New Fixes and Features on Billmonk

Hey Billmonk friends!  We’ve been a little quiet on the blog because we’ve been listening closely to your suggestions and requests.

Today, we’re happy to let you know our product and engineering team has fixed over two dozen bugs.  We worked on the Amazon library, text related issues, automated email and errors related to reporting payments.

We also added a number of features you requested.  You can now tag library items, have a percentage option in a bill split, convert shared bills into itemized bills and disable debt shuffling for yourself.

The number of Billmonk users has grown quickly beyond what we expected, so we’ve a hired a manager to take care of things on the product front.  You can also look forward to email customer support and a fancier Facebook widget in a couple of months.

The original Billmonk was great, but the future Billmonk is going to be positively grand!

We really appreciate all the suggestions and requests you’ve shared with us and as always, please contact us with any issues or ideas.

71 Responses to “New Fixes and Features on Billmonk”

  1. Catherine Rodgers Says:

    Since some people didn’t like how debt shuffle works, it’s nice that we now have the option to exclude ourselves from debt shuffling. However, why is it “opt out” by default? If I hadn’t looked at my settings page, I would have been confused as to why debt shuffles among my friends no longer included me.

  2. Ben Bernard Says:

    Could this be the return of bill monk? I’ve been waiting for email bills and victim choosing to work for almost a year!

  3. Stephen Mok Says:

    Oh wow, I was worried you guys had abandoned the product! Great news to hear you’re still here!🙂

  4. KS Says:

    Please can you create an app for mobile devices (iPhone for certain, but I’m sure others would like it as well)

  5. Billmonk Says:

    Thanks everyone for your comments! We really appreciate hearing from you.

    @Catherine Rodgers: As for debt shuffling, some Billmonk users may not be aware of debt shuffling and we wouldn’t want their debts to be shuffled against their wishes. That’s why it’s shut off by default. This way, users can make the choice whether or not to participate in debt shuffling.

    @KS: Although we’re not currently working on a mobile application, we’re surely considering it for the future.

    Please keep your comments and questions coming!

  6. tim smith Says:

    Yay Billmonk! I started to get a little (i.e. very) worried when the phone-confirming process was dying silently, my emails to support (to which I’m glad you were listening closely) were bouncing, and the blog URL wasn’t resolving. Billmonk’s a great product and I’m happy y’all still have a pulse.

    Iff’n you were asking me, I’d suggest that debt shuffling be on by default with an opt-out option — if users aren’t aware of it, you should make them aware of it, because it’s one of the site’s killer features. I think this is essentially the single thing that makes BillMonk more useful than a whiteboard. Debt shuffling is something that feels uncomfortable until you realize that it’s fair and useful. Discouraging users from enabling it will reduce the odds that anyone will have a chance to find out how cool it is — let them unshuffle after they’ve had a chance to see it in action, if they think about it and decide they’re really not cool with the idea.

  7. Kyle Says:

    @Billmonk re @KS: Can you please at least remove the huge image on the front page if you detect a mobile device, or release that API you’ve been talking about for a while so I can make my own read-only front end that doesn’t have that? That image is absolute torture over EDGE, to the point where I know people are going and fetching the csv data and parsing that to provide the UI. I’d rather do this in an ‘official’ fashion, but it’s really the only way to view the site from an iPhone (and isn’t mobile the biggest win for you guys?)

  8. Adam Says:

    I still feel like debt-shuffling misses the mark for me.

    Among my friends that use Billmonk, we don’t settle up. We let the debt float, as generally speaking it should just be a random walk… i owe you today, but next week, you might wind up owing me, etc.

    In that sense, there are two things I’d like to see from Billmonk. 1) a lightweight mobile interface that allows you to see who you owe and who owes you… 2) Debt reduction rather than shuffling

    What I mean by debt reduction is that debt should never change hands, but rather the system should try to reduce the cyclic debt that sits in the system. This is infinitely more useful as it would be a true representation of debt in the system rather than an inflated debt due to redundancies.

    Debt shuffling serves a purpose when you are writing checks, but we “write checks” by creating more bills.

    • kyle Says:

      Wondering what site everyone is using now that BillMonk is gone

      • Catherine Rodgers Says:

        My friends and I have switched to paying each other back immediately via Amazon TextPayMe: https://payments.amazon.com/sdui/sdui/personal/textpayme

        It draws money from your credit card to pay friends via SMS, with no fees. You can withdraw money your friends pay you as either Amazon gift cards or a bank transfer directly to your checking account (takes 5-7 days).

        A shame about BillMonk, though.

  9. aristarh Says:

    А как с хозяином сайта связаться?

  10. Developer Says:

    wow, nice

  11. Billmonk Says:

    Как мы можем вам помочь?

  12. Billmonk Says:

    Thanks everyone for your great comments and meaningful suggestions!

    @Adam: We’ve had a few responses on debt shuffling, so we’re taking the feedback in right now and may have some updates to it in the future.

    @Kyle: We’re looking in the same direction, but that’s all the info I have for now.

  13. jess Says:

    Welcome back billmonk! I sure missed you, but I’ve gotten had a long drawn-out affair with buxfer in your absence, and we’re kind of a thing now.

    Nobody can debt shuffle like you though, baby. And you’re so much more personable and friendly.

  14. Sahil Says:

    I love billmonk to death but 1 really big feature is still missing… an API (so I can go ahead and make an iPhone app billmonk)

    or if the API isnt anywhere close, then please please please release an iPhone app by you guys!

    Hope you guys manage it!

  15. Catherine Rodgers Says:

    I agree with Sahil: please release the BillMonk API! It’s *almost* ready to be released, right?🙂

  16. Retimus Says:

    Guys, your service are awesome indeed, but steel need some improvement🙂

    I have wrote you twice via contact form, but no answer received, so I’ll try here:
    1. Can you please add new currency Latvian Lats [LVL]? For now we in Latvia using GBP instead…
    2. How can I help you with translation to Russian? Now only half of site is translated and link http://translate.billmonk.com/ doesn’t working anymore…
    3. After you have added feature “Public library”, library doesn’t working at all. How can I remove item from library? Why, when I’m choosing my item, system shows me some another item which is not mine at all?

    Of course I understand, what it is not polite to demand something from free service, but… To be honest, if you guys will add one time payment for using your service, and it will help you to support it, I’ll be one of the first, who will pay.

    Thanks in advance,
    Retimus

  17. Magnus A Says:

    Hi. I’m glad to see there is development on Billmonk. I’m having a serious problem with items, where I cannot return or delete them, and when I click on them I am taken to some other random item from some random user (that I don’t know). Is this bug controlled? I have tried contacting BM, but no reply.

  18. Angry Says:

    Did you just text everyone with a 5-SMS-long email? Are you insane? I’m working on getting all my debts evened out and canceling my billmonk account as soon as possible. You guys really went down hill when you sold out to Hobopay.

  19. WTF? Says:

    What the hell is up with the giant SMS spam? You guys suck!

  20. Gaurav Oberoi Says:

    Hi guys,

    Just an FYI, but I and Chuck no longer work at BillMonk, we left in December 2007.

    First of all, kudos to the new BillMonk development team on rolling out these new features. Great to see you guys carry on the BillMonk tradition of building out features that customers want.

    Now on the not so good side, I too received this 5 SMS long message and am also not pleased (each of those messages costs me mullah). I’m sure this was an unintentional error, and I hope you guys will be extremely careful not to repeat this in the future.

    In the meantime, I hope to continue to see some great new features added to the mix (iPhone interface would rock!).

  21. Catherine Rodgers Says:

    I just received 5 text messages from Obopay. Spamming all Billmonk users like that is quite inconsiderate, not to mention against Billmonk’s own privacy policy! In bold, it says “We will never spam you.” It says that messages are “never [initiated] by us” — which is clearly what you’ve just done.

    My account settings mark my email as primary. Why didn’t you email me this spam, in that case? Nothing in the SMS was something I needed to act on right away, while I was on the go with my phone. Did you forget that some people pay per text message?

    It’s pretty upsetting to see Billmonk ignore its privacy policy (which for the sake of some pointless marketing that cost me money. And as the above comments show, I’m not the only one who feels this way.

  22. Nick Says:

    I must say I love the idea of Billmonk, but the customer service is completely gone. I have never received any sort of response to my questions, and there are still major bugs in the system. (Groups can shuffle people that don’t even have shuffling on, there is no way to delete unused friends that were merged from an old account, etc.) Then this crazy text message that just went out. Happy New Year? Guys, it the end of January — you look terrible right now.

    I hope you figure your organization problems out so you can start supporting your product and stop trying to use it as leverage to join Obopay.

  23. Damon Says:

    I wish I could say I love bill monk but despite several emails to support over the past 6 months I can’t get your service to return me a text message confirming my mobile phone is set up for my account. There’s other people over at getsatisfaction.com that are talking about this too.

    While I appreciate the email I just got about the new features your implementing I’d really like the features you already have to start working first. You can accuse me of bluffing but to be honest, the only reason I haven’t signed up for obo pay is because if I can’t trust you to send me a text message, I’m not trusting you to access to my money.

  24. Adam Says:

    I have to agree with the previous comments that BillMonk has gone seriously downhill over the past year. Its been two years since you last mentioned the billmonk api for one thing, but generally speaking the website is virtually inaccessible from mobile devices to to the excessive use of ajax.

    An iPhone app would be excellent, but I’ve long since given up on the idea of this service churning out a version that is worth using.

    Now that I realize you guys are actually run by obopay I guess I can give up on the paypal integration hope as well. Fortunately for you, billmonk is still the best service of its kind, so I’m not leaving just yet, but spamming users kinda ticked me off enough to start this rant.

  25. spi Says:

    WTF is up with spamming users via SMS? I just deleted my phone # out of billmonk and I can only hope you don’t spam me again.

  26. Shared bills | Retimus blog Says:

    […] shared library не работает. Я бомбил разработчиков письмами, расписался в блоге, но ни ответа ни […]

  27. nycguy Says:

    Glad to know you guys are still working on BillMonk! I love it!

  28. WTF? Says:

    > Glad to know you guys are still working on BillMonk! I love it!

    OboPay shill.

  29. Billmonk Says:

    Dear Billmonkers,

    We understand how annoying it must’ve been to receive all those messages and we’re really sorry! Unfortunately, we goofed and will do everything possible to prevent this from happening again. We were experimenting with a new newsletter so we can better interact with you.

    As for the multiple messages, we realize now we may have missed cleaning up some accounts. Some of you originally signed up with multiple emails and each were set up to redirect to SMS or text.

    Again, we apologize for this mix-up and appreciate your understanding.

    We also truly appreciate your input and continued support of Billmonk.

  30. Jake Says:

    I never signed up for any of your emails. You don’t provide an opt-out link. You are clearly in violation of CAN-SPAM.

  31. Peter Robinett Says:

    I’ve been a long-time BillMonk user but like many here I’ve grown frustrated with the lack of updates. My friends at Scred (www.scred.com) have been rolling out cool features like MiniCorps and I’m switching more and more of my activity there. You guys might like it.

  32. Jorge Sanchez Says:

    I have a lot of issues with the “Public library” as well.

    I think it used to work but now it seems as id the ids are all messed up. I can add an item fine, but I can’t seem to delete it. When I click on it I see the details for a different item belonging to another person, and I can’t seem to checkout and check-in anything. Please help!

  33. Vijay Kulkarni Says:

    Hey!
    First of all, this is a great application! and I really appreciate that you guys are working on it to make it better. I hope your algorithms are right, since I totally trust this application.
    Can you have a seperate tab for the “History”. Right now I have to go to “Money” and then see through all the old bills if it has been removed from “Recent Events”. I didnt even know that this existed until now. Can you make this more visible?
    Thanks

  34. Vijay Kulkarni Says:

    And you can improve the search feature a bit more. I searched for a name and it didnt show any results.

  35. Siddhesh Dindorkar Says:

    Hi Billmonk Team,

    We regularly use your product and like it to no dirth! Its neat and does what it has to🙂

    I would like to suggest a feature for debt shuffle. While doing debt shuffle, can we include all the friends with whom I have to settle money in just one click? Instead of adding each one by one. (Like having a dynamic group of people who have debt shuffle ON and with whom I have to settle money).

    Thanks for this great service.

    Kind Regards

  36. PPC Classroom Bonus Says:

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  37. Raj Says:

    Hi,
    Any thoughts, about releasing, Iphone App or Iphone version of billmonk.
    It will be really great, if you can introduce one.

    Thanks !!

  38. NP Says:

    Yes, an iphone would be the best! If not the app, even if you release an api, there are plenty of eager people to build the app for you.
    Can you atleast give a timeline?

  39. thobbi Says:

    How about approving a bill by all the participants before they are charged?
    I could ‘delete’ a bill. Are there no previlege requirements?

  40. Nathan Crunkilton Says:

    Another Fantastic post, I will bookmark this in my Newsvine account. Have a great evening.

  41. Sasi Siddharth Says:

    Hey Billmonk Team,
    You guys are doing a great job.. hats off to all your efforts.. But here’s something that I’m looking to share with you. The bug reporting system seems to have very poor turnaround time. I’ve not got any response for the bugs I’ve reported so far.. Hope you guys can go on to making this a better application for us users..
    Keep rocking…

  42. Kinjal mistry Says:

    iPhone app must for Billmonk.

  43. Aashish Says:

    Billmonk is down and not working please get it up soon

  44. Praveen Says:

    @Billmonk team: Can you please provide any news about iphone APP. Many people have been requesting and no body from the team is responding to the iPhone APP based questions.

    Please update us about the iphone APP

  45. M Says:

    @praveen Billmonk is dead. They were down for weeks a couple of months ago with no communication to users.

    Sad to say that I have found no fully good alternative…

  46. Tuomas Toivonen Says:

    Hey,

    Just wanted to pitch in that our service, Scred, at http://www.scred.com/ provides a service with much of the same functionality of Billmonk … and is actively developed and maintained!😉

  47. Ravikiran Says:

    Iphone app please for Bill monk

  48. Chetan Says:

    How to block debt shuffling for a particular user or everyone?

  49. win Says:

    I have been using this site for a year now…and although things were good in the beginning..it is going downhill…the website takes ages to load.I have to literally wait fifteen mins sometimes for a page to load..I have to delete the cookie in the browser sometimes even to access the site..(tried all browsers- same problems)..and then there is a “you found a bug” page which pops up randomly….I have also left these issues on that page…but i don’t know even if anyone is reading it out there..it’s a shame..I have to search for alternatives…and I am not recommending using this site to anyone….but i don’t seem to find any with the same amount of functionality and ease of use…

  50. Aaron Says:

    Just two words for you guys and your website.. “YOU SUCK !!”

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