I have a question about the billing process and why collaborators are so expensive. I used to have a Pro account because I wanted to create a form with our own logo at the top of the page (this was the only reason we needed a Pro account). That said, it was a form for a singing competition. I wanted to bring in a few judges to see certain views created for them as a part of my base and judge entries using the table I set up.
When I invited them in, I quickly realized that I was about to be charged $24/month PER JUDGE because I was giving them access to edit my table. I was shocked and so frustrated. $24/month (I didn’t want to pay for the whole year because the competition (free, no money involved at all)) was only a few months. Anyway, I was shocked that I was expected to pay for a FULL ACCOUNT for each of these collaborators.
Why?!? Seriously, why?? If I have a pro account, and I invite someone to edit one page of that account, I have to pay for them to have a full account, which means they can create as many bases as they want. I have to pay for them to use the entire suite of AirTable tools just so that they can press a couple buttons on my page.
For businesses where every single person who has permission to edit a project needs a huge amount of power, I guess this makes sense. But it seems awfully cost restrictive for anyone who needs something far less.
AirTable is such a beautifully crafted solution, and its ability to create and share particular views is wonderful, but I would love to understand why there aren’t any options for bringing in editors to a table for free or at a reduced cost, where these editors can access my table without having the full rights to create unlimited bases on their own.
I paid for a pro account simply so I could put our logo on a form. The fact that I’ve got to pay for that feature over and over again with every single collaborator is a non-starter. I would look at sites like frame.io or vimeo.com as examples of a great price structure: collaborators can be invited to come and make comments and edits on what you’ve done without making the account owner pay for them to basically be full account owners themselves just so that the owner can use a feature.
I’m not sure that you’re going to get many concrete answers on why things are set up the way they are, I’m afraid. The majority of us in this community are fellow users like yourself, and we could only offer our opinions on the matter. I suggest that you reach out to Airtable support with your questions.
If your judges need access for only a few months, you will receive a pro-rated refund (in Airtable credits) when you remove them from your workspace.
See this support article for more information.
If you give more information about how you want your judges to edit your data, you might be able to redesign your base so that judges can view data for free with shared links and enter data for free in forms with linked views. Rollups and lookups could drive the flow of data.
For other workarounds for the limited access that your judges need, you can look into third party integrations, such as stacker.app or miniextensions.com.