So having received no communication whatsoever in the intervening period about the claim by 1&1 that we are over-quota by some 4.1 billion files, I rang 1&1 again this morning at 8.15am and spent the next hour trying to find out what – if anything – they had done about their broken control panel and fixing it so that we could amend our web site again and continue generating income from it. I finally managed to get a supervisor to agree to update me on an hourly basis.

At 10.20am, she sent me this e-mail:

“Thank you for contacting us.

As referred to a second level support the quota and files that you are seeing below are the ones we are seeing on the control panel.Please doublecheck the quota and your files.You need to make an ftp connection and check the size of the files that you have uploaded.Below are the quota/files that were seen on your control panel:

Storage Space
3,900,788.00 MB of 4,000.00 MB used
Available storage space -3,896,788.00 MB

Number of Files
4,096,815,118 of 262,144 used
Available files -4,096,552,974

Please refer to the link below on how to doublecheck your quota:

Please refer to the instructions below on how to make an ftp connection:

Before attempting to establish a connection with your webspace, please make sure you have your FTP hostname, username and password. These details can be found in the ‘Web Space/Access’ section of the ‘Package Features’ menu in your “1&1 Control Panel” at

1. Load your WISE-FTP program, under the ‘File’ menu button click on ‘Connect To…’, this will open up a new window (as shown below), click on the ‘New site’ button to proceed.

2. The following window will ask for all the required details when trying to access your webspace (only details which are necessary for you to fill in have been shown below).

* Profile name: (Enter the name you want this connection to have, for this sample we have left it as that of the domain name we are uploading to, i.e.

* Host name: (This is is the address you will connect and publish to, simply enter your domain name (without the www. prefix)

* Username: Enter your FTP username for your package (obtained from ‘Accounts’ within the configuration menu)

* Password: Enter the password for your FTP access (obtained from ‘Accounts’ within the configuration menu)

* Initial Directory: /.

* Passive: (if operating behind a firewall please ensure that this box is ticked)

Once the above fields have been correctly filled in, simply click on ‘Connect’ and you will be connected to your webspace.You may also use other ftp programs.

One of the workaround here is to delete some unnecessary files for you to resume your uploads.

If you have any further questions please do not hesitate to contact us.

Cherie Aponesto
Technical Support
1&1 Internet”

[emphasis added]

Bless! Apparently incapable of independent thought and great example of “garbage in, garbage out”. I had – obviously – checked my quota through the control panel last night to have spotted the ridiculous figures, durr!

So I replied:

“Hi Cherie,

Are you really that incompetent? Or are you simply trying to annoy me by saying utterly stupid things?

The problem is with your control panel, as I pointed out to you and your colleagues 12 hours ago and again this morning.

Or are you seriously claiming that we are currently storing 4.1 ***billion*** files on your servers?

4.1 billion files making up 3.7 ***terabytes*** of storage, according to you.

Try thinking about that for just one moment: that’s 4.1 thousand million files and 3.8 thousand gigabytes of storage you are saying we have uploaded. Funny how none of the traffic logs are reflecting those massive figures…

When you have stopped making stupid suggestions like “One of the workaround here is to delete some unnecessary files for you to resume your uploads” perhaps you could find someone who knows what they are talking about to resolve this issue with your control panel once and for all and stop messing us around.

Yours sincerely”

A little while later, I rang back and after another 30 minutes on the telephone, he told me they were going to download the files from our server to another location and then tell me what the storage stats. are for those files. He said that he would e-mail me back in 30-60 minutes.

 75 minutes later, I rang back. They were still downloading the files, apparently.

Half an hour later, I received another e-mail from Cherie:

“We do apologize for any inconvenience however we already checked your webspace and there are alot of files in it.The reason why I was actually asking you to visit your webspace was to determine the size of the files that was uploaded to your webspace.As of the moment we are trying to replicate the issue by downloading all the files and until now it still downloading .We will give you an update once its finished.”

My reply?

“Hi Cherie,

Funnily enough, whilst waiting for your company to download and check the files, I ftp’d into the server and determined there were 10,647 files there.

Could you please tell me where the other 4,096,804,871 files are?

And similarly, how is my formal complaint doing? I’ve had neither a response nor an acknowledgement.

I await your reply with bated breath…”

You couldn’t make it up, could you?

This is, after all, a fairly straightforward web site with the main section with e-commerce facility, a discussion forum and then a photo gallery, the latter three elements meaning a fair few PHP files, but nothing of great significance in size terms.