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CAUTION: subscriptions to this web site

Discussion in 'Questions, Problems, & Feedback' started by ZombieAssassin, May 26, 2009.

  1. ZombieAssassin

    ZombieAssassin Oregon Member

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    I had donated about a year ago to be a Gold Level Supporting Member via PayPal. Last night I got an email stating the following:

    Dear ZombieAssassin,

    Your access to the paid subscription "Gold Level Member Donation" is about to expire.

    If you have selected a recurring subscription you will be automatically billed for the renewal, else to renew this subscription you must visit http://www.northwestfirearms.com/forum/payments.php

    If you do not extend your subscription, access will be removed.

    All the best,
    NorthwestFirearms.com


    Several things stand out:
    1. I don't recall signing up for a subscription that AUTOMATICALLY withdraws from PayPal. I had no idea PayPal had this ability and wouldn't have selected this if it was clear on this web site's subscription page. HOWEVER, I haven't looked at that page again and could be recalling things incorrectly.
    2. In the context of this web site, subscription would mean "pay $ for X months of supporting us". A magazine subscription would be "get X issues for $Y". It's not a valid use of the word to mean "and we'll AUTOMATICALLY TAKE YOUR MONEY TO RENEW THE SUBSCRIPTION" -- usually you get a bill reminding you to pay in order to renew your subscription, otherwise it expires.
    3. See dictionary http://dictionary.reference.com/search?q=subscription
    4. To say "access will be removed" if I don't renew means that I must have a membership to access the web site, which isn't true last time I checked. Change the wording here too.

    In closing, beware of PayPal subscriptions. Moderators, you should very carefully review the subscription page for this site and make it VERY CLEAR that a person is signing up for a membership with the option to have an AUTOMATIC WITHDRAWAL. You can't use the word subscription as it's misleading, and you're creating a new definition of the word -- you don't have that authority. Words have meaning and are the basis for communication.

    Despite my misgivings about this web site, I am ok with $30 for one year to support this web site for what I use it for. However, I have canceled my PayPal "subscription".
     
  2. Joe Link

    Joe Link Portland, OR Well-Known Member Staff Member Lifetime Supporter 2015 Volunteer 2016 Volunteer

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    First, I apologize for any confusion, it was definitely not our intention to mislead you or anyone else regarding our donation system. I agree with you that subscription is a poor word to use in conjunction with a donation system. Unfortunately, it's the vBulletin software that uses the word subscription, and we're unable to change that terminology. vBulletin also sends out that email message automatically, though I believe we are able to modify what it says (though we haven't, that's the default message).

    On the donation page it says this regarding automatic renewals:

    Most of our donors prefer to use the automatic renewal, some do not, so we give them the choice between the two. We haven't had a problem with it until now, so I figured the above was clear enough, but that may not be the case. If you feel this is our fault I'll do what's required to make this right with you, just let me know :thumbup:
     
  3. ZombieAssassin

    ZombieAssassin Oregon Member

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    I already gave several suggestions; please incorporate those that you can modify.

    I also suggest giving more notice to the expiration, since I got mine last night and it said "expires tonight, will automatically renew tomorrow". Not everyone is around their computer every day, and not all networks deliver email in a timely fashion. You should send the expiration notice at least 1 week in advance to give a person time to research and act.

    As for the subscription option, I must have selected it, but the wording is wrong so how I interpreted it (and correctly, according to what the word subscription means in the dictionary) doesn't match what it really meant. Change the wording and put it in a larger font with bold and in red so it stands out since it's info that has a higher importance level to the user.
     
  4. wichaka

    wichaka Wa State Well-Known Member

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    The way things go with forums, one could put everything in red and things would still get missed.

    Speaking from experience as being a mod on other forums, as well as chatting with people about them in general, most people just scroll down and click the agree box without reading much if any of the rules.

    So I disagree with putting anything in red, as it's up to the user to read the rules before submitting their agreement. In other words, take some responsibility for your own actions...and I say this in general terms for everyone, and no one specific.

    As for the language being a bit off, yes I agree if the language is causing problems that should be addressed and fixed.
     
  5. ZombieAssassin

    ZombieAssassin Oregon Member

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    I think things should be BOLD and bigger fonts and different colors to make their importance stand out. If everything is to be the same, written or verbal, then how does anything get differentiated? It's a simple fix, it helps the user in general, and it grabs your attention. That is why, as an example, headlines in any medium are larger font and usually bolded, contact info is in a different font, etc.

    As for taking responsibility, that's just mean spirited to suggest that someone ISN'T being responsible for missing something. There is such a thing as an honest mistake, an oversight, or forgetting some data. This thread, which I started due to it happening to me, is a case of just that -- admittance to oversight, admission to making a mistake, but certainly the web page and forms weren't entirely clear. No one can argue the fact that there is an overwhelming amount of data to read, interpret, remember, etc. as a sum total in life so it's not remotely fair to suggest that someone is irresponsible for not catching every little nuance. Joey said the intent wasn't to mislead, but I submit that some improvements can be made to use words correctly to communicate the appropriate meaning.

    If you disagree with my constructive criticism and suggestions, then do it in a fair manner as opposed to outright dismissal and being insulting (in general, of course). To do so in any other fashion shows your intent is to simply be destructive.
     
  6. Anoldbaldman

    Anoldbaldman Oregon Member

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    Paypal will take your money anytime. Our boys have online game accounts and the money comes out every month.
     
  7. wichaka

    wichaka Wa State Well-Known Member

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    Ok, an honest oversight was made by you, so Joey has fixed it. You also brought to his attention the need for a language change, he too is on that. Seems like all is well now.

    We look at these types of things case by case, and make the needed adjustments.

    I did not outright dismiss anything you stated. If there's a language problem, then it needs to be fixed and it will. As for missing things when you signed up, you agreed you may have done that, great you admitted it. And we are fixing that too for you.

    But it's each person responsibility to read the rules etc. before they click the agree box...it's really very simple.
     
  8. BUZO71

    BUZO71 Emerald Valley, Oregon New Member

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    Ya know, I don't like Zombie, but this time I have to thank him for bringing that to people's attention. ( I need to figure out how to check mine- as I would mind paying again).

    I think setting the default to not check the recurring payments is the smart way to go, then if someone doesn't change the box, it will simply not allow recurring payments...
     
  9. Joe Link

    Joe Link Portland, OR Well-Known Member Staff Member Lifetime Supporter 2015 Volunteer 2016 Volunteer

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    The default is set to a one-time payment, and if anyone would like me to check theirs I'd be more than happy, just PM me ;)
     
  10. terrylf72

    terrylf72 Portland, Oregon, United States Member

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    I have a question. Why is a gun forum web site the supports the shooting sport use a company "PAYPAL" that is owned by Ebay who is known to support gun control and the banning of all firearms for civilians?
     
  11. wichaka

    wichaka Wa State Well-Known Member

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    Because many people still use it anyway.
     
  12. Joe Link

    Joe Link Portland, OR Well-Known Member Staff Member Lifetime Supporter 2015 Volunteer 2016 Volunteer

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    Honestly, if we didn't, we wouldn't get even 1/5th of the donations we get otherwise, and we couldn't afford to run this website. I think this website existing does a whole lot better for the pro-gun cause and for gun owners owners than the (maybe) $60 Paypal has done to harm our gun rights.

    To my knowledge they don't support anti-gunners financially, so we're coming out way ahead.
     
  13. swoop

    swoop Milwaukie, Oregon Well-Known Member

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    I was happy with things just the way they were. :confused:
     
  14. Joe Link

    Joe Link Portland, OR Well-Known Member Staff Member Lifetime Supporter 2015 Volunteer 2016 Volunteer

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    Nothing has changed regarding the actual subscriptions, I'm just going to update the wording on the subscription page a bit ;)
     
  15. swoop

    swoop Milwaukie, Oregon Well-Known Member

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    I know...:)
     
  16. ZombieAssassin

    ZombieAssassin Oregon Member

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    To check your PayPal subscriptions:

    1) Login to PayPal. There is a menu bar at the top, and "My Account" should be selected, and the Overview option is the active choice.
    2) Mouse over "History" and click "Basic Search".
    3) In the "Show:" dropdown list, choose Subscriptions, and change the start year to 2007.
    4) Click the Search button.

    If you have a subscription to Skyline Technology Solutions, then you've found NWFA. Click on Details and you'll get a contact ph# for Joey Link, and the email address says sales@portlandparties.com.