That time of year has come when it is time to renew my WordPress domain mapping fees so that I can keep running my blogs on their .co.uk domains rather than the standard wordpress.com domain.
No big deal I thought after receiving their helpful reminder email. It’s just $13 per domain and one of them I can put as a business expense on my taxes.
Going through the payment process I see that WordPress kindly now offers me to make payment in GB Pounds. That’s very nice of them I thought so I decided to take them up on the offer.
I don’t know about you, but if you travel very much at all or even just deal with international customers you’ll very quickly get used to foreign currency rates. I was always impressed by the Egyptian street urchins who knew 10 or 15 currency rates which I suppose was useful if you were begging and wanted to know what you could realistically hope to receive from different nationalities.
I can’t claim to be in anywhere near their league when it comes to currencies. There are a few basics though. £1 is usually equal to €1.20 on a bad day and €1.25 on a good day. You can get about 100 Indian Rupees for £1 and about 1.8-1.9 against Australian and Canadian currencies. All kind of standard stuff. Perhaps the most obvious of all is the GB Pound against the US Dollar which of course for a few years now been £1 being around $1.4.
That is of course in the world of WordPress. Failing a huge economic crisis, natural disaster or war, the rate of the Pound against the Dollar has been around 1.6 slowly increasing as today it is 1.67.
So what is Stephen blithering on about today I can hear everyone staying who hasn’t switched off all ready. Well it means that WordPress is ripping off everyone in Britain who pays in British pounds which even by a rough guess must be 10,000’s to perhaps several 100,000 people. Who knows, perhaps they do the same to other currencies like the Euro. The difference we are talking about for those in America is just over $2. Not a lot of money but there is certainly no reason at all to charge us extra to pay in our own currency when it doesn’t cost us users (well certainly not myself) any more to pay in Dollars in the first place.
If you take a random and probably very low figure of 50,000 WordPress British bloggers or other companies that decide to pay in GB Pounds then that is over $100,000 WordPress are making rather immorally.
Everyone in the U.K. is used to being ripped off to a certain degree. We pay the same or similar price in Pounds as what others pay in Euros or Dollars whether it is an expensive Apple product or a discount RyanAir flight to Paris. Nobody likes it, all the companies say there are reasons for it but for some reason, the reasons never seem to make any sense or indeed there are no reasons.
The difference is that WordPress promotes itself as a friendly and non-commercial environment which makes us think we deserve to be treated reasonably fairly whereas with other companies we fully expect to be ripped-off.
Whilst I appreciate WordPress going to some effort to make me feel at home with my local currency, I don’t appreciate being ripped off. If the renewal fee for the service I desire is $13 and I pay in pounds then I should be paying £7.76 or perhaps allowing for a small fee £8 (though for a business as big as WordPress I’d be amazed if it costs them that much) but certainly not £9.
I ended up clicking ‘back’ on my browser to ensure I kept paying in dollars and I saved myself £2.28 for my 2 sites I renewed this week. If you receive this option to pay in a local currency then I would urge you to double-check your currency levels. Better still I’d ask you to share this post or write your own and contact WordPress expressing your displeasure that you or your international based friends are being unfairly over-charged and ripped off.
I wasn’t going to write this at all but it was just so obvious and so obviously unfair. I’m surprised that WordPress would so obviously over-charge people when the blogging world is so full of bright and investigative people. There can be no economic justification for overcharging so much for paying in Pounds rather than Dollars and if that is true then it means WordPress are treating users differently and discriminating against them according to their location or even race. You don’t need me to say what that makes WordPress.