Originally Posted by 25Fast
We use Tawk.to, it's free and is very very good chat. We don't know why to pay if there is an hosted product that works perfectly!
A free SaaS live chat software is essentially the same as free hosting. There has to be revenue somewhere otherwise there isn't a business model. Eventually it would close as their costs are only going to increase.
When Zopim started out they were like Tawk.to, completely free. 2 years later they were running out of money and had to adopt a freemium model which is why we still have Zopim today.
OfferChat was exactly like Tawk.to today. They approached their set budgets and tried to adopt a freemium model but it didn't really take off. They have since closed down and sold the domain to PureChat.
Another product (I think it was PureChat) was another free product but has since adopted a more freemium business model.
Now I am not saying Tawk.to is going to close tomorrow, hopefully not. But there has to be revenue somewhere for it to be sustainable.
And in any case, if a software is bringing you additional sales it doesn't matter if you're spending $0 or $30. The case study on LiveChatInc's website shows a company bringing in an extra $65k per month from live chat -- at this point the $36 cost wouldn't really matter. Actually maybe it would but in favor of the paid product (security the product won't disappear, uptime guarantees and so on).