko
Date: June 6, 2012

Dear Christopher Marcinko (Cust: 10615554),

Thank you for contacting us.

Our records indicate that we have refunded 3 invoices for you. Two for 38.97 and one for 29.97. The last refund was not able to process to the billing information we have on file. Please respond to this email if you would like us to retry the refund to the payment method. If you would like to change to new billing information to refund to please update that information in the control panel and then contact us to retry the refund.

If you have any further questions do not hesitate to reply to this e-mail or contact us during office hours by phone at 1-877-300-8316 from 9am-5pm EST, Monday through Friday.

--
Sincerely
Margaret
Billing Department
1&1 Internet Inc.

Ok, so that cleared up the confusion.

But though I gave one card, which should have been used across all three invoices, one refund didn't go through. I'm guessing it was the invoice that came later, but if the card is now on file, then, er, what?

From: Christopher J. Marcinko
To: billing@1and1.com
Date: June 6, 2012

Margaret,

I apologize for my confusion

If one refund was able to be processed on the card information on file -- why would it not be able to processed for the other refund?

For background on this conversation (and why I am so frustrated by this) -- this account has been closed for a while. The refunds are response to a complaints filed with the PA Attorney General's Office and the Better Business Bureau after 1and1 continued to try to bill me for services past my cancellation date. I have no current (and havent since the account was originally closed last June) access to the control panel gui you referenced

But my call to your team on May 23/24 was to setup a visa ending [Masked] to send out the credited amount due. At the time, I was told it would take up to 10 days. It is now day 12.

Yesterday, I found out that the refund didnt actually get submitted correctly -- but that somebody on your team submitted it with a 24 hour turnaround. I still wonder why if such an option was available, why wasn't it just submitted that way in the first place?

Now you're telling me that one refund was processed, and the other didn't go through even though it was the same card? That does not make any sense to me.

Also, nothing has been received by my credit card company yet. Can you tell me when the refunds that did go through were actually attempted? Posting of refunds is normally a 2 day turnaround on my bank's side once electronically authorized


christopher

To which she quickly responded

From: billing@1and1.com
To: Christopher J. Marcinko
Date: June 6, 2012

Dear Christopher Marcinko (Cust: 10615554),

Thank you for contacting us.

Our apologies but we do not receive the reasons for payments/refunds being returned. The agent you spoke with yesterday did process the refund but it was returned today. The other 2 refunds were sent to your bank today. Please respond to this email if you would like me to retry the refund again.

If you have any further questions do not hesitate to reply to this e-mail or contact us during office hours by phone at 1-877-300-8316 from 9am-5pm EST, Monday through Friday.

--
Sincerely
Margaret
Billing Department
1&1 Internet Inc.

And of course I want the refund they promised, so I replied

From: Christopher J. Marcinko
To: billing@1and1.com
Date: June 6, 2012

Margaret,

I appreciate your help, but have to admit the lack of answers has only increased my frustration with this whole thing.

Yes, please submit any remaining refunds to the visa card which was successfully used on the refunds that worked

Also, can you expedite this to the same 24 hour turnaround the last billing team individual committed to? The thought of waiting another 10 days for a fix that was supposed to go through already (which was resolving something that I have been fighting since July of last year) and will serve only to taint my view of 1and1 further.

christopher

To which Margaret responded

From: billing@1and1.com
To: Christopher J. Marcinko
Date: June 6, 2012

Dear Christopher Marcinko (Cust: 10615554),

Thank you for contacting us.

I have processed for the refund to go through over night tonight. It still can take up to 7 days to refund to your card. I apologize but I cannot expedite the process any further.

If you have any further questions do not hesitate to reply to this e-mail or contact us during office hours by phone at 1-877-300-8316 from 9am-5pm EST, Monday through Friday.

--
Sincerely
Margaret
Billing Department
1&1 Internet Inc.

So either she is unwilling or unable to invoke the same 24 hour turnaround that was done on the other two invoices after the 'system' didn't handle them correctly for 11 days.

And this afternoon, the survey system again showed it's sense of humor when I received yet another system generated email for a customer satisfaction survey titled "Satisfied with our Service?" I believe I will still be going with a big "no"

From: announce@1and1.com
To: Christopher J. Marcinko
Date: June 6, 2012

Dear Christopher Marcinko,

Thank you again for choosing 1&1 web services. We are writing to follow up on your recent
contact with Errol. As 1&1 is constantly striving to improve service
performance and provide greater value to our customers, we ask that you please take a moment
to follow the link below and answer a few survey questions.

http://survey.1and1.com/survey.php?survey=257649795195&case=281432805&pg=7722

Your opinion is greatly appreciated. The survey will only take a minute or two, and will
help us to better serve you in the future.

Thank you for your time and consideration.


Sincerely,
1&1 Internet, Inc.

As of June 15th, no refund had been posted to my credit card. Apparently that was another Billing Team error. Now 0-3 on their refund 'commitments', contacted them yet again to find out what was going on.

From: Christopher J. Marcinko
To: billing@1and1.com
Date: June 15, 2012

It has now been 9 days since the your team last indicated I could expect my refund credit to hit my credit card in the next 7 days

(And 22 days since the first time you said it)

I feel like I am being played and I have no words for the frustration I feel over it.

What do I have to do to actually get this money back?

christopher

I also pinged Joseph on the update to see if he could help cut the 1and1 red tape

From: Christopher J. Marcinko
To: Joespeh
Date: June 15, 2012

Joseph,

I pulled your email from the BBB complaint (Christopher Marcinko v. 1&1 Internet Inc. (Case #8988450)) and for the sake of clarity and getting this finally resolved, I am going to start CCing you on all the corresponding with the Billing team. Please let me know if that is inappropriate

The latest status is that it has now been 9 days since the the Billing team last indicated I could expect my refund credit to hit my credit card in the next 7 days

(And 22 days since the first time they said it)

But nothing has been received on my end. I feel like I am being played and I have no words for the frustration I feel over it. The fact that all of this is an ongoing issue now in it's 13th month of obviously only more infuriating

You've made efforts to get the appropriate credits posted to my 1and1 account. And I greatly appreciate it. But the Billing team continues to not deliver on their commitments and there doesnt seem to be any urgency to change their direction.

Anything further you can to do to assist will be greatly appreciated

christopher

Margaret on the Billing Team quickly responded to my email to them

From: billing@1and1.com
To: Christopher J. Marcinko
Date: June 15, 2012

Dear Christopher Marcinko (Cust: 10615554),

Thank you for contacting us.

Our records indicate we issued you a refund of -77.94 on June 6th and one of -29.97 on June 7th. We have sent those back to the Visa on file.

If you have any further questions do not hesitate to reply to this e-mail or contact us during office hours by phone at 1-877-300-8316 from 9am-5pm EST, Monday through Friday.

--
Sincerely
Margaret
Billing Department
1&1 Internet Inc.

Promising -- but I checked my credit card statement again and found nothing. Sent her a sanitized screenshot of the statement with all the non-1and1 money details masked

From: Christopher J. Marcinko
To: billing@1and1.com
Cc: Joseph
Date: June 15, 2012

Margaret,

I have received nothing from 1and1 on my Visa ending in [Masked].

If you can receive JPG email attachments, I have attached a (sanitized) screenshot of all credit card activity since June 8th.

If you need me to fax this (or would like to see the previous month to confirm the lack of 1and1 activity), just let me know

christopher

Which drew this response

From: billing@1and1.com
To: Christopher J. Marcinko
Date: June 15, 2012

Dear Christopher Marcinko (Cust: 10615554),

Thank you for contacting us.

Our apologies, please fax in a hard copy of your bank statement to 610-560-1507 and we can further assist you with these credits.

If you have any further questions do not hesitate to reply to this e-mail or contact us during office hours by phone at 1-877-300-8316 from 9am-5pm EST, Monday through Friday.

--
Sincerely
Margaret
Billing Department
1&1 Internet Inc.

Thinking that my screenshot of the current activity (June 8th to today) didn't go through, I faxed it over

From: Christopher J. Marcinko
To: billing@1and1.com
Cc: Joseph
Date: June 15, 2012

Fax being sent now


christopher

She sent a cursory followup about what would happen next

From: billing@1and1.com
To: Christopher J. Marcinko
Date: June 15, 2012

Dear Christopher Marcinko (Cust: 10615554),

Thank you for contacting us.

Once we recieve the fax, it will be reviewed and you will be notified via email about the credits.

If you have any further questions do not hesitate to reply to this e-mail or contact us during office hours by phone at 1-877-300-8316 from 9am-5pm EST, Monday through Friday.

--
Sincerely
Margaret
Billing Department
1&1 Internet Inc.

I asked for a true confirmation that she received the fax

From: Christopher J. Marcinko
To: billing@1and1.com
Cc: Joseph
Date: June 15, 2012

Fax confirmation report shows confirmed/received on my end

Please let me know if you have not received it


christopher

Which she quickly confirmed, but noted that they needed a fax of the full statement

From: billing@1and1.com
To: Christopher J. Marcinko
Date: June 15, 2012

Dear Christopher Marcinko (Cust: 10615554),

Thank you for contacting us.

We did receive your fax but it is the same screen shot. We need an official copy of your bank statement faxed. Please also put this case #281432805 on the fax.

If you have any further questions do not hesitate to reply to this e-mail or contact us during office hours by phone at 1-877-300-8316 from 9am-5pm EST, Monday through Friday.

--
Sincerely
Margaret
Billing Department
1&1 Internet Inc.

But as I already mentioned, the current statement wont close until July. What I sent was the current activity since the last statement close on June 8

From: Christopher J. Marcinko
To: billing@1and1.com
Cc: Joseph
Date: June 15, 2012

As I eluded to previously, the last statement closed on June 8th.

What I sent you was all activity since that date, as posted on my credit card online system.

No separate statement will be available for this same activity until July 9th

Do you want me to send the statement that closed on june 8th?

christopher

After asking the question, I went ahead and faxed the May statement over anyway. Margaret responded soon after

From: billing@1and1.com
To: Christopher J. Marcinko
Date: June 15, 2012

Dear Christopher Marcinko (Cust: 10615554),

Thank you for contacting us.

You can fax that statement as long as it is the hard copy. Please also write the entire card number on the fax and we can further find information with that.

If you have any further questions do not hesitate to reply to this e-mail or contact us during office hours by phone at 1-877-300-8316 from 9am-5pm EST, Monday through Friday.

--
Sincerely
Margaret
Billing Department
1&1 Internet Inc.

About an hour went by after the second fax, with no confirmation that they received it. Sent yet another email to confirm they got it

From: Christopher J. Marcinko
To: billing@1and1.com
Cc: Joseph
Date: June 15, 2012

Margaret --

Can you confirm receipt of my second fax?

Which got a response a few minutes later

From: billing@1and1.com
To: Christopher J. Marcinko
Date: June 15, 2012

Dear Christopher Marcinko (Cust: 10615554),

Thank you for contacting us.

We have received the fax. Our agent who will further review this case is out until monday. I have put it on his desk and he will email you with the information about the credits.

If you have any further questions do not hesitate to reply to this e-mail or contact us during office hours by phone at 1-877-300-8316 from 9am-5pm EST, Monday through Friday.

--
Sincerely
Margaret
Billing Department
1&1 Internet Inc.

Ahh more waiting.

From: Christopher J. Marcinko
To: billing@1and1.com
Cc: Joseph
Date: June 15, 2012

Acknowledged


christopher

Finally -- the refunds post on 6/15. My bank shows the transaction date when they were 'authorized' was also on 6/15, leading me to believe they were stuck in the 1and1 Billing System all this time. Particularly since both refunds posted on the same day, even though the 1and1 Billing Team says they were submitted on separate days into their Billing System

1and1 Refund Finally Posts

Closed the ticket with the Billing Team

From: Christopher J. Marcinko
To: billing@1and1.com
Cc: Joseph
Date: June 16, 2012

The refunds posted overnight and this matter is now closed

Thank you for your help


christopher

Tried to close the BBB complaint online, but I can't figure out how to do that through their website since my complaint is still 'pending complaint information from business' after I my last response. I'll have to wait for Joseph to submit an update from his side.

But at least everything in the complaint has been resolved.

Update 6/20:
Apparently Joseph wasn't following along and helping as much as I had thought as he sent a vaguely curt "it's been 10 days, can we close this BBB complaint now" message through the BBB system.

From: Joseph (via BBB)
To: Christopher J. Marcinko
Date: June 20th, 2012

Dear Christopher Marcinko,

It has been ten (10) additional days since the last time we wrote. You should see these refunds at this stage. On our end, we are showing these refunds as posting. We do not see any issues here. If you're in agreement, please consider this matter closed.

Thank you.

Joseph
Complaints Department
1&1 Internet Inc.
http://www.1and1.com

I should have known he wasn't really doing more than he 'had' to do on this. Sigh.

Closed the complaint with final comments and thank you to the BBB

From: Christopher J. Marcinko
To: BBB
Date: June 20th, 2012

Better Business Bureau:

His response leads me to believe he was not engaged on the issue as much as he was claiming, as the refunds were confirmed posted in an email between me and his billing team on June 16th. The email conformation itself was the 13th email in the latest conversation between myself and the 1and1 billing team asking for status on the, and he was CCed on every single one of my responses (based on his email address in an earlier post to this complaint).

And I sent him this email directly concerning the situation (though I did not receive any response from him)

---------------------------

From: Christopher J. Marcinko
Date: Fri, Jun 15, 2012 at 8:28 AM
Subject: Fwd: C281432805 - 1&1 Internet Inc. Billing Re: C281432805 - 1&1 Internet Inc. Billing Re: C281432805 - 1&1 Internet Inc. Billing Re: C281432805 - 1&1 Internet Inc. Billing Re: Your credit note #202000691500 of 06/05/2012
To: Joseph [Email Masked]


Joseph,

I pulled your email from the BBB complaint (Christopher Marcinko v. 1&1 Internet Inc. (Case #8988450)) and for the sake of clarity and getting this finally resolved, I am going to start CCing you on all the corresponding with the Billing team. Please let me know if that is inappropriate

The latest status is that it has now been 9 days since the the Billing team last indicated I could expect my refund credit to hit my credit card in the next 7 days

(And 22 days since the first time they said it)

But nothing has been received on my end. I feel like I am being played and I have no words for the frustration I feel over it. The fact that all of this is an ongoing issue now in it's 13th month of obviously only more infuriating

You've made efforts to get the appropriate credits posted to my 1and1 account. And I greatly appreciate it. But the Billing team continues to not deliver on their commitments and there doesnt seem to be any urgency to change their direction.

Anything further you can to do to assist will be greatly appreciated


christopher

---------------------------


That said -- he is correct. Twenty two days after the refunds were 'submitted' and now nearly 13 months after my cancellation problems with 1and1 started -- we are now square.

My opinion of 1and1 customer service levels not withstanding, I consider the issues described in the complaint as resolved.

Thank you for your help. 1and1 was not responding with anything other than indifference to my issues before the BBB got involved. I suspect they still would be if not for your help

Regards,

Christopher Marcinko

Update 7/26:
1and1 finally responded to the PA Attorney General's Office (now 3+ months after that complaint was filed). They said the issue was closed, and I received a courtesy followup from the PA-AG's office to verify.

Bureau of Consumer Protection
444 East College Avenue, Suite 440
State College, Pennsylvania 16801
814-863-3900
July 20th, 2012

Christopher J. Marcinko
[Address Masked]

Re: 1&1 Internet, Inc
BCP-12-05-011118

Dear Mr. Marcinko:

We have been informed that your complaint has been resolved and wish to verify this. If this information is not correct, please advise us in writing at your earliest convenience.

On behalf of the Office of the Attorney General, thank you for giving us this opportunity to be of service to you. If we may be of assistance in the future, please do not hesitate to contact the Bureau of Consumer Protection.

Very truly yours,

Thomas [Last Name Masked]
Agent Supervisor

ljh
25

They also sent a copy of the letter the PA AG office received from 1and1. Didn't address, acknowledge, or accept fault in the complaints -- and lied misstated how the account was closed on March 10th, 2012 (ignoring my attempts to close the account in 2011).

Weirdly, the letter also lists me and my address as a second recipient. I have not received this letter from 1and1 directly.

But at least the matter is closed

Dana [Last Name Masked]
Complaints Department Customer Service
1and1 Internet Inc.

Thomas [Last Name Masked]
Bureau of Consumer Protection
444 East College Avenue, Suite 440
State College, Pennsylvania 16801
814-863-3900
July 20th, 2012

Christopher Marcinko, K10615554
[Address Masked]


Dear Mr. Thomas [Last Name Masked]:
Dear Christopher Marcinko:

We are responding to complaint BCP-12-05-011118 filed against 1and1 Internet.

It seems that this matter was already deemed as resolved by Mr. Marcinko on June 16, 2012. Three refunds were issued in total, $-38.97, $-38.97, $-29.97, and should have since been received. The account was closed internally within our system as of March 10, 2012 and nothing further will generate in reference.

We hope this provides amicable resolution toward the concerns reported.

Thank you.

Dana [Last Name Masked]
Complaints Department Customer Service
1and1 Internet Inc.
http://www.1and1.com