back to article 1&1 says sorry to one in ten

Web hosting outfit 1&1 suffered another outage yesterday, but told us this time it only affected ten per cent of customers. Several Reg readers got in touch to complain they could not access their databases and that support lines were overloaded from 1.00pm yesterday. 1&1 sent us the following statement: Due to an unexpected …

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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Coat

    So you could say...

    ...their satisfied customers were decimated?

  2. Nick
    Thumb Down

    Enough..

    .. is enough. I'm one of the "lucky" dedicated server customers. I've had one with them for the best part of 4 years, and recently, for the third time, their control panel lost my payment details. They didn't email me, or warn me.. just disconnected my server (sending a letter to a previous address).

    So, I'm pleased to say, this month is my last ever with 1and1!

  3. James

    Re:Enough...

    I'm with you on this one Nick. The same thing happened with my payment details a year ago, and it took them SIX WEEKS to sort it all out. I gave them the heave ho and bnever looked back since.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Re: Enough

    I suppose it's 1and1's fault that you didn't tell them about your change of address?

  5. Duncan Robertson
    Dead Vulture

    1and1 - the world's No. 1 mickey mouse hosting company

    The title says it all really.

    All that 1and1 are interested in is hosting more servers than anyone else. Their packages suck! Plesk overwrites BIND configs, billing errors happen with great frequency and then there's the 99.99% uptime. Em, by my reckoning that's about 53 minutes of downtime per year. Looks like that SLA is out the window... Ooops!

    Dead bird because that is all a 1and1 package is worth.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Gates Halo

    Cheap hosting, cheapskate business

    I work for a hoster. Always makes me larf when the great unwashed get a bee in their bonnet about outages on mass market shared platforms. If the service is that bloody important and you're gonna lose that much money per business per hour then pay for a proper hosting service with resilience and responsive support built in. All I can say is you get what you pay for.

    We had one guy call us up after we had to do an emergency reboot on a shared box (shittty customer script). From the server going unstable, us detecting and then rebooting took around 7mins. This guy was on the blower right away, tearing us a new asshole and moaning he was losing £1000's of pounds because of the outage. Of course it turns out he was on a tenner a month hosting account, we quickly put him straight.

    Don't get me wrong, I'm not indifferent to our customers needs but lets face it right tool for the job and all that.

    Worth a read:

    http://www.joelonsoftware.com/items/2008/01/22.html

  7. Tony Coleman
    Thumb Down

    13:39 and 15:15 ?!?!?

    They seem to be unable to report the time correctly now! I was on the phone to them venting spleen @ 13:09. How would this affect their uptime percentages?

  8. elder norm

    So, who is cheap and better?

    OK, I agree that they have had their problems. Overall, I have been happy with them, (you should have seen my first hosting company. LOL or cry I am not sure which. )

    Whom do you recommend that is as cheap and has better service / support?

  9. Ryan Barrett

    Re: Enough

    > I suppose it's 1and1's fault that you

    > didn't tell them about your change of address?

    I had the same thing, and I told them of my new address. Plus they have your email address AND telephone number.

    Not exactly hard to contact you..

  10. supermeerkat
    Flame

    What a surprise

    They're a useless bunch of wankers.

    They have failed to provide me with an apology of explanation for my site going down for 6 days last september, or indeed this year. I've had less than their advertised 99.99% uptime.

    Tech support consists of VOIP connections to foreign agents of varying english speaking ability.

    Simple faults that should have been quickly resolved have only been fixed after many calls and tens of minutes on hold.

    A choice selection of user problems with 1and1 can be found here: "http://www.evilscience.co.uk/?cat=8

    P.S. Can anyone recommend a UK based ASP.NET hosting service that isn't 1and1?

  11. Nick

    RE: AC

    Not at all. But if they are able to email me a PDF invoice (for a not-particularly-tiny sum) every month, why can't they achieve simple email notifications?

    They had contact telephone numbers too, but they didn't use those. Perhaps they only ever require such information for marketing purposes - and sod the actual services you pay for?

  12. Tim Spence

    Deserters

    I'm also with the two previous deserters... after 1&1 sent me a single solitary letter 3 months after a payment didn't go through (credit card had expired), telling me that I absolutely must pay within 7 days from the date of the letter (the 7 days were nearly up already, must have been sat in their offices until some monkey decided to post it) or they will disconnect and delete my hosting, and call in the bailiffs.

    Never had a problem with uptime (or rather, downtime, that I've noticed), but their systems are useless.

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    Not just billing

    Not just billing... the problem we've had is that they (fairly) recently changed their "anti-spam" system so it blocks all incoming mail from a huge swathe of the Internet... mainly anything coming from what they perceive to be a dynamic IP address block. The effect that this had was that many customers and contacts could no longer send e-mail to us and they'd get no notification of the failure.

    Their "support" desk helpfully blamed our customers, *our* e-mail servers and pretty much everything else until eventually we managed to get hold of someone who knew squat and he informed us that this was an intentional feature and that no, it couldn't be turned off or filtered in any way. When pressed about whether incoming mail uses SPF or not, he claimed that this was an "advanced" account feature that only works fully hosted accounts.

    We've moved from them now.

  14. Seán

    Boo Hoo

    Yeah 1&1 are a bit on the crappy side what with their quaint mysql and php oldness and their general clunking and wheezing but they are dirt cheap. It's your fault for flying Ryanair when you do that, same goes for 1&1.

    PS Bravo to AC for decimating the argument, who needs shillings these days.

  15. David Gosnell

    "1&1 last had an outage in January of 2007"

    Major outage maybe, but there's been nothing but trouble since they upgraded the Debian on their shared servers the other week. Lots of niggly things I've had to contact them about recently, and their customer facing support staff although reasonably friendly have almost precisely zero technical knowledge about the products being sold. I used to strongly recommend 1&1 but cannot any more.

    By the way, the times quoted for the outage appear to be German rather than UK time, given that (based on cron failures) our databases were unavailable from about 1.00pm until 2.15pm.

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Boffin

    99.9% Uptime per Millennium

    They don't state the time period for this 99.9% uptime guarantee so it could be over 1000 years or longer so they have a few years before they break that promise.

    Would not like to be in their datacentre in Germany. Ah Nein! I guess would have been the response from them!

  17. Hayden Clark Silver badge

    Ok, smart people!

    We get the idea that 1&1 are a bit useless.

    Please spill the beans as to a hosting company that does web, email, database, and lets you host multiple domains on one account?

  18. nikos
    Thumb Down

    have you noticed FPSE is gone too?

    silently during the recent server "upgrade" 1&1 removed Frontpage Extensions from linux servers "for compatibility issues", and screwed up my webdav (webfolder) access to the website

    their advise was to switch back to FTP, my advise is to switch to another provider...

  19. Gerald

    RE: OK, smart people!

    www.bluehost.com is good for all of that.

  20. David Viner Silver badge
    Thumb Up

    @Ok, smart people!

    Recommended: PlugSocket.com

    Small but efficient, they know their stuff. On the rare occasions that problems arise, they fix them PDQ. Based in Suffolk. I've got several of my customers using them (both single or multiple accounts).

    One to avoid: FastHosts

    They are shite.

  21. Lee Dowling Silver badge

    Rephrase the question:

    Okay, short of 1&1, name a BRITISH host that does all of that. This is the problem - even when I'm in the UK, I have trouble getting support and I can phone up and shout at people. They are not going to care about an email from the UK if they are US based. Email is not technical support unless you're a home-user.

    I ended up using Netweaver.net for my basic hosting requirements but even lately their webmail just stopped working for me and I can't get a reply.

  22. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @supermeerkat

    Since having ditched both 1and1 and fasthosts for hosting clients sites and moved to necetera i have not had a single problem, pretty reasonable packages and helpfull and (fluent) english support.

    there support docs could do with an update, but cpanel is easy enough to get your head arround

  23. David Gosnell

    Smaller hosts

    Trouble with the smaller hosts (no idea if any of the above are included) is that you may find they're subletting off the big names. Out of the frying pan, into the fire, with an extra step added to problem resolution. On the brighter side, even if they are subletting, they're probably using a dedicated server, which even with 1&1 seems a little safer from unexpected configuration changes.

  24. tardigrade
    Stop

    No surprises.

    @nikos "have you noticed FPSE is gone too?"

    Front Page was been 'end of life'd' a long time ago so it's not surprising that support is being removed. It's also a naff way to update anything and has been a bane for years. So good ridance to it. Use WebDav instead which is much better, if this has effected your dav accounts thats a seperate issue that you need to complain to 1&1 about.

    The "Cheap hosting, cheapskate business" comment is absolutely correct.1&1 are shite because they are a big company selling cheap accounts. How many times do we have to say to people 'you pay peanuts, you get monkey's'. If you want rock solid hosting in a managed environment use Rackspace but be prepared to pay £249 per month for it.

    Reaching the magical 5 nines (99.999% uptime) which is the only worthwhile promise of service reliability is not simple and its not cheap.

    The comments about 1&1 billing are absolutely correct. They cut you of when you have valid payment. They send letters to old addresses when the details have been updated for months prior to this. They never ever email you to tell you that there is a billing problem and they never email with an explaination to service outages.

    I had an old dedicated server at 1&1 go down last month, HDD failure. I asked for an ETA as to when it would be swaped they said 4 hours. 8 hours later I phoned again and again they said 4 hours etc, etc. In the end it took them three days swap it out. No explaination why after many requests.

    Luckily my main accounts are on a server with multiple raid array drives. Try explaining to a customer why they need to pay more for this service though or why my service costs more because I choose to maintain geographically diverse secondary DNS. Customers don't care all they see is "well 1&1 are cheaper i'll use them".

    Anyway it could be worse it could be FastHosts! (shudder)

  25. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    Time difference

    I've noticed the time discrepancy problem; if I upload a page to them and, a few minutes later, make a change and upload the same page again, I get a message saying that a newer version exists on the server.

    I don't have any commercial websites, but I do have a fair number of domains, and they are pretty cheap for that purpose. If I had a commercial site, I would probably use a UK based host and pay a bit more money for it.

    Paris Hilton because it's the clueless leading us on.

  26. Alan Donaly
    Thumb Up

    I was checking on 1and 1

    for someone who needed hosting I was sold until I started looking around the 1 and 1 website and noticed PHP errors displayed on page and decided this did not bode well. Things like that say something about a hosting company anyway.

  27. Andy Morrell
    IT Angle

    Recommendations

    I've been with pipeten.com for over 2 years now and they are great. I don't think my site has gone down.

    They give me a good package for not much over £5 a month, mind you it's only for a bit of play/practice as I'm a developer by trade.

  28. Mike

    my experience

    I've had 2 dedicated servers with 1and1 before

    the first one i got was reliable and i had it running for a good 18 months without a single outage (only downtime was caused by me rebooting it setting something up or doing updates etc)

    then i got a second for a different purpose, this one i needed plesk on it for a convenient control panel for customer access and this is where the problems began. the plesk image they used to install the servers was broken and installed a broken system that didn't work. I asked for the plesk keys so i could use the "clean system" image then install plesk myself and nothing, phoned them and "you must select plesk from the control panel, then it works" so i used the plesk image and phoned the "first level support" again "it's not working".. "it looks like it is working from my system" - of course after i had to talk him through how to log in to plesk (wtf was he looking at to claim it was working without error??) he finally admitted a problem, after several hours on the phone they finally agreed to a refund and cancellation. of course i did check the server logs to see where he had logged in to the server from (after I had had to tell him how to use plesk, great support!) and i'm sure you wouldn't be suprised at the fact that it was an ADSL connection in south america (i guess someone said indian call centers were a bad idea, so they went for somewhere just as bad that wasn't called india?)

    that's when i moved the other server away from them as well!

    shared hosting accounts you can't rely on, there will always be problems with reliability with other customers etc unless you are paying extremely highly for it, in fact i'd say i doubt you can find a low cost shared host that can handle a busy website (even just a few hundred thousand users a day busy) that uses mysql (servage seem good for static files unlike many, however their mysql is just as bad as the others)

    for dedicated hosting 1and1 were very reliable and have a decent network, however the problem is their support, or should i say the problem is there isn't support.

    of course if you do have serious reliability requirements then the best solution is geographically diverse servers with different providers, 2 cheap "budget" dedicated servers with everything mirrored and load balanced between them would give better reliability than a typical "high availability" host, but cost not much more than budget hosting (of course for small sites it's likely budget hosting can be much cheaper, but then that sort of site wouldn't have the same reliability requirements)

    I currently run one site with high availability requirements (relatively low traffic, around 100,000 hits/day) from a pair of really cheap VPS accounts (£5/month and £6/month), i get the prices of budget hosting but i've yet to have an outage! (the only problem with such a setup is synchronizing dynamic content, which often means custom made scripts, not a problem for me as it's all custom made anyway but some people like to just click the "install an ecommerce site" button)

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