Slow Development Progress

I have been using Checkfront for 2 years. It is a good software but i think in the 1st design phrase, it didn't consider a group bookings circumstance, database-wise, to add a group bookings with individuals details is quite easy. However, because in day1, they didn't consider it. After the software running, they are hard to change it because of the previous bookings. They need to consider how to handle the historical bookings. Therefore, it take more than 2 years but for this easy to add feature. I am happy to pay more if you can have this features. I am really very disappointed. For the Slow Developement I can observe for my 2 years usage:

1. Handle Group Bookings with individual details (Not only the bookers field)
2. Assignment for a Tour Leader to a Package with access restriction.

The development i see is the integration with other clouds software in the past 2 years.

I can said Checkfront do great work from beginning but after developed, no more upgrade for the real function and feature. 

This slow development process now is a barrier for us to move on with your software.

The only feedback i saw so far is " we are adding your request to our development team". So far, i cannot see a thread that are resolved with a real fix.

Could you provide any roadmap or plan for Checkfront? Otherwise, it is a hard decision but i need to look for other solution to continue my business.

Comments

  • I'm in the same situation. Checkfront was the best I could find at the time I moved to a online booking system, but their lack of several critical features and the fact that several bugs I reported when I originally signed up are still not fixed is disappointing. The price has also gone up over the years, but without a corresponding increase in the functionality of the service. There is a complete lack of a public road map so we have no idea if we can afford to wait out new functionality being added or if it's worth the effort to move to a better service. I'm looking to move myself, but I'm dreading the work of getting all the data up and working again on a new platform.
  • We have the same concern.  With no idea of where they are going with their road map (Zero Communication for this) and only "yet another payment gateway" for new functionality we are now forced into looking elsewhere.  There have been serious flaws and/or missing capability since we signed on almost 2 years ago and nothing to address them much less even a decent road map so we can make a decision about what to do.

    Sorry guys but adding more payment gateways and languages may get a few more clients in the short term but you are starting to loose the rest of us because you are not dealing with the critical functions that are missing and have been since the start. It seems that you picked the most simple Use Case you could for 2 or 3 business, implemented that and then nothing else.  No one seems to have any real understanding of our businesses and how we have to operate in the real world.

    Sad and frustrated.
  • RavennaRavenna Checkfront

    A note from your product team:

    Let us start with saying, you’re right… all of you! We’ve been working on features such as resource management and booking form updates for what seems like a crazy amount of time and we haven’t been great at communicating our progress. In fact, our product team has been heads down in research and customer discussions, and then building concepts that get tested, rejected, reworked, and tested again.  

    What we’ve come to understand is that this wasn’t just building additional features that fit into the original framework of Checkfront. To do this justice, it has required a little a lot of reimagining that presented challenges, and we have to acknowledge that there may be other challenges we don’t yet foresee before they are released.

    The small changes that you do see reflected in our updates, such as payment gateways,  represent changes that are compartmentalized and don’t require development that touches every aspect of the application in the ways that resource management and collecting guest details do. These two projects are very large features and truly at the center of our functionality: data collection and availability. Despite appearances, we are very excited to get them to market!

    All that said, your recent messages have ignited some great discussions within our Product team (and company-wide) as to how and when we communicate what is valuable. We are coming to a point in our own journey that the idea of a very high level public roadmap is becoming more of a possibility and much discussion continues.

    If you would like to be more involved in feature discussions that directly apply to you, please let us know! We reach out to customers during research and testing phases and would love to include you where we can.

    Remember, we love each and everyone of our customers and it’s because of our agile innovation and each of you that we have grown so big so quick. So please, stand by as we make some core adjustments. Your continued patience does not go unnoticed.


    Ravenna
    Product Manager
  • Sounds like a step in the right direction. This black hole of communication will not work. We have 3 or 4 critical things that need to be addressed as likely most/many of your clients.  If you gathered that list from some clients from each business type that are willing to participate, I believe you would find a lot of overlap and therefore your road map.  Obviously you need to be in charge of the overall architecture and whatever rebuilds are necessary to keep the product moving forward. But your clients are in the best position to drive the requirements and priorities and help you understand the use cases of a particular business type.  We are all similar to a degree but have some definite differences between business types (hotel vs adventure tour vs rental facility, etc).  If you don't understand the business models you will always be shooting in the dark.

    So if you are looking for input from a small hotel that also operates tours (with several different providers/partners) and has an in-house restaurant and bakery that we also have set up in Checkfront, we would be happy to participate.
  • hey,
    I think at the end we are all in the same team. Non of the serious customer choosed checkfront by the way and we all had our arguments for it.

    I also asked for the booking form update (the forum post about that is from me) and many other features and im also frustrated that it took so long. But on the ohter hand side, if checkfont is doing changes at the core app architecture its better to do it very carefully and in the right way.

    Now we have a feedback from checkfront about it and I have a better feeling to wait for it. 

    I also aware about that only my company forwarded around 50 feature requests. And its not possible that all of them are on the priority list. And even if some of them are in progress, it could take longer...

    So yes, a strategic top-level roadmap is very welcome and a good thing and enought. So we know what core features are in progress and what is the strategic direction checkfront is going. 

    And by the way: we tested many other apps for tourism + tours. Overall checkfront was clearly the best! 


  • RavennaRavenna Checkfront
    Thanks for the responses! 

    Patrick, you're right,  we are absolutely on the same team, and with that - thanks for the vote up, it means a lot to us :) 

    TurismoCaNica, please drop our support team an email to request involvement in research, discussions, and testing regarding the features you are looking for and we'll add you to the list!

    Cheers, 
  • I would find a road map useful even if it didn't provide dates or deadlines. Just knowing that progress is happening on a feature would make it worthwhile. It starts to feel like we're just getting canned responses when a feature (such as allocating Tours to a Guide) are in progress for many years without any kind of update other than telling us to visit the Checkfront Updates page.
  • RavennaRavenna Checkfront
    Hi Parawing, 

    Thanks for adding to the discussion. To your point, we've have discussed how useful a high level roadmap might be if it didn't provide details on any progress,  and it's something we're still talking about. 

    For now, this thread has proven to be helpful and has opened a more direct conversion where a specific feature has been on the roadmap longer than usual. Our product team is going to stay in touch on the forum regarding these features in hopes of answering your questions as they come up. 

    Ravenna
    Product Manager
  • Sorry but I am going to keep pushing.  A public road map is a great start.  However, without any time frame, it is of no value whatsoever because all it says is that, some day, you are going to look at it. We need to know for each year, what are the big 3 or 4 things on the road map you are going to tackle. Can you predict 2-3 years out? No but you can say generally what is on the list and in what order based on your architecture plans. Then for the 12-18 month horizon, we need to know what is happening in more detail.  

    Also, publish your defect list and any known workarounds.  Then we can stop spending endless hours trying to figure out what happened and asking you to answer the same questions may times over as we all encounter the same problem.  The problem is worse because your single keyword search in the forums is of no value, so I never bother any more to try and see if someone has already listed the problem.  I don't have the time.  Then let us know for each quarter (or whatever) which defects you are working on.  If you miss a couple, oh well.

    No one will ever fault you for communicating your plans even if you miss some.  We are all IT people to some degree and understand the challenge of developing to a schedule. Checkfront is the 1 core thing that we all depend on to keep our businesses running. When it does not work or we can't do something for a client, our reputation and therefore our business suffers.  We need to know what is going on.

    Thanks for listening.
  • Well said TurismoCaNica

  • Ravenna Any ETA on guest management? 
  • RavennaRavenna Checkfront
    Hi Bryceww

    Sorry for the delayed response. By guest management, I'm assuming you mean collecting booking details per guest? If so, we do have some beta features available. Please contact our support team with your account details and request for access to our Guest Fields beta. 

    Cheers, 
  • Hey @Dedric - re: an update on a public roadmap -- while we don't have any immediate plans to release a public roadmap, we are very excited for 2019 and look forward to sharing updates with our customers soon! Thanks again for your engagement with our community forums! 

    Cheers,
    Laura - Technical Support Manager 

  • It would be great to be excited "WITH" you....but sadly not.
  • Thanks Laura. 
    but again, like TurismoCaNica said, I'm happy that you are all excited at CheckFront's HQ.
    But what about, the customers?

    How can I make educated decisions for my business, if you don't share the knowledge?

    I can then only base my choices on what I've seen so far: bugs and features requested by customers don't get implement quickly, if at all...

    thanks

  • Hi @TurismoCaNica and @Dedric,  

    Thanks again for your feedback. We hear you loud and clear -  please be assured that your feedback has been forwarded to our internal teams. At this time, we are choosing not to pursue the creation or release of a public facing roadmap. We are very grateful that you’ve chosen Checkfront to help manage your business, and while I can empathize that it may be frustrating not to have details on the features we’re working on, please know that we’re committed to continuing to build and improve our platform, so that we can add maximum value to your business. That said, ultimately, you need to make the best decision for you and your business, and while we certainly hope we can continue to work together, we understand if you need to explore other options. If you’d like to continue this conversation further, I invite you to email me directly at laura@checkfront.com.

    Best,

    Laura - Technical Support Manager, Checkfront 


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