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Pricing plan changes for the United Kingdom

Posted 5 years ago in Xero news by Gary Turner
Posted by Gary Turner

Thanks for being part of the Xero revolution. We couldn’t have come this far without the support of our customers and partners. We remain committed to delivering the features, partnerships and products that help you to run your business, beautifully.

On 4 July 2016, we’re changing our prices for UK subscribers – read on to see why, and what it means for you.

We’re investing in innovation

Xero has invested more than £70 million into product development since 2013, and was named the World’s Most Innovative Growth Company by Forbes in 2014 and 2015. Today, Xero is the UK’s leading cloud accounting software, helping more than 100,000 UK subscribers to thrive.

We’ve added new direct bank feed services from Barclays, RBS, NatWest, Metro Bank and Santander, as well as time-saving features such as side-by-side files, billable expenses, search, and invoice reminders – helping our customers to be more efficient and profitable. Since Xero launched in the UK, we’ve added too many features to list here – each one providing valuable time savings and functionality for our customers. You can see a complete timeline of Xero features here.

We’ve also brought you the power of world-leading platforms through partnerships with Microsoft, Apple and Google. And you can now access Xero on the go on more devices than ever, with our iOS and Android apps.

As your business grows, we’ll continue to provide efficient tools to help you run it simply.

Continuing to deliver value

It’s been an incredible journey with thousands of updates and upgrades along the way. However, as a result of our product’s evolution, our pricing no longer reflects the strength of the Xero offering today. So to continue delivering the quality product and service you’ve come to expect, we’re adjusting our prices. These adjustments will enable us to maintain the pace of progress that makes Xero such a valuable tool to so many UK businesses.

From 4 July 2016, these prices will come into effect:

All prices exclude VAT, and current discounts and price protections still apply. Prices do not include payroll.

All prices exclude VAT, and current discounts and price protections still apply. Prices do not include payroll.

In real terms, Xero’s Starter plan is increasing in price by £1 per month, the Standard plan by £2 per month, and the Premium plan by £2.50 per month.

Protected pricing and further information

Some customers have price protection dating from the launch of payroll in 2015. If you’re one of these customers, we’ll maintain and honour your price protection. When your price protection ends, you’ll automatically be migrated to the appropriate new plan.

For more information about the changes, please click here to read our FAQs. As always, we welcome your feedback so feel free to ask questions in the comments section. And if you have any further questions, please click here to contact the Xero team.

Thanks,

Gary Turner,

Managing Director

 

 

 

 

52 comments

Jay
April 20, 2016 at 8.33 pm

You’d better slow down and correct the problems with what’s already there.
Some of my main problems:
– Yoddlee automatic bank feed – breaks on regular basis in a number of unpredictable ways, this is going on for at least 5 years!
– Tracking cost per customer
– Inventory
– Payroll problems (which it seems I’m going to be forced to use at some point this or next year – I just hope you will not remove the Pay Run feature)
– Matching bills created for purchase orders with receipts imported from the likes of Receipt Bank
– Matching repeating bills with receipts imported from the likes of Receipt Bank
– improve your support – most often I feel like I’m getting an automated reply to my questions

and there is probably many more

Darren Upson in reply to Jay
April 20, 2016 at 8.55 pm

@Jay Sorry to hear that you are experiencing some issues. We will get one of our support team to get in touch to understand the challenges that you seem to be having and try and get everything sorted out.

Mind your own
June 3, 2016 at 12.56 am

Why on earth do you think you can ramp your prices up by OVER 11% in ONE year?
What on earth will the prices be in 2020? I dread to think.
Once you start that game you will lose customers, I will be one for certain unless you stop this unfair treatment.
I will look elsewhere as my users have to have access to the BANK ACCOUNTS in order to do anything useful and now I am paying 11% MORE for something that doesn’t even work very well.

Gary Turner in reply to Mind your own
June 3, 2016 at 1.02 am

As with the earlier comments, over the time that Xero has been in market even with this year’s increase, the pricing trend for Xero represents an overall rate of inflation beneath the UK’s economic rate of inflation which has been low for some time now. I accept that doesn’t change the fact it’s as high as 10% increase in 2016 for some customers, but there are many more years where the price of Xero remained static compared with years the price increased. In the round, this is a below inflation increase.

jeff pudney
April 20, 2016 at 8.43 pm

10% price increase!!!

When Xero first arrived in the UK it was value for money, but this statement is now stretching reality.

I personally question what continuing developments are of benefit to my customers and this is starting to feel like Sage in the nineties – build up a loyal customer base and then start increasing the prices so that they end up looking elsewhere.

Perhaps the answer is to introduce a new plan that is the original old standard plan without the expensive “new developments”

Darren Upson in reply to jeff pudney
April 20, 2016 at 9.12 pm

@Jeff We’re sorry that you feel that way. A huge number of the developments delivered in recent times have been focused on delivering measurable time/cost savings so it might be worth looking into some of our free training resources to make sure you are getting the most out of your subscription. Here’s a link to Xero U: https://www.xero.com/uk/training/992-accountants-bookkeepers/

jeff pudney in reply to Darren Upson
April 20, 2016 at 11.12 pm

Darren – I think you are missing the point. From other comments you have received it would appear that our clients do not benefit or need the “enhancements” that they are being asked to pay for. I have already used my practice discount to keep the client cost acceptable (made more difficult when you cut in a few years ago). It feels like you have misread client needs and patience and no “training” will solve that.

Darren Upson in reply to jeff pudney
April 21, 2016 at 12.00 am

@Jeff Our development roadmap is heavily influenced by our customers and partners, and whilst we have delivered new product features that may not be required by all customers, the majority of our product feature developments and partnerships have been specifically designed to meet the needs of our core users and are based on delivering measurable time and cost savings for small businesses. We care about our partners and customers, and firmly believe that this price change allows us to continue to deliver the innovation and quality of product that has made Xero the UK’s leading accounting software solution. We also regularly consult with our partner advisory council to garner feedback on our product roadmap. I will ask your account manager to get in touch to discuss your concerns in more detail, and if you would like to discuss this any further with me, feel free to email darren.upson@xero.com.

Jamie Cunningham
April 20, 2016 at 8.45 pm

Xero has proven to be a useful tool for us since we first signed up back in August of 2009. I feel certain that most customers will simply take this 10% increase in cost on the chin.

At the same time you need to understand that many of us ‘lifers’ are beginning to feel neglected. Simple web site operations like printing documents are much slower now than they ever were previously. Bank feed problems created chaos a few weeks back, and until the Xero community made a fuss the general feeling was of disinterest. Key features that the world now takes for granted, most obviously full featured, free text search, are second rate – I still can’t search invoice values nor pinpoint individual line entries. Sorry to break it to you, but it’s not 2009 any more.

Xero remains a broadly robust, easy to use tool, but it is not without faults and is not invaluable. Further price increases will only push customers into test driving other products and discovering a few things you’d rather they didn’t.

Sincerely,
Jamie.

Darren Upson in reply to Jamie Cunningham
April 20, 2016 at 9.08 pm

@Jamie Thanks for the note. We always listen to customer feedback and I will make sure that your comments regarding product features are fed back to our product development team. This price increase is the first since 2013 and we believe that the pricing change is fair based on all the new features that have been introduced over the past couple of years.

Craig
April 20, 2016 at 10.13 pm

Obviously I’m less than pleased Xero have chosen to increase the prices by 10%!!!

Especially as I’m experiencing far more problems with the software, I would love to know what advance new features my clients are benefiting from;

New reports? – They don’t work for my client with a February year end periods run from 29th of month to 28th. No solution found!!
Performance Charts? – Only last week I got told they don’t work for UK customers (only Australia) that anything basically involving balance sheet figures provides nonsense information.
Bank Feeds? as mentioned by many other customers Yodelee constantly failing or importing duplicates wasting time to either manually import or delete duplicates.
Practice Reports? to help make our practice more efficient and run off bulk reports for client non existent I need to create all the reports separately for each client.

The software may work in Australia but it does not work in the UK, as you sell it. My trust is Xero is dwindling fast, it pushes out new features but what about delivering on the existing features, its such a bodge job!! and in fact now the basic bank feeds appear to be failing far more frequently!!

I know I have discussed this with Xero before but the constant help centre linked emailed responses are less than helpful.

This may be the straw that breaks the camels back and I’m seriously thinking of converting to freeagent after this announcement they are now cheaper and fundamentally they deliver on the basics. rather than sell false hope on attractive demos and features that don’t work or are not yet available!!

Very disappointed

Darren Upson in reply to Craig
April 20, 2016 at 10.55 pm

@Craig Thank you for your feedback. We’re disappointed to hear that you feel this way, and that you’re experiencing some issues with Xero. One of our support team will be in touch shortly to help resolve the problems that you’re having.

Please feel free to contact myself (darren.upson@xero.com) or Xero UK MD Gary Turner gary.turner@xero.com if you’d like to discuss in more detail.

Craig Bond in reply to Darren Upson
May 19, 2016 at 1.09 am

Your new slogan should be
“WE NOW CHARGE 110% BUT CONTINUE TO DELIVER XERO!!”

A month on and issues are still not fixed despite another round of false promises from Xero.
– I still Cant run a basic P&L and balance sheet report for my Feb year end client, despite being promised a month ago that the fix is on the way this must be 9 months or so i have been waiting now!!
– Performance Charts still showing meaningless information and you guys should take the feature down until you know it is safe to customers to interpret and use.
Maybe you need to be sued for publishing false information and then you might start to care about what you claim your software can do… now there is a thought!!!
– Forgive me if I’m not too enthusiastic about your next round new features that will be half baked and either cause more problems then they solver or simply won’t work.

Freeagent here we come, simple, reliable and most importantly it works 🙂

Interested Accountant
April 21, 2016 at 1.34 am

I have to say this price increase is an “interesting” development. I was going to write on here first thing this morning but thought twice about it, but now I can see how others are feeling it is worth adding my views. We are in the process of setting up a franchise operation that will see in the region of 200 Ltd clients requiring accounts software. We had made a marginal decision to go with Xero despite the substantial price differential compared to your competitors. The main reasons for this choice were perceived slickness of UI interface (for user uptake), and the Xero network key feature. These aren’t features which should take long for a decent competitor to improve/deliver on. If they were in that position now there is no way I would choose Xero over others simply due to the expense. This new price increase stretches the gap even further and laughably when I pointed the existing price difference out to your sales rep they warned me that your competitors are likely not to sustain the discounts and will raise prices. Now it is you doing the price increases! The silver lining for Xero currently is that the competition is unfortunately just not good enough so you will get away with this behavior, for now…. Oh, and you “only increased prices in 2013″… not that long ago really in a country with roughly 0% inflation.

Gary Turner
April 21, 2016 at 2.06 am

@Interested Accountant

Thanks for your comment. We realise that nobody likes prices going up for anything, so we carefully considered a number of factors while we debated whether we should increase the price of Xero.

As an aside, it’s significance may have been lost in the headline message but I should point out that the prices of the Partner Edition versions of Xero that are only available to accountants and bookkeepers in practice inside Xero’s Partner Program are not changing. This change affects only the public Business Edition versions, but I accept that practicing professionals will have clients spread across all versions.

While we do work hard to build the best possible user experience, there’s a significant amount more going on under the bonnet in Xero when it comes making value comparisons with other competitor products.

It would be easy for anyone in my position to casually claim that we’re ‘investing in our product and adding high value features and functionality’ and for that to not actually mean anything – however thousands of partners and customers have told us that they love the constant stream of new ideas and solutions to old problems that we’re constantly adding to Xero, even moreso in the last 18 months where we had added significant value and cost saving features to the product, all baked into the standard price that was set back in 2013, which in itself represented an increase of just £1 since we launched the UK edition of Xero in 2008.

And we’re certainly not trying to justify this increase on the basis of inflation, in fact if we had increased the price of Xero in line with inflation every year since 2008, the price you’d be paying would actually be around another 10% higher than the increase we’re announcing today.

As I said, we appreciate nobody likes paying more for something one day after the next and we wouldn’t make a change like this recklessly – but please be assured that we’re committed to continuing to invest to deliver the best value for our customers for what they pay for Xero than any vendor in the marketplace.

Ollie C
April 21, 2016 at 6.54 am

It’s frustrating to see such a big price increase when so many of the features launched in recent times are of no value to us at all including quotes, invoice reminders (when we need statement reminders), fixed assets, inventory, timesheets, Xero Me (which is completely unusable due to a fault with apparently no plans to fix it), the online payment feature which is unusable as the processing charge cannot be passed onto the customer, and the initial problems with PAYE and access to My Payroll.

Gary, it’s obviously very exciting for Xero itself to be growing, but please remember customers using cloud systems are really quite tightly tied in and committed, and if we get any sense we’re being taken advantage of it is likely to spark a reaction, and it’s quite understandable. I’m also a Salesforce customer and dislike them partly because they take advantage in that way. This price increase represents a large hike, with very little value in return for my business.

I also remain very frustrated with the HSBC bank feed charges. I pay more to HSBC (over £100pa) to access my own bank statement feeds than I do in actual business bank account charges (~£65pa) but I am invoiced for that £100+pa by Xero, who then pay HSBC. So although a Standard customer, I do not pay £20, I pay £29 already before this increase. The HSBC charge increases the cost of Xero by nearly 50%. HSBC deny to me this bank feed service even exists, none of their customer-facing staff have even heard of it and I’ve been told repeatedly that bank feeds are free. I am forced to pay these fees, but cannot discuss them with HSBC who are (indirectly) charging (screwing) me. I really think, as Xero is in the position of influence (certainly relative to me) it should swallow fees like these charged by the crappier banks, and work with them to educate them about why it is short-sighted, and indefensible to charge customers for access to their own bank feed data.

Xero is starting to look rather expensive.

Megan Firkin in reply to Ollie C
April 21, 2016 at 7.32 am

@Ollie, Megan here, Xero has only increased by £1 since we launched in the UK, so whilst I appreciate this is a ~10% increase, in the context of the value pumped into the service (£70m invested in development and over 500 updates – driven by our customers), we feel it is a reasonable increase. Unfortunately the HSBC bank charges are just that, HSBC bank charges, we have no control over what the banks charge and whilst we could simply include the charges in the price, we would rather give our customers the choice and be transparent with where the costs come from. I know this has been mentioned elsewhere, however I really encourage you to take a look at our free training options to see if you are getting the most out of your subscription. Because Xero lives online, updates and new features are delivered automatically so you may have missed some of the great features that are making real differences for many of our customers. In the meantime I will get one of our support team to make contact and work through the challenges you are experiencing.

Ollie C in reply to Megan Firkin
May 5, 2016 at 7.03 pm

Megan, I’m sure you didn’t mean it that way but your message doesn’t come across well. It seems like you didn’t really read what I wrote, and are giving me a standard line, that yes Xero has spent X on new features, no price rise for a while, and maybe I should do some training? In our business we do not, cannot and will not use most of these new features. We’re a service business, we have no stock so no need for inventories or machinery to list as fixed assets, we don’t do project work or sell products so quotations are no use, time sheets are no use as we don’t do hourly work, and invoice reminders are useless as we invoice every customer-tenants once per month, so someone who is behind by several months will be bombarded with confusing per-invoice reminders when all they need is to know is “How much do I owe?”.

I am intimately familiar with how cloud services work and am very familiar with everything Xero offers. The problem is almost none of the new features have any value for us at all, and yet here is a huge price increase. As others have said even basic features like statement reminders, a complete search facility and full reporting are not there yet. I am frustrated by this price increase, and I don’t think there is anything you can say that will change that because I’m irritated for good reason.

I think you misunderstand re HSBC fees. I have spent several hours, a year or so back, talking to probably ten people at HSBC UK to find out more about these fees. Everyone I spoke to told me there are no charges for bank feeds and I could relax as it was free – of course they cannot even see what I’m being charged as Xero is billed not me! So I’m in this situation where HSBC bill me (via Xero) but I cannot even SPEAK to them about the charges. I have no influence over them whatsoever. But I suspect Xero has more influence, HSBC is more likely to listen to Xero than me. It must have a number of customers being done over with these ridiculous charges, and I believe Xero has more chance than us to get them removed. Moving bank is a huge undertaking and certainly not one I would take lightly, and inevitably the cost of switching would be far higher than that saved. Xero benefits by convincing the banks that those sorts of fees are incredibly short-sighted. Platitudes about choice are really not helpful.

You said Xero Support would contact me, but no-one has.

Megan Firkin in reply to Ollie C
May 18, 2016 at 8.39 am

@Ollie, sorry you feel that way about my reply, it was completely genuine. If you have time, I would be really interested in understanding what features (not currently available) would make a difference to your business, perhaps you could email me? megan.firkin@xero.com. In the meantime I will find out if there is a contact at HSBC that I can share with you and will follow up with our support team – they are usually really responsive. Warm regards, Megan

Stuart McIntyre in reply to Megan Firkin
May 27, 2016 at 11.28 pm

Is there any update on the HSBC fee situation following this discussion? I’m in the process of starting a new business with both Xero and HSBC, and I’m keen to know if these fees still need to be paid?

Glenn Whitwell
April 22, 2016 at 3.48 am

We’ve been using Xero for a couple of years and I must say that, while price increases are never welcomed, I still think Xero delivers very good value for money.

Like many others here, we do not use many (any?) of the new developments Xero are making and our requirements are pretty basic other than charging in multiple currencies.

As a software company which also sells some of our products on subscription, I can see the technical and commercial issues from both sides of the coin.

Ultimately, this is only a yearly increase of £30 which shouldn’t make a jot of difference for most businesses. I don’t know how the accountant partner side works commercially so I could not comment on the impact on that.

My suggestion to Xero would be to allow users to “buy in” for a year or two years at a reduced rate (e.g. one year for £300, two years for £550). This would not only give a guaranteed price point with lower rates for clients who are willing to be locked in (like ourselves) but would also provide the good folks at Xero with lump investments that can be used to fund their upcoming developments to make the product better and hopefully attract more users. I think this would make a virtuous financial circle that might allows fees to remain lower for longer for the masses.

Megan Firkin in reply to Glenn Whitwell
April 22, 2016 at 6.49 am

@Glenn, thanks for your comment and feedback, I will make sure that it is shared with the right people. Warm regards, Megan

John S
April 22, 2016 at 4.35 am

So to add to the barrage of seemingly pretty negative comments above with another niggle….

Actually on whole i’m really happy with Xero. I’ve got a few points i would love to see addressed but have briefed those in as feature requests and hope they get looked at in a release sometime soon.

My main issue though is a quick one to solve. Guys, i’ve been asking for years for you to start accepting American Express in the UK as a form of payment for the subscription. Every other country gets to pay that way but not us Brits. That, to me, seems more than a little unfair.

You have a good relationship with Stripe – you’ve integrated with them. Even if it’s a few pennies more to transact with Amex you need to listen to your customers. There are many people in the community requesting this. I myself have requested it three times already but it’s never been looked at.

If you’re putting your prices up then fine, i’ll swallow the hike, but only if you do something back and treat the UK on level par with the rest of the world. Get taking Amex. It’s a small thing to ask.

Thanks.

John S.

Megan Firkin in reply to John S
April 22, 2016 at 5.01 pm

@John, thanks for your message, unfortunately there have only been a few votes on the community page requesting the ability to pay via AMEX. Hopefully your post will prompt a few more votes, in the meantime, I have forwarded your message to the relevant internal teams. Warm regards, Megan https://community.xero.com/business/discussion/9923303/

John S in reply to Megan Firkin
June 14, 2016 at 4.42 am

Hi Megan,
Thanks for your response. Looks as though more users are backing Xero taking Amex for subscription payments in the UK. Thanks for helping push the cause.

What remains unanswered is why it’s only UK customers that you are preventing from using this payment method and how you justify this discrimination?

Please can you let us know – at the very least so we can understand the hesitance.

Thanks in advance.

John

Jay
April 23, 2016 at 9.33 pm

You probably want to start with removing automatic bank feed for Barclays from Xero. I don’t know how the automatic feed works for other banks but for us it is a cause of frustration and productivity loss. I haven’t seen such an unreliable “feature” in any piece of software being sold. One never knows when it works and I don’t even want to think about missed entries (which also happens). Unfortunately automatic bank feed was the feature which really made us buy into Xero.

Gary Turner in reply to Jay
April 26, 2016 at 7.46 pm

Jay – thanks for the feedback on Barclays. We’re now in a position to offer UK customers an alternate feed for Barclays customers in addition to the Yodlee feed that’s been available for a few years. The new feed comes directly from a new service inside Barclays, however since it’s a Barclays service it does carry a small monthly charge in addition to what you’re charged for Xero.

Andrew Pemberton
April 25, 2016 at 8.11 pm

As a small business we enjoy using Xero and for £240 pa I can justify it . However it is as many have pointed our not without issues in its simplest form today – why does it create a contact everytime I submit a new expense? Costa coffee is not a ‘contact’ in my world.
Many of the “new developments” do not feel like features an SME will actually want or use. This is starting to go the way of Salesforce – ever growing list of ‘enhancement’ or ‘features’ designed to attract the larger corporate entities and suck you in to their eco system. The SME gets used to build the platform to attract the larger players.
Thankfully migration is not as hard as it is with Salesforce and there seems to be a growing number of credible alternatives out there.
Conclusion: keep it beautiful and simple, keep packages that are practical for your core customers increase the limit of transactions on the £9pcm package. Remember – Perfection is when nothing more can be taken away form it.

Gary Turner in reply to Andrew Pemberton
April 26, 2016 at 7.47 pm

Andrew – good inputs, thanks.

Michael in reply to Gary Turner
May 31, 2016 at 9.44 pm

Setting an arbitrary limit on the number of transactions seems rather odd.
I run a simple business and do not use any of the enhanced features you are so proud of yet I am facing a 10% price increase.
There is no added value for me just a price increase.
Suggest you remove the limit on transactions as this just seems to be a way to push simple users to pay more.

Andy
April 26, 2016 at 3.11 am

So here’s my experience for what it’s worth… I was looking at Xero today as a new customer (finally had enough of using spreadsheets) and noticed the button on your pricing page that said prices were changing. My immediate thought was to subscribe to the product at the current price before it goes up… until of course I read that it’s increasing for everyone. I’ve not personally purchased (or heard of) a SaaS product that’s increased in price for existing customers so now I’m looking elsewhere for a product that I know won’t creep up in price once I’ve bought it. That might seem like a knee-jerk reaction but for me, Xero is a) already expensive for the features I need, b) a long term purchase decision that I now know goes up in price for existing customers, c) a very sticky product that’s hassle to move away from if the price continued to rise and d) seemingly adding in-depth features that the average SME doesn’t need, and so doesn’t want to pay extra for. Those factors combined are a turn off. So, yes from one perspective it is ‘just £2 more’ but for many of the run-of-the-mill customers like me, that’s selectively ignoring wider factors.

Gary Turner in reply to Andy
April 26, 2016 at 7.50 pm

Andy – your experience is one we’d feared might happen – insufficient exposure to the value of using Xero in order to make a complete assessment of whether we’re good value or not, either today or in July. I’d encourage you to stick around and give it a month or two before deciding.

Andy in reply to Gary Turner
May 10, 2016 at 5.03 am

Thanks for the reply Gary. I don’t know what will change in that time. For me it would be better if you offered a simpler version of the product for the SOHOs/SMEs which allows a medium-quantity of invoices, but not all the product bells and whistles. The current plans seem to step from ‘teeny’ business that only create 5 invoices a month to a large business with unlimited everything (as long as it’s not multi-currency). Nothing in between.

Colin Hewitt
May 3, 2016 at 9.56 pm

As a Xero user, its never fun to see pricing go up. However, the functionality we get from Xero, as a cloud based system that is both connected to our bank and always in sync with our accountant and bookkeeper, is quite frankly amazing value for money.

We spend hundreds on SaaS software each month, and its all about saving us time, or Return on Investment. Xero does this many times over. Being able to pull out a report for a board meeting, or dealing with expense claims quickly with add-ons like Expensify.

I do agree that the starter pricing plan could do with bumping up the limits a little, but I think Xero could be charging way more on the higher end for larger companies…

Thanks again for a great product that genuinely saves us time. I think the new global search functionality saves me hours each month, and find and recode has already paid for itself!
Keep up the great work guys…

Colin

Stuart
June 2, 2016 at 8.26 pm

Once this price increase is in effect will you have more time please to have valid discussions around the feature requests that your customers are making please?

I am tired of one way discussions where feature requests are made but nobody from Xero will do anything other than a cursory glance and statement.

Gary Turner in reply to Stuart
June 3, 2016 at 12.57 am

Stuart – I expect no sympathy on this, but the reality is that it’s incredibly difficult to attend to every feature request we receive from what is now millions of users on Xero. If it looks like we’re ignoring them then I can assure you that this is not the case. Is it the case that certain requests have been waiting for a while? Absolutely. But often that means we’ve made a tough priority call on addressing another contingent issue or feature first, before we can loop back on a related request. Prioritising is a tough job and while we try our best, I also accept we’ll not satisfy everyone. All I’ll say is please bear with us, and we will eventually get around to addressing up all the mainstream requests of the system we can.

John P
June 2, 2016 at 8.57 pm

I’m going to niggle at the line that this is the first price increase since 2013. Technically this is true however it’s worth remembering that you changed the pricing structure such that small outfits who wanted just that tiny bit more out of the service ended up paying a lot more.

As someone else mentioned, you created a large gap between small businesses wanting a basic product and those needing the all singing and dancing variety. Since we take payments in USD as well as GBP our monthly spend skyrocketed. Now we have to take another 10% increase on the chin.

I’d make 2 additional points.

1. Your support is crap. If 24 hours is your target for replying to a basic email then you fail more times than not. It’s not acceptable.

2. I regularly see offers, discounts, promotions and incentives for new users to try the product but I’ve yet to see anything offered to existing customers to incentive retention. It seems the existing customers are being asked to pay for the discounts for the new. When I see your CEO appear on the news and tell us that revenues are up 67% to $200 million at the same time as this announcement. Well … you can’t help but feel that the price increase is for the benefit of your city investors. It’s certainly not to the benefit of existing customers.

Fortunately it’s come at the end of the financial year, so less aggravation to switch.

So long and thanks for all the fish.

Gary Turner in reply to John P
June 3, 2016 at 12.52 am

@John – The Starter, Medium, Premium pricing plans have actually been in place since 2009, therefore I’m not clear about the you’re referring to. We introduced the Small plan to cater for very micro-businesses with ultra low transaction volumes for whom the unlimited aspects of the Standard plan were not required, and previously there was only the Standard plan. I appreciate that perspective is everything, but Starter is a cut-down edition of full Xero, rather than Standard being a high end alternative to Starter.

I’ll leave your point about support, other than to say we have did a peak in demand over the last few months that at times was out of step with our ability to deliver the same kind of support experience our customers expected, but all our measures report that we’re back on target with our response times. If that’s not your experience, please drop me a note to gary [at] xero.com.

I accept that you might not value every new feature we’ve added, but we have spent a significant amount of time and energy on adding new features to Xero over the last year, with over 1,000 changes, improvements or new elements of functionality. That’s the deal we’re signed up to with our customers, we’ll continue to invest across the board in making Xero a better product, so I’d be disappointed if a change like this prompted you to leave.

John P in reply to Gary Turner
June 3, 2016 at 12.09 pm

@Gary It’s noted you ducked my point about failing to incentivise existing customers to stay.

The crux of it is this: The existing customers, some of whom will have been with you from the outset, basically took a risk by choosing Xero. They put their faith in your product, gave you money to invest and develop and acted essentially as beta testers the first few years.

What do you do? You reward their faith by charging them more and the new customers, who basically take on less risk because Xero is now an established product, you give them discounts.

You’ve got in the wrong way round. If you want some more helpful guidance on how to run a company that prioritises its existing customer base then be sure to drop me a note.

Gary Turner in reply to John P
June 3, 2016 at 7.27 pm

@John – Apologies but I didn’t (try to) duck your point (that’s not how we roll), my comment about us continuing to invest in improving our Xero is our method of incentivising you to remain a customer. I accept that’s a moot point if you’re unhappy with other aspects of being a customer but I said, from looking at our customer support data I’m confident that our service levels are back to where they ought to be, but if that’s not reflective of your own experience please send me an email and I’ll investigate.

John P in reply to Gary Turner
June 3, 2016 at 9.29 pm

@Gary – I’ll make this my last comment otherwise it just rolls on indefinately, we’ll have to agree to disagree.

Let me tell you a short tale. I signed up to Google business apps when the product was in its infancy ( and free! ). I put my faith in the product despite its lack of real development and essentially acted as a beta tester because the early iterations were not free from niggles.

Over time the product improved and eventually Google have started charging. Did they charge me? No. They grandfathered me and other early users so that I could continue to use the product for free. It was a reward for the early trust I had placed in them. Quid pro quo.

That’s how the big boys roll.

What you’re doing is the complete opposite. Existing customers are essentially getting price hiked and the additional revenue is being used to encourage new users onto the platform through various discounts. It’s backwards thinking.

Stating that new features are an incentive to stay isn’t an incentive because I’m getting nothing that a new customer wouldn’t get. The only difference is that I get a price hike and they get a discount. You’re not rewarding my loyalty in any way, shape or form.

I couldn’t give a rats about a 10% price increase. It’s peanuts. The principle though matters greatly to me as I’m sure you can tell. I suspect that I’m not alone.

Gary Turner in reply to John P
June 3, 2016 at 10.38 pm

@John – Grateful for the opportunity to debate this with you.

– Were it the case that Xero was free and then moved to a chargeable model, we’d likely also do what Google did in terms of grandfathering. So, I take your point but don’t think the comparison is the same when comparing a free product moving to paid and a paid product increasing in price.

– Xero has always seen promotional price campaigns from time to time, and so any discounted terms offered to new customers are temporary and then move onto the standard pricing everyone else is paying. So, I can’t see how your argument that we’re penalising existing customers and not new ones stands up.

Happy to have this conversation, even if we don’t agree and all your points are taken on board for future.

Jay
June 2, 2016 at 9.54 pm

After 1.5 months of not being able to address my problems with automatic bank feeds Xero just “helped” me to completely break them. I’m speechless.

Gary Turner
June 3, 2016 at 12.42 am

@Jay – We’re often in the hands of banks when it comes to the reliability of a particular feed, which I know can be frustrating. Please drop me a note to gary [at] xero.com and I’ll investigate specifically what the issue is with your bank.

Jay
June 3, 2016 at 7.37 am

Gary,

As a customer of your product I feel increasingly vulnerable. I am now left on my own with a piece of broken software thinking “what’s next?” and why there is no one replying to my emails to explain what’s going on. Have you gone bankrupt? Are you a dodgy little software company? Did I get it wrong when I chose you as my accounting software provider?

I’m now waiting for any reply from anyone from Xero support. I was advised to reset the feed about 9am. This has only made things worse. I wrote to your support about 9.30am, then at 10.00am and then again at 2.00pm growing increasingly frustrated. Nobody bothered to email me back. Please remember that this is after 5 years of having the problems with the automatic feed which just got much worse in last half a year and recently became way too frequent.

This is preposterous and there are no excuses for this. I’m sorry you have a bad support which is now bordering with the worst customer experience I ever had.

Jay

John P
June 3, 2016 at 12.18 pm

You’re lucky you had a reply at all mate. I sent them an email at 8.16pm on 30 May. Received the standard reply to say they would be in touch within 24 hours and I’m still waiting 4 days later.

Maybe because the 10% product increase was way above inflation, the staff figure that their wages should go up by a similar amount. Maybe they dropped Gary a note, got a crappy response and have downed tools and gone home.

Can’t say I blame them …

Gary Turner in reply to John P
June 3, 2016 at 7.23 pm

@Jay – I’ve just emailed you separately about the issue you’re experiencing with your Yodlee feed, and with some luck we’ll have the new Barclays feed operational and out of testing this month. Yodlee feeds are susceptible to issues from time to time, and for some reason the Barclays feed has been particularly problematic lately. It won’t make you feel any better about Xero, but users of all accounting software products that utilise the same feed technology (which is around 90% of them) will be experiencing the same issues lately.

I should also say that while automated feeds are convenient, they are not the only way to get your banking information into Xero and manual import is a perfectly serviceable option for you until such times the issues with the automated feed settle or the new Barclays feed is live.

If there’s scope to move you onto the new Barclays feed earlier (we have a few hundred customers on it now), then I’d be happy to push for that.

Jay
June 3, 2016 at 5.31 pm

I got no more replies John and software is as broken as it was. I’m worried Gary is now left on his own with no one to help him. Maybe Xero is in fact in trouble and maybe I should consider Xero alternatives. I can’t be left without support for a business critical function. Nobody can. With broken bank feeds our business processes are already crippled. I’m concerned that if something else gets broken with support that bad the business may suffer. I can’t afford it. Nobody can.

Jay
June 3, 2016 at 8.50 pm

Gary,

Thank you for the update. I did receive your email and I was called first thing in the morning and updated further with what’s going on and why I experienced the problems. The best news was of course that you helped me with fixing the broken feed and I can get back to work now.

I understand we can switch between automatic and manual bank feed but once there are processes in place this is actually not as convenient and easy as one would like.

I hope that with direct feed from Barclays some of the problems with the feed will go away and it will become easier.

Stuart
July 4, 2016 at 9.02 pm

As a new user to be faced with a 10% cost increase this really isn’t acceptable at times of zero inflation. You are muddling growth with investment. It is clear there are many users who have issues with Zero which are unresolved, some of these are clearly long-standing and users must take Xero for what it is now, not what it could be.

There is therefore no actual value perceived by users to the promised developments and this is profiteering masquerading as development. If you wish to position yourself as a premium service your support should be same day not 2 weeks wait as I experienced with implementation problems.

I will look elsewhere.

Gary Turner in reply to Stuart
July 4, 2016 at 9.50 pm

Stuart – I appreciate that being new to Xero, you haven’t had that much time to benefit. Your perspective of no actual value, while being your own viewpoint is generally not reflective of over 100,000 UK businesses that rely on Xero today. Be assured that we’re always mindful of the risk of complacency and taking our customers for granted, and we’ve delivered a number of high value new features and capabilities over the last year that should derive significantly more value to our customers than a small increase in monthly subscription.

I’d be interested to understand more about why you had to wait two weeks for a response, as this is not typical – please drop me a note to gary at xero.com and I’ll investigate.

If your mind is made up then I wish you well, but I’d encourage you to stick around a little longer to ensure you see the benefits of Xero in context.

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