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Update to the TSR subscriber payment system

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    There will be a change to the way people can pay for a subscription on TSR taking effect from wednesday or thursday this week.

    Currently you can exchange the following payment or riches for a subscription:

    £3.50 or 350 riches for 1 month
    £10 or 1,000 riches for 3 months
    £19 or 1,900 riches for 6 month
    £35 or 3,500 riches for 1 year
    £60 or 6,000 riches for 2 years

    We're updating this system so it's simpler and cheaper for people to remain a subscriber month on month, here comes the science...

    The new system


    • Members will be given the choice of either direct payment or payment through riches for either One Month or One Year sub's - There will be no option for 3 months, 6 months, 2 years.

    • Members will pay £3.99 (399 riches) for a monthly subscription.

    • Members that remain a subscriber for consecutive months thereafter will pay a reduced £2.99 (299 riches).

    • Should a subscriber cancel their subscription and later decide to re-subscribe, the process begins again at the £3.99/399 riches rate.

    • Those that pay with riches will continue to subscribe through existing riches until their balance drops below the required amount.

    • The minimum amount of riches that will be able to be bought will be 500. Lots of people buying tiny amounts of riches, means that after process fees, we often end up with next to nothing.

    • Members are able to buy a yearly subscription at £32.99 (3299 riches) which will be a one off payment and won't roll on.

    • Cancelling a riches subscription will be done through the TSR subscribe page, where you can select the 'Cancel Subscription' button to stop any more riches being taken.

    • Cancelling a direct payment subscription requires members to log in to their Paypal account and select the Cancel Subscription option from within there (we’ll make it easy with instructions and a link from TSR).

    • Sub pauses will no longer be possible by request. If the person wishes to be banned (temp or perm) by request, then it is their responsibility to either cancel the subscription or let it run, allowing them to continue on the lower rate should they return. Of course it makes sense to remind people but ultimately it's their responsibility.


    Any questions let us know
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    Ouch.. I have no more coursework to upload either.
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    Members will be given the choice of either direct payment or payment through riches for either One Month or One Year sub's - There will be no option for 3 months, 6 months, 2 years.
    Why?

    Okay, say you had bought a one off years subscription, and you decided to go away for 6 weeks, would there be an option on the forum itself for us to stop and restart it again?
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    (Original post by -WhySoSerious?)
    Why?

    Okay, say you had bought a one off years subscription, and you decided to go away for 6 weeks, would there be an option on the forum itself for us to stop and restart it again?
    for simplicity we only have two periods, in the scenario you describe the best option would be to just get the month on month rolling subscription option and then cancel when you leave the site for 6 weeks.
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    (Original post by -WhySoSerious?)
    Why?

    Okay, say you had bought a one off years subscription, and you decided to go away for 6 weeks, would there be an option on the forum itself for us to stop and restart it again?
    (Original post by J)
    Sub pauses will no longer be possible by request. If the person wishes to be banned (temp or perm) by request, then it is their responsibility to either cancel the subscription or let it run, allowing them to continue on the lower rate should they return. Of course it makes sense to remind people but ultimately it's their responsibility.
    I'd take that as a no
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    (Original post by J)
    for simplicity we only have two periods, in the scenario you describe the best option would be to just get the month on month rolling subscription option and then cancel when you leave the site for 6 weeks.
    edit: I read wrongly, yes, that seems like an alright idea.
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    Oh man, you can't freeze subs from hereon?
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    (Original post by J)
    simpler
    What could be simpler than "£3.50 = one month"?

    (Original post by J)
    [*]Members will pay £3.99 (399 riches) for a monthly subscription.

    [*]Members that remain a subscriber for consecutive months thereafter will pay a reduced £2.99 (299 riches).

    [*]Should a subscriber cancel their subscription and later decide to re-subscribe, the process begins again at the £3.99/399 riches rate.
    So nowadays we have to get subs direct-debit-style? What happens if we want just one month's subscription and specifically don't want it to renew? Can we not have the option to do that at the old rate?

    And will payment in other currencies still be available, for those of us who work in other currencies?

    (Original post by J)
    [*]The minimum amount of riches that will be able to be bought will be 500. Lots of people buying tiny amounts of riches, means that after process fees, we often end up with next to nothing.
    Wait, why not 299? So that we don't end up buying loads of riches we don't use? 500 riches is a stupid number if all of your prices are in multiples of 299 and 399.

    (Original post by J)
    [*]Sub pauses will no longer be possible by request.
    Sigh. Why? And can we still transfer the remainder of our sub to someone else if we choose to?
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    (Original post by J)
    for simplicity we only have two periods, in the scenario you describe the best option would be to just get the month on month rolling subscription option and then cancel when you leave the site for 6 weeks.
    Please don't insult us with the assumption that we can't do basic arithmetic. A year's subscription is £33; if we do it your way (cancel our sub for six weeks then restart it), we either pay £32 (and our sub ends a couple of weeks early) or pay £35 (and our sub ends a week and a bit late). Anyone vaguely numerate can do the necessary interpolation and see that we actually end up paying more under your scheme for a year's sub.

    The saying goes "never attribute to malice what can be adequately explained by stupidity", but you're not stupid; this system is very cleverly thought out and I have no doubt in my mind that you know the statistics that brought it about better than any of us. I'm deliberately looking past your very flagrant attempt to get more money out of subscriptions here. So please, at least do us the courtesy of not blatantly and publicly lying to us to swindle us out of a few extra pence.
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    Sub pauses will no longer be possible by request. If the person wishes to be banned (temp or perm) by request, then it is their responsibility to either cancel the subscription or let it run, allowing them to continue on the lower rate should they return. Of course it makes sense to remind people but ultimately it's their responsibility.
    This is incredibly frustrating.
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    :sad:
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    I don't like this, it wasn't broken in the first place! Billy says this much better than I do, but you're trying to get more money out of us and that's discouraging me from subbing. Also, we pay the money, couldn't you be a bit more democratic and let us have a say in the matter? After all, we help pay for the website.
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    What will happen to the PS Helpers' riches?
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    (Original post by generalebriety)
    What could be simpler than "£3.50 = one month"?
    I said "simpler and cheaper for people to remain a subscriber month on month"

    and I meant that it will be simpler to remain a sub month on month than currently.

    (Original post by generalebriety)
    So nowadays we have to get subs direct-debit-style? What happens if we want just one month's subscription and specifically don't want it to renew? Can we not have the option to do that at the old rate?
    you can have only that one month sub, but it will cost 49p more

    (Original post by generalebriety)
    And will payment in other currencies still be available, for those of us who work in other currencies?
    99.9% of transactions take place in sterling and so it doesn't make sense updating the system so that currency rates fluctuate against each other as currecny values rise and fall. At the moment the currency options are fixed and so an American user for example, if they did buy riches today with the live system, would be disadvantaged as it would costs them the equivalent of £3.94 in dollars for a month.


    (Original post by generalebriety)
    Wait, why not 299? So that we don't end up buying loads of riches we don't use? 500 riches is a stupid number if all of your prices are in multiples of 299 and 399.
    500 riches is the minimum amount so you could get 598 if you wanted to. The reason for having a minimum amount is that we've been processing so many individual payments for £3.50 in paypal that after paypal fees we don't actually end up making much. TSR pays for itself by advertising, subs don't see advertising so we do need to make something from a subscription. We also noticed that a significant proportion of subscribers do roll on their subs one month to the next but each time we again incur the transaction fees on that small payment.

    (Original post by generalebriety)
    And can we still transfer the remainder of our sub to someone else if we choose to?
    You can still transfer riches as with now. If you sub with riches or payment today and then cancel tomorrow in both instances your sub will run for the minimum period of a month and can't be passed to someone else in that time.

    We have also been reviewing the subs package for quite some time now, Fleur and Nefarious did a chunk of work on it last summer. theres still a lot of work to be done and more involvement from subs into whats wanted but when 3.8 goes live later this year there will be a range of new sub benefits.
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    I pretty much agree with what generalebriety has said here. This new system seems like an excuse to charge people for them wanting their sub to be flexible. By saying that you won't allow sub suspensions, it means that people can only end their sub at the end of each calendar month, which is frankly a pain. Sometimes people aren't aware that far in advance that they won't be able to take advantage of their sub for the whole month, and since the mods seem perfectly able to maintain what is currently quite a flexible system, I don't see why it should be stopped.

    I also object to the minimum payment of 500 riches - this will be very offputting for new people who want to sub, and will inevitably be left with 101 riches they can't use. If they do want to use them then you then have to put another 500 on your account, and then only after being a sub for another 2 months do you finally get rid of money on your account that you can't otherwise use.

    MB
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    (Original post by J)
    you can have only that one month sub, but it will cost 49p more
    Only on the condition that you pay for two or more months at a time though. If you just want to buy one month ever it will cost you £1.50 more.

    MB
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    (Original post by J)
    You can still transfer riches as with now. If you sub with riches or payment today and then cancel tomorrow in both instances your sub will run for the minimum period of a month and can't be passed to someone else in that time.
    So sub transfers are now being stopped? And if we want to give another member a sub we need to pay £3.99 a month (rather than the current system where a month could cost as low as £2.50 with a 2 year subscription)?

    If you cannot freeze subscriptions, you then run into the following problems:
    If you want to purchase a subscription for another member, you have to check with them beforehand to ensure that they are available for the following month. (I was subbed by another member, and only 11 days later I froze it because I was away for 3 weeks - the majority of the subscription would have been wasted if I wasn't able to freeze the sub.)

    The 12 month subscription clearly isn't worth the £3 you save. You take a risk by purchasing it and you would only profit from it if you are on TSR for 48 weeks or more each year.
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    Why are decisions frequently being made which benefit Acumen far more than they could conceivably benefit subscribers? You seem to have a talent for biting the hand that feeds you.

    You still haven't given an explanation for your decision to stop allowing us to have our subscriptions frozen or to transfer them to someone else. The most frequently given reason for unpopular decisions like this (cf. username changes, rep editing) is that it takes too large a bite from the supermods' modding time, and I'm going to assume that this is the reason you're going to fob us off with this time as well. It was just about believable when we had two supermods. At the last count, we now have nine. I cannot believe that it puts a considerable extra strain on these nine when the two we had before the recent cabinet reshuffle were coping, as far as anyone could see, completely fine.

    And re. your decision to force people to buy at least 500 riches at a time: your excuse for this, as I have calculated it - and please correct me if it doesn't work like this - doesn't hold much water either. Yes, PayPal fees are annoying, but the largest fee you'd have deducted from £3.50 (incidentally, why haven't you decided that the minimum subscription is something like 6 weeks and costs £5.00? The same excuse could be used here) would be 32p (at their most expensive seller rate of 3.4% + 20p), leaving you with £3.18. It's a deduction, yes, but it certainly isn't the 'next to nothing' that you profess. If you made the minimum 350 (or 299 or 399) I could understand - you could feasibly be in the situation where someone is buying 20 riches to top up their existing 330 and you are given zero after fees.

    I would also have suggested that, rather than pissing off your entire subscriber base with what is an incredibly awkward and ultimately more expensive scheme for us and an incredibly lucrative scheme for you, you look for other methods of payment. If you don't like what PayPal is doing, the sensible idea would be to not use PayPal, rather than forcing us to put up with having to buy longer subs that we don't want or face being ripped off, just so you can be just-about-content with the resultant revenue PayPal's system provides.
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    Maybe it would be useful for us to see some projections on comparative profits of this scheme. Or otherwise, J could just provide the number of subs in a year, the number that roll on, and the number that purchase for longer periods, the paypal costs of £3.50 and £5.00 and upwards transactions, and the number of people who only sub for one month in the year, and I'll stick it all through a spreadsheet when I get home and we can look at the difference.

    MB

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Updated: March 4, 2010
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