Follow up to yesterday’s complaint about FatCow dot com Hosting

By | July 1, 2008

After yesterday’s post about a complaint about a hosting company’s ‘special offer’, I filed an email to their legal department about the issue that they were facing.

Dear Legal,

I apologize that I can’t address you by name. But I’m confused by your company’s current offer. I’m including a transcript of a conversation about the issue:

Harriet Anderson: Hi. My name is Harriet, how are you today?
kendickson98: hi, harriett.
kendickson98: fine.
kendickson98: i’m needing a little help with the pricing on the sales page…
kendickson98: is it The FatCow Plan $66.00 billed yearly
Harriet Anderson: Okay.
kendickson98: or is it 88 per year?
kendickson98: there are some places that say renews at 66 and others at 88 …
kendickson98: https://secure.***.com/register/registration.bml
Harriet Anderson: Actual price of our FatCow plan is $88.00 per year.
The offer price is $66.00 per year and this is only for the first year.
Harriet Anderson: Next year, your account will be renewed with the
actual price $88.00 per year.
kendickson98: then i’m afraid you NEED to change your website..
because that’s what it doesn’t say clearly on the billing page that I
sent you…
Harriet Anderson: Okay.
Harriet Anderson: I apologize for any inconvenience this has caused you.
Harriet Anderson: Is there anything else I can assist you with today?
kendickson98: no that’s fine… i just needed to clarify that before
signing… tks. have a good day…
Harriet Anderson: Okay.

I would be interested to know why the website states no less than five times in three pages that it is $66 PER YEAR, not $66 in the first year; and yet I find a disclaimer on this second page claiming otherwise. Even the shopping cart claims that is $66 PER year, not $66 in the first year.

So, would you care to comment on how you plan to fix this issue? Isn’t truth in advertising important?

Yours,
Kenneth

To which I received two (yes, TWO) replies both in denial about the problem, both confirming the original claim in the chat, and both unable to find out the problem.

Here is one of the samples: from Benedict Reyes at FatCow Dot Com

Hello Kenneth,

Thank you for contacting Support.

We apologize for any inconvenience this has caused you. As mentioned earlier the actual price of our FatCow plan is $88.00 per year but the offer price which is offered to our customers is $66.00 and will be applicable only for one year after which you will be charged the normal price of $88.00.

Per your request, I’ve provided you the proof which shows the actual price of the hosting plan. To veiw the proof , please go to the link: http://www.fatcow.com/fatcow/fatcow.bml
Note: Scroll down to see the proof at the bottom of the page.

If you have any further questions, please don’t hesitate to contact us. We are available 24×7.

Sincerely, Benedict Reyes
FatCow Moo Crew

I’ve now replied, with another email, stating clearly my original complaints and asking for their website to be fixed. Perhaps someone will see what the problem is, but I’m not hopeful.

Dear Benedict,

Thanks for your response, unfortunately, in signing up for your
service I counted FIVE instances where that wasn’t the case, including

Example #1

http://www.fatcow.com/fatcow/index.bml
which has 2 images that state that clearly… PER YEAR! (see
attachment taken yesterday from your site)

Example #2
The second page is …
http://www.fatcow.com/fatcow/fatcow.bml

Where the phrasing used changes to $66/year. That choice also means
per year… eg. km/h means kilometers PER year, etc.

This phrase is used twice on this page.

Example #3
The billing cart page… the cart itself shows the pricing. This clearly states: “billed yearly.”

So I don’t know what proof you need, but to me, it reads clearly as
$66 PER YEAR, and it’s stated 5 times in three different ways. Ask ten
people who speak good english, show them the three pages I copied and
you ask them for yourself, how much do you expect to pay in year 2?
I’ll bet you most will be either confused or think it’s $66 per year..

I’m sorry… but you really have to take the time to go through your
billing process to see what I mean… I don’t know what more I can say
– except amend the graphic and text to SHOW what you REALLY mean, not
what you would like it to mean. Otherwise when billing comes around in
a year’s time, you will be dealing with complaints, chargebacks,
trouble from your credit card vendors, and from PayPal.

Best Wishes
Kenneth

Having already met with four denials about the issue, I can’t see what more I can do to persuade them that this is a real problem… I won’t be using their hosting for sure, because their staff refuse to see what the problem is.

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