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gav (2710)

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Hacker in NYC.

Journal of gav (2710)

Monday October 06, 2003
08:36 AM

Hating Pricing

[ #15085 ]

This was from hates-software but it seems less of a software hate so I'm posting it here.

ask said:
> Does hating software prices count as software hate?

I have enough hate about pricing saved up to share. Firstly I hate anyone that sells something and has a website but won't tell me how much their stupid product costs. This is the first sign that you're dealing with dickheads who are attempting to fleece you out of large sums of money. I don't want to email you, or worse yet pick up the telephone to beat a figure out of you. I don't want to go to a reseller's website and have the same run around. Why are you making it so hard for me to give you money?

Recently at work we were looking to buy a network attached storage. We wanted something simple that we could just plug in. We normally buy Dell so a quick visit to Dell's website provided pricing for a couple of different options. Unfortunately Dell's NAS boxes use Windows so I wanted to find some other options. Iomega had a nice website (you can even buy online!) but with more or less every other company they wanted me to jump through hoops. I couldn't get any pricing out of them. Using the "if you have to ask you probably can't afford it" methodology, we went with Dell.

If you go to Ford or GM's website you can pick a car and find out how much it costs. You can visit the websites of your local dealers (everyone has a website these days) and find prices. You can custom configure you car and see how much options cost. If the auto industry can do this why can't the IT industry? When you buy a car there is no extra charge for using the back seats to carry passengers or being able to drive above 70. Why do software companies want to charge you for how you use the software? I hate this.

About a year ago we were looking into setting up a mail scanner to stop the flood of spam and viruses. I was quite tempted by ActiveState's PerlMX (now PureMessage) since AS have been good to the Perl community (I like to support companies I think are doing good things). You couldn't just buy it, you have to submit a form telling them how many users, how much email volume etc and they'll get back to you with a price. Why should this matter? The software doesn't care. It's just a way to charge more money. We didn't buy PerlMX.

The solution is simple, if you don't tell me how much your product is and let me buy it easily, I won't buy it at all. I won't request a quotation or call your resellers. You've lost the sale.

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  • I always figure that if someone doesn't easily let you find out their price, they are ashamed of it and feel that they need to make sure you hear their excuse (er, sales pitch). I go elsewhere without even talking to them. If you ask to ask the price, it will be too much.