Idiots of the Week

Has anyone else noticed a lot of companies coming down with a case of the stupids recently? It could be the economy is stressing people out and they’re commiting more errors, or, more likely, businesses are doing anything they can to boost revenue, including screwing their clients.

My first example is Time magazine. I’ve been a subscriber for years and signed up for their auto-renewal so that I quit getting nags to resubscribe every year. This year was a bit different. Here are the guts of my Paypal receipt:


So the description says $29.95 for a year (56 issues), but they charged me $41.15. Needless to say, I was a bit unhappy. This seems too dumb to be intentional, but who knows anymore. After complaining to customer service, I should be seeing a refund.

The other idiots I’ve had to deal are GoDaddy. I’ve had a love-hate relationship with them for a couple years, but haven’t been annoyed enough to move my domains and sites elsewhere. They might have finally reached the tipping point this week.

I let a domain name expire that I wasn’t using, yet I still got billed for some crap that I didn’t order orignally that they decided to hang off the initial order (“Business Listing”). GoDaddy has a pretty unethical habbit of hiding stuff on your orders as freedies that they’ll ding you for later.

For example, last year they tried to bill be for an SSL certificate renewal. Apparently, my hosting account came with a “free certificate” that I never even claimed or used. They tried to charge me $20 for renewing the unused certificate. After I called and complained, they refunded my money after realizing they never even issued an initial certificate, so kind of hard to bill me for a renewal.

So this week it was the same story again. Trying to bill me for stuff I didn’t order/want. I’m going looking for a better hosting provider and someplace to move my domain registration where they actually respect their customers.

Both of these cases are especially remarkable given the sorry economic conditions. Smart companies should be bending over backwards trying to keep their customers, not screw them over.

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