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Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Winner and my 1and1 Experience

Well the winner of my Blogiversary draw which DH picked out of the hat last night is Knitnana. Congratulations, Knitnana! Please take a look at my Jewellery and Stitchmarkers Gallery here and email me to let me know which item you'd like and your address. My contact details are in my Blogger Profile.

As regards my eShop, I'm not having such a good time. On a recommendation I signed up with 1and1. I signed up for a year's contract and paid the first six months up front on the understanding (or so I thought) that a 60 day money back guarantee applied in case of non-satisfaction. That was on 22nd July (ten days ago). It wasn't until yesterday evening that I really got a chance to sit down and look at it to find that it was absolutely no use to me as a website at all. It turns out, according to the person I spoke to on Technical Help, that the £9.99 a month package doesn't even allow you to do the most basic customisation of your template such as having your company name on your website. Doh! Even if I paid a website designer, I was told, they wouldn't be able to add a logo or anything to the site but, if I paid an extra £30 a month, this would be possible! I certainly couldn't afford to pay out £39.99 a month for a tiny little enterprise such as mine so that's out.

To add insult to injury, I was then told I wasn't able to claim back any refund whatsoever as I had apparently clicked on the box that stated I would like to have the free Photo Book and the terms and conditions to that state that opting for the "free" photo book negates the 60 day money back guarantee (I didn't notice this) which meant that I had only seven days cooling off period to claim any refund. As ten days have gone by, I'm now left with paying £9.99 a month plus VAT for a site which is worse than useless and which I will never use. I haven't taken advantage of the "free" photo book either as I don't even really know what it is but I thought as it said it was free, I might as well go for it. So, it's back to the drawing board with the eShop and goodbye to the £79.21 I've already paid 1and1 and also the next six months' payment. I feel really annoyed with myself that I was caught out like this! I also found the person I spoke to at 1and1 quite rude and thought their statement that "it's your own fault if you couldn't be bothered to read the terms and conditions" was slightly less than diplomatic. So, poo to 1and1 is what I say!

Quite a few Rowan members have been discussing the new Rowan magazine and I couldn't comment as I hadn't had mine but, on a more positive note, it finally arrived today.

It must be one of those weeks . . . . .


  • At 2:21 pm, Blogger KnitNana said…

    Oh....I so hope your week gets better! I've had good luck with my webhost, email me if you'd like...and THANK YOU! I'm so tickled to have won your contest! I just love your jewelry, it's great! I've emailed you...

  • At 2:31 pm, Blogger All the Way With Knitting said…

    Oh that is rude and not necessary .I think but don't quote me that Janette of "Janette's Rare Yarns" wanted a website instead of just E:BAY but gave up because of cost and various problems. I don't know if you could just use yor blog at first and ask for cheques ? Good luck anyhow.

  • At 2:37 pm, Blogger Rain said…

    That is awful. I'd keep complaining and complaining to see if it will get you anywhere.

    I can't recommend anything from personal experience, but do know a lot of people use etsy to sell craft stuff, I think it works a bit like ebay.

    The only other thing I could think of it to get people to email an order after picking from your gallery and then sending payment via paypal or cheques etc. It's a bit more work than having a site set up but wouldn't cost anything.

    What a pain all round.

  • At 3:03 pm, Blogger nanatoo said…

    Congrats knitnana!

    Hazel, that's miserable about your eshop. It's just the sort of thing that happens to me because there is too much small print that I can't deal with. There was no need for their rudeness though. Typical of the way things are today (if that's not too 'old' of me.)

    I second Rain's 'etsy' idea. It seems easy and professionally done to me. There's loads of lovely stuff on there but a lot US sellers so I'm sure another Brit would be welcome.

  • At 3:31 pm, Blogger Daisy said…

    I was going to suggest etsy, but various other people have beaten me to it!
    I'm sorry about your experience with 1and1 though, I bet loads of people have done a similar thing though (probably how 1and1 make their money).

  • At 3:33 pm, Blogger Kelly said…

    Man you'd think for an extra 3 days they would refund your money, thats ridiculous!

  • At 5:41 pm, Blogger Cherry Rolfe said…

    You should be able to use 1&1 as a mere host for your site name? There are quite a few templates available for free online and they are as easy to adapt as Blogspot pages. You then 'upload' your own pages. Also Paypal are quite helpful with Buy Now buttons etc. Perhaps you could construct your own pages (I recommend Dreamweaver software and the book HTML for Dummies) which you can then upload and use as you wish. Having said that, I am still fiddling about with my pages and haven't 'launched'yet as even tiny tweeks take me ages. Good Luck!

  • At 5:53 pm, Blogger acrylik said…

    Congratulations Knitnana!

    Oh, Hazel, I am so sorry about the trouble you have had with your website :( What an absolute stinker, there must be some way of getting your money back - you have been sold a product that is not suitable for the use you intended it for. I am with for mine and the price is good and you can upload any website you design on there. Just make sure that the option you go for has the ability to host the software you are going to use for your eShop. Hubby has found a good host for his shop, when he gets home I shall ask him about it and email you privately.

    Otherwise, I would agree with everyone that etsy or PayPal is the way to go for the moment.

  • At 9:26 pm, Blogger craftydramaqueen said…

    I think 1and1 need some customer service training. Their attitude towards a paying customer is disgusting. Try contacting Trading Standards or someone similar to see if they can help.

  • At 11:17 pm, Blogger Fred said…

    Did you pay via credit or debit card or plain DD? If by CC perhaps they have insurance plan that would cover you in this. Otherwise give 1and1 hell!

  • At 1:18 am, Blogger dreamcatcher said…

    Sorry you are having so much trouble with the web host. I would second Fasthosts, they are very good. A friend has a reseller account with them where I already host some sites, give me a shout if interested. I also recommend Liquid Web where I have a personal site hosted, they are in the US but are very professional and very fast if you need to raise a support ticket (very rarely!)

  • At 1:22 am, Blogger dreamcatcher said…

    Sorry just reread what you wrote, that price is daylight b****y robbery, pardon my language! No WAY you should have to pay that amount for a simple small site with a cart, just so you could edit things.

    *bangs head on desk*

    Hope you can pursue them with Trading Standards or similar. .net magazine also have a consumer column where people write in with problems with net companies and they investigate it.

  • At 11:36 am, Anonymous Annarella said…

    I haven't read all the other comments, only skimmed through them and saw Fasthosts mentioned and "recommended"...

    Just my 2p: we used them for our web design/development business in the past (I create sites for a living), and if there's one company I would advise against with ALL MY HEART is Fasthosts. Not only did we host our own sites with them, we also used them for our clients sites (we actually used to be FH resellers) and if I say that their customer service/technical support is appalling, that's putting it mildly.

    We had almost all the sites suffering from server outages and other sort of amenities caused by FH and each and every time we tried to get them to sort it out we were met with total contempt and disinterest.

    The situation escalated to the point that FH wrote to us threatening to close all our accounts if we didn't stop bothering them (!). Now, I don't know whether they would have been in their rights to do so, but we couldn't risk our clients' sites being taken down and had to back off and shut up basically.

    The problem was NEVER resolved and we gradually migrated all our sites away from them.

    Sorry for the long post, but I'd hate for you to go out of the frying pan and into the fire.

    Good luck xxx

  • At 8:09 am, Blogger Beverley said…

    Hazel, how about giving these guys a try. I haven't used them but I know of a lady who has and has a really nice little site which she sells from, selling her jewellery. I got an email with a link into this site today, and have heard it mentioned before. Its supposed to be completely free, and the lady whose site I saw didn't have ads on it.


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