Six Apart raw deal for European customers

Six Apart appears to be giving a raw deal to European customers. On March 30 Loic Le Meur, Six Apart European VP, blogged about Typepad’s new Widgets. What he didn’t say and I subsequently found out from customer support is that Widgets are only available in the US!

Thank you for reporting this error. At the moment, widgets
   are only available to subscribers in the US portal. We
   apologize for any inconvenience this causes.

   Please let us know if you have any other questions.

At the time I thought it was odd that I’d found out about the widgets from Loic’s European blog when they weren’t actually available. I let that slide as it wasn’t too important to me.

However, the most recent Six Apart announcement about connecting RSS feeds to your Feedburner account is one that I’m very interested in. However, it appears that once again Six Apart is giving a raw deal to European customers. The new service is available in one of my client blogs but curiously absent from my own account. What’s annoying is that both accounts were signed up for in the same way. I didn’t consciously decide to do one via the ‘US portal’ and one via the ‘UK portal’.

A Typepad Pro account in the UK is GBP £75.90 ($139.50) or USD $149.50 (£81.27) which means rather unusually the UK price is less than the US one. However, I’d prefer a full service account rather than the chance to save $10. There is nothing in the terms and conditions I’ve seen that indicate I get a lesser service. In fact if you click through from the UK site onto pricing and compare accounts it actually takes you back to the USD pricing! Incidentally the Euro pricing is identical to the USD price which at current exchange rates means that it costs $189. All the exchange rates are from www.xe.com on June 8.

For some reason the UK pricing page has a Union Jack and a Stars & Stripe flag at the bottom to click for ‘Pricing & Level of Service’. Clicking on Terms and Conditions takes you to a page which is obviously US terms and conditions with all the references to US law and not UK or EU legislation.

Personally I’d prefer to pay the full price and get a proper service rather than being ripped off (and pity those in France, Germany, Italy, Netherlands who have to pay more for less). Especially as they only tell you you get less if you ask, not exactly open and transparent!

Hopefully Loic will also respond to explain why he announced a service that isn’t available!


About Stuart Bruce

International communications consultant and PR trainer specialising in online public affairs, digital corporate communications, online PR and social media; frequent national media commentator and conference speaker.
  • http://www.loiclemeur.com/ Loic

    Dear Stuart,

    -The widgets are now available to all European customers, please try again if you would and use ticket support system if it does not work

    -There may be a little delay (usually no more than a few weeks and often no delay) between a feature launch in the US and on the European portals. It does not apply for the UK (and I agree we should fix that) but the delay is usually translation time, and it's difficult to suppress as there are code changes often until the push.

    -"Personally I'd prefer to pay the full price and get a proper service rather than being ripped off". If you could think one second why prices in euros do not reflect conversion €/$ you could understand that we have a local team that is paid in euros, provide support in many local languages and my employees don't want to get paid in $ 30% less. Customers who don't want any local support or language support can always go to TypePad.com and signup a $ account.

    -I announced Widgets on my blog without saying either that it was available to European customers, I just made a general announcement but as you point it out, I agree, I should have said there would be a little delay in Europe.

  • http://profile.typekey.com/stuartbrucepr/ Stuart Bruce – Wolfstar

    Thanks for responding Loic. I'll have another look at the Widgets and look forward to Feedburner being available.

    My main complaint was not knowing in advance about the difference between a USD and a GBP account. I would never have signed up in the UK had I realised and now I'm not clear about what to do to transfer it.