As a result of a tweet of mine, I had some rather funny responses that I agreed with.
It’s long been a frustration of mine, however my ire was most recently raised over this topic by a certain company who makes a remote control appliance. To be fair, the company makes a fine product and they totally blow away their competition. However, they leave no clue on their site how much their appliances cost nor a ballpark figure for their Standard or Enterprise licenses. I resorted to Googling to find what their customers are chattering about on the webs concerning their pricing and found that they are indeed one of the highest priced offerings in their market space. Fortunately, word on the street is that they work with you on the prices, but still… why should I have to resort to trolling for water-cooler banter to find out something simple like the price?
There are a number of things that go through my mind when I land on a vendor’s pricing page only to see the dreaded words “Request a Quote!” Here they are:
Our prices are so absurdly high that we know you’ll walk away from us in disgust and consider our competition if we publicly reveal them.
Isn’t this what we all think immediately? It makes the most sense. You only hide what you’re ashamed of or are afraid of being misunderstood over. So why not just fly your flag high and show how much you cost? At least show some guts and don’t apologize for yourself. I’d have more respect for a company to come out and show their prices as being very high than to keep it hidden to ellude me.
On the positive side, perhaps they’re hoping that the product will speak for itself and don’t want people to be distracted by the price. If that’s the most positive spin I can put on this topic, that’s pretty sad.
We don’t trust the merit of our product enough to sell you, so we force you to contact a sales “engineer” so that they can pressure you into buying.
This is actually my biggest fear. I’m already convinced that the product is insanely expensive. However, that doesn’t scare me nearly as much as the likelihood of an army of soul-less sales reps descending on me like Cessna-sized zombie mosquitoes intent on exsanguinating my budget as a light snack. And oh yes, it happens. If you will not be forthright with me about your prices, I am fearing for my privacy that an overzealous sales rep will be air-lifted to my house looking like Chuck Norris in Delta Force.
We’re living the high life sipping Dom Perignon from empty Almas caviar containers in the driver’s seat of our Pagani Zondas.
No, I don’t believe that your profit margins are being used to feed starving orphans in Namibia. I think you’re trying to live like Google by having free snack machines in your lunch room and masseuses roaming the halls looking for any kind of billable work. At least send a masseuse to me when I have to buy one of your “Platinum Service Contracts”. And some chocolate covered malt balls. I love those things.
Our business is in such financial peril that we have to charge heinous amounts of money for our product and we require yearly support contract updates to keep us afloat.
Honestly, rather than the vendor living the high life this is what seems more likely to me. Your business is failing, you can’t figure out what to make your margins on, no one will give you VC, buy equity or offer you a loan so now you have to jack up your prices. You’re really re-arranging deck chairs on the Titanic and you’ll be out of business in 6 months leaving me with 18 months left on an overpriced support contract.
We want to research what organization you work for so we can tailor a special price gouge just for you!
My suspicions about this are confirmed when the “organization” field is made to be mandatory. Do you want to see if I’m an upstart so you can assign your least responsive reps to my lower-end account? Or maybe I’m a major corporation so you can upsell my boss’s boss on your latest cash blackhole? Better yet, perhaps I’m a government entity or government contractor! Damn the capex limits… FULL INVOICING AHEAD!
Thanks to @SrslyJosh for this one.
We believe that our product will eventually be commoditized and until that happens we will be as opaque as possible with our business.
Really? I mean… REALLY? A lack of transparency makes me fear that your business model has cracks in it and you’re fluctuating your price drastically and frequently to ride the waves out.
Thanks to @JohnLockie for this one.
In order to hide the real cost of our products they are arranged in such a byzantine structure with so many variant pricing schemes that you won’t know how to decipher them anyway, so please contact us to be put in touch with a pricing ninja (+5 Confusion Spells against C-level execs).
We’ve all seen tiered edition and pricing structures that made us have to brush off our UML skills to chart out the possibilities. Wouldn’t it be nice if the vendor just obscured all of our choices and chose what was best for us? ಠ_ಠ
Thanks to @j_angliss for this one.
Are there any vendors out there reading this? Can you please explain whythere’s secrecy over your product’s pricing? It only engenders suspicion and distrust on the part of potential customers. Then again, if you A/B tested your pricing page and found that it converted better, who am I to get in the way. You’d better have an awesome product though, because if you’re barely better than the competition I’ll choose the more transparent company’s products most of the time.
Finally, if you’re a purchaser, what else do you think of when your vendor doesn’t show their prices at all? Any suspicions that I didn’t hit? Let me know in the comments.