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Price Change Trello - Observers

Full disclosure: As a small business owner, I am frustrated by Trello's price change and I have let them know. 

Despite the change, my biggest frustration is with the concept of "observers". Can someone clarify for me whether observers will be charged the full price if they are on multiple boards? 

Ironically, I pay for the business class so I can have observers who don't mess with my work. There is a problem if Trello is asking me to pay full price to have people who can NOT use the board. 

Trello, please tell me observers are excluded from this price change. If they aren't excluded, I am interested in hearing about other's reaction to the policy. Does it make sense? Will it change how you use Trello?


Mike Atlassian Team Nov 16, 2018

Hi Tracy,


If an Observer is a member of multiple boards, then yes, they would be subject to the same Multi-Board Guest policy, and would be charged the same rate.


You might have some options for how to deal with this without the additional cost, and we're more than happy to talk that through at We'll be happy to help!

@Mike What are the options so we don't have the additional cost?  I am going to cancel Trello otherwise as my cost is going to go up by 20x which is not feasible for me - I am a small business owner.  Right now I have myself and another team member. We create a board for each of our client households.  It appears my team member and I are getting charged a member fee for every board we are on. Is there a way around having to pay this? I also find it frustrating that this wasn't really communicated and instead I came across my new billing schedule because I happened to check it.

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Mike Atlassian Team Mar 06, 2019

We sent a number of emails between October and December to communicate the change—perhaps those inadvertently wound up in your spam folder?


You're not charged per board, but the key is that Business Class charges you based on users. You're charged for each team member, and you're also charged for Guests (non-team members) that are on more than one board. If a Guest, either an Observer or regular board member, is a part of only one team board, they'll be free, but if you add them to more than one board, they're charged at the same rate as a team member.


When adding a member to your team, you’re giving that person access to all of your team-visible content, which is great in many scenarios! We’ve heard from a lot of people that there are also scenarios when a person needs to access very specific team content, but not all of it.


In a case like that, just as there’s a cost associated with giving a member access to your team resources, there’s a cost associated with giving them specialized and specific access. If, for example, your accountant needs access to one Financials board, that doesn’t cost anything extra, because they’re clearly an outside contributor being given access to one thing only. When your accountant needs access to several boards on your team, though, the lack of team membership is being used to prevent access to the rest of your team resources, and that sort of permission control comes at a cost. More about this is found here:


As for your options, you can make sure that a Guest is only a member of one, single board, which will ensure that they're not billable. There are some other options (like removing the boards where a Multi-Board Guest is unavoidable from the team, as Multi-Board Guests only apply to Business Class teams), but these other options would no longer permit the Observer role from being used, and any board member could only be a full, normal board member.

@Mike Just to clarify, are team members charged if they are on multiple boards or is it when guests are on more than 1 board?

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Mike Atlassian Team Mar 06, 2019

Just Guests! Team members are charged for their team membership, regardless of how many boards they're on. If you add a person to the Business Class team, you'll be charged for them, but Guests are only billable when they're on more than one board.

@Mike One more question...after I remove the guests that are on multiple boards am I still going to be charged for all of the guests? My billing cycle ends on April 22 so if I remove everyone by then will my billing just go back to me and my team member? 

If I sitll will be charged what happens if I just cancel by business membership and go back to free? To be honest, I'm a small business and can't afford this invoice so I need to make sure I dont' get charged this really high amount

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Mike Atlassian Team Mar 06, 2019

If you remove those currently Multi-Board Guests from all but one board before your renewal, no, you won't be charged that amount. The amount shown on your team's billing page is dynamic, and you'll see it change when those Guests are removed!

Dear Sirs,

I upgraded from Trello Gold to Business Class so I could work the way I need it. I realized that the collection policy of the observer members is very cruel. Here are some doubts:
1. When I bought the Business Class it means that I will pay the value of 1 business class user for all the boards I create in all my teams or for 1 team only?
2. Is this me or the first one I invite?

Best regards

Júlio Jorge Moura

+55 61 98100-3855

This just happened to me, and I strongly resent it. I signed up for a business account, and I agreed to pay for that. I have a small business, with three part time employees, and my wife and I. We need one board. That's fine. 

To show my wife how it works, I created a board called "home". Now all of a sudden I'm being charged for two people, plus business class. I also now need to warn my employees that if they create a personal board I'll get charged? 

The unilateral charges for additional members is something I've never seen before in a billing situation and I consider it fraudulent at best. 

Like S B likes this
Mike Atlassian Team Sep 23, 2019

Hi there,


Sorry to hear about the confusion!


It sounds like your wife was already a member of one other board on the team. When you added her to the Home board, there would have been a warning that adding her will result in a charge, like this one:


Creating a personal board doesn't incur a charge, and creating a team board doesn't incur a charge. Business Class charges you based on the number of people you're collaborating with—the expectation is that you're paying for your employees, so if you're not doing that, this definitely does get a little complicated, but they won't be able to incur the charge on your behalf. You were able to complete the action as a team admin, but they won't be allowed to do anything that would create that charge. Instead, they'd be directed to you. 

We try to be upfront that we charge per-user, and give warnings about what in the product will incur a charge, but I'll make sure the team knows we still have more work to do there!

I am very confused. My joy of being a Trello user is starting to dim considerably. I want to upgrade, but it is so confusing I'm tempted to just stay on the free account. All these terms. Why isn't it completely transparent?

I tried to sign up for Business Class but it is charging me for two teams even though I only selected one. Is it because the other member of my team is on all the other teams? I did that because he is the tech guy for each team project. If that's the case, can I just remove him from the team I am upgrading and not be double charged?

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