It’s always nice when companies develop marketing strategies that involve giving something away to their users, but what happens when that marketing strategy backfires?  When something that was meant to provide value ends up making a customer feel ripped off, you know your marketing strategy has failed miserably.

Such is the case with Hostmonsters new Fall email campaign. When checking my email today, I was happy to see that Hostmonster was offering me $75 worth of free Google adwords as part of a fall promotion. I immediately clicked the email to redeem my Google adwords. This directed me to my existing Hostmonster admin panel where I discovered that my adwords promotional code was expired. Sure I got $50 worth of adwords when I signed up for this a hosting package, but that was more then 2 years ago. There had to be some kind of mistake. I mean why would a company send out an email offering free goods to users that were not eligible for it? Thinking that maybe I misunderstood how to take advantage of the offer I called up Hostmoster to get more information. After explaining the situation, the representative on the phone asked if I had previously used the $50 worth of adwords. I confirmed with him that I had.  He then told me that this is why I was not eligible for the Fall offer of $75 worth of adwords. To me this seems unfair. Because I opted to take advantage of an offer early on in my patronage with Hostmonster, I now am ineligible for a bigger and better offer. In the large scheme of things, $75 worth of adwords is not the end of the world, but something tells me that the when this campaign was developed no foresight was put into considering users that opted to take advantage of a promotion sooner then later.

Comments (3)

There are larger issues here than just that. If they are sending a promotional offer to people they should reasonably know are not eligible, then they are “guilty” of false advertising, which is actually a pretty serious thing.

Obviously, they should “reasonably know” that you are not eligible. They have all that information in their database. This was a big-time screwup, and they will be lucky if they’re not sued over it. It probably qualifies as a class-action lawsuit.

Don’t misunderstand me: I’m not big on suing people. But Hostmonster should be made aware of just how big that kind of screwup is.

Lonny Eachus September 30, 2010

Wow that’s to bad they didn’t think this out a little more.

Roscoe Dusch January 17, 2012

Hello There,
I really respect your post! Good piece of work on the design concepts on your website.

Jerry September 19, 2012

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