We’ve been very busy enhancing and improving freetobook since 2010 and despite that we have never increased our prices. As we continue to add more to freetobook our costs are rising just like everyone else in the world so we had to take the tough decision to increase pricing by a small amount… so small that most properties will barely notice yet will continue to receive great service and excellent new features.
Starting on 1st July 2021 we will be implementing some price increases. The price increases are slight and many smaller properties will not see any increase. Prices for single unit properties will not change.
Our developers and product team continue to improve, enhance and innovate to ensure you have the best possible booking solutions. Our customer service team still maintain the highest standard of care for your business.
We’re certainly no “fat cat corporation”, instead we remain very much a high tech family business that cares, one that you can trust year after year to protect your interests and help grow your business.
Understandably no good business likes to increase their prices and we have made every effort to keep the impacts to a minimum and ensure they are fair across our customer base.
The channel manager charges will remain exactly the same at £1/booking, so for the vast majority of customers i.e. those that never get anywhere near 49 bookings/month, there will be no increase. For much larger businesses that break through the 49 bookings/month barrier there is now a £69 cap and because it’s pay-as-you-go low season months will likely see no change. All customers on the channel manager will, after this last year, know the benefits of that pay-as-you-go model. During the pandemic years many paid nothing for our channel manager services due to the £1 per booking model, it truly proved its inherent fairness in those toughest of times. It meant we took a large drop in revenue along with our customers.
No increase in the £1 per booking (pay-as-you-go)
Increase in maximum monthly charge: cap increases from £49 to £69
(This will have no impact on smaller businesses that receive fewer than 50 channel bookings/month or those that close for bookings in the low season). No increase in setup fees and it continues as a pay-as-you go service.
Stripe payment integration:
Services like Stripe also came into their own over the last year with customers not paying monthly charges yet still retaining the benefit and ease of online payments. Stripe remains without doubt the most competitive online payment system on the planet (for small businesses) and we’ve continued to build it out with Google and Apple Pay, pre-authorisations, as well as deeper integration of Stripe into Messaging.
Annual charge of £89 for Stripe will increase to £109
No increase for one unit* properties , Stripe remains at £89
Messaging has also benefited from some great enhancements since launch with the addition of Digital Registration, Attachments, Branding, Smiley Survey, Room Type Specific Messages, Messaging courses and Marketing Data exports. Messaging has already literally handled millions of messages, creating stronger relationships with guests whilst saving hours of time for you and your guests …. all that for the price of a couple of coffees a month. There is plenty more for us to add to messaging and we continue to work from your feedback.
Annual charge for Messaging will increase from £49 to £69 per year
No increase for one unit* properties, it will remain at £49
PCI card storage service:
Annual charge of £89 will increase to £169
PCI card storage is free when you use freetobook channel manager services
* One unit properties are those that are a single vacation rental, cottage, apartment or 1 room B&B etc.
We remain committed to growing your direct bookings and the new Google free booking links is an excellent example of that. Here we were able to pass on the benefits of these direct bookings, quickly mobilising our teams and taking advantage of our existing Google integration and relationship. Google Zero has already delivered thousands of direct bookings (no commission) and we’re aiming to improve on that offering.
Starting in May this year freetobook handled the highest levels of direct bookings ever and it also looks certain that this summer will continue to break all direct booking records … saving many millions in commission.
It is also a priority to protect your account and your customer’s data so we recently launched enhanced login security features for everyone. If you have not already set these up please do. This extra login verification takes minutes to setup and will help ensure protection against fraudsters.
As always we have lots to work on and shortly we’ll be releasing a Reputation Suite that gets you more great reviews in the right places. It’s been an exceptionally busy start to the year for our service team as we all edge towards a more normal place. They continue to support and advise as efficiently as they can.
Our 7 pledges remain as they were and we wish everyone a busy and fruitful second half of 2021!