Simple Domain Host: Marketing Mailers Disguised As An Invoice

Simple Domain Host - Misleading Solicitation

Recently, what seemed to be an invoice arrived at one of our business locations. Upon further inspection, it was an attempt to mislead unsuspecting managers into switching hosting for the business website to Simple Domain Host, at the bargain price of $180 per year, using scary words to make you think your domain name and/or website is suddenly going to disappear if you don’t switch to Simple Domain Host.

You know it’s bad when you search for “Simple Domain Host” on Google and the first two organic results are the Better Business Bureau website. Which, if you click through to the BBB web page for Simple Domain Host, you will find many complaints about what I am about to write about.

Here’s the text from the body of the solicitation from Simple Domain Host.

Please make checks payable to: Simple Domain Host

To pay with a credit card or to avdid receiving paper invoices in the future, please sign up for paperless billing at:

Hosting your website with us will ensure your website remains active, that you retain exclusive rights to it on the Web,and now is the time to transfer your web hosting from your current provider to Simple Domain Host. Failure to renew your web hosting by the expiration date may result in website outages and a loss of your online identity making it difficult for your customers to reach you on the Web.

Privatization of web hosting and renewals allows the customer the choice of web hosting providers when initially establishing a website and also when renewing web hosting. Web hosting customers are not obligated to renew their web hosting with their current provider or with Simple Domain Host. We would like you to renew your web hosting with Simple Domain Host. There are no contracts and you are under no obligation to pay the amounts stated herewithin. THIS IS A SOLICITATION FOR THE ORDER OF GOODS OR SERVICES, OR BOTH, AND NOT A BILL, INVOICE, OR STATEMENT OF ACCOUNT DUE. You are under no obligation to make any payments on account of this offer unless you accept this offer. This notice is not a bill, it is rather an easy means of payment should you decide to renew your web hosting with Simple Domain Host.

Simple Domain Host uses scary words on their marketing mailer like ensure your website remains active, and that you retain exclusive rights to it on the Web, trying to scare owners and managers of businesses into writing a check or inputting their credit card details, switching their perfectly fine hosting to Simple Domain Host. Also, the use of the terms renew, and renewing is designed to mislead, there is no renewal going on, this is straight-up switching to a new provider.

In this case, the manager of the office where the Simple Domain Host solicitation was sent reached out to me, knowing I handled all hosting and domain name registrations for the company. I swiftly responded with DO NOT PAY, it’s a scam, explaining which companies we use and that they will never receive a bill for domain name registrations, transfers, or website hosting, as this is handled at a corporate level.

Responding to complaints on the Better Business Bureau website, Simple Domain Host repeatedly copy and pastes; and I quote “We sincerely apologize if there was any confusion regarding the solicitation you received. We utilize third-party copywriters, marketing agencies, and direct mail designers for all of our direct mail pieces, and all marketing materials are thoroughly validated by our legal team to ensure compliance with all applicable rules and regulations.”

Let’s be clear, I’m sure their legal team OK’ed these solicitations, they covered their own arses with the statement, THIS IS A SOLICITATION FOR THE ORDER OF GOODS OR SERVICES, OR BOTH, AND NOT A BILL, INVOICE, OR STATEMENT OF ACCOUNT DUE. This single line of text excuses everything else in terms of legality. You’d think our elected officials would make this sort of intentionally misleading solicitation illegal, but they don’t represent us, so companies will use this loophole.

As always, when I write these blogs, I hope that people will find it and not give a dime to these companies using such misleading marketing practices. If you find it useful, please share it to spread the message.

Finally, I’ll leave you with the full scan of the mailer; sans contact details.

Simple Domain Host Fake Invoice

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