Exclusively for 1&1 Customers (Who Obviously Like Getting Screwed)

I usually chalk the non-sequitur nature of 1&1.com‘s marketing materials up to some combination of baseline corporate incompetence and English as a second language. But lately they’re crossing right over into false advertising territory.

Today, for example, I received an email with the subject “Exclusively for 1&1 Customers.” Here it is:

1and1 offer email--click for larger version

Right off the bat there are a couple of lies here. The first one is that only customers can take advantage of this “offer.” In fact, it represents the current default pricing on their web site. Secondly, as a current customer, the only way I can take advantage of this is by buying a new package–they’re definitely not offering me a discount on my current services.

The real fun, however, is in the pricing. For example, notice how the current “50% off sale” gets you a $6.99 domain registration for $6.12. The fine print, of course, is that it’s 50% off for three months on a one-year contract. I guess we should just be glad they’re not advertising domains at $0.29/month (every other product is advertised by the month, yet also requires a one-year commitment). But it’s not like the print is that fine, right? Yet for every product listed and the minimum contract available, this “50% off sale” is, in fact, a 12.5% off sale. Actually, there is one exception: for dedicated servers it’s a 6.25% off sale (24-month contract required).

But what are you going to do? To paraphrase Winston Churchill… 1&1 is the worst web hosting company, except for all the others I’ve tried.

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