• Report: #1120346
Complaint Review:


  • Submitted: Sun, February 02, 2014
  • Updated: Sun, February 02, 2014

  • Reported By: Mr. B — South Carolina
Nationwide USA

HelloSign.com HelloSign.com BAIT & SWITCH Internet Nationwide

*Consumer Comment: true bait & switch

*Consumer Comment: I Understand..

*Author of original report: Is It Bait & Switch?

*REBUTTAL Owner of company: Response to comment on HelloSign pricing (from Cofounder)

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 I signed-up for HelloSign.com's "free" digital signature service, which was advertised as "Free & Unlimited".  I also had my entire office sign-up to help streamline our services to clients.  All went well for the first 3 weeks until today when I had a very time sensitive and important form that I needed to get to a client to sign.  After making all the necessary changes to the document, I proceeded to try to save it before sending to my client. 

A message from HelloSign.com popped-up to inform me that I had used up my 3 free documents for the month and if I wanted to proceed that I would have to pay a minimum of $12.95 per month.  I found it to be a very under-handed way to lure customers in and without any warning or prior notice corner someone into paying to play...Classic Bait and Switch.  Don't be lured in by their false advertising and promises.  The CEO even interviewed with PRWEB.com boasting about the free and unlimited service, and how people shouldn't have to pay to send their own signature digitally...what a joke!    

This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 02/02/2014 08:05 PM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/reports/hellosigncom/nationwide/hellosigncom-hellosigncom-bait-switch-internet-nationwide-1120346. The posting time indicated is Arizona local time. Arizona does not observe daylight savings so the post time may be Mountain or Pacific depending on the time of year.

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#1 Consumer Comment

true bait & switch

AUTHOR: nick - ()

The only reason I was about to give business to hellofax was that they are not part of j2 (j2 owns most of the other online fax services). If you look at the pricing page on www.hellofax.com/info/pricing you will see that each paid plan has EDIT & SIGN feature with check mark, once you get the fax service you realize that you have only three transaction (for simple 3 pages, each transaction could be more pages). So, basically you buy 300 fax page plan, but we give you only three pages to edit and sign and check mark this as a feature on this plan. Then you have, of cource, option to upgrade for let's say $13.99 to get more pages/transactions for EDIT & SIGN.

 So total for fax with edit and sign capabilites goes to $24.00/month for the lowest amount of pages. Hellofax splits services that other companies bundles and want to sell you the same service with additonal purchase once you though you got the service you wanted. 

 Let me be clear that advertising that each plan inlcudes EDIT & SIGN, but it is only three times, while the cheapest plan has 300 pages fax is mismatched and true BAIT & SWITCH

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#2 Consumer Comment

I Understand..

AUTHOR: Coolie - ()

I been following this case because the same thing has happened to me.  I am the current Network Administrator for a worldwide corporation.  We are using Google Apps and have migrated 1000 people over to the system.  Several months ago I sent out a mass email to all users about using HelloSign.  I was impressed with how it was free to use to sign and send without being held to restrictions such as 3 or 4 documents only a month when using that particular feature.


As you can imagine I am not facing a tough situation because hundreds of users relied heavily on Hellosign's sign and send feature but now they are all getting the notice about 3 documents a month.  I never received an email about the switch so to us this happened overnight.  Regardless of that point on whether I received an email or not, Hellosign boasted about being free and unlimited in using the sign and send feature.  If I knew they would ever change that policy such as if it stated in fine print that it is for a limited time, I would have never of gotten our company to use the service.


Now, in Joseph's defense, he did contact me back when I sent a complaint to his company and he did explain the situation and I can understand about having to spend money to support a growing company, however, I feel as though they should have preplanned future growth and took in the possibility that the free, unlimited service to which they boasted about should have never been made and instead said it was for a limited time.

Our company has already spent thousands of dollars in migrating users to a new email system so there's no way we would spend more money for another service at the time.  Nonetheless, even if we chose to, I couldn't choose Hellosign as our electronic signature vendor because of how this whole situation was handled.  The whole thing left a bad taste in my mouth so to speak and a big headache.  Just this morning alone I received phone calls and emails concerning the switch.

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#3 Author of original report

Is It Bait & Switch?

AUTHOR: Mr. B - ()

 Dear Joseph,


I appreciate the fact that you were gracious enough to respond personally.  To be clear, I was strictly using the free "sign & send" service.  Your site offered 3 different options to choose from when working with documents, one of which was labeled "Just Me", and under that option there were the words"ALWAYS FREE".  Now, the Merriam-Webster dictionary defines the word "always" as, "forever, at all times, at any rate, in any event".  So you can imagine my dismay when I tried to save my "always free" document and a message popped-up telling me I'll have to pay $12.95 to continue.

Now don't get me wrong, I completely understand and appreciate the fact that you are in business to make money, I too own my own business.  However, when you advertise a product or service as always free, consumers tend to take that statement literally.  My contention is that your company, in an effort to rapidly build a huge customer base, knowingly baited consumers into signing-up for what they believed to be a service that would always be free, only to switched into a paid plan.  So really, wouldn't that be considered bait & switch?... don't worry, I wouldn't expect you to admit it.

Thanks again for the response, however I will not be using your product or services.



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#4 REBUTTAL Owner of company

Response to comment on HelloSign pricing (from Cofounder)

AUTHOR: JosephWalla - ()

Hi there,

Apologies for any confusion about our HelloSign plans and pricing.  

Under our previous pricing, free plans were able to ‘sign and send’ documents for free. It seems like you were sending a signature request and on our free plans, those are limited to 3 documents per month. A signature request is when you indicate where someone needs to sign; then, you send that document for signature.

Recently, we changed our pricing, so ‘sign and send’ and ‘request signature’ are limited to a combined 3 documents per month.

Although it doesn’t seem like our recent pricing change would have applied to your scenario, I’d like to explain it regardless. We hit a point that to continue to support this large user-base, we had to modify our pricing. We tried to do a thorough job explaining the rationale behind the decision and even gave current users an early adopter discount. When I think of a bait and switch, I think of a company with deliberately confusing marketing and malicious intent. We’re in this for the long run and there’s no one more important to us than the people that use our products. It’s important that we communicate with everyone about our decisions, so I’m sorry if we didn’t explain our rationale well. That wasn’t our intent.

We make a huge investment in making our user-base happy and have a team based in San Francisco to support. The developers create the code and the support team makes sure to promptly reply to any questions. So, whenever you use the product, it represents an office full of people in the US that makes sure it’s there for you. So, if we want to turn this into something we can continue to provide to everyone long term, we had to re-examine the pricing plans.

Anyway, I hope we didn’t lose you. If we didn’t, email me and I’ll make sure we get you that early adopter discount.


Co-Founder and CEO

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