I really like Zapier. I consider it an essential tool—one of the most essential I use, in fact.
But it has a feature I don’t particularly love, and I’d like to discuss why real quick.
Essentially, last month I had an unexpected period of success, thanks to an actual decent showing on Product Hunt
, which brought some new readers to my primary newsletter, Tedium, along with this one. (Hey all!)
The downside of success when using a cloud tool is that you never know when that success is going to force you over an arbitrary limit. In my case, I ended up pushing against my limit of Zapier tasks two weeks early, creating an unexpected crunch. So Zapier pushed to upgrade, at a cost more than twice what I was currently paying. I wasn’t down with that, so I held off to see if I would actually hit my limit.
Turns out, I was at risk of going over my limit, but just barely. The only option I had to keep my tasks running? Upgrade. I couldn’t pay a one-time fee for additional tasks. I had to upgrade. And three days before my rollover, I found myself paying for that upgrade because I couldn’t risk my tasks going offline, even for an evening.
But it turns out that there is a loophole in this model that I caught basically by chance. See, what I ended up doing was signing up for the higher-end plan for 30 seconds, which reset the task limits, then reverted back to my original plan, which gave me a clean slate, and effectively restarted my monthly cycle three days early.
Sure, I got charged for that full month of Zapier use at the higher tier, but because I immediately downgraded, I will now pay via the credits that they already charged me. So I essentially got what I wanted, even though I had to go through hoops to get it.
Tell me, how is this better than simply creating a way to charge for overages that can be turned on as needed?