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A message from Steve Vamos: Staying connected through COVID-19

Posted 3 years ago in Xero news by Steve Vamos
Posted by Steve Vamos

To our Xero community, 

We’re facing a truly unprecedented time as COVID-19 impacts every aspect of our lives. Xero is here to help and support you throughout this time. I have recorded a message below to outline what we are currently doing to get through this together.


Myself and the Xero team would like to take this opportunity to say how grateful we are for your continued support and we encourage you to stay connected through our community.

All the best – Steve


Richard Francis
April 9, 2020 at 10.06 am

Great message, Steve. Thanks!

A busy, unique and fraught time for accountants, SMB’s, Xero and eco-system partners like us. Working together, we’ll prevail.

April 16, 2020 at 8.10 pm

I’ve dropped 90% in revenue since COVID19. Why would you not offer customers in need the opportunity to reduce their subscription but maintain their current functionality? It would literally make no difference to the company’s bottom line given you’re already offering for people to reduce their subscription. I’ve always been a big fan, even bought about $10K in shares. But you’ve really lost me on this one, as soon as I get through this I’m gone. Currently looking at my options – even if they’re not as good as Xero – I can’t support you after you couldn’t support my business when I needed it most!!

Jay Dillon
April 10, 2020 at 11.54 am

I doubt that if you run the numbers that you couldn’t afford to offer some relief to your customers and keep your team in place???

If you were really running the whole time with such lean margins you wouldn’t have achieved a 6.5 million profit last year!

This is pure greed, straight and simple.

Beeny Atherton in reply to Jay Dillon Xero
April 14, 2020 at 3.40 pm

Hi Jay, we appreciate that this is a difficult time for everyone and we continue to listen to help inform the best way we can support our community. As Steve mentioned – it’s important that we continue to provide a robust platform so that our customers have access to their financial information in Xero when they need it. To ensure this, we must weigh up the risk of compromising our service for customers who need Xero now, and in the future. Thanks for getting in touch. Cheers, Beeny

April 14, 2020 at 8.27 pm

There are many other businesses with a subscription model who have come-up with ways to help thier customers at this difficult time including asking businesses in need to register for a subscription relief, this means that relief is only provided to those in need not to all as not all businesses are in need.

Unfortunately, Xero hasn’t come up with any scheme or offers, so customers are leaving for platforms/products that are offering support at this time.

Due to the fact businesses need access to Xero to file thier VAT, Payroll etc for the government schemes, they can’t simply cancel at this time, however Xero can support those businesses which are closed by allowing them a reduced subscription or free for 1-2 months, until the lock-down ends.

The long-term impact for Xero will not be noticed for a few months, as businesses will move to other platforms remembering how Xero hasn’t been able to support those businesses in most need.

A shame.

Beeny Atherton in reply to M PATEL Xero
April 16, 2020 at 2.20 pm

Hi, I understand you have now spoken with one of our team leaders from our customer experience team, and have shared your thoughts with them. We are taking all feedback on board so thank you for sharing your thoughts with us.

April 16, 2020 at 7.33 pm

well said and yes the fall out for Xero won’t be immediate..

Ian Craig
April 14, 2020 at 8.33 pm

Hi Beeny,

With all due respect, this lack of listening from Xero pervades through the business modelling from way before this crisis. The ongoing lack of any form of telephone support for customers and accountants, leaving only an email reply service that can take up to 4 days in normal times was and still is just not good enough. Now the Covid non-discount issue; this non-empathetic Trumpian explanation from the CEO is laughable I’m afraid. You really should look at the thread on Xero Central to see how unhappy your customer base really are.

They are truly suffering out there and it looks like Xero don’t give a S*&t, apart from these mealy mouthed words. The last Xero reply to that thread was 11 days ago, your PR is failing, loyal customers are angry and now leaving. I’ve been a loyal customer for many years in both NZ and the UK. It will cost me a lot to change service as I will have to change my NZ Xero based accountants too, but the lack of empathy from Xero goes against my business principles.

Please don’t make me ashamed of a once great NZ brand, do the right thing, listen, stop talking BS, look at what other brands are doing to help and do something positive.

Beeny Atherton in reply to Ian Craig Xero
April 16, 2020 at 2.30 pm

Hi Ian, thanks for getting in touch. I understand you have also spoken with one of the team leaders in our customer experience team. Thank you for sharing your feedback – we are listening to what our community is saying at this time and are continuously reviewing how to navigate through this challenging time to best support our customers.

April 14, 2020 at 10.50 pm

“As Steve mentioned – it’s important that we continue to provide a robust platform so that our customers have access to their financial information in Xero when they need it.”

With 6.5 million in profits from last year alone, I would think there is no concern about continuing to provide a robust platform. Even a fraction of that would run a lot of servers for a long time.

“To ensure this, we must weigh up the risk of compromising our service for customers who need Xero now, and in the future.”

The real risk is alienating a large proportion of your customer base and then not being able to provide a “robust” platform at all.

Personally, right now, I am fortunate enough to not need relief. However you should be doing a shit load more for those who do. Just like the rest of us are, my company included. which is comparatively microscopic but a lot more sympathetic.

Beeny Atherton in reply to Anthony Xero
April 16, 2020 at 2.33 pm

Hi Anthony, thank you for sharing your thoughts with us. We’re constantly reviewing the situation and the voice of our community plays an important role. I have passed your feedback on to my team.

April 16, 2020 at 7.36 pm

WOW Anthony that is exactly what I have been feeling regarding Xero.. I need subscription relief but so many do…

Pawel Konczyk
April 15, 2020 at 3.20 am

Xero is doing absolutely zero to help its users. While companies like Mailchimp, Basecamp, and many others are doing everything possible to help small businesses during this difficult time, Xero has instead put up an empty landing page with “resources” you can find all over the web. Zero subscription-relief, zero pausing of subscriptions, zero anything. We will remember this response Xero when this is all over.

Beeny Atherton in reply to Pawel Konczyk Xero
April 16, 2020 at 2.27 pm

Hi Pawel, we appreciate you sharing your thoughts with us, I have passed them on to my team. If you’d like to discuss your personal circumstances, please reach out to our dedicated Response Team via central.xero.com/s/contact-support?subject=Customer-Response-Team.

James in reply to Beeny Atherton
April 17, 2020 at 7.31 am

So, there is relief. One just needs to ask in person, nicely because god forbid everybody asks for relief during the world’s worst pandemic. I moved from Wave to Xero because I thought this was a great company. Please don’t prove me wrong and please don’t make we move again. In South Africa, the harsh reality is that we will go deep into September with this pandemic.

Melissa Fleming
April 15, 2020 at 1.20 pm

I don’t expect to pay nothing for my subscription as you still have a business to run and so do I – I still need access to my data to complete applications for assistance for my small business. I was going to downgrade my subscription to the $25 plan, but then I can’t process enough transactions per month. Would it cost Xero much to simply increase the number of transactions that can be processed on the downgraded plans? This could then revert back to the current position after 3 or 6 months accordingly when we can better afford the more expensive plan options.

Beeny Atherton in reply to Melissa Fleming Xero
April 16, 2020 at 11.41 am

Hi Melissa, thanks for reaching out to us. I have passed your suggestion to our product team to take a look into. Thanks!

Nadine Shaw in reply to Beeny Atherton
April 17, 2020 at 10.36 am

Hi Beeny,

Melissa makes a perfect suggestion for most small businesses in a pickle because of Coronavirus.

I personally downgraded for the same reason.
However, as I downgraded in the middle of the month, [effective immediately – so I was informed by your Autobot] my very first attempt to reconcile was DECLINED, as I had ‘gone over my limit’

I was then offered more reconciles that I could pay extra for. The end result was, my fully paid $50 (Unlimited Standard plan) subscription wasn’t honored till the end of that month, like most subscriptions, [you pay for the full month you get a full month regardless if you downgrade halfway through, your actual downgrade begins the next month – it seems Xero is the exception here].

On top of that I paid $25 (starter plan) with ZERO functionality, and extra again, to purchase extra reconciles, which also DID NOT WORK. The system went ‘tits up’ and my books were a mess.

Beeny, If you REALLY are listening then It should be simple to implement the following;

If your customers pay for an unlimited plan months subscription, then they should get the full month’s subscription.

If they downgrade at any time during that month, then it should be effective at the NEXT billing cycle.

Specifically for COVID consider offering (as soon as possible would be helpful) a particular subscription, that is a downgrade, but with a FAIR amount of functionality – as believe it or not, it is impossible to run a business that is not trading on your current $25 (starter plan’s) restricted functionality.

Make contacting you by phone or email much easier – these things reduce client frustration and anger.

These things would go a long way to demonstrate clearly to us that you are actually listening.

Many thanks and have a lovely day

Beeny Atherton in reply to Nadine Shaw Xero
April 21, 2020 at 5.49 pm

Hi Nadine – thank you so much for getting in touch. I passed your feedback to my team and someone will be in touch (if they haven’t already). Hope you also have a lovely day.

April 15, 2020 at 2.27 pm

Xero will never be my choice any more….so do all my clients and friends…..

Beeny Atherton in reply to steven Xero
April 16, 2020 at 2.16 pm

We’re sad to hear that Steven – good luck in your future endeavours.

John Smith
April 15, 2020 at 10.22 pm

Blah blah blah, I don’t care, I have your money, you can bugger of. You’re doing nothing to help anyone Steve, stop trying to make it seem like anything else.

Beeny Atherton in reply to John Smith Xero
April 16, 2020 at 2.14 pm

Thanks for your feedback John. It has been shared with the teams.

Dino Delides
April 16, 2020 at 7.15 pm

I posted on a thread in the Xero support forum that has been getting many responses from users, but #zerofromxero. Google ‘Xero support for coronavirus’ to find it. I made my case for other cloud/online service providers, such as SEMRush who have been quick to offer unconditional financial help, with minimal effort. Xero is charging me approx 65 pounds sterling a month for two Ltd companies that have had no business for a over month now. I also fall through every crack in the UK’s support schemes, so my efforts to get what help I can are at maximum now.

I agree that a discounted rate for EXISTING USERS rather than for new customers (acquisition before retention? Really?) would be a good first step. Xero, you are embarrassing yourselves and your employees. Step up. Own this.

April 16, 2020 at 7.30 pm

Hey Steve,

thanks for making this video I am sure you are very sincere in your words.

I feel as a Xero customer of over 5 years that sincerity in words just isn’t enough at this time of stress financially.

Understandably the expectation of you giving our subscription free would greatly impact your business which I don’t want but some gesture of financial assistance would make me feel you are sharing the pain around alittle.
This is great business practise right?

Any how I think once the dust settles customers will speak with their wallets and loyalty based on how we feel this situation has been managed.

Your long term customer tania

April 16, 2020 at 7.47 pm

Disappointed to read that the company that charges a fee for helping other businesses look after their money is going enforce the same fees until that business is no more.

No one needs your condescending emails, links to government support (that’s lazy) or staff videos. This is a cash crisis for small business, the ones that got you where you are today.

There is no “…get through this together…”, there is an apparent bottom line in all this, however: ‘pay up or move on’.


April 16, 2020 at 7.59 pm

Empty words if Xero can’t back it up with some financial relief to assist its small business client base. Not the brand I thought it was.

Derek Lawson
April 16, 2020 at 8.09 pm

Wow your answer completely misses the point. Imagine having zero income. That’s no income. None. Nadda. Jack sh1t. Noting coming in. You talk about a long term stable platform ect ect. I’m like 100,000’s of others worried about today today today. How do I get an income when the government has ( correctly ) closed us all down.
Get with the picture. Look at the current unprecedented position and do something to help your customers in need.

Like others I’ll be voting with my feet when or if I can and leaving this corporate speaking uncaring company who just cares about its own bottom line.

Very poor attitude


Ian Harding
April 16, 2020 at 9.03 pm

Xero, you are so slow to respond to this crisis and help your customers! Why?! We’re at 13k deaths! Do you not realise that this situation is serious and small businesses are going to need help for the rest of this year if they can survive this? We’re all helping each other as a society but you’re not. Do you seriously not care about any of us? If I was Working for Xero, I would be questioning why I was working for such a company with unethical values during this situation.

I’ve had numerous calls with your team, I’ve had email conversations with Gary your CEO, I’ve suggested ideas for how you could change starter plans to help us but still keep a revenue stream. But you’re doing nothing. Why?! Are you hoping for a miracle cure that is going to solve the problem overnight and then everything goes back to normal? It’s not going to happen. WAKE UP, STEP UP & HELP!!

Heather Way
April 16, 2020 at 9.05 pm

Agree with all above sentiments – We have your money, we really don’t care about your business as long as we are recording mega profit. Beeny Atherton is obvioulsy employed to sit an type meaningless replies confirming that they do not care.
No-one is expecting a freebie, but concession would go a long way.
I have not had to ask one of my suppliers for help – they have all approached me to see what they can do to ease the pain, with one massive expection – Xero
Lets see where Xero are when all of this is over. Will they be so smug then ?

Denise Nethercott
April 16, 2020 at 9.20 pm

I begged Xero for a payment holiday or reduced subscription. I explained that our business is on it’s knees and that our bank accounts are empty. The response was the same as it’s been for other loyal customers ….. tough titties. We have managed to pay April’s subscription so will be cancelling May and moving to a company who cares. Thanks for nothing Xero.

May 16, 2020 at 4.00 am

So did I. I left the green machine a few years ago but the way they have moved on since and seeing what they are doing now, I know who I want in my corner and who cares for the small business. Goodbye Xero, you’re dead to me.

April 16, 2020 at 9.40 pm

Thanks for your feedback Beeny, it has been shared with your customers

Just a small fish
April 16, 2020 at 9.45 pm

I’m a small business in Christchurch NZ who has had nil orders since lockdown and I imagine it will take me at least 6 months to recover fully. Please help Xero or I will have to move over to another platform – I have no money whatsoever and your fees will cripple me. I have been loyal to your for years… so gutted that you cant help us small businesses.

Mr Anthony D Arnold
April 16, 2020 at 9.47 pm

Poor and not bothered one bit about customers, would have been nice for everybody to help each other.

Just poor from Xero.

Just a small fish
April 16, 2020 at 9.51 pm

Xero = zero support, zero response, zero help, zero PR, zero principals, zero communication

We will remember XERO = ZERO

A great name you chose, little did you know it would be to your detriment at this time.

April 17, 2020 at 9.58 am

Just here as a part of the angry mob – provide some bloody subscription relief!

Joanne Tait Xero
April 17, 2020 at 1.53 pm

Thank you to everyone who has shared their thoughts with us these past couple of days. Please know, we understand that this is a challenging time for so many small businesses and nearly every person has been affected by the global crisis in some way. We are constantly reviewing the situation and working hard to offer support where we can. Your feedback is being heard and we are sharing it directly with the relevant teams. Thank you.

April 17, 2020 at 7.25 pm

You need to change your attitude and do something for your customers

Great you’re keeping your money in the pot to keep it all running.

You are making savings with staff off etc. And governments covering staff costs for you in many countries, so pass those savings on.

You won’t need all those expansion plans if you lose customers. And you WILL !

Anthony Liu
April 21, 2020 at 4.03 am

Wow Xero – I’m very disappointed in your response (or lack of) to this issue. Our business is down 80% in revenue and there are a lot of businesses worse off than we are. Our POS system as well as MANY other vendors have generously offered a 3 month subscription waiver or a 50% reduction in price for 3 months. Your only answer seems to be “downgrade your plan” Well that doesn’t work and shows an extreme lack of compassion for your customers. As you can see, plenty of businesses are now looking for an alternative to your company as a result. We will be one of them, I’m sure.

In addition, in this day of social media, you can rest assured that the world will know and learn of your inability to offer any help or service to your customers to get through this desperate time.

April 22, 2020 at 12.40 am

Very poor by XERO. No relief in fees offered. But they are ‘working around the clock’. as they’ve modestly mentioned on another part of their forum. Quote from the Boris’ playbook of answers.

What can we do to help (as long as it doesn’t impact our revenues)?

May 14, 2020 at 12.07 am

This is absolutely ridiculous! How can you say this with a straight face and not offer clients any relief! In my eyes other software companies are doing everything to support their clients and you are sitting back and living on the subscriptions that people can’t afford.

I have started to advise clients to move away to your competitors! Good Luck!

May 19, 2020 at 9.30 pm

Thank you everyone who has shared their thoughts with us recently – you are being heard. We are listening and sharing your feedback with our teams who are looking at ways we can continue to support our communities during this time.

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