123-reg Stole My Money! Auto Renewal Nightmare!

How come people like 123-reg can break the law, and get away with it? We have used them for years and years and we have never had a problem with them (ok, we have had some related problems when they fucked up a domain name registration and it got stole from under us) until now!

We have around 40 domain names in our account, and we probably have at least one come up for renewal every month. Normal procedure for me is to leave it as long as comfortably possible (LOL) and then log in and renew it.

We store our credit card details on there site, so every time we do this or every time we buy a domain name, we dont have to write in the long number etc. Its to save US time basically.

Now, we had a .CC domain name that had come up for renewal last month, and it was gonna cost us over £30 to renew it for one year! So as we were not using it, we decided to leave it and let it expire.

3 days ago we received an email invoice from 123-reg for the .CC domain name.

What the fuck?

We logged in, and the .CC domain name was not in our renewal list any more?

I checked, and the amount had been taken from our bank, without our say so?

Ok. So they stole money from my account, to renew a domain name that i did not want.

I rang 123-reg and they fobbed me off with some bullshit about auto renewal and how i had stored the credit card details in my account, so in doing so had given them permission to take my money whenever they wanted to?

What utter bullshit!

English contract law states (basically) that if i dont say i want something, then i dont want it!

They KNOW they send emails out every few days reminding you to renew, i even renewed some other domain names and left that one out on purpose! Yet they STILL renewed it and stole my money to pay for it!

I read all the way through their terms and conditions, and there was no mention of this credit card auto renewal shit – no where did it say “if you put your details in, we’ll use them when we want”

So what gives them the fucking right to do it?

I rang them up again to see if i could speak to someone who wasnt a fucking moron, but surprise surprise another moron on the end of the phone saying something that is blatantly written on a bit of paper in front of him.

Oh, if you want to call 123-reg and dont want to pay 10p a minute, then call 02085877558 as this alternative number replaces the old alternative 01782 605 399 number number that seems to no longer go anywhere.

We have taken the matter up with our bank, and i have removed our credit card details from 123-reg so they cant steal more money.

You fucked with the wrong person you bitches – you WILL feel my wrath.

Grrrrrrrr!

53 thoughts on “123-reg Stole My Money! Auto Renewal Nightmare!”

  1. Hi there

    I just discovered 123reg thiefs they have taken 140 pounds of my account when I thought it would just expire.

    THey said they had emailed me yet the email registered with them expired months ago and they never wrote.

    Ive passed it onto my credit card company to look into.

    Please could you let me know how you got on.

    Thanks

  2. Same thing just happend to me, they took £160 off me. Im also wondering how much more money they have been stealing over the years that i havent noticed! Very angry! Did you ever get your money back?

  3. We got into a right mess with it.

    We got our money back from the bank, but then they blocked access to our account.

    My advise to you all, is to remove the AutoRenew from every domain in 123-reg.

    The UI is PANTS but you should be able to figure it out!

  4. I had a very similar experience. The upfront message you get is that ‘your hosting is due to expire’ but what that means is ‘is going to be renewed unless you work out how to stop that happening’. I have been looking for a way to make sure I don’t pay for renewals and/or hosting for most of this morning – and I design sites at code level, so techfear isn’t the issue. Also, the 123-reg site seems to auto recognise my PC, so I can’t set up accounts for my rather less tech-literate clients. I’m sure it is just about possible to do if you know where to look or spend ages waiting on the premium rate support line, but the point is that it is very difficult to find and this, coupled with extremely misleading information and muddled wording almost everywhere you look, makes 123-reg dangerous to use. I had to phone a client this morning to tell him 123-reg had debited his credit card to pay for someone else’s hosting – hosting the other client didn’t want to buy anyway. AVOID.

  5. My wonderful little hosting company was taken over by these idiots.

    Moved all my domains names out today, over 50 of them. Stuck with them for hosting for now until all the packages come up for renewal.

    Their version of auto-renew is completely unworkable for me. But once they’ve got a hold of your card details you’ve had it.

    Good news is they have removed my card details from their system and I will never purchase anything from them again, so they can’t enforce their auto-renew.

    Most sneaky and devious company I have come across.

    Control panel is abysmal. Not a company I will ever use again.

  6. We also have just had money stolen from our account for a domain we didn[t want renewed.

    I contacted them and they refuse to refund the money, they are nothing but common theives.

    How Nominet can allow these criminals to continue to trade is beyond me, it just shows you how corrupt the governing body is to allow this fraud to continue.

  7. I also had an auto-renew. I had actually taken my card details off, but it basically wouldn’t let me navigate through they control panel unless I had card details. I stupidly put my card details back in, but 3 day AFTER the expiry date, and it still instantly renewed it. Even though I had moved the hosting to Godjira.co.uk (excellent independent company by the way).
    I then found out that they had taken a separate £46.98 from my credit card, which doesn’t seem to be for anything at all. They say they don’t even have a record of it. But its there broad as day on my credit card statement. That sounds like pure theft. This was now nearly 3 months ago. I can’t get through on their 10p a minute phone “support” and the “support” site is beyond a joke (last communication from them was 2 weeks ago).

    I am thinking of submitting through the small claims court.

    Any clever ideas?

  8. Ring this number 0845 859 0023. The more people who complain then maybe they will change the horrible website where you have to find where to turn the renewal off. I didn’t even have a contract with 123.reg it was with Supanames who were brought out by 123.reg. Do not use 123.reg!!!!!!!!!!!!! Ever

  9. F*cking idiots.
    They lock me out of my account without telling me, then tell me there’s a debt to be settled on the account due to a chargeback (caused by an unauthorised payment taken from one of my client’s credit cards).

    Instead of allowing me to respond before closing it, they promise and promise to respond to a faxed letter by phone every time I call them. Then they send me a F*CKING support request/answer which I can’t respond to or even look at because I’m locked out of the F*CKING ACCOUNT!! AAAArrrgggghhh!! For the third time!!!!

    So I call again, and explain the same damn story for a ninth time and they respond with another support reply in my account which I can’t access.

    UN-FUCKING-BELEIVABLE how stupid their system is.

    I’m so angry now, I should sue them for wasted time and damaged business.

    F*CKERS! Who regulates these fools???
    who can I complain to? Trading standards?

    I’ve tried civility and niceness, and politeness and explanation and letters, and they still F*CK ME OVER!

  10. They’re owned by WebFusion which don’t exactly have a good security or customer service record either.

    I asked for my card details to be removed in Feb. Made another purchase from them since, checked for an opt out on the card details page for storing the card found none, they then set everything to auto renew without my knowledge because of that purchase and they’ve just robbed £150+ for domains that usually just expired.

    Just writing to them to demand a refund and then will move the 60+ domains over to UKReg or another provider. Once sneaked up upon from behind and robbed never again.

    Look forward to their response, be buggered if I’m giving them anymore money by ringing them.

    For interest, their official complaints page:
    http://www.123-support.co.uk/support/answers/what-is-the-official-complaints-procedure-312/

  11. Just had the same thing happen to me! They’d been sending me emails for the last few months asking me to renew the domain, but I’ve just been ignoring them to let the domain expire. Now when I woke up this morning, I had an email off them with an invoice attached to it!

    Can’t believe that just because they have stored my credit card details, they would set all my domains to automatically renew. I can’t even find a way to delete my card details.

    Did you guys ever sort out your problems with automatic renewal? Are there any different hosts you’d recommend, because I don’t trust 123 reg anymore?

  12. These bastards and their fraud .co domain refunds cost me £285 they made this procedure of refunding people who booked a .co domains they had some fraud plus 5% option which supposed to give you a 5% extra money but you did not get a bigger refund but they put the money into your 123reg credit account or something which is completly useless!!! When I choose a full refund option I got some error message (fraud) and ended up with £105 full refund ( for 3 domains) and the rest of the money is in my (their) account which is completly useless!!!! DO NOT REGISTER ANY DOMAINS THROUGH http://WWW.123-REG.CO.UK be careful this as this company appears to be quite solid but is a COMPLETE FRAUD !!!!

  13. I have managed to get a full refund after contacting consumer direct (Trading standards, OFT etc….), who gave some quality advice, that i consructed into a letter and within days of 123-reg reciving the letter a full refund was returned.

    Basically 123 have to send a letter to remind you that your account is due for renewal and also looking in there T & C’s there is no referance to removing funds from your bank account.

  14. 123 are a complete rip off…..Just taken £46.99 from my credit card after I asked them to remove. Rang them on their 10p per min number was finally answered told them i wanted to cancel a subscription, was transferred again, guy answers the phone and before i even speak a word informs me that “their is no-one here to cancel my account today”…says it all really. Have placed the £46.99 into dispute with my CC company, i will be dammed if they take another penny. Steer clear of this company. They will eventually rip you off one way or another.

  15. 123-reg used to be one of the best hosting companies in the UK, but since being taken over they have gone totally down hill.

    They take payments out of your account without permission for sites that have set to timeout. For hosting and renewal.

    They will do everything that they can to keep your money in their accounts. Even their staff play this game by fobbing you off with a pre-written statement.

    Avoid 123-reg and use a different company!

  16. 123-reg is very devious. If you want to cancel your auto-renewal the wording the use makes you think you are cancelling your domain names all together. When I saw this I though ‘hang on, I don’t want this’. So I could not find out where to do it and thought I will just transfer it before the domain expire but they billed me anyway and refuse to refund me. I can’t even mange to delete my card details so they stop stealing my money.

  17. I set a website up to sell electric bikes. After selling the first batch I decided not to continue. I took the web site down after 3 months and deleted the e mail address linked with it as all I ever got was. junk mail. Today I got an invoice saying that 123 reg have stolen £80 from my bank account to host a web site that doesn’t exist!
    Surely when someone takes money out of your account without your permission and without a d/d in place, it is theft

  18. I also have had my domain parking account suspended many times for apparent ‘Self-clicks’ and I had bought 5 websites for the parking and now feel completely scammed. I told them if there was not a reasonable explanation I will be taking the matter further. Now seeing all of your views I believe we can all work together to bring this dirty business down to an end. Who is with me? 🙂

  19. Same issue with me. I run a server company to host gaming servers, we bought a domain from 123-Reg 2 years ago when we were new to web development. After finding out they are incompatible with software such as PHPBB and vBulletin we ditched them and made sure to set our domain renewal to NOT auto renew.

    Just today I got an email saying my PayPal business account was charged £80 (a ridiculous amount for domain hosting anyway) for hosting a website that no longer exists. FORTUNATELY after contacting their live chat (who insisted I would not get a refund at all saying I “agreed to it) I was given a 10p per minute number to call. I was lucky in the sense that the person who took the call was incompetent and seemed like it was their first day on the job, I explained I did not want the auto-renewal service and that I’d like a refund and was given a refund straight away and told they would disable the renewal service for my account.

    The kicker is they still have my PayPal stored and I can’t remove my PayPal details from their website (their panel to remove payment options suspiciously does not work at all). If they dare to charge me again I will rip them a new hole.

    Overall a terrible company that I would warn everyone possible to avoid, their trading licenses should be revoked and I am half tempted to take them to a small claims court for their complete negligence and thievery.

  20. Sorry to hear all that, and if you do take them to court then keep me posted!

    Since our issues with them, in all fairness they have seemed a little better in the customer service department – in fact i have found the best way to contact them nowadays (and a lot of other large companies like TalkTalk, LoveFilm and BT) is to tweet them!

    http://twitter.com/123reg // @123reg

    I do still hear a lot of horror stories about people feeling scammed, money being taken without knowledge etc etc, but then i suppose with all things like this it can sometimes be user error/negligence (not a scam! :)) – people having automatic renewals set and not bothering to check..

    HOWEVER

    Their website (despite recent improvements) still aint brill, some things are still hard to find – and this causes issues like mentioned above and in some of your comments.

    Thanks everyone, and keep posting your experiences!

  21. 123-reg are total criminals who steal from credit cards they have strict instructions in writing they are not allowed to store.

    They are in breach of PCI compliancy and data protection, not to mentionh Trading Standards are in cahoots with them as they are fully aware of 123-reg’s criminal activities , and say that is is perfectly OK.

    Olly -> this has nothing to do with auto renewal, they have in writing not to store our credit card details yet they do, that is theft pure and simple, stop making excuses for these criminal scum bags

  22. I would like to add , that not only does 123-reg steal money from peoples credit cards for domains they don’t wont.

    They also show prices on screen and provide invoices , but then take a higher increased amount from the credit card.

    When appraoched regarding this, they simply said “we put our prices up”.

    These criminal scum issue invoices for purchases, then put the prices up and take a different amount from your card!

    when is trading standards going to shut this company down?

  23. I’ve always had a good experience with 123 reg as a registrar, I am aware of the auto renewal feature and know it is possible to do this for your domains. But i have web hosting with them and I see that wonderful red banner telling the things about to expire. The web hosting was cheap and like most things in life you get what you pay for, it was a good playground but I got something a little more powerful and open a few months later. So bit of a waste of money but that’s what i get for impatience and lack of research. Now nearly a year on, I don’t want this service. I could not find any auto renew feature or a support article to reference auto renewal on the hosting. So err on the side of caution, i sent a ticket, lo and behold some person told me yes it is on auto renew and to make sure I have the funds available. I’m so glad they read my first contact about how I did not want the service anymore. Oh well a quick screen capture video of the lack of articles, option to turn off the auto renewal and idiotic response to my questions. Lets see how this pans out, but I may be contacting you soon Olly to destory these tricky twats.

  24. Fuck 123 reg money was taken from my account – sneaky little pricks

    Heres the the thing:

    In my account there is NO direct debit setup, the only thing this thieving company has is my bank card which is just total bullshit. So when they want to make a buck, then they just bill me for it!!!

    And there is no way to cancel a direct debit on their “search status” bar when you search direct debit they tell you its impossible to cancel a direct debit yet when you log into your control panel and click to remove

    Your card or your payment method then they tell you that you have to call them to remove your card.

    So one minute they lie saying its impossible the next minute in your CP you must call them, oh dont fucken forget when you call no one picks up at all and it rings for about 10 minutes

    Calling my bank asking for it to be raised i have the screen shot and i want my money back, last time i register with these fucken pricks

  25. One other thing regarding 123 reg which i have had happen to me, you set your nameservers and then the site works for 24hrs or more and then all of a sudden “nothing” the site is down and the nameservers no longer working

    Their support is Terrible isnt the word, because in reality it is short of pathetic no support would be better

    This is the worst fucken company on the net, on the phone now with my bank, as i have no direct debit i am asking for my bank to cancel it and get a refund, i will not call 123reg, if they want to play games like this, well then im going to raise it with my bank and get my money back from the bank

    I cancelled ALL paypal standing orders but because they have my card details “OFF LINE” these bastards think they can just bill me when they want – Well i have news for them

    Why doenst everyone just complain to the OFT or get together and take action against them, I hate this company and i work for an agency we dont register any more domains for them and we are now moving our domains Fuckers can starve you can only steal from people so many times before word gets out

    SCREW 123 REG

  26. I’m going to take 123. reg on and I won’t say how here in case they read this. However I would say to any 123.reg customers- that your money and personal details are not safe with 123.reg. They will use your bank/card details without consent. Do not use this company- or web fusion- their umbrella company as they are not trustworthy and are dangerous.

  27. I have had the opposite. My domains were set for auto-renewal. They are quite high profile.
    They did not renew them and have now stolen the .com putting it up for sale for a premium price. Outrageous.

  28. they told me to ready the terms and cond
    this is the 3rd time though i have asked them to cancel the auto renewal on my account

    Thank you for contacting 123-reg on the 19th August 2013.

    Please kindly refer to our Terms and Conditions http://www.123-reg.co.uk/terms/domain-registration-renewal-and-refund-agreement.shtml:

    3.4 You acknowledge that when using PayPal and by clicking the ‘Agree and Continue’ button, You agree and consent to use PayPal for future payments to 123-reg.co.uk (Webfusion Ltd) and that these payments will be made in accordance with the terms of the User Agreement applicable to “pre-approved payments”.

    3.5 You acknowledge that payment will be taken from the payment method you have last used on the account. This could be the last credit card or debit card used, PayPal or direct debit payment. It is your responsibility if You wish to select or change a different payment source.

    When a domain is purchased it is by default set to automatic renewal.
    However we send regular reminders to our customers where this is specified:

    “We will attempt to renew your domain names for you automatically 7 days before the expiration date, using the payment methods stored on your account, for a period matching that of the original registration. For example, if you previously bought or renewed your domain name for two years, we’ll renew it for a further two years.”
    In the end of these reminders we specify how you can set your domains to cancel.

    Raising a Paypal dispute will automatically close your 123-reg account.

    If we can be of any further help with regard to this or any other matter, please do not hesitate to contact us.

    Kind Regards

    Iuliana
    123-reg

  29. Same happened to me, although I have 600 domains with them, and over the years they have screwed me in loads of ways, from letting me pay and renew domains but then letting them expire and be sold on (about 40 EMD domains worth $$$) and since they have started their premium second hand domain service this has become a real problem as they are moving domains at lightspeed out of my account now with a focus on my best ones, but to the point, I set up a new company and purchased some domains on the new company card with £100 I had in there, and the slimy bastards took £40 of auto-renewal fees (even though I have had 20 conversations and administered this NOT TO HAPPEN through my control panel) and over the past 3 months have incurred £400 of bank charges with HSBC (who kindly called me to collect this today) in short 123 Reg and me are going to court and all my domains are being moved within weeks.. AVOID this company like the plague

  30. I only have one domain name. 123 said I could renew for 2 years at £8. I agreed. They took that and the took further £170. I am pursuing refund through my credit card company.

  31. Same thing just happened to me. However I didn’t receive any emails and even though the auto renew option was off, they are telling me it was on. I’ve just raised a complaint with paypal, hopefully that will sort it out.

  32. Yup, they are still doing it. I just transferred in some domains to 123reg and they auto renewed a handful for me without me asking them to do so. As far as I am concerned this is sharp practice and I will be badgering them until I get the refund for the money. Terms and conditions are really useful for everyone but when they are delivered in this way they only benefit one side and that side is not the consumer.

  33. Unfortunately I’m going through the same experience now.

    Previously 123-reg charged me for the renewal of a domain and they just decided not to renew it.

    This time around 123-reg are charging me for the renewal of a domain that I specifically set to cancel. I’m not having much luck with support at the moment.

  34. Word of warning to all, I had removed all payment details from 123, with one remaining – a debit card that had expired with no expiry dates, no cvv, and the wrong address. (It wouldn’t let me have no payment options – so assumed this one was safe to leave)

    Anyway, they still managed to take £40 from my account when a domain expired!!! I phoned the bank to say that this is “fraud”, and according to them, 123-reg can simply request VISA to give them the details so they can process the transaction!!

    I simply could not believe this! The bank said they would monitor my account – however VISA can not block it in future. Really weird considering (IMO) this is fraud…

    My advice: Use PayPal for payment to 123-reg – you can cancel the recurring transaction part from PayPal. On the basis that they never have your card details in the first place – you should be safe(r).

  35. I have been scammed by 123 reg. I wanted to cancel a hosting package with them at the end of 2013 . I tried to locate this on their site but couldn’t simopened a support ticket . They told me I had to call to cancel! I live in Cyprus now and it’s expensive and I explained this . They replied and said they would make an exception and cancel my package . Over a year later they did not cancel my package and have took the £71.68 again ! They are not relying to me they are absolute crooks .

    1. Sorry to hear this, Tim.

      You should be able to get your money back if you have the time to keep pushing them, as its for hosting – if it was for domain names you would really struggled.

      Best of luck with it all!

  36. They are still at it – they just took £160+ out of my account via PayPal. Here’s the kicker we cancelled our domain and hosting services in November 2014 and we transferred the domain name and website hosting to GoDaddy and I closed our account – yet they still took the money, these people are criminals.

    Thanks for the advise on PayPal – I had already filed a complaint but did not realize they had set up an auto subscription so I never thought about checking, this I have now done and cancelled it.

    Just in case I also reset my security questions and password

  37. They did the same thing to me the other day. I had turned off auto renewal a while back on .tv domain name. They decided to switch it on. They now charged me over 80.00 pounds .

    I’ve decided it’s better to take them to court.

    I can’t believe they have been getting away with this for so long. PayPal refused to refund me, well Muzakkir Syah from PayPal decided not to bother looking it too it. because of Muzakkir Syah lazy unprofessional behaviour I have stopped using PayPal as a payment method on my sites.

    It’s true what everyone says “PayPal sucks!!”

  38. Main article is years ago, it is 2016 now, but 123-reg keeps stealing their clients’ money, same malicious practice of silently charging for renewal, even though your domains are set to expire.
    – You happen to store your payment details with them? Ha, there is no way out to delete them using their website.
    – Wanted to raise a formal ticket to request refund and rectification? This feature is buried somewhere so deep you would need to Google it to find.
    – Small fees for our domains, maybe, but that does not give them right to steal money and abuse the law and fundamental commercial rules. Sue them! Report them to regulator and police! 123-reg bastards
    Everyone is too busy to report them to the regulator and courts, that is the problem.
    The only advise, move out, transfer your domains to alternative provider.

  39. IMHO 123 REG have serious backend issues , compounded by horrendous repetitive ignoring your point support.

    I have had the renew auto issue even though set to expire but such small amounts with owning hundreds of domains I let it go an still have the odd domain i didnt want 🙂

    HOWEVER : WARNING : ALERT

    They appear to have a SERIOUS ONGOING issue with domains not renewing , even though you have an invoice and have paid and all appears well .. they admit their system has flaws and apparently its in their T&Cs that you should check and confirm that the domain HAS actually renewed , not within their system but direct with the relevant registrar as sometimes their system can show as renewed and it has not at the register , and its not their problem as their T&Cs exempt them ! So you can have an invoice , having paid for renewal , their system internally can tell you its renewed but it might not be and they hold no responsibility !! CRAZY , you cant trust their systems and they admit it !

    Further they have another issue , the register can have the correct renewal date , but their systems can have another renewal date , so they send you renewal emails in effect early , and you can end up PAYING AGAIN ! this is most serious as multiplied over their millions of domains this could mean hundreds of thousands of customers paying when they dont need to , or in effect paying twice

    Im out !

  40. Hello

    I have just had a similar problem. 123 reg have taken £45.55 without my consent and no indication of what the payment was for. I managed to get hold of the email address of one of the managers; a Richard Winslow ([email protected]), and he has refunded my money, even after the ‘help’ desk had since they would not be refunding it.

    Feel free to try him 🙂

  41. 123 reg strike again
    I did not want to renew hosting, Had live chat with Vlad and he said no problem he will raise a support ticket.
    Today I have an invoice for hosting, saying has been billed to my credit card.
    spoke to Ana on Live Chat says it is an oversight and someone will contact me soon.

  42. 123 Reg strike again in 2017

    Similar situation, domain name auto-renewal costing £40

    Start a dispute with PayPal, 123 reg respond by disabling access to my account. Call them up and they explain that if a dispute is opened with PayPal or a bank, the account is immediately suspended. To retrieve access to my account and my folders, I have to pay £12 re-activation fee AND the money that PayPal refunded me for the dispute.

    Will not be using 123 Reg again.

  43. I’ve just noticed that I had a payment go out for 71 pounds from 123 I have not used my website for nearly 4 years as far as I was concerned it was shut down . They sent me a email saying if I do not pay it will auto shut down so I let it. I tried to take off my bank details but I was unable to. Anyway it was only today I see a yearly payment been taken out my bank OMG this must of happened each year I’ve not had my website up and running. I phoned them today they have allowed me this years money back but not interested in any other payments surely they can see I’ve not had a website running for years !!!!!! So fed up !

  44. Same thing here, I cancelled all auto renewals in 123-reg UI, also cancelled pre-approved payments in PayPal on 21/10/2018, have proof. But to my dismay annual hosting subscription has automatically been taken via PayPal. I have checked with PayPal and they say I reauthorized on 23rd May 2019, total crap. I moved over to 1&1 and migrated all my url’s to them, nothing left with 123-reg other than hosting which was set to expire. They are nothing but thieves. I have opened a dispute with PayPal and also looking to chargeback from my bank.

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