This is a practice that simply baffles me. For example just today I got my water bill, which tells me to pay at www.water.website.com. This page exists only as a redirect to www2.website.com/water/. Since this is NOT the address I was asked to enter or the one I used, I was immediately suspicious, but it does appear to be their genuine website. Why would this be done?
I understand that typing www.words.com feels a bit more natural to most users, but I know for a fact that one can serve their web page directly as water.website.com. Why would one not simply do that, or failing that simply ask the user to type www.website.com/water? This seems very confusing and untrustworthy, especially for non-technical users as well. Is this an old, bad practice or is there any good reason (technical or usability related) this would still be in place today?