HelloShift uses Twilio to provision phone numbers and to send/receive messages to hotel guests. Twilio charges are based on the number of messages and vary from country to country(you can find US charges here).
For Guest Messaging, HelloShift uses usage-based pricing beyond a threshold.
Each hotel gets free credit based on the number of rooms. This free credit is enough for over 80% of our hotels. For those hotels that need to send/receive extra messages beyond the free credit (less than 20% of the hotels), they don’t have to worry about any hard limit — our usage-based pricing offers them a pay-as-you-go model.
Why not charge a flat fee?
This would result in higher prices for everyone, thereby penalizing hotels that are not using messaging excessively.
Why not always charge a usage-based fee?
This would increase administrative burden on everyone, including the hotels. Our usage-based pricing with free credits strikes a balance between a flat fee (for most) and usage-based fee (for some).
How many messages are included for free?
The charges vary by country and the type of messages but here is a simple calculation for US-based hotels where currently 1 message segment costs $0.0075.
|Free credits||Number of message segments|
How can I keep our Twilio usage under control?
Here are a number of things you can do to keep your expenses below the credit limit:
- Check the size of your snippets. Snippets get sent on a regular basis so the usage multiplies fast. You can easily check your message size here. And you can find how Twilio deals with larger messages here.
- Check if you need all the Guest Automations. If set incorrectly, the Guest Automations can annoy the guests and incur extra charges.
- Check if you need all the emojis, smart quotes, and non-GSM spaces in your messages. These can drastically increase the message size as shown here.
- Use mobile app notifications (Staff Collaboration) for your internal staff (it is free!).
How is the Twilio usage payment handled?
Twilio requires payment before their services can be used. HelloShift prepays Twilio for all messages sent and received on behalf of our customers. At the end of a month, HelloShift charges the properties’ Credit Card on file. This is similar to hotels requiring a valid Credit Card for guest incidentals that gets charged at the end of the guest’s stay.
When you have a valid Credit Card on file, HelloShift handles the process seamlessly.
If the Credit Card on file can not be automatically charged, HelloShift invoices you. If this invoice is not paid by the invoice deadline, the ability to send bulk messages is restricted. You can still send and respond to guests one at a time. The restriction on bulk-messaging is removed when the payment is received.