I always thought that 1and1 were an above board organisation. They are a large player in the domain registration and hosting service. However if you have bought domains from 1and1 and you leave them dormant for another day (i.e. never used them) you need to be aware that they "auto renew" the domain for you. In my experience in the past from other domain providers if you don't renew the domain lapses and they are free to sell it on.
But this is not how the 1and1 operate. They renew it for you automatically and bill you automatically for it. If you say you don't want it they still bill you for it. And if you don't pay it quick enough they "outsource" the collection to some heavy debt collection agency called Arvato - who I understand 1and1 own or have a stake in. So you can see that 1and1 have a really nice money grabbing business model here where they earn more from collecting the debt than from their primary service.
The good news is that you don't have to use 1and1 and I would encourage you not to and to also let everyone else you know not to. Their underhand practice needs to stop and 1and1 need to be less greedy by operating in a way that most of the market does not.
I for one will never use 1and1 Internet for services again.
My name is Chris Parker. Based in Kent, we provide digital marketing
services for businesses across Kent and beyond. You can find me on LinkedIn, Twitter and Google +.