The online world has seen an explosion in services which can be provided at little cost for any additional subscribers. It’s become standard practice now for suppliers of good value services to offer them free for a month or longer to draw in prospects, and that’s a great thing for everyone.
Alongside this, if a service is good enough, a supplier should surely offer the ability for customers to come and go as they please. Yet often I hear people saying: “I’ve just signed up for such-and-such for a year”. What is going on here? What sort of service ties you in for a minimum period nowadays? The only answer, in my mind, is that it’s a service which the supplier has found many customers regret joining.
I’ve heard some weasel excuses about needing to tie in customers “to cover set-up costs”. Well, in that case, be honest and charge separately for the set-up.
For our part, we have never asked clients to sign anything which commits them to use us for a specific period. Renewing a service each day, week or month should be something the customer is glad to do. It’s true that with our PPC advertising management service, I’d hope clients would be confident of sticking around for, say, three months, because it can take that long to get things up to speed. But if they decide otherwise, it should always be their choice.
If someone insists on tying you into a contract, I’d be very skeptical about their motives.