Being ethical is important, but how about being smart and yet honest?
Recently, I saw the following notice on a startup website, on their payment/pricing page stating that they are unable to process payments and hence using the system is free for 21 days. Very simple and honest. Just what a typical geek will do [i.e. logical thinking].
Just that it will never work. Any user worth his/her credit card salt will not trust the company, since they are unable to accept payment and this shows how trustworthy are they.
Lets roll back and look at what 37Signals did when they launched. They announced a 1-month free trial offer (launch offer) and the truth is that they did not have the payment system in place to handle payment and hence the free offer!
What if the above startup splashes a big ‘21 days free trial offer’ instead of the honest note?
Do customers care about your backend inabilities?
You tell us.