January 18, 2023
While no software can offer ideal workflows and perfect features off the shelf, online booking systems like FareHarbor feature a poor user experience while still demanding considerably higher fees than most. It makes you wonder if the basic features are worth your hard-earned money.
This review will cover the features and shortcomings of FareHarbor, namely its pricing, and will show you an excellent alternative that offers significant savings.
FareHarbor is a cloud-based booking platform available to small and medium-sized businesses and large enterprises in 37+ countries, including the US, the UK, Canada, Mexico, Australia, and Germany.
However, it's not all sunshine and rainbows.
One weak point you'll instantly notice is the complexity of use. Setting up or editing your tour activities is a nightmare, and the gift-card option needs a decent update to make a good sale.
Here's a list of the most significant disadvantages:
On top of that, you won't be able to do your own credit card processing, which can be frustrating, as FareHarbor tends to hold the money customers pay for a long time, especially when it comes to refunds.
However, the most significant disadvantage of using FareHarbor is the pricing structure. To say that it needs improvement would be an understatement, as you will see below.
The vendor's website doesn't offer a specific pricing structure. It only states that FareHarbor services are available to clients free of charge and that they will only pay a credit card processing fee of 1.9% + $0.30 per booking. The credit card fee applies to Discover, American Express, Visa, and Mastercard cards in the US.
However, customers face additional fees significantly higher than the advertised 1.9% + $0.30 per booking. We checked several tour operators that use FareHarbor and found that the fee for “tax and services” they charge is nearly 15%!
In some cases like Texas, a tax of 8.25% is blended in with their price, and this tax can be as high as 10% in state like Washington, which means that the customers are hit with additional expenses that vary depending on location. The worst thing is that the platform doesn't allow business owners to absorb that commission and extra expenses, which can lead to a lot of angry customers.
Here's an example to help put it into perspective:
A family of six (two adults and four kids) books a three-hour tour with an operator using FareHarbor. Child and adult tickets cost $135 and $180, respectively.
Booking through FareHarbor wouldn't cost them $900 + $17.40 booking fee - additional fees would include $123.41$, increasing the total payment to $1,023.41.
Is it worth charging your customers these high additional percentages on top of their tour fee? In today's economy, these hefty charges will turn away most consumers.
The worst part is clients don't see the hidden fees before the checkout. That frustrating experience can dramatically affect their enthusiasm to book a tour.
Seeing how other users feel about FareHarbor might nudge you in the right direction:
“LITERALLY A NIGHTMARE AND CAN RUIN YOUR BUSINESS, REVENUE, AND ONLINE REPUTATION OVERNIGHT. ”
“I have spoken with several representatives of the company. At first they said 5 days. Definitely 5 days. After 5 days passed, they said any day. Now that it has been 8 days they are saying it will get there when it gets there. They will not say why they are holding my money to give my customers.”
“I had two terrible experiences. The first one: they change our prices/tittles without asking us and we had a huge issue. The second issue: they CHANGE OUR TERMS AND CONDITIONS.”
“Mostly, the biggest issue was charging our clients a service fee on top of our own fees. It just didn't sit right with us. We've been happily using a different booking software that looks much better, in my opinion.”
“Their product is just complicated and not better. The reason they have more reviews and customers than the other companies is due to their relentless, downright irritating sales tactics.”
The best FareHarbor alternative for growing a business while saving time, effort, and money is GoFish.Rocks.
Clients get an all-in-one, easy-to-use solution for staying ahead of customer communications, trip management, reporting, and bookings. With the GoFish booking and reservation system, you can streamline all booking and management tasks for boat tours, fishing trips, and charter boats.
You get the same abundance of features like with FareHarbor, but the online booking system is much more user-friendly. You'll also enjoy massive savings.
GoFish.Rocks provides numerous advantages:
Besides one affordable pricing plan for everyone, GoFish doesn't charge its clients and their customers any hidden fees. They will know upfront that all they need to pay is $1.50 per passenger, which is considerably cheaper than FareHarbor.
While many competitors charge a percentage of your booking profits, GoFish uses a flat rate that doesn't change when you scale up or sell higher-priced tours.
GoFish also displays a savings calculator on the website to help clients determine how much they can save by switching to the platform. https://gofish.rocks/pricing
Unlike many competitors, GoFish.Rocks offers free booking cancellations to help mitigate your expenses. In case of a canceled individual booking, the provider turns the booking fees into credits, allowing the passenger to use them to rebook the trip.
If the trip or the passenger cancels, there is no charge from GoFish.Rocks.
Besides the complex setup and use, FareHarbor takes a percentage of your booking profits and has hefty, hidden fees that drive away many customers.
Is it so much better than other platforms that it makes up for charging your customers an additional 12-15% fee on top of ticket prices? Not by a mile.
The best-priced alternative to FareHarbor is GoFish.Rocks, which helps improve your bottom line by charging a flat rate per passenger. It blows the competition out of the water, giving you access to better support and features, including a free setup and faster turnaround.
With GoFish.Rocks, you won't have to worry about hidden fees, commissions, or losing prospects. We strongly recommend checking it out to see if it fits your business needs - you're free to cancel anytime.