I am a big fan of the Fremium Business Model.  Where you offer a base account that is free to get users in the door.  Then you can upsell them on premium features.  It just makes sense.

I am also a big fan of the Free Trial for web based software as well.  I think this is crucial to allow people to test drive your application and see if it will work for them.

However nothing makes me more mad then the Free trial that really isn’t Free.  They make you put in a credit card then start charging you after the trial period.

I dub this the Freemium Hostage model.

In January I was test driving large file sharing solutions out there for a potential project.  I test drove several that seem to meet my needs.  I was going with one called Sharefile, a secure easy file sharing solution.  I had to put my credit card in there to test drive….but on the home page it says Try for Free.

So shortly after test driving the client changed the project and we weren’t going to address again until summer.  So I forget about it until May when I am doing my credit card reconciliation and I see a charge for it.

And of course I’m in the middle of back to back conferences and too busy to make time to address….so here it is June and I now have 3 months of charges for this service I never used.

I log in and cancel the account….in which it quickly asks a reason why….right under “NO Refunds”.

So now it doesn’t matter to me if they have a good tool.  There is no way I’m going to use it, because their business model already rubbed me wrong.  They are making a business model off offering up something Free, bait and switching and then taking advantage of people forgetting to cancel.

That just doesn’t fly in this era of Cloud Computing, SaaS, and pay as you go.

So my review of Share File – Secure File Transfer is DO NOT USE THEM.  Do not support Freemium Hostage Business Model.  Boooooo!!!

I may change my tune if they changed their business model.

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