Customers HATE hidden fees. Its a fact of life. Nickel and diming customers is a sure way to tell your customers that while you appreciate them using your service, all you really want is their money.
I have been doing a lot of research into our competitors lately so that our sales and support teams can better explain the differences between our services and others in the industry. To my surprise, I found that most of our competitors have multiple hidden fees. Often they do this to advertise a low price initially, but raise the monthly fees significantly when you finally add in all the “features” that you need. I want them to continue to do this! Why? Because all it does is sew dissatisfaction and malcontect with their customers. Basically is makes us look all the better when they do sign up and give us a try.
We try and give everything we can for one low price. That is why we have only a single hosting plan. Let me give you some examples of hidden fees that I have seen. I don’t want to publicly call out the companies that use the hidden fees technique, but just beware when you are looking for a hosting plan. Call and talk to the sales departments and ask about some of the things I mention below.
1 – Addon Domains (The ability to host multiple accounts on a single hosting plan) – Many companies advertise this with their plans, but when you go to use it they charge you an extra $10 for each domain to “activate” the option. Totally lame in my option. This is 100% free on bluehost!
2 – Cancellation fees if you terminate your account early. Most hosting companies charge 1 or 2 years at a time. With many of these companies if you terminate your hosting agreement before the 1 or 2 years is up you get charged at fee. Often as much as $30 just to cancel your acccount. Bluehost has NO cancellation fee. We want you to stay, but if you leave you are never charged anything to leave early.
3 – Domain ownership fees is another problem. Many hosting companies offer a free domain if you host with them, but if you decide to leave you find out to your great dismay that the hosting company owns YOUR domain. If you want to leave and host it elsewhere you have to pay a fee to take it with you. In some extreme cases they won’t let you take the domain with you. Bluehost registers ALL free domains in the name of the person who signs up for hosting. The domain is YOURS and you can do with it as you like even if you leave and host elsewhere.
There are many other examples of these “hidden fees”. Basically I ask myself if it would offend me if a company charged the fee to me personally. If it does bother me then I don’t do it on bluehost. That is just commen sense to me Remember when you were 4 and your learned the “golden rule”. Well even though I am 34 it is still true. I try to make the experience on Bluehost.com as I would like my own experience to be. In the end I hope it works well for you to…
Matt Heaton / President Bluehost.com