Some years ago, a good friend told me that all web hosting companies are, more or less, exactly the same. The message he was putting across said that any one was equally as bad as the next. They all have their problems and they all offer a level of customer support which can best be described as poor or worse. In my own experience, his comments were completely correct.
My first experience of a web hosting company was with Web Mania. Their service was unreliable at times and their customer support was a joke. I stuck with them for a few years, but I decided to move to new hosts when things went from bad to worse. They literally refused to let me go and ignored all my attempts to migrate to new hosts.
The last straw with Web Mania was taken when I realised that they were trying to steal the top level domain I owned at that time, which was hosted with them. I had to get NOMINET (the OFCOM of the web world) to force them to release me. NOMINET were excellent and sorted out all the problems in less than one hour - something I had failed to achieve in six weeks.
Next came Dataflame. To be fair, I had several years of fairly reliable service with them, with the odd hiccup. then a couple of CMS websites I had been running were hacked. One day, my hobby domain, g1vvp.co.uk was hacked and turned into an illegal Lloyds TSB Bank login page. It was quite a shock to find that my domain suddenly became what looked like the front page of Lloyds TSB's customer website. Dataflame threatened me with the police over this, but a little digging told me that it was their servers which had been hacked, yet that didn't stop them trying to pin the blame on me. There was no apology.
Earlier this year, I chose to leave them, but they insisted on billing me for excessive amounts of money I did not owe. Luckily, I managed to sort that out myself.
Dataflame's service had collapsed. about two weeks after I left Dataflame, I received an email to say that Dataflame were no more and that a new company were taking over.
After some research, I moved to 1&1 Internet. A company which did not have a good reputation for customer support, but they are a large and established company, which told me that they should at least have the power to deliver. But only a few weeks into the contract and I find that their system is failing me spectacularly. My FTP accounts have not worked for about six weeks, despite phone calls to their hopeless telephone support service, based in the Philippines.
Following my last telephone call to them yesterday regarding my FTP problems, their operators demonstrated once again just how clueless they really are and sent me 'around the houses' for an issue I did not have - email. I don't have problems with their email service, only with FTP access. I had to abandon the phone call due to serious language barrier issues. My message was not getting through to the girl who took my call. She would not listen to a word I said, talking over me all the time. I hung up.
Another problem I have is that my g1vvp account has disappeared from my Control Panel. They deny that I have ever had one! Well look here www.g1vvp.co.uk I most certainly do!
My initial problem, six weeks ago, was a simple case of losing access to my FTP accounts. After a telephone call to their operators, I discovered that my FTP password had been changed. I had definitely NOT changed this myself.
Complaining to 1&1 Internet is far from simple. It took me an hour to research who to contact.
Why am I complaining about this here? Because I am going to need some muscle in getting this sorted. 1and1 Internet do not like their customers making their problems public. So I may be writing yet another blow-by-blow account of the shoddy service I have been receiving from yet another useless, 'don't-give-a-shit' company I have encountered.
I will add more as I go along as necessary.
To get the ball rolling, I submitted an email of complaint yesterday to their complaints department at firstname.lastname@example.org It's about 12 hours since I contacted them and I have not received an acknowledgement as I had expected. That is fairly customary with these companies, but nothing so far. Next I will write to their head of support at email@example.com