Dirty vendor tricks

From magical demos to deceptive pricing and fictional charges, here are the six most devious tricks vendors use to get their hands in your pocket

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When projects go bad, it's usually "a shared responsibility between customers, integrators and vendors," agrees Forrester's Petouhoff. "I think everyone in charge of buying software should work for a software company or a systems integrator at some point in their careers. If they actually sat in those seats they'd understand the secrets of both worlds and be better prepared to ask the right questions."

As more vendors move to delivering software as a service, says Petouhoff, some of the problems will go away. With SaaS, customers can see how applications really work, and they can back out of a bad fit without sacrificing a huge investment.

"To be fair, you have to blame the business owner too," says GoToBilling's Roderick. "They don't like to read the fine print on agreements. And even when faced with the truth, they still sometimes go off and agree to something that sounds too good to be true."

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Copyright © 2009 IDG Communications, Inc.

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