ConnectPal Review for Small Businesses

Update: Try a good alternative to connectpal without all the hefty penalties! They charge the same 20% fee, but they don't do any charge backs for account holders who made less than $200.00 you keep all the revenue you earned. I will do a review of them soon

Update: 9-17-16 Connectpal has recently updated it's Terms of Service Agreement and it gets worst!
Connectpal will now charge a hosting fee to account holders who generate less than $200.00 within a calendar month. This isn't an improvement. Previously they would either keep or refund any revenue less than $200 back to the costumers. Both policies don't fair too well for Account Holders because they still won't get fairly compensated for their content if they so happen to have an small subscriber's base. Even a small sale is a good Sale! Connectpal doesn't think so.

Hosting Fee. A fee associated with ConnectPal’s overhead and costs related to the hosting of a Profile Owner account. A Hosting Fee will be charged for any profile that fails to meet the $200 minimum threshold in a calendar month. For any profile that meets or exceeds the $200 minimum threshold, the Hosting Fee will be waived in its entirety, so there will be a $0 hosting fee for any profile that meets or exceeds the $200 minimum threshold.

The Platform has grown in popularity over the last few months and they regard themselves as being the #1 Content Marketplace on the web, which can be a bit misleading because their are no other content marketplaces that are solely for selling digital content with a subscription. Through my search I found that similar websites provide an subscription service for "physical products" only, not digital. With no other competition on the landscape it's easy for Connectpal to make those claims. But an growing number of Independent and Freelance Models, Artists and Photographers is using the websites to deliver digital content such as Podcasts, Videos, Music and Photos to their fans using the subscription based model to earn revenue. There's not alot of information found online about Connectpal and their business practices, so hopefully I can bring some insight and lend you some important information that will allow you to make an informed decision on if this website is right for you.

As I read through Connectpal's "Terms of service" agreement I was alerted by their Expensive & Noncompetitive Pricing Breakdown in comparison to other alternatives currently in the market.

To Explain their pricing schedule I will give you a simple example. If you charge your subscribers an monthly fee of 12.99 per month to gain access to your content Connectpal will deduct $1.99 for each transaction. That's right! It adds up... For example if you obtain 100 subscribers at $12.99 you will generate $1,299 in revenue, but the transaction fees deducted out of your pay will be $199, which is 66.63% more expensive than PayPal and Google Wallet.

Also I found another item in the "Terms of Service" that drawn some red flags below.
"Users who have earned revenue through their respective profile will be paid through an ACH transfer only if they surpass a 200 US Dollar minimum earned in a calendar month from active subscribers as measured at the end of a calendar month. If a user does not surpass $200 in earnings from active subscribers at the end of a calendar month, the Site reserves the right to terminate the account at its sole discretion, and the money in the account may be used for potential refunds and/or become the property of the Site – such determination will be made by the Site at its sole discretion.

This means that if you only generated $200 or less in earnings you will not get paid!!!! And even worst the Company reserves the right to keep your money!!!! This Policy is unacceptable and it takes advantage of  self employed individuals. It also serves as a hefty penalty for account holders that have a small subscriber base. There's also an small loop hole which allow subscribers to get an full refund if they cancel. Many Users are abusing this process to obtain free content without paying after they viewed and downloaded all your photos, music and videos which isn't fair for content creators and very bad for business.

For these reasons I would not recommend Connectpal for Small Businesses or Self employed individuals which is unfortunate because there is a few really good hard working Independent Models and Artists out there with Outstanding Connectpal pages, But sadly they are using a platform that don't give them proper support; the current policies exercised by Connectpal don't protect their content and charges them extraordinary operating fees. I rate connectpal an C+ for putting in the effort and being the first in their class to implement such an idea. But in considering their poor customer service, high transaction fees, and refund policies they get a low score of 2 out of 10 stars. If they fix all of the outlined issues, I will update this blog post and give them a higher score.

Rating 2 out of 10 stars.

Update: 7/27/16
I researched the internet tireless for other alternatives to Connectpal and found that it's alot cheaper if you purchase your own domain and build your own website using WordPress or another web builder that is compatible with PayPal merchant integration. There are also services like Gopaywall, Conintent, and amember that offer plugins that can be used with an existing website that you own. It's a bit more work to preform, but it's worth it in the long run.. I'm not going dive too deep into this subject, but you can find some more resources by following the links below.

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