I Had An Experience With SiteLock – Hint, It Wasn’t Good
You might have heard of SiteLock. This is a service that protects your site from malware. I got it as a $14.99 add on per year with my web host. I have had it for about 8 months now and got my first malware alert today. The notice stated that I had a critical problem. Very serious! So I looked at the SiteLock dashboard and sure enough, it said the same thing. I put in a ticket with SiteLock and got a call relatively quickly in response.
Quite A Sales Call
The result was a sales call in which the woman did everything possible to upsell me on all sorts of services. A $500 fire wall, another x amount for this service, or x amount for that service. And to clean my site? $199. Damn, I thought, that is a lot of money to clean such a small site. I was also surprised, because other services include cleaning as part of their fee. Sucuri, about which I have written before, charges about $90 per year, and includes the cleaning. There are other services that charge about the same. But I wanted my site cleaned, so I shrugged and said ok.
I Have Second Thoughts
As I thought about it though, I became more concerned about the up-sell efforts as well as the price, so I got online and did some research. I found some not so flattering articles, and decided that I should listen to my second thoughts. I immediately called SiteLock back and left a message to cancel the cleaning. I also emailed SiteLock, stating the same thing, and changed the password on my site so they couldn’t access it to do any work.
I got a call back a bit later from the saleswoman who informed me someone would call me tomorrow to refund my credit card. I said if this is going to be an issue, I will just challenge it with my credit card company. She said no, that was just their process. I told her I thought that was absurd. Why does someone need to call me to refund my credit card? You have the data? She insisted that is what they do.
No doubt they will attempt to convince me to let them clean my site. The saleswoman said, “well the problem with cleaning it yourself is it is a small site so we might not have scanned the whole thing.” What? Why am I paying for scanning if you aren’t actually scanning the whole site? It also makes me more convinced I made the right choice. Hopefully I won’t have any problems getting a refund on my card. – Update, I was told today that the transaction was voided.
My Real Issue With SiteLock Is What Was Wrong With My Site
Once I got over my panic and took a closer look at my site, do you know what I found? The terrible, critical, scary alerts involved the fact that my site has a blog post. On that blog post I linked to a company’s website. Apparently, that site is blacklisted on Google at the moment. That site must be infected. That problem requires the following steps:
- Go to the blog post
- Remove the link
- Update the blog post
Yup. SiteLock wanted to charge me $199 to remove a link from a blog post. My site didn’t actually need any cleaning. There was nothing wrong with it.