Herr Bischoff

On Honesty and the Lack Thereof

WebPageTest was a trusted tool that I used to use from time to time to check the state of websites I built. It’s a useful service. I understand that nothing is free and running a service costs money. Donations seldom cover operational costs, let alone work hours. I get it, have been there before myself and empathise fully.

Dishonesty is something I refuse to cope with — both professionally and personally. That’s what appears to be going on with today’s WebPageTest. For a week straight, I tried using it. There’s an inviting form for your URL and several options on the landing page.

No matter what you select, you are always greeted with

Oops! There was a problem with the test. You’ve reached the limit for logged-out tests this month, but don’t worry! You can keep testing once you log in, which will give you access to other nice features like […]

There’s no “problem” and I’ve reached no “limit”. If the initial limit is zero, it’s the default state, reached even before using whatever promised reward. The form is a lie, wasting time, in the hopes I will sign up for yet another account on yet another website. The ultimate goal here is upselling.

This is a pattern I encounter all over the internet and in daily life. It’s as old as human societies, it’s the “bait and switch” scheme. It’s a scam. Sure, in this instance, it just wastes some of your time and isn’t aggressive, but its premise is still based on being dishonest.

What a way to try to begin a business relationship.