At work we have an SSL enabled site which basically means we’ve been stupid enough to pay hundreds of pounds for a text file that makes your web browser display a pad lock. I’m sure there’s some fancy pansy technology behind all the gubbins running it, but from my end it’s pretty simple stuff.

SSL certificates are issued for set periods (usually in years) and our said cert was up for renewal next month. VeriSign, the world’s larger supplier of text files, let me know about this last month by email and post. Repeatedly. And it’s pestering paid off handsomely because I renewed it for 3 years just to stop them pestering me any time soon.

I kind of wondered how many more emails and letters (and god forbid phone calls) I would have received if I’d have left it and renewed the day before it expired. But of course if I had, sods lord would have reared it’s ugly misshapen head and a delay would have occurred and our Citrix hosting would have fallen over in steaming pile as a result. A public stoning would then be in order and I don’t want to go through that again.

But the story doesn’t stop there, I got a cold call today from Digi-Sign also telling me our certificate was about to expire. Wonderful! I’m glad everybody knows. There was then some confusion whilst she explained she was from Digi-Sign and not VeriSign, and that we were using VeriSign and not Digi-Sign, but she wanted us to switch to Digi-Sign from VeriSign… and DigiVigiPigiSign something.

Anyway, whilst I enjoyed listening to her dulcet Irish tones I had to eventually admit I’d renewed last Friday. It felt like cheating, but you know you have to honest in these things. There was obvious disappointment, shortly followed by disbelieve and then the realisation that she was too late. Such is life.

So now I know why they cost so much. They really are just text files and a fancy padlock. What you’re actually paying for is to keep the marketing and sales departments afloat that try to keep you as a customer. Great!

And on a complete tangent, I really dislike companies that ring me up for “a chat”. It seems that whenever I evaluate software someone inevitably rings up and asks me how the “experience is going”. By doing that you’ve just lost some of my interest in the software. Just don’t do it.

Whenever I try software out personally I usually put in details along the lines of Mr. Squirrel at the Tree Tops so I don’t get followed up. Unfortunately, if it’s work related, I have to be sensible… although there was that one time when I did enter stupid details but by accident put in our real phone number and so someone rung up asking for Mr. Ironside in the Wheelchair Department. Oops.

By Paul

3 thought on “The competitive world of SSL Certificates…”
  1. Hey it’s that girl from Digi-Sign with the dulcet Irish tones… Thank you for the compliment :)
    Just remember when your SSL is up for renewal.. you know who to call.. :)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *