The company “1&1″ has allowed my domain, patterico.com, to be hijacked.
Look up at the address bar. This is still the Patterico site — but I no longer have the patterico.com domain — even though I renewed it before the expiration date. My domain registrar has apparently seen fit to sell the domain out from under me despite my having taken timely steps to renew it.
If they can do this to me, they can do it to you. They can do it to anyone.
I have spent the past couple of days trying to give them the benefit of the doubt, but they’re now selling it off, so it’s clear they’ve been lying to me. I’ll spare you the full details. Here are the important facts:
- I resolved a billing mixup more than two weeks before the expiration date and was assured everything would be fine.
- I learned 4-5 days before the expiration date that the account was still mistakenly closed.
- I was told I had to open a new account and “transfer” the domain from the old, closed account to the new, open one.
- I initiated this transaction on the first possible business day after learning of the problem, requesting the “transfer” two days before the expiration date.
- It is now two days after the expiration date and despite repeated assurances from the company that my renewal was on track, my domain is being auctioned off.
I have placed over a dozen phone calls, sent as many e-mails, and even sent a fax identifying myself and demanding that they do this renewal.
I am currently researching my options and would love to hear advice. In the meantime, let 1&1 know how you feel.
UPDATE: I am apparently not the first person 1&1 has done this to; see here for a similar story. The difference is that I put in for my renewal in a timely fashion.
UPDATE x2: If anyone wants to help monetarily, so I can pursue legal options, please don’t use the Paypal tip jar on the sidebar unless you’re paying with a credit card, because Paypal takes a percentage of credit card donations. Paypal any donations to patterico AT gmail DOT com; I’ll get 100% of any such donations.
I don’t have time to make a button; sorry. I have to get to work.
UPDATE x3: Don’t be misled by the fact that, for some ISPs and browsers, patterico.com is bouncing to patterico.net. That is the result of a caching that was put in place by my administrator days ago as a temporary Band-aid. It does not mean the problem has been solved. In fact, it has gotten worse: the auction has closed, which likely means that somebody has bought the domain. I need to take legal action immediately.
UPDATE x4: Until this is resolved, I can be reached at patterico.net. Please bookmark it now.
UPDATE x5: Here is a screenshot of the auction as it was in progress. Note that they were demanding thousands of dollars.
UPDATE x6: If you have been ripped off by 1&1, Sedo, and/or DomCollect in a similar fashion, e-mail me. patterico AT gmail and the usual ending: DOT com. I know it has happened to others. The only question is how many others.