Google Map Services Fees
Google Map Services Fees
For the past 10 years since launching Trackall we have been able to provide all of the features of the iCar and iPet apps that drive our range of trackers for no cost. The only ongoing cost you have been faced with is the cost of the data used by the SIM card in your tracker and this cost, in the vast majority of cases, has been a maximum of $15AUD per year. The trackers all use Google map services with the latest updates to keep the trackers updating as accurately as possible.
Google services have announced that they will start charging service fees for any tracking apps using their map services from 2020 onwards! These Google map API fees are charged per location update and we are also required to use a certified security encryption process in utilising the Google map service. With recent global internet security issues, we also now have had to add new and more secure Cloud-based servers to handle your tracker’s data and new hardware, firmware and software updates are constantly required throughout the year. We have increased the IT personnel needed to keep the app services running smoothly and to quickly address any issues that arise. As a result of all of these issues and to remain viable and continue to deliver a high quality service, we are now faced with the unfortunate reality that we will have to pass some of these costs on to our customers.
For our existing customers:
In association with our partner company, Lintek, a decision was made NOT to start passing on any fees to our customers until January 1st 2022 as we felt it was unfair to charge our customers without sufficient warning - so we will be covering this payment on your behalf until January 2022. This means that all current Trackall users and customers who have already purchased a Petrek or LiveTrek Stealth, Guardian or Sentinel tracker will not need to pay this fee until 1st of January 2022. After that date, if you are still wanting to carry on using your Petrek/LiveTrek unit you'll just need to follow the app prompts and pay only $15USD (approximately $20AUD) per tracker per year for single tracker users and, for multiple tracker users, the second and subsequent units will be charged at $8USD (approximately $10AUD) per unit per year. This will then provide you continual usage of the iPet or iCar app for the following 12 months. Paying this new fee means that our iPet and iCar app will always be updated by Google with the latest map updates. We have explored other mapping alternatives, but they unfortunately do not give us the coverage or accuracy that Google map services provides.
For new purchases:
For any customers who purchase a Petrek or LiveTrek unit after January 1st 2021, once you have added the tracker into the iPet or iCar app, the first 12 months usage will be free. You will not be charged the $15USD fee until the first 12 month period is over. Once you pay the annual fee the tracker will be able to be used on the iCar or Ipet app for the next 12 months. So if the new tracker was purchased on the 21st of September 2021 then the free 12 month licence will be valid until 21st of September 2022. If you purchase a new tracker on the 21st of March 2022 then the free 12 month licence will be valid until 21st of March 2023.
When we first launched our range of trackers over 10 years ago, we were able to avoid any ongoing extra cost but these situations have been forced onto us and are out of our control. Having said that no other range of trackers offers the features and functions that ours do without paying ongoing monthly fees. We are determined to provide you, our customers with the best and most economical solution available. Our new TOTAL ANNUAL FEE is actually even less than most GPS tracking companies are charging their customers PER MONTH! Be wary of cheaper alternatives as you will often find that the trackers will have far fewer functions than ours, may only provide SMS/Text based map coordinates that you have to manually find and they cannot maintain the firmware, software and security updates that are constantly required for GPS trackers so they become redundant with no back-up support service after a relatively short time period.
We hope that this information about the new fee is clear and provides sufficient detail and enough forewarning for you. We know that the introduction of any fee is a good thing but we have tried to make sure that this new annual fee is as low as we could provide. This new fee will be used for the above reasons and will be used mainly to cover the Google fees that we now face. The SIM credit of course will continue to go directly to the Telco provider of the SIM used by the tracker you own.
So, in a nutshell, nothing changes until 2022!
Thanks, and stay safe!
- The Trackall Team