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Underhandedness in commercial web sites

I have noticed that a large number of web sites allow you to fill in forms to request information or sign up for services, and fail to tell you that this is not a free service until you've submitted several screens of information. All that does to me is make me really mad at them for wasting my time. It seems to me it would be much more profitable to tell people right away that the service you're signing up for is going to cost you $19.99 or whatever.

Big B
Wednesday, July 23, 2003

Well, the whole point (in their minds) is to get you to invest (time) in them - so that you may be more willing to part with your hard-earned greenbacks.  I don't like it, and it doesn't entice me personally - but I'm sure it works for some people.

Wednesday, July 23, 2003

It's not a marketing strategy, it's deception. There are plenty of marketing strategy that allows you to make the potential customer feel like they have a relationship--an investment in your brand--you should never deceive your customers like that.

Li-fan Chen
Wednesday, July 23, 2003

The commercial site deception that pissed me off the most was Dell. I bought a PC last year and used their financing.  They used a bait and switch tactic on the interest rate - as low as x.xx%, with the "as low as" in very small font. The actual interest rate I qualified for turned out to be 5% higher.

I still feel certain that no one ever "qualifies" for those terms. My wife's a mortgage underwriter and has reviewed my FICO scores - they're excellent.

I would have expected this if it were Best Buy or something, but Dell?  I had higher expectations.

(Even worse, the loan contract was displayed on a menu-less pop-up with right-click disabled and no print button. I had to copy the page and paste to Word to retain a copy. Pretty crappy for a leading technology company.)

Thursday, July 24, 2003

Could be you are encountering deceptive marketing/advertising or it could be the sites you visited are simply designed poorly.

If this matter is really bothering you alot why not send an email to the company (if there is one listed on their site)?  You can do this in an anon manner if your goal is simply to rip into to them.

One Programmer's Opinion
Thursday, July 24, 2003

Funny, I had the exact same experience with Dell, and my FICO scores are excellent, too.  Just some marketing genius at work... sure, we'll damage our only real asset (our reputation), but hey, we'll make a few million bucks more...

Grumpy Old-Timer
Thursday, July 24, 2003

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