Using 1&1 for your web hosting? Check your email!

Dodgiest marketing *ever*

I’ve been using 1&1 for quite a few years now and – unlike some, it seems – I’ve had pretty good service and support from them. However, the same cannot be said for their marketing.

There was a sudden push a year or so ago involving a ridiculous amount of cold-calling, trying to sell me upgrades to my account which I didn’t want or need. Despite my geekiness, I’m a fairly simple user of the system. I only run a handful of WordPress instances on a few mySQL databases. So nothing really techie, business-y or anything.

Anyway, I got an email from them yesterday. It regaled me with a bunch of new features that would come into affect at the start of August. All lovely, none of any use.

Oh, and by the way – it mentioned down at the bottom – these extra facilities will raise your monthly fee by around 20%.

And, squirrelled away a sentence later, was the option to “opt out”.

Now, assuming this marketing mail didn’t end up in your spam folder… and assuming you read it right through once you realised it was just telling you about a bunch of new tools you’ll never use… and assuming you got past the additional fees to the last sentence… then you have the chance to not be charged extra each month.

I posted on their facebook page and did get a response, but it’s just not satisfactory.

They argue that most people accept these offers. Well – do they? Or do they just not get the mail / read far enough / care (maybe they’re corporate and it’s not their cash) and just suck up the extra money each month putting the increase in their bill down to inflation?

To put it into another scenario: if I wander around Tesco with a shopping trolley, would I find it acceptable for random members of staff to just drop things in with the rest of my shopping (perhaps subtly when I wasn’t looking) and expect me to remove them if I didn’t want them before I got through the checkout and realised I’d paid more than my budget? No, I wouldn’t. And I don’t see how this is any different.

Also, they kindly informed me that my name hadn’t been put on their “Do Not Call” list to prevent cold-calling. This came as a surprise and I had (twice) been told that it had.

So, despite having a decent service in my experience, their marketing is abysmal. Still better than 3, though, who have a crap service, awful supportĀ and horrible sales staff.

Gmail for Android v4.5

English: Gmail logo
English: Gmail logo (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I don’t post on here very often any more so I’m going to try and replace any lengthy facebook posts with blog posts. Just because.

So, the new Gmail update on Android – WTF? Complete nonsense. They’ve removed the checkboxes next to messages for multiple select in mailbox view, instead replacing them with “sender images” which seem to default to randomly coloured squares with the first letter of the sender’s name in it. Clicking on these is the same as clicking a check-box, but is completely non-intuitive. Would you expect to click on a picture to select an item?

There is an option to remove these images. Great. Only it doesn’t restore the checkbox. Instead you have to long-press to select multiple items individually.

So. Wow.

Taking a perfectly standard and well-recognised interface feature and replacing it with something counter-intuitive and unlike anything else. Google are becoming Microsoft.

P.S. There’s supposed to be an option to either reply or delete from the notification screen as well, which is great as I’m generally a deleter, not an archiver. I’ve set the option (“show delete and archive”) – I just checked it. And yet I’m still getting archive and reply as my options.

P.P.S Got it – just went for “Delete only” and it appears. I guess there’s not enough space on portrait for Archive and Delete as well as Reply at the same time.

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