Another reason why you should not use 1and1

Yesterday, I went to the 1and1 web site and updated the DNS servers for three of the domains I administer. This morning, when I went to confirm that the changes had propagated successfully, I discovered that they had for only one of the three domains. On my 1and1 dashboard, the other two domains were reporting, “There is a domain registration error in the DNS.”

I emailed 1and1′s “expert” customer service department and asked what this error means and why these two domains did not update successfully. I got back this response:

Thank you for contacting us.

While the domain transfer is on the process for both domains (domain1 and domain2) is not yet complete/ready, you have already made the DNS change and this is the exact reason behind why the domain shows an error.

At this point I need to escalate your case to set your domains as ready.

Please do wait for any updates onceĀ  this caseĀ  has been checked.

If you have any further questions please do not hesitate to contact us.

Let’s count the problems here:

  1. Changing the DNS servers for a domain should take minutes, not hours or days.
  2. It should work the first time.
  3. It should not fail for no reason.
  4. When it doesn’t work, an email notification about the problem / delay should be sent to the registrant.
  5. When it doesn’t work, a full explanation of the problem should be provided.
  6. When asked for an explanation of the problem, the registrar’s “expert” customer service representatives should be able to respond with coherent English sentences, not nearly meaningless gobbledygook.

I am definitely escaping 1and1 at the earliest opportunity.

UPDATE: I received a second response from 1and1 later the same day. It read as follows:

Thank you for contacting us.

The DNS has been reset on domain1. domain2 is currently at ready status in your account.

If you have any further questions please do not hesitate to contact us.

I logged into the 1and1 web site and found the following:

  • domain1 is still broken.
  • domain2 is actually fixed (amazing!).
  • A third domain, which I will call domain3 in any further updates, which was correct this morning, is now broken.

Absolutely astounding.

Needless to say, I wrote back and told them that one of the domains they claimed was fixed wasn’t, and another domain which was previously working is now broken.

UPDATE: It took them another day to respond. Here is what they said:

The error on your domain is a result from invalid DNS settings. The name server addresses you are attempting to use have not been registered with Verisign. The only way that the 1&1 Control Panel will accept these addresses is if they are registered properly. Please contact the registrar of the parent domain and provide them with the subdomains you wish to use as name server addresses. If you are unsure of the current registrar for the domain, a WHOIS search will provide you with this information.

Here’s what I wrote back:

What the FUCK are you talking about?

There is no requirement for name server addresses to be “registered with Verisign.” The only requirement for the host name in an NS record is that it be resolvable via DNS. Both jik3.kamens.brookline.ma.us and jik.xvm.mit.edu are valid DNS names which resolve properly.

I submitted these host names to Neustar as the NS records for my locality domain, kamens.brookline.ma.us, and they accepted them without complaint. Not only that, but I submitted the host names TO 1AND1 for the use in two of my other domains, kamens.info and kamens.us, and you accepted these host names without complaint for those domains. It is COMPLETE, UTTER, UNADULTERATED BULLSHIT to say that there’s something wrong with using these host names in my NS records, considering that YOU’VE ALREADY ACCEPTED THESE HOST NAMES AS THE NS RECORDS FOR TWO OF MY DOMAINS THAT ARE REGISTERED WITH YOU.

Can you please get your heads out of your asses for long enough to fix my domains?

A few minutes later, I sent this:

You know what? Never mind. Forget it. Don’t bother fixing my domains. I’m transferring them to another registrar. There’s no way I’m keeping my domains registered for you for a single minute longer than I have to. It’s absolutely incredible how incompetent you people are.

This article is by Jonathan Kamens from blog.kamens.us.