An 'update' from Xero just landed in my inbox - If I am reading it correctly it appears that they intend to force users to have to go through the effort of 'opting out' of a price increase in January '22 rather than hope that users value the additional functionality enough to opt-in and pay the circa 20% surcharge for it.
Accounting Partners of Xero have much more clout than us mere users - if enough of you provide feedback perhaps the 'powers that be' will realise the damage this sort of behaviour is doing to the brand and stop the rot before it gets too bad.
Xero accounting partners might also want to diarise reminding your customers in January to opt out if the functionality isn't of value to them.
I find myself irrationally angry about the arrogance of Xero making the customers do work to avoid paying for functionality (most of them) didn't ask for - it is as if Xero learnt nothing from the expenses debacle a couple of years ago when Xero removed functionality that worked and was included in the subscription and replaced it with something different that cost the organisation extra every month for every user. The outcry then was so great that Xero reversed course and restored the 'free' functionality.
The functionality (analytics) just released might well be worth the extra subscription, I don't know yet, but I worry that Xero is devoting developer time to 'bells and whistles' when core functionality that is there in other products (and which, unfortunately, I didn't think to check existed before signing up) is, after more than 8 years, still not available.
What is some of the core functionality that Xero is missing?
- Being able to send purchase orders to one email address and remittance advices to another rather than everyone getting every document (or having to manually edit 'automatic' emails).
- Being able to sell the same product code to different customers at different prices - we aren't talking sophisitcated inventory control here, just pricing.
- Generating a payments file that separates sort code and account number. As an aside, having the demo company work the same as the 'real' company would be nice - if you enter the suppliers bank details as "sortcode comma accountno" (e.g. 12-34-56,12345678) in the demo company and export the payment file as a csv it includes the comma in the output (which would make it easy to send to the bank) - try that in the 'real' company and the comma is stripped out (useless - and a waste of an hour when I updated all of our suppliers only to find out it didn't work!)
- Reports that run in chronological order by default (oldest month on the left, most recent on the right)
My business is fortunate in having relatively few customers and services to invoice so have workarounds for problem 2 and scripts to deal with problem 3. It shouldn't be necessary and is far from ideal but we can live with the pain. Problem 1 has been live for over 8 years now with Xero refusing all requests from customers for confirmation that xero intends (or doesn't) to provide the functionality (let alone an indication of delivery timescale).
I assume that it was partly Xero's embarassment about their failure to provide updates on reasonable customer requests that led them to remove the posting dates from the Xero forums - forcing users to have to put the date in their posts. - this lack of transparancy also damages trust.
I like Xero but I am becoming increasingly worried that they are going down the same road that Sage did with their small business customers - taking them for granted and extracting as much money as possible while the sun shines. Xero was the beneficiary of Sage's behaviour. If Xero doesn't 'wake up and smell the coffee' who will be the beneficiary of Xero's behaviour?
Perhaps accounting partners of Xero could try and get definitive answers from Xero on the basic functionality questions and encourage Xero to think differently about the impact of decsions such as opt-out rather than opt-in on trust and brand value.
Of course, I might be doing Xero a disservice - they _might_ be planning on making it really, really easy for users to opt out when the time comes...
/rant, feeling better. Off for a lie down...