Yesterday we looked at an example of the web security company SiteLock trying to mislead someone on what leads to websites being hacked to get them to purchase a reoccurring service with a long term commitment instead a one-time service. Using their one-time cleanup is also a bad option since it doesn’t include fixing vulnerability that allowed the website to be hacked, while costing more than we charge in many instances for a proper cleanup that actually includes the work to secure the website (you can also get a lower quality cleanup from many companies for much less that SiteLock charges). If you make the mistake of signing up for one of SiteLock’s ongoing services you are in for more problems based on what we have seen mentioned by their customers.
In the past we have had people comment and discussed that these service don’t protect websites from getting hacked and SiteLock explaining the solution is to pay them even more.
Then there is trying to cancel, which we have seen numerous complaints from their customers about.
First off, according to their customer agreement you have to call in to a cancel the service:
All cancellation requests must be submitted by calling our Customer Care Department at (415) 390-2500 and must be made prior to the expiration of the Service term.
In one customer’s complaint they mentioned something that really isn’t that surprising to hear about what happens when you call:
It is not possible to each the billing department except by phone and when you call you are connected with a telemarketer that try’s to upsell you and they become rude when they realize there is not going to be a sale.
The “billing department” is actually a salesroom.
You might be waiting a long time to even get to that as one review on SiteLock’s BBB page reported that:
I tried to cancel my account and it is nearly impossible. Was on hold for over 45 minutes and the person said they did and low and behold….billed the next 2 months.
And here is another complaint with someone taking even more time
I’ve spent two hours, over 4 phone calls attempting to cancel the service by phone. I’m currently on another extended hold waiting for a ‘cancellation agent’.
(While it sounds like making you call is about trying to make it difficult to cancel or try to sell to you again, it turns out that for a web services business they don’t seem to be very web savvy, as one of their web hosting partners list that you need to call SiteLock to have their CDN’s cache of your website manually cleared as well.)
If that isn’t bad enough if you don’t cancel at least thirty days prior to end of the subscription period you are going to being paying for another one according to their customer agreement:
Such cancellation must be made at least thirty (30) days prior to the end of Customer’s current subscription period.
Considering that these are web services that should easily be turned on and off, this sort of lead time doesn’t make sense.
In other instances people have complained about various cancellation fees as well, even though with what the services include that doesn’t seem like it would be a reasonable thing.
A Better Alternative to SiteLock For Cleaning Up a Hacked Website
If your web host is pushing you to hire SiteLock to clean up a hacked website, we provide a better alternative, where we actually properly clean up the website.