It is not often that I get particularly angry about customer service, perhaps because I do not receive appalling service too often. Most cases of bad service seem to be reported to me by others. This week I was on the receiving end. So what happened?
The hosting for one of my web sites was coming up for renewal. The reminder simply informed me that the hosting was up for renewal on a particular date. Now you may or may not know that 123 Reg liek to set up services that 'auto renew'. They insist that you supply details of at least one credit or debit card and will automatically take payment unless you set the service not to auto renew or you inform them otherwise. This is the situation now. Last year it was not, if I had not renewed my hosting manually it would have lapsed and foolishly I assumed that this year it would be the same.
Anyhow, I moved my site and on the day I thought my old site would disappear I received an email stating that the renewal had been charged to my credit card. That very day I contacted 123 Reg pointing out that the system had changed, that I had already changed nameservers and moved the site (so I was not intending to use the hosting) and that I was not trying to use a service for which I had not paid.
Those who have had dealings with 123 Reg will recognise the sort of reply I received. It is not company policy to refund auto renewal premiums. So I got back in touch and asked where was the online facility to stop autorenewal for hosting (there is one for domains) since telephone support is difficult to come by and costs 10p/minute. Apparently I have to submit a support ticket to stop autorenewal!
Gradually the spaces betwen interactions got longer and longer, same replies but from different people 'ample time to cancel ...., contact customer service .....'. The support thread is still open, maybe they hope I will just go quietly crazy?
Anyway, I have now paid for hosting that I don't need from a company that is poor at delivering so what do I do? Well I bit the bullet and organised the mass transfer of my domains to a new registrar and when the transfers are complete I will tell them (not ask) to cancel the hosting, delete my credit card details etc and close my account.
A Google of 123 Reg issues reveals that I am far from alone. Sites have been deleted and many fees wrongly taken and not refunded. Many fees have also been taken and domains not registered. So, 123 Reg, your customer service is truly appalling.
On the other hand I can thoroughly recommend www.nethosted.co.uk. They will go the extra mile at almost any time of night or day, I think the longest I have had to wait for a response to a query is an hour, 20 minutes has been pretty much the norm.
If you are consudering using 123 Reg then avoid them like the plague. There are plenty of much better alternatives out there.