Right now, our most economical shared linux web hosting plan starts at $5.95 a month. We frequently mention this on our site, in our marketing, everywhere, it’s pretty straight forward to us. You pay $5.95, a month at a time, and we provide the service, a month at a time. If for whatever reason you no longer need your account, you close the account, stop paying the monthly invoice, and we close the account. It’s simple, no?
You’d be surprised. Some hosting providers take a simple concept like a simple monthly price, and, well, get it twisted up. “$2.99 a month!” they’ll say. And it’s true, they’ll sell you that plan for $2.99 a month.. provided you sign up and pre-pay for 12, 24, or in some cases even 36 months of their service. So “$2,99 a month!” turns into “Give us $108 now to cover the next three years!”.
What happens if six months in, you decide your new web venture just isn’t for you? That depends. Some providers will have a “no refunds after X days” clause in their agreement. Others may provide a way for you to get some form of prorated refund for the remaining time, but you really need to be careful and check the details in advance if you’re looking at a long term commitment.
Some providers view the long term commitment as a way to lock customers into their service. That doesn’t work for us. We want you locked in because you love our service, not because you feel like leaving is a hassle or going to cost you a bunch of money, so why we don’t do long-term contracts. All of our shared linux hosting services are on simple monthly terms. In fact right now we only accept payments on a monthly billing cycle. Today, we won’t take your money for more than a month’s service at a time, even if you, well, try to pay us to. 😉
As far as the marketing speak, we believe if someone says “This plan is $5.95/month”, that should be the most expensive that plan gets, not the cheapest.
Now, to be fair, we’re looking at offering longer “pre-pay” options (3, 6, and 12 months most likely) because a number of clients have asked in order to make their lives simpler. And it only seems fair that in exchange for a client trusting us enough to prepay for more than a month, we should in some way financially reward that trust. But when we do start offering pre-pay discounts, they’ll be just that, discounts on the current prices. No long term commitment, no yearly contracts, and our marketing will stay the same. And if you pre-pay for a year, we’ll use the highest “tier discount” completed if you need to cancel for any reason before the year is up. So for instance, if we offer 3/6/12 month pre-pays, and you cancel in month 7? We’ll pro-rate your refund based on the six month discounted rate.
It’s fair, it’s simple, and we’re upfront about it. It’s the only way we know to be.
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