Concerns regarding subscription

I've been using 1Password for some years, happily paid to upgrade a number of times, but have some serious misgivings about switching to a subscription. Please could you answer some of the nagging questions I have:

Incentive to improve 1Password
Under the licensing model, you have to regularly add new and attractive features to 1Password, to entice me to pay to upgrade to the next major version and keep the company afloat. Under the subscription model, once I've switched to it, you have my money rolling in every month/year regardless of whether you add any new features to 1Password. Where is the incentive for you to keep innovating and keep improving the software? You could just release minor bug-fix or compatibility updates for ever more, and easily keep the company afloat.

Under the subscription model, the less you do, the more money you make (i.e. invest in less development means more profit).
Under the licensing model, the more you do, the more money you make (i.e invest in more development to get more upgraders).

Costs of subscriptions over time
As the number of subscribers goes up, your cost to provide the service per user goes down so the more money you make. Will your subscription fees be adjusted to reflect this? Server costs come down over time, and it doesn't cost you twice as much to maintain the 1Password.com service for twice as many users. So, as the economies of scale kick in, you're making more and more money as the subscriber base increases, yet can charge the same.

Storing passwords online
In the past you touted one of the benefits of 1Password as being the fact you don't have users data, and it's not stored online. Now my passwords would be stored online, in some mystery data centre under your control that I have no way of verifying how secure it is. We're constantly hearing in the news about yet another major company/organisation getting hacked. How can I be sure my data is safe, either from hackers, a rogue Agilebits programmer or some other weak link? I don't know you personally, yet I'm expected to trust you with very sensitive data and no guarantees, and pay you forever for it!

These three changes don't seem to benefit the user at all, and the first two show the financial benefits to Agilebits are significant.

Am I wrong to have these concerns?


1Password Version: Not Provided
Extension Version: Not Provided
OS Version: Not Provided
Sync Type: Not Provided

Comments

  • LarsLars Junior Member

    Team Member
    edited February 2018

    Welcome to the forum, @jimbowen95! Thanks for taking the time to write out such a well-reasoned set of questions, and thank you even more for being a 1Password user all these years. As a company that has never taken a dime of venture capital money and has by choice never been acquired by a deep-pocketed corporate parent, you long-time customers have literally made 1Password what it is today. We don't forget it.

    And such a well-considered set of questions as yours deserves a well-considered reply, so apologies in advance for the length. Here we go!

    Am I wrong to have these concerns?

    You're never wrong to be concerned about your own security! In fact, we applaud such critical thinking about best security practices whenever we see it in our users or out "in the wild." Keeping a skeptical eye on all aspects of your own online security is the single most important part of making sure you stay secure. I do have some thoughts on the specifics of what you brought up, however, and I'm going to address the most important one of those first, even though it's not the first one you mentioned, so forgive the scrambled order:

    I don't know you personally, yet I'm expected to trust you with very sensitive data and no guarantees, and pay you forever for it!

    If you distrust us (or any other software developer or service provider), then you should definitely not use our product or service. However, if you're truly worried about "a rogue AgileBits programmer" only now that we act as data host for 1Password accounts, I have to ask why you've trusted us with your most-important data thus far? After all, even though we use public cryptographic libraries and publish our design specs whenever we can, 1Password is not an open source app and never has been. We're no more or less likely to have a "rogue programmer" than we were four years ago, and since users can't inspect our code personally, there's no telling what we might have been doing with your data as a user of standalone 1Password all this time. What's kept you safe from that in the past and continues to keep you safe from it today is a) multiple sets of eyes reviewing every aspect of the code and b) an eleven-year history of having never had a data breach of users' encrypted 1Password data (which you'd think someone would've reported by now if we'd turned evil or had a rogue programmer). But more than either of those two things, it's c) your data are encrypted by secrets only you possess.

    What I mean (and regarding "storing passwords online)" is: we don't. What's stored on the 1password.com servers for each account is an always-encrypted blob of ciphertext. We still don't have access to your data in any form that's usable to us. It remains encrypted at all times on our servers with AES-256, strengthened by PBKDF2 and protected by your Master Password. All de/encryption is done on the local cache of 1Password data you have in devices you control. We don't possess the keys to decrypt your data, nor do we possess the secrets necessary to derive those keys - your Master Password and (new in the case of 1password.com accounts) your Secret Key. The Secret Key was developed precisely with the idea in mind that a hacker might get past all the defenses both we and Amazon AWS put between "the bad guys" and your encrypted data, and it helps ensure that even if someone obtained your encrypted data, they'd need not only your own Master Password, but a second encryption factor composed of a random string of alphanumeric characters equivalent to 128 bits of password entropy (strength). The details are in the preceding link, but if you'd like a truly deep look into how we keep your data private and secure in the 1password.com account model, I'd suggest our security white paper.

    The "mystery data center" you referred to is Amazon AWS, the best in the business right now. I didn't see any specific concerns in your post about "weak links" regarding AWS' data storage/redundancy, disaster recovery protocols or security (and I might not be the best person to answer such questions anyway). However, I'm told Amazon would have to have two entire data centers completely destroyed or knocked offline before it would even begin to affect users' data availability. And remember, even in such an unlikely event, you would still have the local cache of your 1Password data, on every device.

    Incentive to improve 1Password

    I understand your perspective here, but I have nearly the exact opposite opinion -- and I say that not just as an AgileBits employee, but as a consumer of dozens of various software applications in both my business and personal life.

    When Dave and Roustem founded AgileBits in 2006, their #1 priority was to create the best, most secure password manager possible. That's part of why, back then, 1Password didn't have many competitors at first -- because only those forward-looking few who had a real passion for security saw the password management space as a critical emerging need. But as you've no doubt noticed, the password management space has become significantly crowded in recent years. Even though most of the password management outfits you could probably name off the top of your head weren't on the scene at that time, today, they are very much on the scene.

    In other words, even though our primary reason for improving 1Password remains the same passion for security we've always had, we're quite aware users have plenty of alternatives these days. If we stood still and just tried to "let the money roll in," as you alluded to, I not only wouldn't be surprised to see our users starting to look elsewhere, I wouldn't blame them. The threat landscape changes constantly, and it's any good security company's job to stay ahead of it, regardless of how they get paid. Anyone who tries resting on their laurels deserves to get beat.

    Also, while some people might stop paying attention to a service once they've subscribed to it, our experience with 1Password customers (whether license or subscription) reflects anything but that. Witness your own thinking-through of all these issues. I'll ask you: if you're the kind of person who examines each new release from the developers of software you own and use to see if it merits spending your hard-earned money on an upgrade license purchase, are you really going to become the kind of person who never thinks about such things, just because you switched payment methods?

    Perhaps most importantly in this regard, what I've noticed as a software consumer/user is that the traditional software industry license/upgrade model of development actually leads to many developers "hoarding" new features until they release their next full-version upgrade so they can justify the price of it, instead of releasing features as soon as they're ready. True, occasionally a new version requires a complete re-write to update the code-base, which would indeed require "holding off" features because they're part and parcel of that new code base. More often than not, however, a new version of an application is just a collection of upgrades and new features. If anything, I'd argue the subscription model gives developers incentive to not only keep continually improving their products but releasing those improvements as soon as they're ready, rather than literally denying users desired new features until enough time has passed to "justify" charging for a new version.

    Costs of subscriptions over time

    I couldn't tell from your post whether you're aware of this, but 1Password subscriptions are not just an online storage service like Dropbox (though it's worth mentioning that Dropbox's user plans start at $8.25/mo). Every 1Password membership includes unlimited access to all our native 1Password applications (for Windows, Mac, iOS and Android) -- including all future upgrades, for as long as the account is maintained.

    That means whether our users are paying via license purchase or subscription, the bulk of our cost of 1Password (and hence, our users' costs as well) is what it's always been -- paying the people who write code, design the UI and provide the world-class support (ahem, ;) ) which AgileBits is known for. Customer support costs vary with number of users, but that would be the same regardless of whether increased business came from subscriptions or license sales. So even if there were no 1Password.com memberships paid via subscription, it would still be just as possible for us to "make more and more money" in the way you suggested by just selling more licenses instead of subscriptions.

    I'm going to stop here, but I do hope you'll read over both the Secret Key link as well as (if you're really into the technical aspects) the white paper. If you'd like a list of the reasons we think a 1password.com account is by far the best choice for most users, I invite you to check that out too.

  • Thanks very much for such a detailed response to my queries.

    Regarding the subscription costs over time, I have to admit that I had completely overlooked the fact that the subscription fee also includes the development of the desktop and mobile apps (and web app). Although personally I have no use for Windows, web or Android apps. I do hope these apps will continue to see rapid development and new features. There's already a few features in your competitors products that I hope 1Password will get soon - particularly automatic password-changing.

    Regarding storing passwords online, I've read the security white paper, and although a lot of it is way above my level of understanding, it certainly appears very comprehensive and thorough, and does allay my fears as much as anything could. The basics of it (in my understanding), are that even if the servers were hacked and data stolen, the hackers wouldn't be able to actually read it - which is good.

    I have to ask why you've trusted us with your most-important data thus far?

    Well, thus far (as far as I can tell) you haven't actually had my data - only provided the application it is stored in. My vault is stored locally and Little Snitch blocks outgoing connections, so I assume my data doesn't leave my Mac.

    One further question... Is there any plan to get rid of syncing local vaults stored in Dropbox? I currently share a work vault via Dropbox (so I can work from home and still access all my work-related passwords), and my boss is very unlikely to switch to a subscription having only recently purchased a license to 1Password standalone.

    Thanks.

  • BenBen AWS Team

    Team Member

    @jimbowen95,

    The basics of it (in my understanding), are that even if the servers were hacked and data stolen, the hackers wouldn't be able to actually read it - which is good.

    That is the long and short of it, yes.

    Is there any plan to get rid of syncing local vaults stored in Dropbox?

    I'm not aware of any such plan.

    I currently share a work vault via Dropbox (so I can work from home and still access all my work-related passwords), and my boss is very unlikely to switch to a subscription having only recently purchased a license to 1Password standalone.

    Please note that while we do still support syncing your own data via Dropbox (to an extent), sharing 1Password data through the use of Dropbox is depreciated/discouraged and very limited support is available. Unfortunately sharing via Dropbox is a bit of a square peg in a round hole situation, and was actually one of the primary reasons we built the 1Password.com service.

    While sharing via Dropbox was great at the time it was implemented, because it was the only real solution available, there are much better options available today. When it works it works great, but when it doesn't it fails catastrophically and sometimes without warning or obvious symptoms. We've had a number of cases where customers thought their shared Dropbox vaults were working fine only to find out after months of changes that they were in fact not and by that time the two sets of data were so far out of whack that it was easier to start over than try to figure out which data was the latest. Just not a great experience.

    If purchasing is the big concern please reach out to our sales team and explain the situation. I can't make any promises here, but I'm sure they'd be happy to work with you to get you on the right service for your situation (which when sharing with a team is 1Password Teams): [email protected]

    Thanks.

    Ben

  • jimthingjimthing
    edited October 2017

    Another related question:

    What happens to users of the current stand-alone purchased app(s) when the next full version is released?
    (e.g. on both macOS & iOS: currently v.6, next will be v.7)

    Presumably that version will be a free download (as they all are now), and non-subcribing users of stand-alone versions will have to sign up to the subscription service at that time (or before, obviously) to get the new v.7 features/fixes?

    Also, will this mean Dropbox & iCloud syncing will be depreciated at that same time; thus users who want to continue to sync between devices will be forced to use your own homegrown 1Password.com (AWS-based, I believe) sync system? (BTW, that's not necessarily a negative thing, just good to know to expect it. ;) )

  • BenBen AWS Team

    Team Member

    @jimthing,

    It is a little early to speculate beyond what we've announced here:

    AgileBits Blog | Why We Love 1Password Memberships

    And here:

    Beyond 1Password 6 for Windows

    (particularly the paragraph with heading "Beyond 1Password 6 for Windows")

    We'll have more details to share as release approaches.

    Ben

  • jimthingjimthing
    edited October 2017

    @Ben, @jimbowen95

    Beyond 1Password 6 for Windows states:

    1Password 7 will be free with your 1Password membership, but if memberships aren’t for you, paid licenses will also be available.

    So I'd guess that hints that all the apps will still offer the same either/or payment choice to unlock the full app, after free download.

    BTW, can you clarify the UK pricing here. Are there different single/family annual/monthly prices depending on whether you sign-up via iTunes (macOS or iOS: thus Agilebits presumably have to pay the 30 then 15% to Apple margin) vs. paying directly on the 1password.com website? Please give the pricing, as AFAICS it's hidden somewhere behind a "free trial" screen...
    ............................................................................................................................................

    I'm coming around to subs provided they are priced right(!) as it follows other normal life billing strategies...

    1) Smaller regular outgoings more affordable then several large lump sums.
    Like other bills, paying for several things in smaller chunks monthly, means you can pay for more things concurrently.
    If you had 20 software items you needed to use immediately, say averaging £50 each (i.e. some obviously cheaper 20, others at 50/100/plus), and you had to pay for them all up front, then that'd be 1000 in one lump sum. Many people simply couldn't or wouldn't be able to afford such large amounts in one go. But all 20 items on subscription costing together 50/mth, obviously means using an amount of software more affordable to users.

    2) Cost limitation.
    So you pay a large sum upfront for a piece of software, then the company goes out of business the next week: all your money is gone, and you have to look for an alternative and potentially pay more for the new software. But if you pay a smaller amount each month, you've only lost those months worth of cost, not the whole amount. Of course, you could pay for a shed load of months, and the company could still go out of business. But at least with the monthly payments method you have more chance to limit your liabilities.

    3) Incentive.
    If the app dev's doesn't improve the app to your liking, you can simply stop payments and move to something else (provided there is an "export data" option, such as 1P offers). The devs have a clear incentive to improve and update the app, as in a competitive market, there is someone else offering another product that will do so, if they don't. Even the grandiose Adobe is in this position, as they have smaller and nimbler competitors kicking at their heals. So almost apps are in this position.

    4) Rollout.
    Features do not need to be kept for major release numbers, and can be released immediately they work. Buying each full version, means you have to wait for the next "full version" to get the new stuff. Of course bugs should be given in point updates, but monthly payments gives the subscriber the piece of mind that the devs are highly unlikely to have kept fixes back until the next full release, as there is no incentive to do so.

    5) Moving.
    This is not just for subscription apps, but sub apps keep the same option open...
    You can still try competitors, while still using you current app. As you pay a small monthly amount for your main app, should you want to try the competition, you can still go and do so, and THEN move without (potentially) losing the whole amount spent on the original app.
    Of course, if the second app wants a no-trial lump upfront, you may have to consider that more carefully before paying. But in the current app/sw market place, most tend to offer at least a trial before a lump purchase, with many doing what 1P do, and offering a trial AND smaller subscriptions purchase.

    6) One price for all platforms.
    This is dependent on how many platforms of the app you use, of course, as if you use only one –say the macOS version– then the saving may be limited or nothing. But most people these days use at least two platforms for desktop and mobile (e.g. macOS+iOS, or Android+Win, or any other combination) if not more.
    Additionally, there is the online web interface that can be offered as part of a subscription offering.

    7) Syncing is included in price.
    Many apps roll their own syncing services like 1P do (e.g. apps like Things, Omnigroup, et al.), so you do not need to use space on your own paid-for plans for this. It also means it's easier to make online access possible via a web interface (useful if stuck without any of your devices to access).
    ....................

    Importantly: All of these (and likely more I haven't thought of) are dependent on the subscriber making sure you are getting value from the app. If you want to be sure, then you need to periodically look at each service you subscribe to, and say 'do I feel this is worth it for what I do with it?' And if the answer is NO, then cancel with/without moving to something else.

    With the upfront payment scheme, it's more of a pay for current version, then use or don't use, but money has gone either way. Then later consider the upgrade to the next full version, and again, use or don't use, but money has gone either way.

    The only negative, is if you like the way the current version works more than the way the newer version works. However, this is becoming somewhat of a moot point anyway, I'm afraid (regardless of anyone's personal wish to stop it being so!), as the OS itself is becoming something you're almost forced to upgrade, in order to get apps to work universally or properly across platforms (e.g. think macOS with iOS concurrent updates), especially as it's becoming only cost effective for devs to be able to support the newest version, rather than any older ones.
    Older versions of sw are therefore made at least partially unusable, and why it makes sense for apps to be in the so-called "constant beta" of advancement on the new hotness the OS provides.

    So really, you're fighting a losing battle, with pretty limited benefits to yourself (apart from shooting yourself in the foot with continual functionality incompatibilities, et al!) by using most stand alone stuff. The world isn't going back to that model, regardless of anyone railing against it.

  • ...one thing to add here.

    From my analysis...
    If you're looking to maximise your value for money, then it might be better to wait for v.7 apps to be released to join subscription pricing. As it's then that 1P will highly likely ask for a paid upgrade from users who were using any paid upfront v.6 licensed apps.

  • brentybrenty

    Team Member

    @jimthing: We don't give pricing, as it is subject to change. For example, if I say "X costs Y" right now, here in the support forum, someone may find that 3 years from now and feel misled. We also don't pre-announce pricing for stuff that doesn't exist (e.g. 1Password 7). And finally, even for pricing that is available today, it will vary based on the currency and taxes...so it's really a fool's errand to try to enumerate all of that as it stands today, and also not have it cause confusion for others in the future, even if it's accurate at this time. And, ultimately, it's easy to simply look at 1Password in the store and see the price that's available to you. :)

    1) Smaller regular outgoings more affordable then several large lump sums.

    Indeed. Some folks make the opposite argument, but I don't think it's reasonable to count the fact that you want to buy other stuff too as a strike against 1Password: Either it's worth it to you or it isn't. There are always things each of us can cut back if our costs our out of control, and a 1Password.com membership, regardless of the plan, is less than popular beverages many of us buy every day — many of which medical professionals will be encouraging us to cut back on anyway. ;)

    2) Cost limitation.

    That's a really interesting way of looking at it that hadn't occurred to me, I guess since we've been around doing this for over a decade already. I tend to choose "annual" options in cases like this since it saves me some money over time for something I'm going to pay for anyway, but certainly paying monthly is a smaller initial investment, even if the free trial helps with regard to evaluating it.

    3) Incentive.

    This is one we're very aware of. It was a little scary at first: while recurring revenue is nice, the flip side is that every billing cycle is an opportunity for a user to say "I'm out". If we're not able to offer enough value to justify the cost for that person, we've just lost a customer. So the burden is on us to make sure that 1Password gives them value. It definitely helps that we love what we do, or we'd be more stressed out about this. So the optimistic perspective is that each day is an opportunity for us to make 1Password even better, and if we can do that our customers will continue to support us.

    4) Rollout.

    Yeah, we're really excited about this one. Truthfully we're in a bit of a limbo here, since 1Password 7 will need to have exciting new features so that people will want to buy licenses for it...but there's a lot we can do with 1Password.com that we can't with a standalone app (like Travel Mode) so that becomes a "playground" for us that doesn't have to wait for a big release.

    5) Moving.

    One thing I'll add here is that if you really want to give another app a try on its own for a bit, you can cancel your 1Password.com membership (we make this really easy). This freezes your account, but your data can still be accessed and exported. Then, whether you return to 1Password or not, you're not out the money from when you weren't using it. That doesn't help if the other app requires payment upfront of course, but it's something.

    6) One price for all platforms.

    I'd also put "one price for families" under this as well. The value proposition can change depending on how many family members you'll be using it with and how many platforms each person uses. 1Password Families is cheaper than two individual accounts (or buying multiple apps upfront), but certainly a 5 member family (included in the base price) where everyone uses macOS, Windows, iOS, and Android will be maximizing their return on the investment. ;)

    7) Syncing is included in price.

    That's a really good point. I don't think most people are concerned about price there since Dropbox and iCloud are (sort of) free anyway...but having sync built-in means one less thing to worry about, which translates into some real "time is money" savings.

    With the upfront payment scheme, it's more of a pay for current version, then use or don't use, but money has gone either way. Then later consider the upgrade to the next full version, and again, use or don't use, but money has gone either way.
    The only negative, is if you like the way the current version works more than the way the newer version works. However, this is becoming somewhat of a moot point anyway, I'm afraid (regardless of anyone's personal wish to stop it being so!), as the OS itself is becoming something you're almost forced to upgrade, in order to get apps to work universally or properly across platforms (e.g. think macOS with iOS concurrent updates), especially as it's becoming only cost effective for devs to be able to support the newest version, rather than any older ones.
    Older versions of sw are therefore made at least partially unusable, and why it makes sense for apps to be in the so-called "constant beta" of advancement on the new hotness the OS provides.
    So really, you're fighting a losing battle, with pretty limited benefits to yourself (apart from shooting yourself in the foot with continual functionality incompatibilities, et al!) by using most stand alone stuff. The world isn't going back to that model, regardless of anyone railing against it.

    This is a great summary. Like the rest of your post, it's clear you've put a lot of thought into this. So the only thing I can add here is that, as security software, 1Password is in an interesting position. With a lot of other stuff (pro audio/video comes to mind), there's a reasonable argument to be made for not upgrading in some environments. But since fundamentally 1Password is about security, especially with the browser and OS, it's incredibly important to stay up to date, and so we're almost exclusively focused on supporting current (i.e. still receiving updates) OSes and browsers. So that's another factor we have to consider when talking about keeping up to date — and why 1Password.com memberships are exciting for us, as they incentivize users to utilize the latest version since they're paying for that anyway.

    ...one thing to add here. From my analysis... If you're looking to maximise your value for money, then it might be better to wait for v.7 apps to be released to join subscription pricing. As it's then that 1P will highly likely ask for a paid upgrade from users who were using any paid upfront v.6 licensed apps.

    I think that's a reasonable assessment. I'd have mixed feelings if an unsupported legacy app was involved, but given that 1Password 6 is still being worked on, there's no security risk for sticking with the standalone app on Sierra or High Sierra.

    Thanks so much for taking the time to write all of this up! It's really interesting to get such a different perspective. :)

  • jimthingjimthing
    edited October 2017

    @brenty

    re. UK pricing.

    When I go to https://agilebits.com and then "Pricing" it gives prices in US$ (single $2.99 / family $4.99 "per month billed annually") not local currency and no info on the "per month billed monthly" pricing options? Hence as non-US users, we're not sure how you're charging us here:

    (a) Is it the US$ price alone, or with additional sales tax/VAT added (i.e. single would be, $2.99 +20% UK VAT rate = $3.59)?

    (b) Is the amount charged to non-US users in US$ or local currency (as US$ means we likely incur additional card fees, making it more expensive to us).

    (c) Is it cheaper to sign-up directly with you via the site, vs. via in-app iTunes (due to Apple's cut)?

    (d) Is it the same price, regardless of whether we use either site to sign-up: 1Password.com / 1Password.eu / 1Password.ca ?

    Basically, non-US pricing is not being made clear. If you don't want to provide the figures in the forums, then link to a page(s) that'll be updated as things change, as other apps do it (often via a simple table of pricing options).

  • rickfillionrickfillion Junior Member

    Team Member

    When I go to https://agilebits.com and then "Pricing" it gives prices in US$ (single $2.99 / family $4.99) not local currency? Hence as non-US users, we're not sure how you're charging us here:

    (a) Is it the US$ price alone, or with additional sales tax/VAT added (i.e. single would be, $2.99 +20% UK VAT rate = $3.59)?

    If you buy 1Password.com, the price is in USD alone. We state when we add VAT or other taxes. So it would be $3.59/mo as you stated. We charge for 1Password.com in USD and not in local currency.

    (b) Is the amount charged to non-US users in US$ or local currency (as US$ means we likely incur additional card fees, making it more expensive to us).

    Currently, the charges are in USD. But we're in the process of rolling out 1Password.eu where charges would be done in euro.

    (c) Is it cheaper to sign-up directly with you via the site, vs. via in-app iTunes (due to Apple's cut)?

    There should be negligible difference there. For people in the US, there is no difference. For others, there can be a small difference due to the fact that Apple can charge you in your native currency so there's no additional fees and such. Apple's pricing also doesn't fluctuate with the currency rates, so that can also have an effect. The intention from our side is that they should be the same. We don't charge people who want to purchase through Apple any more or less than others.

    (d) Is it the same price, regardless of whether we use either site to sign-up: 1Password.com / 1Password.eu / 1Password.ca ?

    There will be pricing differences there. There has to be. But we aim to keep those minimal. We want to be able to charge USD on .com, CAD on .ca, and EUR on .eu. Since they fluctuate relative to one another constantly but we want to keep the numbers fixed... that means that there has to be differences. But from our side, we aim to have the prices be relatively equal. Taking into consideration things like exchange rates and then making the number round and such.

    The non-US pricing will become more clear as we do the .ca/.eu roll out more fully. Currently with .com it's simple : everything's USD. When taxes are involved, it's specifically stated if it's inclusive or in addition.

    Rick

  • dancodanco Senior Member Community Moderator

    Given the present political situation in the UK, a .uk address as well as .eu would be useful/helpful, but I expect that would be a bit much for you!

  • rickfillionrickfillion Junior Member

    Team Member

    @danco : one of the big limiting factors for us, is where we can get an Amazon datacenter that has all of the bells and whistles that we need. Not all datacenters are created equal, sadly.

    Once we have .ca and .eu rolling we'll have more cycles to look towards other possible deployments.

    Rick

  • jimthingjimthing
    edited October 2017

    @rickfillion

    A couple of follow-ups:

    Firstly, the pricing splash page does not state anything like "addition sales taxes/VAT charged at your local rate" as you say: https://1password.com/sign-up ?

    Secondly, you may not realise that users not being charged in their local currency are liable for additional fixed fees on top of the amount charged. This often means a UK credit/debit card holder will be charged £2 foreign currency transaction fee each and every month you charge the user ~$3.59 (~£2.90) monthly charge. That doesn't make it very likely customers will use this method, especially if they don't want to use iTunes indirect charging, if we prefer to deal directly with the company we take service from. Other companies typically charge in local for this reason.
    Surely the .eu AWS centre would help you to offer non-Euro currency charging (not just GBP, but several other European countries not in the EU and/or Euro currency, like Swiss CHF)?

    Thirdly, no table of charges linked to...?

  • rickfillionrickfillion Junior Member

    Team Member

    Firstly, the pricing splash page does not state anything like "sales taxes/VAT charged in addition" as you say: https://1password.com/sign-up ?

    You're right. I'm going to file an issue for us to fix that. I was thinking of within an account itself. The billing screens etc... Brett (one of our developers) recently spent a good amount of time working on making sure that this was clear everywhere.

    Secondly, you may not realise that users not being charged in their local currency are liable for additional fixed fees on top of the amount charged.

    As a Canadian who does a lot of purchasing from US places... I'm well aware of this.

    Surely the .eu AWS centre would help you to offer non-Euro currency charging (not just GBP, but several other European countries not in the EU and/or Euro currency, like Swiss CHF)?

    Maybe. All of this takes significant development time, and we're a really small team. If all of that came for free, we'd definitely want to offer it all.

    Thirdly, no table of charges linked to...?

    Hrmm? I'm not familiar with that term.

    Rick

  • jimthingjimthing
    edited October 2017

    As a Canadian who does a lot of purchasing from US places... I'm well aware of this.

    Sure. However, a £2 fee on a transaction charge that converts to nearly the same amount essentially means users are not able to use the monthly charge you offer, as its not cost effective.

  • BenBen AWS Team

    Team Member

    Many cards here in the US offer ‘no foreign transaction fees’ as a feature. It may be worth looking into such a thing, if it is commonplace elsewhere in the world. I know most cards from American Express, at least in the US, do not charge a foreign transaction fee.

    Even if we were to charge in local currency a foreign transaction fee may still be incurred. With some cards the fee is based on the country where the charge is originated, rather than the currency charged.

    You may be able to avoid this entirely by subscribing through Apple, as often times they are able to charge in local currency and have the transaction originate from your country, though I couldn’t say for sure if this is the case for any given country (other than USA & CA).

    Ben

  • @jimthing certainly you can't "blame" AB that you have a credit card that charges you foreign exchange fees.
    I've had such a card from my bank too and I killed that and took one from a different provider that does not charge any exchange fees, because I shop a lot online in non-Euro currency.
    It may be a bit of work first to get it etc. but it's worth it in the end. You save a lot.

  • brentybrenty

    Team Member

    @Manaburner: Good point. It pays to shop around!

    @jimthing: And just to clarify,

    Firstly, the pricing splash page does not state anything like "addition sales taxes/VAT charged at your local rate" as you say: https://1password.com/sign-up ?

    We don't track users, so we literally don't know the tax situation until you enter your billing information. In many cases there is no local rate. When you do, you'll be able to see your next invoice in your account, including all itemized charges. If you do this before your trial/billing period is up, you can see this in advance of getting charged anything. Cheers! :)

  • jimthingjimthing
    edited October 2017

    @brenty

    Sure thing. But in Europe it's customary for people to buy things with taxes known upfront and included in the advertised price.

    Why bother hiding it away anyway, it only annoys customers when they realise the rate doesn't include additionals at checkout. That's why the best of other services I use do NOT do this, but tailor the info per country/region accordingly.

    If not tracking region, then this is usually instead done by a very simple dropmenu on the pricing page, with either "Your country" or "Your currency" on them, with the appropriate "Sales tax included" or "VAT included" on it after selection, and the currency charged in. It looks more professional, as it shows customers you're an international company, and charge rates appropriate to the country the user is in.

    It's up to you, do what you want. I'm just advising you of how other sites handle this. So don't shoot the messenger, haha!

  • LarsLars Junior Member

    Team Member

    @jimthing -- thanks for the tips and the suggestion; we're always looking for ways to improve the 1Password experience, and we appreciate people taking the time to share with us their thoughts on ways we could further these ends. :)

  • No probs.

    You could even add a "Choose server region" (with a brief explanation of why the user may want to choose between .com/.ca/.eu) menu onto the same page to unify the user experience. Great idea, BTW, to offer such an option going forward! :-)

  • If you are adding 1Password.eu and 1Password.ca would the customer have the possibility to choose from being charged in US dollar, Euro or Canadian dollar? Personally I prefer to be charged in US dollar because of the exchange rate to Euro. It's a way for me to save a tiny bit of money when paying for my individual annual subscription. P.S: My bank does the exchange rate for me so I prefer it that way from now on.

  • bundtkatebundtkate

    Team Member

    @jimthing: We already included a teaser region switcher for the sign-in page (head to https://start.1password.com and click "Sign in to another account", if you want to check it out) so it's not out of the realm to think something similar will appear on the sign-up page once .eu and .ca are officially launched, though that's ultimately up to the design team.

    Explanations, I think, would end up being a bit much. Beyond choosing where you want your data to be stored, there are any number of reasons folks from all over the world might choose one region over another. We can't possibly list all of them and y'all likely know the advantages of each better than we do anyway. Using the foreign transaction fee mentioned earlier as an example, we've already established that this isn't a universal concern so I can see such an explanation getting bloated quickly. All the same, full deployment of .eu and .ca is still a work-in-progress, so we'll see. :chuffed:

  • Yeah maybe I'll come back in a few months, when you've worked it all out. Too convoluted to bother at the moment.

  • BenBen AWS Team

    Team Member

    Okay. :) :+1:

    Ben

  • brentybrenty

    Team Member

    Why bother hiding it away anyway, it only annoys customers when they realise the rate doesn't include additionals at checkout. That's why the best of other services I use do NOT do this, but tailor the info per country/region accordingly.

    @jimthing: We're not hiding anything. When Amazon doesn't know where you live, they can't show you prices with taxes for items. I don't think it's feasible for us to do that either, as we literally don't know your billing address until you enter it along with your payment details. I'm sorry if that wasn't clear. You're welcome to try it and see for yourself. :blush:

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