Leaving Join.Me and Deciding Against Amazon Chime

Posted By Debbie on November 14, 2017

Categories: Business, Marketing

Tags: M&A, surveys, vendors

In 2016, LogMeIn bought all the GoTo collaboration tools from Citrix. I wondered if they would kill Join.Me in favour of GoToMeeting, which I perceive as better.

In the fall of 2017, I got a survey as a paid Join.Me user. The survey was basically, “If Join.Me went away, would you be sad? And who would you go and use instead?”

UH OH. OK, I can take a hint.

Hey, thanks for showing me all the other options! I already know I don’t like most of these. And I was thinking that GoToMeeting is too expensive.

Amazon Chime? What’s that?

Turns out that Amazon has a GoToMeeting competitor called Chime. I downloaded it and gave it a try. It was pretty good. I considered switching. Join.Me was costing me almost $300 per year. Amazon Chime seemed to want much less.

Until I read the fine print.

Amazon charges you for call time.

Their Dial In Rates page tells the story. If participants join from their computer audio systems, no extra charge.

But there are two sets of rates. One if they call Amazon’s toll free numbers, one if they call the non-toll-free numbers. That means if your attendees dial a local, non-toll-free number, you are still paying.

You can pay $0.01191 per minute (how did they come up with that number) for each attendee calling in to a USA toll free number. Pay $0.002216 per minute for each attendee calling into the local USA number. That means if you have 5 meeting attendees calling a local dial-in and the meeting is a half hour, you will pay 33 cents for that meeting.

Sounds not bad. But if you’re like me and you do a lot of international meetings/training, what would that cost? Say I have a four hour training. 3 people from the USA, 1 from the UK, and 1 from Italy. Let’s imagine I want to look cool and I give out toll free numbers. The person in Italy is costing me 36 cents per MINUTE for his or her incoming call.

I could end up with over $100 in call fees if some of these people call the toll free number. Well, this doesn’t really make sense. I don’t want to be afraid to hold a meeting because of what a call might cost me.

Amazon is also killing the savings they were offering by penny and nickeling me over incoming call time.

When I emailed to double check this, a sales guy called me.

American sales guy confirmed that I wasn’t reading that wrong. You do pay for all the call time, and it can surely add up when you have lots of attendees, lots of meetings, or people who want to dial in rather than use computer headsets.

That may make it right for you but wrong for me. So I’m switching to GoToMeeting. I still think of them as best in class. Hopefully they’ll stick around, even after the purchase/merger.