This really caught me by surprise and I have run through all the Q&A in community and I cant find the answer.
So I mailed to box support for a clarrification and would like to share my findings.
This is the 1st part of my reply.
In my case, I am on business plan and managed users = 3 and 7 collaborators who is a customers.
Thanks for contacting Box Billing Support! I'll be happy to address all your inquiries.
I checked your account and confirmed that your e-mail address XXXX is linked to a monthly Business plan. Upon closer look, however, it appears that your seat count right now has reached 10 out of 3.
Allow me to further explain. Your plan has the capability to add two types of users:
1. Managed User - a user that has been created within your admin console. Any files that these users upload into folders they own will count against your total storage allocation.
2. External Collaborator - someone you have invited to collaborate in your Box account via a collaboration invitation and their account was not created directly from within your own Box Admin Console.
Under the Business plan that you currently have, both External Users and Managed Users contribute towards your overall purchased user seat count. Enterprise and Elite accounts have unlimited external collaboration, so only Managed users contribute to the seat count.
This link below can help you understand how to manage your account's users:https://community.box.com/t5/For-Admins/Best-Practices-Managing-Users/ta-p/171
I hope I helped answer your question. Please feel free to let me know if I can assist you further!
Box Billing Support
This is the reply after i seek more clarrifications
Thanks for getting back to me on this.
The system automatically detects overage and might suspend your account unless payment has been made for the extra users on your account. Simply put, even if the term was renewed with 3 seats, the system might still trigger an overage alert which will then prompt you to pay for the extra seats used outside of your purchased license.
Hope this helps explain. Please let me know if you have other questions or concerns, I'm happy to help!
Box Billing Support
Imagine my shock to get an email today that said "You're 12 licenses over your limit!" I use my Box.com account alone... I have a Business account with 3 seats... ALL I have are external collaborators. I have not suddenly added collaborators either. I am using it as I have always used it.
Why did this happen suddenly now? Did Box just change its rules about external collaborators counting as "seats?"
This looks like an effort to force folks out of a Business account and either into buying a lot of seats (which for me would cost $180/month rather than the $45 I pay now)... or force them to upgrade to the Business Plus plan which costs $75/month rather than the $45 I pay now.
What changed? I guess I'll be moving all of my stuff over to DropBox! They don't charge for collaborators.
This is also happening to me too. I had a about a dozen collaborators prior to my 'upgrade', which I only did because of their stupid policy toward blocking video playback. Now I keep getting these emails.
So, simple solution, take everybody off as a collaborator and use the three seats for you, another for 'family', and then a third for 'external'.
Dumb that we have to rig our setup for something like this guys. I'm going to switch to AWS for my big storage.
I'm glad to see I'm not the only Box customer who has experienced this lack of clarity around user accounts/external collaborators, pricing variations, etc. I too was using the program for an entire year and twice called tech support who assured me that under my current Business PLan (at $45 per month) I was entitled to add unlimited external collaborators. About two weeks ago, everything changed and I have not yet been able to get anything in writing which explains exactly what I will get if I upgrade to the Business Plus. One sales person will tell me one thing and another something else. I recently was told that I would get the capability to add unlimited external users and the capability to upload 15 GB as opposed to the 5GB. I was sent a link to the matrix, which does not support what the rep stated, and instead appear to provide only 5GB on anything below Enterprise level. I also have not been successful in getting pricing for the Enterprise plan, nor do I have any idea what each plan provides. I am getting the sense that Box does not know either. This is a huge problem because I am not into paying for services without any written assurance that I am going to get what I pay for at least throughout the subscription period. As it stands now, I am expected to go on the words of reps, which vary per day and per rep.
Furthermore, the online chat person just disconnected me when I asked to chat with a manager... Very disconcerting. I would be out of business if I treated my clientele like this...
This licensing issue under the Business Plan is very frustrating and their site does not clearly show this and follow up support is terrible. I have emailed them twice over the last few weeks and I have had no response. I was hoping to move over to Box but this issue with Collaborators is a deal breaker.
Overall their product seems great and if they could sort out this Collaborator issue, it would likely win me over but their lack of interest in getting back to me is concerning.
It seems the only way to solve this is to upgrade to Business Plus which I have been told is $25 per user. It would be great if this was clearly outlined on their website, so businesses could make more informed decisions when testing / considering Box.
This issue keep on hunting me.
the message keep on popping up in the new ui which so called new experience.
This is certainly troubling. We only have a starter account but have encountered some of the limitations that box imposes that come standard with other file sharing services. I've thought about getting a higher membership but to have to get enterprise just to get external people to upload stuff? I guess I have no choice but to learn google drive.
I don't know anything about your business or the circumstances of your Box license, but just as a heads-up, be aware that unlike Box, every collaborator in Dropbox has to pay for the same data. By that I mean that If you have a folder with 10GB of data in it, every user in that folder, whether there is 1 or 100, each has to pay for that 10GB of data. In Box it is only the folder owner. Don't be suckered in by the thought that some users can use free accounts to collaborate with you. They won't be free for long. Bear that in mind when you do your CBA.
Best of luck,
They want to collaborate with me (dropbox) they pay for it, why must I bare all their expenses.
Somemore Box.com is not cheap.
Well answer this.
What if my desired collaborators already are part of their own enterprise BOX account. Why are they coming up as needing a purchased license? If they have a license and you are trying to charge me for them as well - you are worse than Drop Box. You are charging twice for the same USER.
Thanks for your post and your feedback. Pricing is always a challenge to get exactly right, as rarely is there a single price that works for everyone in every possible use. We attempt to create pricing that is easy for customers to understand and evaluate, even if what is going on underneath is actually quite complicated. It seems we've not done a good enough job communicating about this to the folks on this thread.
You are correct, if you allow external collaborators to edit, upload or do anything in your Box Business account beyond viewing the files via shared links, that collaborator will count against the seat total for your account. Collaborators are priced according to the account and content they access, not the account they originate in.
It may help to consider a few scenarios as examples:
These specific scenarios may or may not apply to your use. But hopefully you can see some of the potential permutations and complexities involved in putting our pricing plans together. At the end of the day, every Box account owner needs to evaluate the needs of their organization, and we hope our pricing plans allow them to make informed decisions and purchases for their needs.
Thanks again for the question, you have not been alone in wondering about collaborator pricing. There's always ways we could be better, and I will pass this feedback along. I highly recommend that anyone with additional questions contact our sales team to help find the right fit for your needs.
Sorry - I was comparing the single user fee to the min-3-user fee.
45/mon vs 75/mon is only 40% more.... But still charging for 2 users to access the same content - despite claiming not to. AND EVEN WORSE charging twice for the same user.
I could understand if the user does not have an account. But I only moved to box because several clients are there with enterprise accounts. These are the users you are trying to charge me for.
I dont think any organisation big big or small will work only in their own island.
they will need collaborators. 75 a month which is 25 per user. It is extremely insane.