There are a lot of ways to run into trouble online. You can easily fall into a trap thanks to the sheer number of threats. Malware, scams and even annoying spam can all cause you trouble from time to time, but what if you’re an honest business person? What if you’re doing your best to set up a legitimate website?
Sometimes even then you’re in for a scam.
Nobody has the ability to work completely independently online. You have to register a domain and then you have to find a server to run the site. Of course, you can buy your own server, but that’s not very reasonable for many small business owners.
There is a lot of competition out there for customers among the various registrars and software companies. Most offer any number of special deals and offers. Some offer upgrades and features that you need to be successful. These package deals especially can be very appealing to someone who is just getting started in the industry.
But signing up for a domain with a particular registrar also requires significant trust. After all, you’re putting at least a portion of your business into the hands of another company. Sure, you can go by reputation and recommendations, but even then you can get stiffed by poor service or downright fraud.
The Committed Upgrades
One easy way for hosting companies to take advantage of their customers is to offer free upgrades. When they upgrade your account you don’t have to pay for all of the extra features that are now included in your plan. That’s easy enough, and it’s a very appealing benefit for staying with a particular customer.
But then you notice something changing.
Perhaps you realize that you can’t use all of the features you were using before. Sure you have some new features, but what about those old dependable ones that you were relying on to get things done? If you can’t follow up on customer orders the way you normally do, you’re not going to do well on the customer front.
Of course, you can probably get those old features back on your account. You just have to pay separately for them or go through another level of upgrade. Fair? Not at all. But sadly it’s not exactly illegal either probably, which just makes it unethical and outrageously annoying for those customers who had signed up in good faith.
But perhaps you still have your original features.
Maybe you didn’t notice anything at all about your service changing after the big new upgrade that was pushed through on your accounts and servers. It’s business as usual until you get the bill.
That changed, at least.
When you get an unexpectedly high bill there is only one thing to do – figure out what went wrong! It may something sinister.
It could be delayed fees that you weren’t charged up front.
It could be charges for extra bandwidth – who knows how much those “new features” are requiring and that bandwidth certainly isn’t free!
Finally, it could be the early cancellation fee when you try and get out of this mess.
Sadly it’s always easier to get into a mess like this than it is to get out of it again. No matter how good the software looks or how appealing the special offers may be, you must always do your research. Check out the reviews of the company online. Are they legit?
Or are they just a pretty face and pretty offer leading you into an ugly situation down the road? Sometimes it’s hard to tell.