We’re canceling our Zoom subscription, as we’re paying for one Pro account, but we cannot use it. And this is all intentional on Zoom’s part.
When Zoom exploded in popularity during the COVID pandemic, we had many customers who insisted we use it. A Pro account is required for group meetings longer than 40 minutes, which we did quite regularly. In our team of 5, one of us would claim the Pro account and host the meeting for everyone else. And we did this for quite a few years without any issue.
But when we tried it today, we got the following error message saying we had exceeded our license limit, and asking us to buy more licenses:
Which is weird because under the license count it says we have 1 available Pro account, but it isn’t enabled.
We tried the online chat feature. But it just told us that our pro account did not entitle us to ask chat support.
We tried calling. And again, we were told that we weren’t entitled to phone support. After searching online, we filled out an online form a posted our question.
The next day, we get an email and find the cause of the problem! They don’t want us to share accounts anymore. And we’ve lost the right to our 1 license that we’re already paying for. And the only way to get it back is to buy at least 1 more license! No warning, even after doing this for several years. Just buy another account or you lose the 1 account you already bought. We were stunned.
They followed up and asked if we had any questions. So we replied no, and went ahead and cancelled our Pro account subscription. We have been using other meeting apps in the meantime, but only kept Zoom for the clients that preferred Zoom. And now we'll be asking our clients to use our meeting apps when meeting us.
The customer rep apologized and went ahead and marked the ticket as resolved. In a way, it was resolved.
On an interesting note, as we’re writing this article to share, we checked our Zoom account which is still paid for a couple more months. We noticed we can now change the account to Licensed, as before. Despite that, we’re still canceling our account. So if their goal was to force us to buy more licenses, it had the opposite effect.
It feels to us like Zoom is trying to increase its profit base by forcing customers to buy more licenses.
Their revenues soared during the pandemic, but has mostly plateaued since then (source: www.businessofapps.com/data/zoom-statistics)
The more surprising statistic is that its profit has actually significantly declined recently. In fact, according to some websites, last quarter posted was its 1st net loss since 2018.
We ourselves have been using alternatives to Zoom in the past few years, and this latest update just made us leave Zoom as well. Of course, since we can now reassign the license, perhaps Zoom is reconsidering its hardline stance. It will be interesting to see how Zoom continues to evolve.