Frequently Asked Questions (F.A.Q.)

Why are there no cookie consent banners here?

Because we think that cookie banners are annoying and for our purposes, marketing cookies are unnecessary. We make an effort to include no external scripts and only use functional cookies to enhance your experience. The functional cookies we use are for example for saving your language preferences or for storing login information to make it easier for you to manage your shoutbox.

These don’t require a consent banner because they are not used for tracking or marketing purposes. We only use them when you have already given your consent by signing up for an account. See more about how we use your data only for the purpose of enhancing your Speechbox experience in our Privacy Policy.

Why is Speechbox for free, what’s the catch?

Honestly, there is no catch.

The project has started as a hobby in 2007 and continues to be a hobby. The server cost necessary to offer Speechbox are the only financial expenses required because we don’t pay us a fixed salary. With the introduction of the Premium Upgrade we made it possible to offset these server costs and whatever exceeds that is a nice bonus but doesn’t come close to paying for the working hours which were and are spent building and maintaining Speechbox. That’s what makes it a hobby.

We don’t ever sell your data or abuse your email address to send out marketing emails. That’s also clearly stated in our Privacy Policy, if you’d like to know more.

It might sound corny, but the actual truth is that it makes us happy to give you a tool that you can use. And if you decide to upgrade to Premium, that’ll make us even happier ❤️.

But, you don’t have to go Premium. It’s completely optional and you can use your shoutbox forever for free. You’re just missing out on some great features, such as the realtime chat functionality.

What is this Premium Upgrade?

I’m glad you asked! This is our way of paying for the server cost which is necessary to offer you advanced features, mainly the realtime chatting capabilities.

We have decided to make a few more features Premium-only, because frankly, for us that makes it an easier sell and helps us finance the cost. These features include the removal of all ads in the shoutbox, more customization features, and advanced spam protection.

Without all that, your shoutbox will still work fine and remain free forever. But if you are able to part with a tiny amount of your funds, you’re not just going to make us happy, you’re also getting some very good value.

Is there a free trial of the Premium Upgrade?

There is! Every new shoutbox receives a 10 day free trial including all the Premium features without the need to enter any credit card details or other payment information. You will be reminded via email before your free trial ends so you and your users aren’t surprised when the free Premium features end after 10 days. You can start your Premium Upgrade at any point during the trial or after it has ended.

I don’t want to hand out my payment details, how is the payment handled?

We use the proven payment provider stripe for all our payments. Stripe handles all sensitive data, as they do for a huge number of well-known companies all over the world, and we never receive any credit card details about you from them.

If Speechbox turns out to not be for me, can I cancel?

Absolutely. We’re not going to hold anyone against their will, that’s for sure. You are able to delete your own account from the dashboard interface easily. We’re not gonna lie, that’s a bit sad for us – but sometimes, it’s just not a good fit and we understand. Deleting your account will delete everything we have stored about you. Full disclosure, since we always keep a few recent backups, because we don’t ever want to lose any data that people trusted on us, it takes a short while until your account data will also have propagated out of those backups because it’s not recent anymore. Think 1-2 weeks.

Can I cancel the Premium Upgrade?

Of course. It’s a standard subscription which is paid up front for the amount of time you have selected. You can cancel that anytime but we cannot offer refunds for the already paid for periods.

Once you have decided to cancel your Premium Upgrade subscription, the features will stay active until the period ends. You can renew at any point, as well, if you decide to.

I really need a specific new feature!

That’s great, we’re always open to suggestions! Please let us know via the support form, we’ll get back to you. While we’re doing our best to implement new features as fast as possible, it’s not a guarantee that we will implement anything at some point. Time constraints play a role as well. And a feature request from someone who is a Premium Upgrade subscriber will be moved up in our list of priorities, understandably. We’re still very grateful for any ideas coming from anyone, though. So thank you for that.

Where is Speechbox from?

Speechbox is built in Hamburg, Germany. That’s a country within Europe and also within the E.U., which means that strict E.U. data regulations apply and we happily comply because we think that data security is highly important these days. The servers we’re using are located within the renowned Hetzner Online GmbH facilities in southern Germany and are incredibly well taken care of. We have been with Hetzner for decades and couldn’t be any happier with their services.

While we are from Germany and live here, we see ourselves as global citizens of the internet, serving many people from all around the globe. In a perfect world, there’d be no borders and nations, like John Lennon famously said.

Still an unanswered question? Tell us using the support form!