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Advantagecom - No notice of 500% rate increase

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  #1  
Old 02-01-2003, 01:37 PM
Mouse Mouse is offline
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Advantagecom - No notice of 500% rate increase


Last August, after the cyberwings fiasco I came to these boards to find a reasonable, reliable reseller. A banner ad at the top of the forum page was from Advantagecom.net

I found nothing derogatory about the company and so I signed up for their service. I paid 6 months in advance.

This morning I find an email invoice for my next six months.

IT HAS GONE UP $40.00 PER MONTH!

No prior notice. Nothing on the website, at the time, to indicate that what I was buying was a *special*. In fact, they have a whole page dedicated to the explaining how they could offer what they do for the price they charge. How it was a *sustainable model*.

Well, needless to say I am very upset. I have clients on this host and I can not just pick up and leave but neither can I afford the monthly fee they are charging now. And, they say they will take the money today which is going to cause me no end of problems.

Has this happened to anyone else? Was I foolish to trust?

Any suggestions?

thanks,

Mouse



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  #2  
Old 02-01-2003, 02:08 PM
hostpc.com hostpc.com is offline
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There was no notice when you signed up that it was a promotional price? Have you contacted them to make sure the amount is correct?

Wow... sorry to hear of problems, I thought they were a reputable, straightup company.

Good luck

Joe

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  #3  
Old 02-01-2003, 02:14 PM
IGobyTerry IGobyTerry is offline
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It does say that prices can change without prior notice. Although, it would have been nice to send out an email of the price change.

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  #4  
Old 02-01-2003, 02:26 PM
Mouse Mouse is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by hostpc.com
There was no notice when you signed up that it was a promotional price? Have you contacted them to make sure the amount is correct?

Wow... sorry to hear of problems, I thought they were a reputable, straightup company.

Good luck

Joe
No. no notice of a promotion. And yes, I have tried calling several times, left messages and emailed.

I thought so to, and so far their service has been great. But increasing the fee $240.00 for 6 months service with no prior notice is a bit of a stretch on the *without notice price change* wouldn't you say? I mean, I could see it if it were a dollar or two or three............but $40.00!

I am already looking at other resellers in case this is not a mistake.

Mouse

  #5  
Old 02-01-2003, 03:36 PM
hostpc.com hostpc.com is offline
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Yessir Mouse - I'd say thats a bit overkill... Good luck with your search - maybe your next hosting company can help you move files, etc - or make transition a little easier on ya!

Joe

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  #6  
Old 02-01-2003, 04:11 PM
Essentials Essentials is offline
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Hopefully they will work a deal with you so you are both happy and don't have to move.

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  #7  
Old 02-01-2003, 07:17 PM
Mouse Mouse is offline
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FOLLOW-UP on advantagecom.net

Apparently, the price increase was announced January 10, 2003 on their forum (in the announcement section).

I have never been one to just cruise forums for no reason, their service was working just fine so obviously I did not see the post.

There was no email notice or email reminder sent to their customers. I think this is a terrible way to notify customers of something this important. JMHO

Looking for a new reseller.............again...................

Mouse

  #8  
Old 02-01-2003, 07:56 PM
pgrote pgrote is offline
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I was as surprised as other customers of the Universal Pipe plan to see the rates increase from $9.95 to $49.95. Before the folks who shout, "You get what you ask for" jump in, realize that this was the lowest plan they had at the time with the most restrictions.

I used the plan for domain name storage and development. Last month I used a whopping 5 meg of space last month with a total bandwidth usage of 2.95MB. Yes, megabytes. :-)

Advantagecom does state in their TOS:
Quote:
Prices are subject to change without notice, but are guaranteed through your paid billing period.
Source

They alerted folks to the increase in the forums section. Unfortunatley, a simple email to the customer's billing account wasn't made. I am sure that Advantagecom assumed that all their customers read the forums. Seeing as I didn't even have an account there, I missed out.

Yes, they were in their right to do this. Yes, they followed their guidelines. Is it a way to run a customer oriented business? Who knows. I do know that the increased revenue for the month probably won't make up for the customers who leave.

I do have an email into their billing department asking for a credit of $40.00. I hope they step up and make it happen.

You live and you learn. I've learned to watch closer and hopefully they have learned that better communication is a good thing.

  #9  
Old 02-01-2003, 08:01 PM
cyansmoker cyansmoker is offline
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And what kind of service are you supposed to get for $40/month? I guess, a lot of bandwidth and/or disk space?

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  #10  
Old 02-01-2003, 08:05 PM
pgrote pgrote is offline
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I don't even know. :-)

Here is the forum posting discussing the price increase:
http://forum.schmolie.com/viewtopic.php?t=492

  #11  
Old 02-01-2003, 08:45 PM
Mouse Mouse is offline
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I never said what they did was not within their right. I just think it was a crummy way to do it. I'm sure you and I are not the only ones that don't read the forum. My guess would be most do not.

A simple email reminder would have been nice.

Perhaps $49.95 is a good price for what they offer. Their service was great. I just can not afford that amount of money per month along with the school hosting account.

I used it to host a few friend's sites and a couple of non-profits.

I will have to find another home I guess (again)

Mouse

  #12  
Old 02-01-2003, 08:50 PM
pgrote pgrote is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by Mouse
A simple email reminder would have been nice.
Evidently you and I are the lucky customers who receive the invoices, but somehow didn't get the email reminder.

Andrew Kinney, the CTO, said:
Quote:
Yes. An email was sent to all customers in addition to the announcement on the forum last month.

Before you all get carried away with incorrect assumptions and conspiracy theories, be sure to read the thread in the "General Discussion" area about the Upipe price increases. Every possible angle on the discussion was covered there.

Unless you have something to say that hasn't already been said, I'll consider my input on this subject done.
I'm not sure how to take his response. I think it's a pre-emptive defense on the backlash he thinks he's going to get. No one in the thread had any assumptions or conspiracy theories. Folks were just curious as to how/why the price increased without their knowledge.

  #13  
Old 02-01-2003, 09:12 PM
Mouse Mouse is offline
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I also thought his response was pretty defensive. I started that thread and never said anything about *conspiracy theories* or *assumptions*.

All I said was I was blind-sided by that invoice first thing this morning. I would stay if I could afford it. I can not.

Mouse

  #14  
Old 02-01-2003, 11:07 PM
pgrote pgrote is offline
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All I can say is BRAVO.

Andy from Advantagecom just responded with new information on the error. Simply explained it was a filtering issue with their customer database.

He went on to explain the exact steps they're taking to make this situation right ... 1) They're refunding/charging the old amount for February 2) They're offering the long term renewals at the old price 3) He apologized.

I must say I am extremely impressed by how he's stepped up and handled this situation. The hosting industry is not known for services that really believe in customer service. Andy could have followed the industry norm and blown off his customers. He didn't. He realized there was an issue, took it a step further by digging in and looking for the problem and then he took steps to make it right.

For a moment let's realize that he wasn't under any obligation to do this as Advantagecom's TOS covers price increases at any time.

Three cheers for a great example of customer service in the hosting industry. Good job, Andy.

His post:
http://forum.schmolie.com/viewtopic....ighlight=#2600

  #15  
Old 02-01-2003, 11:18 PM
Tropical Tundra Tropical Tundra is offline
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I'm glad he stepped for you like that but the fact they would need a 500% increase is mind boggling for a business no matter what the reason. It smells like bait and switch to me. Start cheap to get customers and then increase the fees! That's just my opinion I'm not their customer nor do I know the reasones just that damn 500%??? Bad business planning! Good luck w/ your new search!

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