Fake order is a big pain for most business. Especially for online business like web hosting service, it's pretty easy to place multiple fake orders and abuse your billing system. It brings us lots of problems for order and client management, we have to spend lots of man power to deal with such spam. Because of this, many hosting providers introduced various solutions to avoid/reduce fake orders. We have collected the following most popular actions. Let's see how they're working and how it will help.
More and more hosting providers require people to register first in order to place an order. There's a form with several MUST fill in blanks during registration like home address, phone number and email etc. Once done registration, users are requested to verify from contact email or else it will be deleted after some periods. It's probably the most efficient method to reduce spam orders because a spammer does not have that much patience to complete the order process and submit their personal details to hosting provider.
On user end, it might be a little complex to get registered. But it's definitely helpful to build a clean environment.
Credit card verification
This includes two parts, credit card payment and credit card number verification. In order to stop fraud, many hosting companies only accept credit card payment. Paypal – one of the most famous payment solutions, is not supported because spammer can request charge back. This will bring untrustness to hosting group from paypal end and there're lots of potential negative effects to their business. Credit card does not have such issues. The order form will auto check if your card number is valid or not. If the spammer just enter some nonsensical numbers, he can not pass through the order process.
It's great solution for hosting provider. However it might stop many potential clients because a large number of people still prefers to paypal for it's convenience. Unless hosting provider is pretty confident about their service, it's not good solution because hosting is a very competitive business today.
Phone call verification
Similar to email verification but just handled manually by company staff. When you place an order, it'll be on hold before got approved. During this period, their staff members will call people to verify the order then approve it. Of course, not every order will be processed like this, especially when you receive 10s and thousands orders per day. The manual action is only triggered when the system detects something unusual. For example when your billing and home address are different on the order. We received such experience from justhost company because of this. The letter we received as below
We require some further verification regarding your order due to our increased security measures on our credit card orders. We do apologize that sometimes legitimate cards get flagged up for this, but it is a necessary procedure.
Please could you email us a copy of the front of the credit card (please mask any of the details that you wish to except the name and last 4 digits of the card number) and the card holder’s passport or driving license to confirm the payment. Please email this to us as soon as you can so that we can finalize your order.
Phone call verification is popularly added for dedicated server products. Because most people require custom setup, server providers must ensure the order validity so they can provide the right products to people. Actually, for custom server setup, email communication is always included between user and provider.
It's common to see many hosting groups blocked some popular spam IP locations. They will verify or even don't accept orders from some specific areas based their historical issues. Orders from these locations will be on hold firstly till the management team verified. The most popular action is many hosting groups do not accept orders from Iran, although it's not for spam consideration, it tells us it's doable from technical configuration.
Ecommerce requires quick and easy check out to save website visitors. All above solutions are actually creating barriers for better ROI. While fake orders prohibited, service providers are loosing business because the non-friendly system. So hosting providers must evaluate carefully based their own situations. It's important to block fraud orders but it's also important to give our clients better experience.