How to Avoid Web hosting and Design
Scams like Cramming
The internet can be a fantastic tool for expanding a
small business, but free web design and website hosting
services aren’t always the way to go. There are web
design companies offering free services that turn out to
be anything but free. These dishonest web design and
hosting services practice an illegal scam known as
Unscrupulous companies gain a client’s trust by offering
free website design services and website hosting for a
specific period of time. The client is told they will be
able to cancel the free service with no obligation at
any time. Some offer to automatically cancel the free
service when the trial period ends, unless the client
chooses to continue service for a low monthly fee.
Others require cancellation to avoid monthly charges.
The cost often seems too good to be true, and
unbeknownst to those who fall victim to this scam, it
Dishonest web design and hosting companies gain a
victim’s trust by promising a sign-up package complete
with instructions for accessing, changing, and canceling
services. Sometimes the sign-up packages never arrive.
Victims of cramming discover they’ve been duped when
they find unexpected service charges on their phone
bills, and many times the unexpected service charges
aren’t found until after the bills have been paid.
To add insult to injury, unscrupulous web design
services guilty of cramming, slap together websites
riddled with misspellings and grammatical errors. The
websites appear unprofessional, and important facts and
vital business information is often left out or
misrepresented. No one will find a website created by a
dishonest web hosting service because the websites are
never promoted or submitted to major search engines.
Chances are the small business owner wouldn’t want it to
be found anyway.
Avoid becoming a victim of cramming by hiring trusted
well-known companies. Don’t accept offers from
questionable companies soliciting your business and
tempting you with a free introductory offer. Search for
web design companies that offer verifiable references
and samples of their work. Initiate contact, and seek
out web design services after careful consideration and
If you find yourself a victim of cramming, don’t pay for
services you didn’t authorize. Immediately contact the
billing company, and file a complaint according to
company procedure. The law protects you, and
unauthorized charges will be investigated.
In addition, victims of cramming should file a formal
complaint with the Federal Trade Commission. The FTC is
dedicated to fraud prevention by helping consumers spot
the warning signs to avoid becoming victims of cramming
and other dishonest business practices.