I’m not happy to be writing about Hubspot this morning. Hubspot’s been on my radar for a while, and I’ve told you about them several times. I think there’s a place in the world for Hubspot, even though I also believe that Hubspot’s value equation just hasn’t ever added up.
Forget Google’s questionably-motivated investment in Hubspot. Ignore silliness like the results of the query “Who Really Caught Osama?”, a Hubspot-inspired long-tail technique if ever there was one. Hubspot hasn’t ever really made sense unless you were just starting to create an Internet presence, knew nothing, and were willing to pay Hubspot a reasonable-if-eye-opening price to make everything relatively simple.
Now, Hubspot makes even less sense, and may be getting ready to make less sense, still.
At Hubspot’s pricing page (replicated in part at the top of this article to preserve in time a snapshot of a page that changes ), you can see what’s going on at Hubspot. I last showed you Hubspot’s pricing a bit over a year ago, when there were three options, all based on fixed, easily-understandable costs. Sometime between then and now Hubspot added higher tiers, seems to have raised their prices in general, and most frightening of all has made the cost of using Hubspot, your all-in-one solution, dependent on how much traffic you attract.
Next week, Hubspot will be
raising (OK, changing—I can’t speak to Hubspot’s specific plans) their prices again. And as I’ve said for several years now, if you’re a Hubspot customer, you’re stuck. Price changes? Changes in terms of service? Good luck getting your business out of Hubspot once you’ve gotten in.
I don’t like where this is going. And there’s a simple reason I don’t love talking about Hubspot’s predatory pricing—and let’s be clear; when your customers are stuck and you keep on not just raising your prices but changing the pricing structure, “predatory” is a fair word.
It’s ugly. I may have made a reputation over several decades as a no-nonsense guy who will find holes and patch them, but to get to that “fix things” part I sometimes need to start by pointing out problems. As a glass-half-full person, pointing out Hubspot’s hubris just doesn’t make me happy.
Ugly or not, there it is. Hubspot, now more than ever, is showing itself to be a service you shouldn’t use and mustn’t trust. Yes, we sell services that compete with Hubspot, and so that statement is self-serving. I’m sorry. But until Hubspot starts treating customer service more admirably, even those just-got-started types who I once thought Hubspot could be a good match for—maybe especially those people—need to stay away. Bait and Switch, Hubspot? REALLY?