Never, ever buy domains from 1&1. Why? Let’s just put it this way: if a domain was a physical good that had to be shipped from one end of the USA to the other, or even imported from Europe to the States, it wouldn’t take as long for you to get it as it does when you buy from 1and1.
I’ve bought my fair share of domains via 1and1, and to be honest, on the few times in the past when I’ve needed the domain name ASAP, generally got the domain I bought within 24 hours. But now it’s been 4 days and 1and1 still hasn’t handed over the domain name that I bought and paid for. Instead, the domain shows up in the list of purchases with the status “The domain has been requested” – as if I care! I just want my domain name, and I want it now! The clients are waiting!
Just for the record, we’re not the only ones with this problem. If you’re looking for a good site to buy domains from, I can’t recommend LunarPages enough for their quality service and excellent turn-around times. 1and1, never again!
Update (March 29th, 7:45 PM UTC):
A quick call to the sales department gave me a most-helpful young man from the States who confirmed what I knew “the domain name *is* registered, but something’s clearly wrong with our system! Let me transfer you to support…” in India. The Indian support was far less than helpful “yeahhhhhhh… there’s something wrong.” When I expressed my, ahem, displeasure, he went further “yeaaaaaah…. 1and1 has a problem with our system holding up all domain name registrations. Aha.. Yeah, a problem”
Update (March 31st, 2:44 PM UTC):
Just received an email from 1and1 letting me know that the problem has been resolved and the domain name is finally functional. All’s well that ends well?