Undoubtedly, you have already used free online applications that later turned out to be not entirely free. Perhaps ones that bombarded you with ads if you wanted to continue using them. In worse cases, they may have even caused other damages.
This is no different with freely available QR code generator programs (with all due respect to exceptions). Unfortunately, we have encountered numerous cases where customers shared their negative experiences, so we find it important to draw attention to these.
On free online QR code generator websites, you can typically convert a URL into a QR code, but options also include transforming digital business cards, WiFi codes, or email addresses.
One of our clients working in the printing industry, experimented with such tools in the past. Customers received their printed materials, promotional products, flyers, calendars— all printed with QR codes generated by a free QR code generator. Then, after a few months, the digital content accessible by scanning the QR codes disappeared, replaced by advertisements from the QR code generator site. Needless to say, this is not a pleasant situation, especially when trying to share digital content with a business customer via a QR code.
Another client was more cautious and didn't want to risk such issues, as they used QR code-generated content for business purposes. She wanted to use the premium features in the QR code generator and not face potential issues, she subscribed to the service by paying the monthly fee.
This fee is usually a minimal amount, typically around 10 dollars / euros, determined by the service providers operating such applications.
The surprise came after the first month when Revolut alerted her about a suspicious transaction, as the credit card number had been used for an online transaction. The company attempted to charge an amount over ten times the agreed subscription fee to their account without any prior warning.
Unfortunately, it's easy to run into such situations. But what can we do to avoid them? How can we determine if it's safe to use anything on a website? Our upcoming article on cyber security will address these questions. If you don't want to miss it, subscribe to our "Marketing Insider" newsletter below the article.
If you're looking for a reliable QR code where you can securely store your data, generate a digital business card, URL links, or even quickly create a mini website for mobile use from pre-made elements in our software, then our mini website service might be of interest to you. The QR code is, of course, part of the package, and we generate it with our own software, not some seemingly free online solution. 😊