NoCowboys began in 2006 for two reasons – to give Kiwi consumers access to the best information to make informed decisions on who to hire (and who not to) and to create a platform for New Zealand tradies and businesses to harness the power of their reputations, online. We are pioneers in online reviews and we have kept apace with search engines and online marketing to be ahead of the game. We could not do that if we didn’t have a great reputation. Reputations are built and we have history. We decided to use our reputation to offer a tangential service when we launched NC Web last year.

The reasons we decided to offer website design and build and hosting had been percolating for years and initially we resisted it but after hearing the same things from a number of business owners about their experiences of either trying to get websites, or actually getting them, we decided to act.

Don’t get me wrong, there are a lot of great companies making websites that are excellent. They are transparent, their prices are reasonable and they focus on delivering great online solutions for their clients. What we were hearing were tales of woe from dealing with cowboys – website companies that misrepresent their services, that charge exorbitantly, that do not inform their clients that the website is not actually their property and if a payment is missed, take them down. There are cowboys in every profession and trade and marketing is no exception.

But last week we heard something new, a brazen exploitation that frankly left us gobsmacked – the sort of ploy that preys on the ignorance of people who do not understand what is involved in making a website and hosting it.

A business owner who is registered with NoCowboys called us to discuss websites, as he said he wasn’t happy with his. That in itself is not something new and we have designed new sites with hosting for customers like that already. We imagined this would be the same. It was but the circumstances were different.

This business owner informed us he was paying $100 a month plus GST for hosting for a site that had been made for him by a company he had found online. That’s a pretty high figure for hosting, unless there is a lot of SEO boosting included, and I’m talking about a lot of enhancement. But when we found out that the site and hosting was actually nothing more than a free Google site with no added SEO we knew we were dealing with an unscrupulous outfit that proved absolutely all the reasons we had ventured into creating and hosting websites in the first place.

Imagine charging someone over $1200 a year for something that is free? As our website developer said to me, “I’m glad we can sleep soundly at night”. He’s right and isn’t that the point of being in business in the first place? Not ripping people off and taking advantage of them. Every week the news covers stories of consumers taken for a ride by shoddy and shady businesses. The sort of businesses that don’t think twice about making money for nothing and giving nothing in return.

The website ‘company’ in question even has the gall to name itself almost exactly as the Google free website service – in an effort to trap the unwary when they search online.

So please, before you give any money to some business that you’ve found online, do a little digging – look for authenticated reviews or, better still – get in touch with NC Web, we take our reputation seriously.

Check out what NC Web can do for your business here