Bizarre fact: you're charged for an online product that's on the house in real life
Every month, we're all expected to cough up the expenses for our comfy, brick-and-mortar house. Mostly a mortgage if you're a homeowner or rent if you're leasing the place. Either way, everyone uses electricity, water and gas, so we'd better pay for the utility bills too. Nothing unusual so far, right?
Imagine you just bought a new home and received the first bill from your public utility. A bit worried, you scan their invoice and notice this line:
"Keys to secure your home: $7.50 per/mo"
Whew, affordable! Nonetheless, it's rather strange a utility company just charged you for an item that the seller ought to give you after the buy, isn't it?
Even greedy landlords wouldn't have the nerve to add a small extra fee for cheap, ordinary keys to rental homes. They'd ask for the security deposit, but no way they'd add ongoing surcharges for securing your door. Unthinkable.
Anytime you buy or lease space, keys come with it; simply the universal standard. But if this is common sense and practice in real estate trade for our actual home, then ...
Why do we tolerate charges for virtual keys to our online home?
Indeed, $7.50 extra for digital keys to secure your web site. That's the average monthly cost for the five cheapest products I could find. Since Internet utility companies sell these so-called SSL certificates on yearly terms only.
Once this period comes to an end, your keys expire too. Even though most suppliers discount a renewal, they charge you again for virtual, digital or vaporizing keys if you will.
So they'll lock you in for at least another year, while you just want to lock up your online home: anytime you need to and for as long as necessary.
Well, guess what?
Crafty digital locksmiths market "multi-year" special offers, which appear to save you time and money. Cost-wise around 10-35% on their current single-year list price, if you pay them in full and up front for 3 to 10 years.
Ok, let's say you believe you're getting a good deal. You purchase a 5-year plan for $350, instead of $90 per year and save $100 today.
Six months later, a friend tells you how her Internet security vendor is offering a lower rate than yours, without long-term investments.
One year after your purchase, you run into a business partner. He switched to another web hosting company, because they included the digital keys to his online home. Free of charge.
So there you are, stuck with a prepaid deal and four years to go. Sure, time-wise you've spared yourself a few minutes of renewal hassle.
But what's wise about getting locked out of future better deals with no strings attached?
"Digital keys to secure your web site: $25-1500+ per year"
Author's note, gratitude and full (nonsense) disclosure
Thank you for reading my mind! Besides blog rookie, I'm a freelance trainer, writer and consultant (12 years in IT). Just a Dutch bargain lover, I searched for budget security keys to my new web site (in renovation). You can explore my findings in the next post or get it in your favorite reader.
Photo credits: SXC | Inspiration: "Nickel and Diming"
You can reach me by email or +31-708911134