Last updated on April 13th, 2015 at 02:24 pm
I should start this blog post by saying that I have been a happy client of 123-reg for domain registrations and renewals for many years now, in fact I think I first used them about 14 years ago. Having said that I need to warn everyone about their latest method of extracting money from people.
I register domains on behalf of people when we build websites for them and, as with many small businesses in this field, renew them on behalf of the clients. Recently there have been a couple of domains where the client has been unsure if they wanted to renew them so (as I have been paying by Paypal for the domain expenses – figuring that that is one less company that has access to my card details) I suspended the Paypal agreement so that money couldn’t be taken for the renewals.
This is where the problem starts, last month a new agreement seemed to be set up without me knowing resulting in money being taken from a bank account unexpectedly. I contacted Paypal and all they could tell me was that the agreement had been set up on a specific day – ok, I could see that on the paypal screen and had even told their support team the dates but the client wanted the domain renewed so I let it go but made sure that the agreement had been cancelled yet again.
On Saturday I got an email from 123-Reg telling me that payment had been taken for another domain renewal so I contacted them only to be told that the payment had come from my Paypal account. I thought that this was odd as I checked the agreement list and there were no active agreements shown, I then checked the transacti0n list and again there was nothing shown. Figuring that it might be a system failure at 123-Reg’s end I left it until after the week-end so that I could look into it again.
Imagine my surprise when today I got another email for a different domain renewal. Despite being on holiday I once again checked my paypal account and there were no transactions listed and the agreement was still marked as inactive. “Odd”, I thought to myself and made a note to check in when I got back from holiday. It was about an hour later that my partner logged into check her emails and saw two emails from Paypal saying that 123-Reg had taken money from HER account with the agreement being set up at some point between midnight and 3:30am when the payment had been taken. It seems that 123-Reg had taken it upon themselves to set up an agreement using my partners paypal details and has on two occasions taken money from her account without permission. She has now cancelled this agreement that was supposed to have been set up by her when she was in bed asleep and we will see what happens next.
I have contacted 123-Reg about this only to be palmed off with emails about their payment process – it seems that the support staff their do not read emails before answering them.
Interestingly it seems that if you do a search on Google for “123-reg taking money without permission” you get almost 2.2 million results as can be seen here.
What does this mean to me? Well, personally I am moving all my domains and clients domains away from 123-reg and certainly will not use them again. Would I recommend them? No.
Oh, and my partner has disputed the charges on her Paypal account and is talking about legal action to recover the money if Paypal can’t sort it out. Just to clarify, I have no access to her Paypal account so can not have set up the agreement and since I cancelled the agreement I had with them I have had no cause to set up an agreement anyway. I have asked 123-Reg to provide the details of the session that was used to set up the payments – unsurprisingly they have (at this moment in time) not been able to provide these.