Client Services Manager
Gladstone & Co.
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Victim of a Sales Trick - Any Advice Appreciated!

Victim of a Sales Trick - Any Advice Appreciated!

Fellow Practitioners,

I was pursuaded to accept a 30 Day trial package by my existing website hosting co. 1and1.  They added an expensive package to my account even after me resisting during phone conversation.  However, I accepted after being told that it is a no-obligation package and the sales person will call back before the expiry of 30 days which didn't happen.  Not hearing from anyone, I emailed the co. requesting a cancellation on 24th day which was not done until 30 days are passed and an invoice was for the next 3 months. Finally I had to call and scream to get it cancelled altogether. However, they want me to pay for the invoice they issued and I personally do not want to pay since I have an email evidence requesting the cancellation on 24th day of the 30 day trial period and that I didn't use and didn't want to take up the offer.  I requested them to reconsider but they'll not do so.  What avenues are there for accountants or similar professionals to address such issues to avoid debt collection and bad credit rating for my practice.

Appreciate any helpful suggestions!



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By lenny
11th Aug 2011 20:58

Same here

I also was caught by this, i also asked for it to be stopped by email and was told the same, i am now trying to cancel the invoice but its not in the control panel ( i believe there was another link to cancel the invoice)


The only way would be to change providers i guess or at least threaten them with it. I did have a funny feeling about it when they called but was a bit busy to see it, i agreed as i  thought i can stop it easily...we know now dont we! Buyer beware

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By lenny
11th Aug 2011 21:15


The link they have told me to go to to cancel the contract does not show the contract! they have just updated the original, I think its time to move on.

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11th Aug 2011 21:16


for TC

in the meantime:

If it is a disputed debt they can not collect or pass information to credit reference agents, to do so would be criminal harassment under the Administration of Justice Act

You have to be robust against this type of sharp practice. They can not send bailiffs without a court order following judgement, trust me they try it on but it’s a bluff.

Go back to basics and keep it simple, did you have a contact? A valid contract must include various features, are they all present? Sounds to me that both acceptance and mutuality of obligation (meeting of minds) are missing.

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By jules25
11th Aug 2011 21:17

First Check do they allow cancellation via email or post only just so you know how they will dispute whether you sent the email and they received it. 

Always best to send by post recorded or minimum POP btw.

As far as I am aware they can't issue debt collection until the debt has been acknowledged and for a CCJ they would need court action, as you have proof of cancellation with your email then the court is not going to act against you. It will likely go to arbitration first anyway. Any credit rating agency will allow you to dispute any negative records against you and you have the proof again to dispute with.

You can write and ask for under data protection law for a copy of your conversation with them by telephone when you agreed to the service it will cost you £10 but it will give you all the information and recordings they have against your name. If you didn't agree to the expensive add on that will be clear from the recording of the conversation.

You might add (blag) that you have a recording of the conversation you had with them and you want to verify they haven't altered what you agreed to. 

Probably with the Data request you will find that they see you are serious and will drop the invoice but either way you will have the evidence or lack of to show that no such agreement took place and therefore you are being charged for services you did not agree to and duly cancelled when you became aware of them.


EIther way It is highly unlikely a court will uphold their claim and it will go to small claims court if that. They can't instruct bailiffs/debt collectors and add that cost to your claim if there is a dispute, which you would notify the bailiff that there is a dispute and they will have to revert back to the company instructing them.


Fight them.



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By Top_Cat
12th Aug 2011 00:21

Invoices make great suppositories -

There are a lot of these con-artists (that is what they are) about.

cancel your contract with them and take your business elsewhere.tell them to shove ALL their bills somewhere anatomically their sharp practice to the OFT (if they get enough complaints they will act).keep a check on your credit rating and if they lodge anything on it, issue proceedings for damages and compensation as they will be knowingly & maliciously placing false information on your record.When they demand payment or some so called debt collector or third rate parasitic solicitors contact you write back stating that THEY are in breach of contract and you look forward to the opportunity to file a counterclaim in court.At the same time state very clearly that you are not prepared to accept telephone calls of visits from them and all contact must be in writing. Any further telephone calls or visits, or any further threats, WILL constitute an offence under s40 Administration of Justice Act 19701 and under s2 Protection from Harassment Act 1997.









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12th Aug 2011 10:23

[email protected]#h+les

Well, well - there was me thinking it was just me some years ago.  Same problem.

They even went down the route of debt collectors.

I should have, but didn't, complained to - to warn off others if nothing else.

Trading standards might be interested too.

All complaints to them must be put in writing - copy them to watchdog etc - it usually pees people off enough to do something.

This is, as others have said, nothing short of sharp practice.

I certainly wouldn't pay - if they get debt collectors involved give them copies of everything you have done.  If they go down the route of legal action - let them.  They wouldn't have a leg to stand on if you filed a defence and it would have cost the [email protected]=s money.

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12th Aug 2011 11:54

1 & 1

may have an awful lot of very swish advertising and they do look very plausible BUT I read somewhere a couple of year's ago that they were renown for very sharp practice.

Just as well since I would have been taken in by them as well.

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By jules25
12th Aug 2011 13:55

"1&1 – The Webhost You Can

"1&1 – The Webhost You Can Trust" 

at the bottom of their website. 


Maybe a case of misleading and unsupported self promotion report them to the ASA !



and Google > 1and1 sharp practice

Your compliant is ranked 5th :) along with others so the relevance is not lost in highlighting your complaint. Lots of other similar complaints.


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12th Aug 2011 13:53

I use Titan Internet

After some really awful problems with my last website hosting company, who used 1&1 as the main host, I escaped with my website and parked it on Titan Internet's site. The support staff there are truly nice people - I think they are based in Essex rather than some far off country.

Although they've been swallowed up by a big company the service is great and so far I would assume they wouldn't try the sharp practice you complain of.

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12th Aug 2011 15:38

Same Trick

they did the same thing to us a few months ago - with their virtual MS Exchange server thing - but thankfully my partner managed to get them to cancel it, I'm not sure how he managed to do it and who he spoke to... unfortunately he is on holiday at the moment, so I can't even ask him.

I will try and find out. 


1&1 really are a bunch of rogues.

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12th Aug 2011 16:08

A Big thanks to all the contributors!

It is amazing to note some of your experiences which really gave me courage now and I will fight in the name of transparency and professionalism.



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By zxcvb
17th Aug 2011 11:04

1&1 apology & refund!!

Sounds like I am in the minority but perhaps useful to add a different side!!


I cancelled some domains before they expired but was still invoiced for them by 1&1.  Didn't notice until they took payment.


I contacted them by email, attaching emailed proof of cancellation.  They replied with an apology, credit note and promptly refunded!!


Perhaps I should frame it :)



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By Flash Gordon
17th Aug 2011 11:31

Tried it on me

They called me & offered me a trial of mailexchange for free - 'have a look, it won't cost you anything' Then they invoiced me. I emailed [email protected] telling them to cancel the invoice & explaining what had been agreed, said if I didn't get a credit note and apology I'd complain to Trading Standards. They apologised same day & issued the credit note (hadn't taken any money at that point but their apology said any money taken would be refunded).

Just don't take any crap & they'll be fine. It's probably just salesmen trying to meet targets and trying it on. The admin folk seem fine.

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17th Aug 2011 12:06

cancellations generally...

Not web host related but cancellation notice periods can be a real pain.

We have tried in the past to cancel such things as Sage (90 days prior to anniversary of original contract date) and Peninsula Employment advice (six months before the end of the contract period or it is automatically renewed for the same period as before - thankfully only 12 months and not the three or FIVE year options).

Because of this it is now the FIRST question i always ask with any new contract.

We now have a system set up which flags up cancellation points just so we dont get stuck again!

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17th Aug 2011 12:56

Good Point About Cancellations

When you've been using software for hundreds of years you don't automatically read through the hideous small print T&C that come along every now and again and that's where the rotters hide these terms.

I heartily agree that we all need to look into cancellation terms for telecoms, IT etc., as most big firms are only too happy to use quite onerous terms. Of course we usually get caught because we're leaving due to unhappiness at price hikes/poorer service but those two factors don't seem to be allowable reasons for not paying.

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to Alan Bagnall
17th Aug 2011 13:12

Me, too

I've been stung by Sage, and others.

I set a reminder for informing the supplier of non-renewal, but I often wonder if the safest bet is to inform the supplier immediately (upon commencement) that the contract will NOT be renewed, then you don't forget, and you have loads of time to get their acknowledgement or confirmation (which can be a difficult task in itself!). It may work towards more favourable renewal terms, too.

The downside is that the support team may be aware that the contract is not going to be renewed, and put you at the back of the queue in busy times.

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17th Aug 2011 18:21

Slightly surprised

I've been with 1 and 1 for years and always had very good service (even though I hardly spend anything with them!). However, forewarned is forearmed.

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By Alf
18th Aug 2011 10:03

Happy with 1 and 1

I have also been with 1 and 1 (for my home email) for years - they are very cheap and I have never had a problem

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26th Aug 2011 16:35

Any news on this?  Did you

Any news on this?  Did you get it sorted?

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