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Are you being held hostage by your third-party vendor?

This is a story that I hear over and over again from customers (Note: no LunaMetrics customer should feel that I am writing about them. I hear it all the time.)  “Well,” the customer says to me, “We’d really like to add that OnClick event, or that JavaScript snippet, or those text links at the bottom of our page, but the third party vendor will charge us $3000 to do it.”  Yesterday, a potential customer said to me, “I feel, just let me add the stupid JavaScript, I can do it in three minutes for free.”

Third party web application vendors bring a lot of value. They may manage important pieces of your site, and they may have great applications that would cost you a lot of money to create yourself. But before you sign on the dotted line, find out what the upkeep costs will be.  Don’t ever believe that there won’t be upkeep costs. Sure, you’ll be able to do a lot of the work in your CMS, but there will be plenty of architectural (or just JavaScript tags) that you’ll need them to add for you. Get an agreement right up front on how much it costs (and what “it” means, is it hourly, or by the line of code or what?)  The third part deserves to make a profit, I recognize. But once you sign on the bottom line, there is no competition and they can charge you whatever they like. So get it in writing.


Robbin Steif

About Robbin Steif

Our owner and CEO, Robbin Steif, started LunaMetrics ten years ago. She is a graduate of Harvard College and the Harvard Business School, and has served on the Board of Directors for the Digital Analytics Association. Robbin is a recent winner of a BusinessWomen First award, as well as a Diamond Award for business leadership.


2 Responses to “Are you being held hostage by your third-party vendor?”

To be fair, not all high-end products have such pricing scheme. You are right though; some of them will “hide” costs (“Oh! You wanted to have Unique Visitors per week too?!”), and then start charging you whenever you need anything new, not only slamming you with new costs, but taking away some or all the flexibility you need and expect from a top priced product.

Adam Green says:

AMEN. Couldn’t have said it better myself. I can’t count the amount of times we have worked with clients who have thes same issues. Not to name names here…. but sites hosted with Yellow Pages are the worst!… not to name names. :)