The Chargify Twitter account has been responding to complaints all day, and the change has sparked a popular thread on Hacker News. Chargify has responded to the negative feedback by announcing the addition of a ‘Bootstrapping’ plan, which runs $39/month for up to 100 customers and will only be available to Chargify users who signed up before today. But anyone relying on a free plan is out of luck, and it’s not trivial to make the jump from one payment system to another.
Chargify isn’t the only company in this space that’s had to change its pricing model. In March Recurly, which launched with pricing based on per-transaction fees rather than a monthly rate, moved to a flat-rate model. And, as you’d expect, some of its customers weren’t pleased.
My take on this is simple. You should keep your customers happy. You should find the right words or right customers, either one is okay. However, do not take an existing mass and throw it against the wall.
In this specific case, they had to run a long enough campaign to keep early adopters happy, and make the transition smooth. If the new customers who are unhappy but never bothered to take any steps during that campaign to secure their discount or free spot - well, shit happens, move on - however, do not screw up legitimate and loyal users ever.