Morgan Williams financial adviser Daniel Williams has been told his monthly payments to software provider Timeline App will increase by 779% from 1 October.
In an email sent by Timeline last week (27 August) and seen by Professional Adviser, Williams was informed that his monthly payment of £79 would increase to £695.
The email said: "You currently have five advisers under your account. Therefore, when your account is upgraded, each individual account will be upgraded to the Enterprise plan and your monthly cost will be £695.
"As you have more than 70 clients, we will automatically upgrade your account to the new Enterprise Plan."
Timeline App allows advisers to stress test a client's retirement or investment plan against historic data, helping advisers support clients in creating a sustainable withdrawal strategy. Timeline offers three pricing structures per month per adviser: the Starter pack at £79, the Pro pack at £99 and the Enterprise pack at £139. This new pricing structure came into effect in February 2020, as a result of additional features it has been working on. These enhancements will allow advisers to further integrate with third-party customer relationship managers.
Williams said: "It's a really cool bit of software, we were very early adopters to it. The pricing structure that we were using was cheap don't get me wrong, I think we were underpaying."
Despite admitting he felt the firm was underpaying for the service, and acknowledging the developments Timeline had made in recent months, Williams said £695 was too big of a jump: "We're not paying that, I'd prefer to lose the software," he continued. "Inflation is 1%-ish, their improvements are probably 200% so I don't know where the other 400/500% is coming from."
With the current economic conditions facing the country, Williams added, the increase was laughable: "There's been no communication apart from this email saying that from 1 October they're going to start billing us [the increased fee]."
Williams contacted Timeline immediately after receiving the email. At the time of writing, he was told Timeline would phone him at 1pm today (1 September). Williams said his firm will probably have to cut some users who can access the software as a result, taking it down from five to two Morgan Williams users.
In response, a Timeline spokesperson told PA: "Over the last few years, we've been heavily investing in [the] Timeline app as we believe in transforming the relationship between financial planners and their clients and delivering on the promise we made to provide rigorous and evidence-based retirement experiences.
"In this time we have added some new and improved features such as livetrack, income tax, model portfolio with real holdings, integrations with third-party CRMs and custodial platforms and many more."
They added: "Most firms working with us have multiple licences and, therefore, cost increases will be based on a multiple specific to each firm."
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