Our 1and1 Nightmare, A Bad Registrar Can Ruin Your Day

Our 1and1 Nightmare, A Bad Registrar Can Ruin Your Day

I had to write a post about this.  We do our best to protect our clients and make sure their sites remain online at all times.  As web designers we work with many different domain registrars.  These are the companies you use to register a domain name.  Most also provide web hosting services but it’s by no means required to use them (in many cases we don’t suggest it).  GoDaddy has become the largest and most recognizable name in this industry.  We personally like to use Namecheap internally, but there are many other decent providers.

Some are good, some are bad, and some just get the job done.  Then there is 1and1.  We cringe when we hear that a client uses 1and1’s registrar because we know it’s going to be an uphill battle to push servers live, do migrations, set up a CDN, or change even simple DNS A records.

For 1and1, it’s best to explain the travesty we’re going through.  One of our clients, Armed Gamer (, offline at this time), experiences large spikes in traffic throughout the day when he makes or promotes new posts.  A way to help mitigate slowdowns and lower the server load is to CDN the site, we chose CloudFlare in this case.  For this to work, the nameservers for the domain need to be changed from 1and1 to Cloudflare.  It’s normally a trivial task and it takes maybe up to 10 minutes on slower registrars.   But not on 1and1.

We pushed the change on 1and1 and waited.  Generally registrars put up warnings letting users know that locations may cache the old records up to a day.  It’s normal and fine in this case; this minority of users just wouldn’t pass through the CDN network.  We waited an hour or so for the status to change, then the client contacted us.  Site reported down.  Users reporting it down.  Not good.  We checked again, pending update.

This is where things went from bad to worse.  We queried the DNS, it didn’t report back an ip.  No error, just blank.  So we then queried 1and1’s DNS servers directly since they held the records prior.  Blank.  We surmise that while the updates were “pending”, 1and1 wiped the records on their own servers and left us high and dry with the site offline.  So we called in to support.  After a 20 minute hold, we finally spoke to a CSR that told us this was normal and could take up to 48 hours.  We responded that it is not normal at all, normal registrars do not wipe their nameservers even after delegating to an external provider…  then the call was disconnected.

We then started to coordinate with Stephen at Armed Gamer to get the domain off of 1and1 as soon as possible as they were unwilling to provide support other than “just wait, it’s normal” (as he’s losing revenue and followers from an offlined site we have no way to fix).  Both Armed Gamer and Uber Motif have reached out to 1and1’s support via phone and Twitter without results.

Most registrars take a few hours to transfer out of, 1and1 holds a domain hostage for 5 days because that’s the max allowed under ICANN regulation.  We don’t support holding clients hostage, especially when they are currently incurring damages as a result of incompetence.

To sum up:

1. Simple nameserver delegation change that takes 10 minutes at most on the majority of registrars is claimed to take up to 2 days on 1and1.

2. Above simple change does not wipe records on normal registrars, no downtime occurs.  Not on 1and1.

3. Transferring a domain out of 1and1 takes 5 days.  Most registrars complete the request same day.

4. Support has long hold times, does not acknowledge the above behavior as damaging to our client and atypical for a registrar to engage in.

It’s been over 17 hours downtime as of the writing of this post with no end in sight.  We would have been furious over a few hours of downtime, we’re now at war until this gets resolved.  If you or your company has experienced a nightmare like this at the hands of 1and1, please share this along and comment below.  If you’re looking to move your domains off of their system, we will provide assistance free of charge.

We’ll update this post below as things progress (times in EDT):

18:29, Stephen reports that a support tech at 1&1 just took notice of this blog post (sort of obvious since we linked it on twitter) and claims this has been forwarded along to DNS administrators for investigation. Let’s see if anything happens.

20:15, Just got off the phone with Aaron at 1&1. They are working to provide a solution and insist they can complete it by 4AM. I requested that our transfer ticket go through to move this out to Namecheap before that. Armed Gamer is at near 21 hours down and will be near 30 hours by that time. This is really the only thing they can do at this point to mitigate further damage.

~3:00, Domain transfer processed.

7:16, Aaron notifies us of the processed transfer.

8:38, Updating nameserver delegation at Namecheap.

8:39, Update fully propagated.

It’s possible this may have been an issue at 1&1 in their system because they provide a free CloudFlare-supported CDN service and we are using the CloudFlare’s standalone paid service. But it doesn’t excuse it from working and our client shouldn’t have had to suffer through their troubleshooting.

I’d like to thank Aaron at 1and1 for reaching out to us to gain a resolution in this matter. If it were not for him, we’d likely still be waiting.

Update 12/2: 1&1 actually reached out to us again last month to provide us with more specialized contact information for anyone stuck with a DNS issue. While we’re fairly sure the underlying technical issues have not been resolved yet, this is at least a positive step from them, information is as follows:

1&1 Internet, Inc.
The Solutions Team
(they likely got rid of this team, if they ever really had it, so they could invest more advertising money into deceiving people)

Please write back into our comments or send us an email to let us know if this helped you out!

Update 12/9: Nameserver is not responding on a client using 1and1’s nameservers. We tried the above contact info, the number was busy and we have not received an email in over an hour. Fun.

Update 1/17/2016: We still continue to receive reports that 1and1 hasn’t changed its sleazy business practices. I decided to research a bit, and it appears 1and1 is under the 2013 Registrar Accreditation Agreement from ICANN. This means they need to provide a clear description of their customer support procedures. I would argue providing us with false information like the above constitutes a violation of this agreement, but alas I am not a lawyer. Here’s a link to information and a complaint form should you want to file a complaint with ICANN:


  • wpgjgkzhak on Jun 03, 2023 Reply


  • Marko on Feb 28, 2019 Reply

    Had similar appalling service with 1&1, noticed our site was dropping out every day and after a few weeks of it contacted support. At that time we were running through Cloudflare and the tech support told me we were not hosting with 1&1 !!!. I told them we were, and they replied we are hosting with Cloudflare!?!?! Really?!. After multiple attempts to explain to them THEY were my host, something must have clicked, and the tech support offered to reset my nameservers and not being able to conduct myself any longer I agreed, and what do you know, the website was back online?!. Clearly they’ve hit the ‘work’ button for the website so I gave it another few days and yes, you’ve guessed it, site down again and emails telling me my ‘performance levels’ needed to be increased (at a cost) to meet the demand for my website which literally gets a few dozen or so hits a day. I promptly began the process of moving host as well as my domain name, and that was something like 4 weeks ago, and I’m still having issues trying to get the domain across, they just have no idea what they are doing and thank god I’ve with a more responsible host now who are actually a few pence cheaper a month!.
    Thing is, I’ve been running sites for years and I’ve yet to meet a ‘fantastic’ host, so fingers crossed with my new one who up until now are hitting the mark.

  • Paul on Feb 20, 2019 Reply

    Well, this bad behavior continues.
    I tried to transfer a domain from my IONOS 1and1 account to my partners IONOS account and the issued authentication code failed to work. Twice!. . This should have been a really simple internal transfer within IONOS. Very wrong.. Their website screwed up while trying to authenticate the transaction. Saying the billing method was wrong.. Which was incorrect as we had other domains transferring fine. For some reason, this one just refused.
    So, after calling support (5 times on as many days!!), and emailing support and many many times over, my domain was then apparently put into ‘monitisation’ meaning it wasn’t mine anymore! wtf.
    They wanted £90 + fees + VAT for me to get it back – utterly ridiculous. After more calls, they eventually agreed this was a mistake and after around 6 days of downtime, gave me my domain back… The transfer never happened. I decided not to chance it again. What a complete disgrace to the internet these people are. Utter shambles. Find another domain registrar and have an easier life.

  • Jessica Elliott on Feb 13, 2019 Reply

    I’m commenting to state that I am having a similar issue. I don’t know all of the fancy backend stuff, but my husband does and he found this for me. What I do know is that, on a fairly regular basis, my site randomly goes down for hours or even days at a time. Sometimes there is no error I can find, other times it’s repeating redirects causing the loading of the website to error out. I am up for renewal with 1&1 and would love to take you up on the offer to help me leave, although after reading the above comments I am a little concerned about what will happen if I turn off auto renew :/

  • Hilario on Dec 31, 2018 Reply

    Yeah. Their email support really sucks. I have had a few tickets open with them and it appears that they do not know English. They could be using like a google translator so most often their responses are frustrating.
    I have received a far better response when I send them a message on Facebook. You could try the same.

  • Alan on Apr 23, 2018 Reply

    Last month I got an email that my domain would be expiring. I logged onto control panel on 1and1 to renew it. I got an email that it was renewed and new expire date was in 2019. I also got an email that Auto-Renew had been enabled (aso that the expire and renew was in 2019.) I don’t use the auto-renew because my payment method is a debit card and I have to place funds in it when I know something is going to be charged to it. So I went in the Control Panel and disabled the auto-renew on the domain. Then I got an email that it was disabled and my expiration date was set back to in 2018. Being concerned about that I called their support on the phone. They assured me it was not a problem and it would be renewed. A week later I got an invoice. And my card was charged for the renewal.

    I thought nothing of it anymore until I was doing some checking here a month later. I found out the domain no longer belonged to me. It was on Sedo Domain Parking. So I called last Friday again and sent all 4 emails I had plus a screen shot showing my bank that they had charged me for the renewal. They said they would fix it and get the domain back. Now it’s Monday and I’m calling again because it seems to still be down. They say the Domain Team is working on it. I asked if I could talk to them? After futzing around and minutes of waiting and keyboard clatter like she was typing – she finally transferred me to Tech Support. Now this one, she says, the domain is with DOT something? Look at the whois she says. (Whois says 1and1) and they have to email me and them an authorization code. It should happen today but maybe not? I don’t have much confidence in this. Sedo seems to have it for sale for $995.00. I guess they think it has value because it used to have some traffic on it.

    I think there is something wrong with their system … I don’t think I did anything wrong. If I renewed a domain and later turned off auto-renew – it should not negate a manual renew. And you would think some kind of quality control would review that a invoice was made and charged / paid – and that the paid action actually happened. Too much automation and I think (almost) nobody at 1&1 knows how it actually works. The billing works! Wahoo!!!! :-(

  • Ellie on Jan 24, 2018 Reply

    Hi I’ve just come across your blog. I have the same problem with CDN. I only activated as was recommended by the !&! optimizer website checker, the next day i found lots of images wouldn’t load so I deactivated the CDN now my website won’t load at all! Tried logging into it via wordpress but the browser cant find it. Am on phone (on hold) to 1&1 at moment to see if they can fix it. If anyone can give me advice that would be great Thanks

  • Josh on Dec 30, 2017 Reply

    I just did a calculation. With the immense lag of their website it will take 140 hours total to cancel each of my contracts by hand.

    I am literally stuck with them unless I spend weeks sitting and looking at solid lag.

    This sounds like I am being fugurative, but no. This is very real.

  • mark flatt on Dec 05, 2017 Reply

    all of a sudden our mx records changed to office 365 (an app we have with 1and1) We didnt ask for this, it just happened

    Their online process will not let us change the record and 1and1 CSR’s are not allowed to speak to the technical desk, they can only email and refuse to allow anyone to talk to them. 3 days they record this could take….3 days with no email, absolute madness. We’re a shipping company and we exchange by email around the world constantly, this is crippling us at the moment.

  • George on Dec 04, 2017 Reply

    I did transfer all my domains away from “0&0” (not even one) long time ago before expiring.
    However, even being with an other registrar, they
    charged me for “Renewal”.
    Took me almost a month and all kind of hours on the phone to get my money back.
    I can understand how people register domains with them …

  • Mark Stubbington on Dec 03, 2017 Reply

    This article and one sentence pretty much sums up how we feel about 1and1

    “We cringe when we hear that a client uses 1and1’s registrar because we know it’s going to be an uphill battle”

    They are awful – We’ve found clients think they are saving some money setting up hosting themselves – how wrong they are.

  • Haakon on Oct 03, 2017 Reply

    I really, really wish I had discovered this page before taking the plunge with I had seen it listed with a bunch of other hosts as having good reviews and ratings. After I signed up for a new hosting plan with a domain I am now having big time regrets. The first clue came when after setting up my new domain, randomly my site would go to a URL parking page upon page refresh. If I go directly to my url and then navigate through, no problems, like on my old host.

    I tried to contact “customer service” regarding this issue. After waiting a half hour the “customer service” rep didn’t have any clue and basically told me that it must be my fault because its just set up that way… Um, what? OMG I’ve made a terrible mistake. Fortunately it only cost $47, now I know why it only cost $47 lol

  • Nick on Sep 07, 2017 Reply

    1&1 completely wiped our DNS records over the weekend without notification.

    This took down our website, stopped remote users working from home and stopped our emails.

    We have had to add in all of our DNS / A reords to bring everything back on line.

    All of our domains hosted by them are paid up to date.

    I have sent five emails with three simple questions on asking why it happened, what caused it and what are they doing to ensure it doesnt happen again.

    The only reply I am getting from their useless support is that they are monitoring the situation.

    Does anyone have an email address for me to escalate the call to?

  • Jason Butler on Jun 28, 2017 Reply

    I’m having a nightmare with 1&1 at the moment – Currently I’ve been tasked with moving a website from one hosting to another.
    The nameservers are pointing at a different hosting company (which i don’t have access too) so i wanted to revert them back to 1&1 so i could manage the DNS from the control dash – I’ve done this dozens of times for multiple clients so its no deal.
    So far its taken 6 days (for what usually would be 2 clicks and an hour wait), i had to contact customer support to find out what the hell was going on – what a farce!
    They don’t have a clue!
    1) First they told me that they wasn’t the registrar – till i told them to check the
    2) Then they told me get in touch with the current host to transfer the domain back to them – till i reminded them that they were the registrar
    3) Then they said that it’ll take 24 hours for them to remove the domain from the account, then 48 hours to add it back to the same account (basically transfer the site from themselves and back again – not kidding!) and that i’d loose website and email services (and any DNS related functions) for 3 days during the process and then wanted to charge me for the service!

    – As a developer who deals web-services and DNS everyday i knew way more than the stupid customer support zombie who constantly put me on hold while she spoke to someone (a bit) more technical.
    I just felt like they were giving me the run around – their 3rd point was just a complete farce, in all my years as a developer I’ve never heard such rubbish!

    I’ve spoken to my client – we are going to transfer the domain to another registrar (for free) where i can set the DNS up before it propagates, so everything justs work without the ridiculous downtime.

    Hopefully transferring the domain away from them shouldn’t pose much of a problem… but after the last phone call – i’m not holding my breath.

  • JP on May 07, 2017 Reply

    Ugh! I’m going through this nightmare right now with attempting to change DNS servers on one of my 1&1 website. Customer support literally has ZERO clue about what they are doing. I’ve now been without a website or email service for over 24 hours. I’m fuming.

  • Jesse on Apr 06, 2017 Reply

    Crazy, crazy. I’ve been with 1and1 for more than a decade, and sure haven’t had any problems like this before.

    I set one of my domains to not auto-renew, and figured it would just automatically terminate and that would be that.

    Instead, they automatically renewed it anyway, since I didn’t “Cancel” it. But my credit card number had changed, so the charge didn’t go through.

    I eventually figured out what happened when they started calling my cell several times a day (I didn’t answer the calls since I was often at work, and they didn’t leave any messages). We had moved, and they still had our old mailing address on file, so we weren’t getting letters in the mail from them.

    So I emailed them and asked to have that domain cancelled and refunded, and planned to update my credit card number once the charges were straightened out, to avoid mistaken charges.

    They cancelled the domain and credited it to the account, but did not cancel the associated email hosting plan that I asked them to cancel along with it.

    I sat down to email them about it again, and realized that my primary email address had quit working!!!

    My primary email address is based on another domain that is also registered through 1and1. This is their practice, which is completely unbelievable for a domain registrar. When one domain is unpaid, they eventually lock down all the other domains on the account!

    What makes it more insulting is that it was their mistake… they failed to cancel the second charge that I requested them to cancel. Also, they failed to cancel the auto-renew as I requested.

    So at that point, I could no longer continue emailing them about it, so I called. I was informed that I would have to call back at other hours to speak with the cancellation department. In the meantime, my account should be unlocked within several hours…

    I have never heard of a domain registrar locking all domains on an account if one charge is unpaid or doesn’t go through, for a completely unrelated domain or service! That hijacked my primary personal email account. I had no idea 1and1 has such terrible customer service and business practices until this event.

  • Zenzi on Mar 20, 2017 Reply

    I wish I had seen this before I fell for the dollar domain charge. I’ve been trying to transfer my domain out of 1&1 for almost a month, and they’ve been of no assistance, except to tell me that my domain is unlocked, and I *shoudln’t* have any trouble transferring it out. Well, I do, and they suck. If someone has any suggestions, please share them, because I’d like to be done with them, once and for all.

    • Joe on Mar 20, 2017 Reply

      I’ll shoot you an email.

      • zenzi on Mar 21, 2017 Reply

        Thank you!

  • steve on Mar 01, 2017 Reply

    there support is horrible! everyone has a major accent and is hard to understand. very long hold times! could not solve my problem on one call, ever!!!

    stay away

  • Anthony Jenkins on Feb 07, 2017 Reply

    Just posted to let people know that this practice is still going on. Stay Away from 1and1 !

  • Jamie on Nov 07, 2016 Reply

    I’ve moved from a Windows 2k8 VPS with 1and1 to a 2012 Cloud Server and DNS is not playing ball at all.

    I’m in the UK.

  • bookish on Nov 03, 2016 Reply

    My daughter texted me today to say her WP blog was offline. We renewed her domain 9/29/2016 along with another domain. On 10/2 supposedly placed it in Pending Delete. Whois still shows 1and1 as the registrar with nameservers pointing at WP. CSR suggests that I try to buy it everyday. Any other ideas?

    My other domain was picked up by so I guess I will need to transfer that. Thanks for any assistance.

  • Sheng on Aug 15, 2016 Reply

    1&1 is so bad. I waited 3 days to receive a new email after I purchase domain name from 1&1. and the new email i got ask me to provide personal information to them.

    I really hate 1&1, it wasted my time.

    • Sheng on Aug 15, 2016 Reply

      I also write an article “Why you should avoid to buy a domain from 1&1 Internet Company” for 1&1

      • Joe on Aug 31, 2016 Reply

        Your site appears to be currently down. Need a hand? Shoot us an email.

    • Cynthia on Sep 28, 2016 Reply

      My GOD they suck so hard. They’re playing the same game. They keep saying they’ll send this stupid e-mail but they don’t. And then they send me an e-mail….. to ask me to fill out a SURVEY to RATE MY RECENTLY RESOLVED CASE! They have NO PROBLEM sending me e-mails! They just want to keep my website down so they can keep up their banner ads for 1&1 instead of my home business’s website!!!!

  • Josh on Aug 10, 2016 Reply

    A business partner of mine had all his domains and hosting in 1and1. When i partnered up with him I had purchased domains through a couple different registrars and all my hosting is done in various ec2’s. Anyway he has all the money so I let him convince me to at least consolidate our domains on his 1and1 account. Everything was fine for 2 weeks until today I see our domain was shutdown do to the icann registrar contact not responding. He’s setup as the general contact and at first I think he flaked and didn’t respond to the email but no, I checked for him and he never received it. In the “we shut your domain down” email they give instructions to update the registrar contact info as a way to regenerate the email and unlock the domain. I did that and after 2 hours of waiting he never got the email and the domain is showing “pending update”. So I get on the phone with 1and1, sit on hold for an half hour. The auto attendant says call times will be longer because of some technical issue and to check for updates on the issue….the page lists no problems at all. After a half hour of hold music it sounds like someone picks up but then just silence. I don’t want to half to start at the beginning of the queue again so I wait another 20 minutes of silence before I hang up and call again. Another half hour this time but I get a kid on the phone who basically tells me the only thing he can do is update my info and that he has essentially the same tools I do. I ask to speak to someone who may actually have some better access and he says that even the supervisors there have the same access. Ultimately he says I have to wait 24 hours for the change to take place….over 24 hours of no email. Our business is driven by contractors and companies awarding us contracts and us communicating this to contractors. I can’t even guarantee the system is working properly to send said email because my partner didn’t get the initial ones…. I’m so pissed right now….

  • Jason Thees on Aug 09, 2016 Reply

    Jeeze. So I added a TXT record today to our DNS settings. Nothing else changed. Microsoft uses this to validate domain ownership, and we’re doing this to migrate my company’s email to Office 365.

    Rest of the afternoon, DNS is very spotty for our mail and other resources that use the name. Finally it dumped altogether.

    Pings find no hosts. MX checks report “Sorry, we couldn’t find any name servers for ‘domain.'” A call to 1and1 let me know that there’s a “glitch” in the system that can cause records in their name server to dump if you add a TXT record, but they’re aware of it now, and now I get to wait 24 hours for it to come back. Because DNS.

    • David Campman on Aug 09, 2016 Reply

      I am literally having the same problem as Jason Thees, on the exact same day…. Bummer

      • Dan on Aug 10, 2016 Reply

        Same here, office 365 migration, changed the name servers 6 hours ago, nothing happening. I do this *weekly* for clients. It’s always a quick painless process. Not with 1and1. Very frustrating.

        • Dan on Aug 10, 2016 Reply

          1/4 hour on hold for “support” Sorry we can’t and wont do anything, you’ll have to wait 24 / 48 hours.

          I’m on a mission now, any clients I find with 1and1 services I will migrate away for them, free of charge.

          • Randy on Aug 17, 2017

            1&1 just did the same to us. We have Office 365 mail when they migrated over DNS they killed our mail for 27 hours. Customer service sucks.

  • Daniel on Jun 30, 2016 Reply

    I found this post via a Google search of “why does it take 1and1 so long to release my domains?” And I’m commenting to keep the topic current… and let anyone reading know that their process is still terrible.

    I’ve never had a transfer take the full five days (that I suppose they are legally allowed to take). Until of course, this recent attempt to migrate a few domains out of 1and1.

    This is just BAD customer service. I was even thinking of only moving a couple of domains and keep a couple low priority ones on 1and1. I rarely needed tech support with them so I could put up with a long wait time and talking with “Steve” in India. Their techs could usually resolve any issues (as long as I told them very specifically what needed to be done).

    I think it’s just their policy to drag their feet on releasing domains. I guess they know they are losing business and they’re giving us a big Screw You on the way out. I’m done with them and will never recommend them to anyone else.

  • Ben Morfis on May 06, 2016 Reply

    Just registered a domain yesterday with 1and1. Inserted the nameservers and waited. After a few hours even if my hosting was showing messages that said that the nameservers were not pointing to them, I was able to install wordpress manually via filetransfer. Everything went good, uploaded a template and started editing it. Worked at it until late in the night at 4am but finished it and was ready to write my first post today. Wake up, went to get a coffee and tried to login to my blog. All that came up was the 1and1 default page that was saying that this domain has just been created. No wp-admin, no nothing. Checked my hosting account and everything was these. My wordpress, all my changes and everything else but I stil can’t access my blog. As my hosting account kept saying that the nameservers were still not pointing to their servers, I did the mistake of entering the nameservers again on 1and1,. Now it still shows the default webpage but it’s loading faster that before meaning that I have to wait again for ages. Why do they do this? I want to write, I want to have readers. The thing is that last night I also submitted my website to google and if you search for, the website shows on Google. Registering on 1and1 was a very bad mistake. I am actually in a hurry to start my blog and grow it because I have plans that can’t really wait too long. What should I do?

    • Ben Morfis on May 06, 2016 Reply

      It’s finally working. I don’t know how but it’s like magic and I’m very happy. Hope it doesn’t happen again just like yesterday.

  • Russ on Apr 20, 2016 Reply

    36 hours and still waiting for the new name servers to propagate…. I have links in place pointing at my new site that now don’t work because this simple change is taking so long. Very annoyed

  • BC on Mar 22, 2016 Reply

    Just moving some old domains off of 1and1…

    Wanted to simply remove the domains – leave the cloudflare in place and keep the hosting temporarily… – have been wanting to move it all since… oh 8 years ago…

    anyway setup cloudflare last year and moved everything fine…

    today a year later moved all domains to google domains
    actually went quite fast for 1and1 – one of the fastest transfer I’ve ever done in recent memory – haven’t done many recently though. – naturally websites went down…

    Now I find this article which means the package should still work – just have to re-add an external domain –

    note that is even with thier newer control panel…
    — Nope —- you now have to use their crappy name services if you wish to have your site on their servers…

    even godaddy will work as long as the A-Record gets updated – but they also want to be the name services – at least theirs supports txt records…

    but like others I like cloudlfare and not about to be down and out due to Godaddy DNS / 1and1 DNS issues again – been awhile but both have had massive dns outages that have caused some serious pain for email & hosting flow for business’

    Anyway – I had already setup my development boxes to support the names so I simply put in the A Records for my backup sites and instantly had my sites back online…

    had they been CMS/Forum Sites it would have been an hour or so to get a current copy and get it moved over…

    • Joe on Mar 22, 2016 Reply

      It’s lucky you could move it out. I wouldn’t put it past them to wipe the site once you transferred the domain out!

      The other danger is that if the sitebuilder was used, you probably wouldn’t be able to move it without scraping the site and attempting to recreate the way it looked.

  • Lisa on Jan 17, 2016 Reply

    I guess I have to consider myself lucky…when I went to change the DNS entries at 1&1 to point to my new nameserver, it absolutely refused to work. Such a simple little thing, really, and something it should be a snap to complete. Would. Not. Work.

    After spending an hour on the phone with tech support (“Gee, I have no idea why it won’t work…”), then waiting 24 hours for a response from them, I read this blog and realized I had to get the hell out of there. So I initiated a transfer to Namecheap right away.

    I got the canned e-mail from 1&1, saying that the domain would be released after 6(?!?) days…but the good news is that my site remained up until the transfer took place. I’ve now pointed the nameservers at Namecheap to my new site and am hoping that our downtime will be minimal (After reading all the entries here I’ve resigned myself to at least 24-48 hours or more of downtime).

    So I guess the moral of the story (at least in my case): get that domain the hell away from 1&1 before you try doing anything else with it.

    I am looking forward to seeing the back of 1&1 very soon. They have been nothing but trouble since day one.

    • Joe on Jan 17, 2016 Reply

      Sucks to hear so many people are continuing to have trouble. I updated the post above with some information on how to file a customer service complaint with ICANN. Unfortunately, you likely can’t use the other dispute form over waiting 6 days because they can do that under their accreditation agreement. (it’s just a shady practice)

  • David Beach on Jan 12, 2016 Reply

    Wow, it’s 1:15 am and I’m sitting at my desk wondering how many people, family, friends and neighbors whom are under the care of our physicians are suffering right now because 1and1 has committed this crime again? And despite Aaron Nye’s and Sebastian Gonzalez’s empty claims of compassion for those who are suffering this same fate STILL Years after the initial post is deplorable.
    We spent 2 hours on the phone with 1and1 attempting to resolve an email issue that had us down for days.. The ill equipped and sparsely educated “tech support staff” all redirected blame for the outage on us and then our ISP and then Microsoft’s Exchange Server… Unbelievable… once we had suffered extended downtime which we painstakingly made everyone aware this situation created a huge patient safety issue and ultimatly was the cause of over 300 individuals to suffer from missed medication and diagnosis as they held our domain hostage and lied about the ability to expedite the process.. As mentioned by others, we followed their directions to the letter and when the transfer began, they wiped out the DNS records so we were totally down. Then the idiot who i spoke with when reporting proceeded to frame the entire outage on us moving our site away from them! And the same ridiculous assertion that it takes a full 5 days to preform the transfer and they act like it is somehow out of their hands.. the domain just floats into the sky for 5 days who cares about the client or the losses they may suffer or people for that matter. Im copying this blog to our legal department to see if their is anything they can do. We are copying our complaint and using this blog as reference to our local BBB and I am researching what leverage the FCC has in regards to this fraudulent and punitive behavior. I’ll report back with updates.. Thank you all for taking the time to document the acts of 1and1.

  • Andrew Smith on Dec 20, 2015 Reply

    Having exactly the same issue (in UK) trying to transfer a domain away from 1&1. I took the precaution of changing the name server in my 1&1 control panel to the the one for my new registrar, set up all the records on new registrar, waited 48 hours then proceeded to initiate transfer. Boom, 1&1 nuked all DNS setting and set the domain server back to them, of course with no domain records. I am now on day two with no-email – lots of calls to Philippines and the prospect of another 3 days with no emails!!!!

    The same system you describe in 2014 is alive and causing mayhem at the end of 2015. Well done 1&1 I could not feel more negative about you!

  • Thomas Falater on Nov 14, 2015 Reply

    I’m having the same problem with I made the mistake of registering my website with them and am now trying to transfer the domain. I jumped through all their hoops and after two weeks I received the authorization email and the 5 day countdown began. That was 6 days ago and still the domain has not transferred. I try to log in to 1and1 to see what is going on and am redirected to a page to update my credit card. No matter what I click on, it takes me to the same page. I even tried to update my credit card and it still takes me to that same page. I call support and am put on hold forever until I have to hang up. I’m totally stuck and can’t transfer my domain from them. I’m complaining to ICAN now. DO NOT USE

  • Jon Bennell on Oct 05, 2015 Reply

    So we’re going through the 1and1 domain migration saga…

    On 29/09 we put in a request to change the IPS tag to another registrar for We were warned that after the tag had been changed, 1and1 would remove the DNS entries on their name servers. This ordinarily wouldn’t have been a problem as the new registrar would have the correct DNS entries and life would go on.

    Two days later (late 01/10), 1and1 did make good on their word about removing the DNS entries but failed to change the tag. As soon as this was noticed (09:30 02/10), we called to report the issue and get the IPS tag changed immediately. This was escalated to the domain admin team (who do not start until midday Mon – Fri) and that. When I heard back from them 5 hours later, we were promised the tag would be changed within 24 hours. I requested that they restore the DNS entries in the meantime, so at least we could restore e-mail and web presence. Sadly 1and1 said this was ‘impossible’. Okay…

    Another call was made on 03/10 when it was clear that they’d failed to make the tag change and our client was still suffering their expulsion from the Internet. ‘Nothing can be done until afternoon on Monday…”; “Send an e-mail to our complaints departments…” E-mail sent to (how ironic…)

    Called again this morning 05/10, issued new case reference (hey, this case has only been open since Saturday so we can all pretend that last week didn’t happen). Expecting a call back after midday.

    All I can say after this experience is that if you care about your business or your client’s business, 1and1 will, through sheer incompetence, mishandle the most simplest of requests, fail to do what they say and harm all parties involved. Essentially you’re being held to ransom rather than them being a valued partner.

    We had no part in this client using 1and1 before we started handling their IT needs but 1and1 are sure wasting a great deal of our time and harming his business.

    So when will this be over? I’d like to say today but based on our current experience with 1and1, I don’t have any confidence.

    • Andrew Smith on Dec 20, 2015 Reply

      How did this end? I am having exactly the same issue!

  • Kris on Oct 03, 2015 Reply

    Trying to do 3 things:-

    1. Change the nameservers for Over 24hrs so far!

    2. Transfer into 1&1 (though god alone knows why) Over 24hrs so far.

    3. Transfer out of 1&1 Over 24hrs so far, but apparently could take 5 days! What the hell?!

    I thought 1&1 would have got better through the years, apparently not.

  • Mark Summers on Sep 29, 2015 Reply

    Namecheap is unresponsive. The risk of losing a domain name is extremely high with Namecheap. Since they are not responsive a domain can lapse and you can lose your domain. They have no phone number to call. None. They operate using only email which they often do not respond to.

  • Chris on Sep 11, 2015 Reply

    Just iniated transfer of the last 2 domains my company had registered with these rookies. Now begins the FIVE days of my domains being held hostage.

    It’s a sad irony that we live in a world where I have to wait longer to transfer a domain then I do to buy a handgun.

    • Joe on Sep 12, 2015 Reply

      Call them and ping the crap out of them on social if you need it faster. They pushed ours out faster than the norm because we kept the pressure on them and this gained traction on reddit.

  • Wayne on Aug 13, 2015 Reply

    My company moved all of our registrations to 1and1 several years ago. (I was not part of that decision) They also have 1and1 host our DNS.

    About 7 months ago after several DDOS attacks I was tasked with identifying a new company to host our DNS. I was able to go in through the 1and1 portal and view the existing DNS entries and decided not to document them as it was easy to access them. The tech assigned with migrating DNS to the new solution (that we began paying for 6 months ago!) informed me that he’s having to do the move manually so I started to look into it. For some reason we no longer can see our DNS records, nor can we create new records. I call Support and spoke to Abel Orillo at 1and1. Abel was unable to comprehend the simplicity of how DNS works and insisted that if we had other DNS records for that domain that they were somehow magically hosted with someone else.

    A trace DNS Delgation for servers on the domain in question all resolve from servers at The latest one was which is at

    All I want to do is to get a bind compatible file so that I can transfer the DNS records to the new service but 1and1 refuse to believe that THEY host our DNS.

    • Wayne on Aug 13, 2015 Reply

      BTW, the number above no longer works.

      • Joe on Aug 13, 2015 Reply

        Why am I not surprised. Fraud at its finest! I’ll update the post.

  • Klaus on Aug 07, 2015 Reply

    Uups, correction – I used the wrong DNS servers for these 3 new domains. With the correct ones all worked fine. Sorry for that.

    • Joe on Aug 07, 2015 Reply

      Good to hear it worked finally! Maybe they have actually fixed the issue on their end. As I said in the post, this is not a big feature request to make changing nameserver delegation work, it’s a bug report.

      We use Namecheap for .de, they work just fine for that. I don’t think they do Whoisguard for that ccTLD and they don’t act as a registered agent. We don’t have an office in Germany for our one domain so we might have it terminated. Other registrars provide an agent in the country so it fully complies with the ToS.

  • Klaus on Aug 07, 2015 Reply

    I have to withdraw my previous message. I transferred 3 more domains and changed their DNS server settings and all domains are now off-line – not really important since they aren’t seriously used at this stage but it’s an interesting exercise … 1h & counting …

    I think I’ll use a different registrar from my primary domain. Any recommendation for a decent registrar that manages .de domains ?

  • Klaus on Aug 06, 2015 Reply

    Just a few days ago I actually migrated a (so far unused) domain TO 1&1 (Germany) which I wanted to link to CloudFlare (natively) just like you described here.

    That was BEFORE reading your report which made me nervous for obvious reasons. I planned to move my primary domain to 1&1 (because Strato Germany doesn’t allow to specify external name servers for domains … speaking of poor registrars here …).

    Now as a first test I changed the 1&1 DNS servers to Google Cloud DNS. To my relieve this worked flawlessly with no downtime – the Google DNS servers began to show up after 20min or so – this varies, of course).

    But yeah, 1&1 (and Strato) are discounters … you get what you pay for. The 1&1 portal has many outages for instance (and while we are at it – the Strato Cloud Servers are a joke).

    I reckon I will keep my activities at 1&1 to a bare minimum. Unfortunately the big German hosting companies are MUCH cheaper than AWS or Google Cloud because traffic is free (and I got a large traffic volume). Otherwise I wouldn’t bother anymore. I suspect their business model will collapse soon anyway – they are mostly selling bare metal servers and that era is coming to an end.

  • Jonathan on Mar 16, 2015 Reply

    Every single time I’ve referred a client to 1and1 because they wanted something cheap, I’ve given them the disclaimer that their service is abominable. Without fail, I’ve had to call in to resolve issues on every one of my clients’ accounts. On hold with them right now. Believe you me, this is the last time.

    • Joe on Mar 16, 2015 Reply

      It’s now policy here to suggest clients use anyone else. We just suggest they read this blog post. The crap back in December was really the last straw for any hope of redemption from them.

      They provided us with specialized support contact information to update this post with, and in exchange they said they’d help out our last client still using them as a thank you. That’s never happened, and when we needed to use the line for them, nobody answered.

  • BlackFox on Dec 20, 2014 Reply

    This came up on a google search, i have many servers with 1&1 and many dropouts with their DNS services. I’ve recently changed and transffered out all my domains (over 100) to AWS Route53 – I am VERY happy. No problems at all, super fast and more control. Their Health Checks are always reportings drop outs on the server connections – therefore I will be transffering all my dedicated servers out in the new year with other hosts.

    Their network might be big, fast and huge but i cannot see this on my dedicated servers. I have a few VPS instances which are slow as hell, and my dedicated contracts are always falling through. Their support staff are arrogant, read from scripts and i find it very very hard to understand them. I feel as though their server support staff just sit there and laugh when saying ‘yeah, your server is down – not much we can do, it;s your server’ when sometimes the problem lies within their control.

    I reccomend external DNS providers. Route53 works for me, there are 100’s of others.

  • Fred on Dec 03, 2014 Reply

    Same problem here with 1and1 trying to transfer DNS delegation to another service with lower TTL. I honestly cannot believe how horrible the service is. I’m pulling everything from them immediately, I just have to figure out how to deal with being down for 24-48 hours while something as simple as DNS transfer takes place. It is now December, resolution was promised back in September?

    • Joe on Dec 09, 2014 Reply

      Believe it or not, most services let you configure the TTL to your fancy.

      Hope you got it all out before today’s lovely outage.

  • Jason Smith on Nov 25, 2014 Reply

    Well, despite the fact that this post (and therefore the issue it described) is now two months old, 1and1’s bad practices regarding domain transfers and name server delegation hasn’t changed a bit. Maybe Mr. Nye’s invitation for customer feedback was just for PR and not actually for improving their business practices?

    I’m in the process of transferring my domain, out of a 1and1 account, and I’m experiencing exactly the same issues mentioned here: I attempted to change the name servers, and 1and1 knocked me offline by blanking their DNS record without delegating the nameserver. I also initiated a domain transfer, and was notified that it will require a full five days to complete. And so my business and I are cut off from the world while 1and1 does who-knows-what with all that wait time…very bad business practice if you ask me.

    • Joe on Dec 02, 2014 Reply

      To be fair before you wrote in this comment, we were contacted by someone else at 1and1 with more specialized support contact information. I just never got around to updating the post with the information until today. So at best they are monitoring this still and consider it an issue from a PR standpoint. I just wish they’d prioritize fixing the technical end.

      Apologies for not getting it up there when it could help you, but it looks like you got the domain out successfully now.

  • not happy on Sep 25, 2014 Reply

    Every registrar that i switched to cloudflare was immediate or less than 1 hour.

  • not happy on Sep 25, 2014 Reply

    I got 4 domains I’m transfering out of 1and1 and the 5 day wait is actually my expiration date. I didn’t know it takes this long

    I done transfers with namecheap – took a couple hours

    Godaddy – 12 hours

    I too made dns changes to one of my domains to point to cloudflare and my website went offline for almost a day!

    Also i got charged for a domain with renewel turned off. Not only that im getting charged again for it.

    1and1 has a potential to be a good registrar why piss your customers off? Even a new startup registrar doesn’t have these issues.

    Not happy and may never return

  • Superior on Sep 24, 2014 Reply

    Going through same issues with 1&1. Always a nightmare with this company. DNS last night and site has been down since then. I have used Namecheap and many other and have never experienced this site down garbage for more than a short window. My client’s site has been down for 24 hours and I’ve been on hold with 1&1 support for 20 MINUTES. Mr. Nye, I would ask that you investigate how your rep can leave a customer on hold for 10 minutes without coming back on the line to even say so much as a “sorry for the delay, we are working on your problem.” Seriously!?

    • Aaron Nye on Sep 24, 2014 Reply


      This is again not the customer experience that we want our team to deliver. I’m sorry for the experience that you’ve had and I’d like to resolve it as quickly as possible. Please know that whether the post is online or an email / call to our customer care team, our mandate is to treat it with a sense of urgency and ownership to resolve your problem on the first contact. I’d love to help anyway that I can. You can reach our Solutions Team here: cares [at] 1and1 [dot] com to get a resolution. Also, Joe can share my email address with you directly for me to handle any issues.

      We will research your case and resolve the issue as quickly as possible.


      • Joe on Sep 24, 2014 Reply


        I have forwarded your contact details along to Superior via email. Thanks again for helping us out.


        Good luck, hope it gets working for you!

  • Tom on Sep 24, 2014 Reply

    So let me get this straight… you tried changing the DNS. After the domain stuck on 1and1 DNS, you decided to lock the domain at the registry level by initiating an outbound transfer.

    Not saying 1and1 is clear/innocent in this but it’s normal for a registrar to deactivate the DNS on their end once it’s swapped. 1and1 clearly did it prematurely (as in before the DNS was moved @ the registry). You exacerbated the issue by trying to transfer, and now you’re blaming 1and1 for everything. This is like getting into an accident after someone runs a stoplight, smashing your radiator, continuing to drive after your engine blows, and then blaming the other driver for your blown engine.

    • Joe on Sep 24, 2014 Reply


      A few things:

      1. We were changing authoritative nameserver delegation, not a DNS record.
      2. Domains don’t get “locked” at the registry level until a transfer is actually in process. What happens is we place the order with receiving registrar, they confirm we actually own the domain (with things like EPP code and email verification), then the request gets sent off to sending registrar and sits until someone verifies and approves it there. All during this time we can change nameserver delegation and whois records, just like normal at the sending registrar.

      So no, we didn’t exacerbate the issue, we opened up a second option for 1&1 if they couldn’t fix their technical issue in a timely manner, it’s the option they ultimately chose to execute. (We insisted on it more as the hours of downtime climbed)

      Note how we had a delegation set within a minute of requesting it at namecheap? That’s what’s supposed to happen. Set the delegation, query the whois server. The nameservers listed should swap out pretty quickly. Since the 1&1 nameservers were not reporting back a TTL when wiped, this means we should not have cached records and Armed Gamer should now be up for everyone.

      • Tom on Sep 24, 2014 Reply

        Right, I said changing DNS, not DNS entries. You were moving off 1and1 NameServers. Except the WHOIS shows your domain never moved off 1and1 DNS. When I queried it when I made the comment, the domain was @ 1and1 and on their DNS. I see it on enom / cloudfare now. Loads now for me too (since there was no previous record to cache, with 1and1 nuking your records).

        However, thanks for clearing up the OBCRA stuff… clearly, if you didn’t actually initiate the transfer from NameCheap then the domain would not have locked @ the registry. From what I’ve seen and my understanding, the domain is locked as soon as the request is initiated vs approved. If it’s rejected, it unlocks it right away.

  • Robert on Sep 24, 2014 Reply

    I can feel your pain… I used to be a 1&1 customer 10 years ago.. and back then the service was catastrophal… Domains and DNS problems and I also tried their DSL. never ever again. (I used the german 1&1 back then)

  • Andrew Bog on Sep 23, 2014 Reply

    Mr. Nye: Stephen is just one of many who have had poor experiences with 1&1 hosting. We can all be sure the only reason you’re posting here and making yourself known that you aren’t, in fact, doing nothing is because of the Bruhaha being caused by a justifiably outraged soon-to-be client of yours. I’m sure that there have been clients in the past that have been in the same position as Stephen, and i’m almost positive your company did nothing close to what you have done just by making that post. I’m well aware that the best way for things to get done in the world of the Internet is for someone with political clout to say something to get your attention, but shouldn’t your company and employees do what they were supposed to do to begin with, instead of holding his website hostage? I’m sure that, with your post, everything will be forgiven (that was sarcasm). Be aware that if possible clients see this article, they will be more likely to avoid your hosting services for the blatant fact that things will go wrong, and when they do, they will have no one to help them.

    But, there’s no such thing as bad press, right?


    • Andrew Bog on Sep 23, 2014 Reply

      *soon to be ex-client

      my apologies.

    • Aaron Nye on Sep 24, 2014 Reply


      I admit that we’re not perfect and we clearly have a long way to go to regain your trust and others commenting on this post. I can promise you that we take all feedback seriously, whether it’s online, from a customer survey or a call to our customer care team. When we have these problems with our service, it is our job to take ownership of the situation and get a resolution for our customers on the first contact without the need for escalation.

      We’re constantly working hard to improve our internal processes and customer service. It pains me to see this kind of customer experience and to lose a great customer like Armed Gamer. My job is to make sure that it doesn’t happen again and fix the root cause of these problems.


      • Stephen McQueen on Oct 02, 2014 Reply

        We are having the same issue Domain is nuked when changing the nameserver utter maddness who allows this to happen. Have had no DNS since 10:30 this morning only response from technical team is wait. Hang on you have nuked the entries can we talk to someone the response is no. Why have technical support if all you are doing is outsourcing to the Philippines with no one who can help you if have an actual problem. I can’t believe any company can survive with type of response.

        • Joe on Oct 02, 2014 Reply

          You grossly underestimate the power of a large marketing budget. They disclosed last year that they spent $50 million on television and print ads.

          If they funneled a fraction of that into development on their nameserver systems, perhaps we wouldn’t have this discussion. There is not a lot that they need to do to make an “ok” registrar service.

          Simple fact is there’s a lot of people in the world, most of them do not understand the kinds of problems they have with their service. All they see is a very visible brand with lots of advertising and they associate that with trust.

          • Stephen McQueen on Oct 03, 2014

            Your correct Joe but what I think is even more problematic is the staff at 1&1 think that the platform is normal. If they just took some time to see how other DNS providers work they may start to feel some utter shame in the disgrace that is their platform. How difficult is it to programmatically not delete a zone when changing a nameserver, it’s not the question is why. Complete despair with this whole process and company.

  • Morgan on Sep 23, 2014 Reply

    Hits home here. I’ve worked with tens of clients using 1&1 and have had the same experience over and over again. Their DNS system is a nightmarish hellscape from which you can only wonder what will happen next.

  • Aaron Nye on Sep 23, 2014 Reply

    Hi Joe,

    I handle the Customer Care for the US at 1&1. I apologize for the support experience that you’ve had and the delay in processing your DNS changes. We’re working on a solution now and I will investigate this experience as it is not what we want to provide as your client’s trusted hosting partner. Feel free to email me directly, but we are working to resolve the problem now.

    I’m open to hearing any feedback from your readers and welcome an open dialogue on how we can improve our service.

    Aaron Nye

    • Joe on Sep 23, 2014 Reply


      I have emailed you a response and am free to speak on the phone if you wish. As I wrote in the email, at this point we’re looking for transparency and a resolution. If you can’t resolve this technical issue, please complete the domain transfer to Namecheap. We don’t have these kind of issues with them.

      The whois servers have begun responding again since I sent the email, it looks like nothing has changed over there. 21 hours and counting…

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