moderated Samuel's Paid User Proposal #suggestion


Samuel Murrayy
 

On Sat, Jan 9, 2021 at 04:16 PM, J_Catlady wrote:
Here's another problem if members rather than owners are the ones who pay: what happens to the member's payment if and when a member is removed and/or banned from a group? What happens if that was their only group... ? What if they have only been in the group for a very small part of the year vs. the whole year?
This is a good point -- one of those points that are not really problematic to solve but which needs to be considered.  I would personally try to find a solution that is likely to lead to the fewest support requests (because support requests eat into profits).

So, off the cuff, my solution to this problem would be for Groups.io to have a very generous no-questions money-back policy for user memberships (note: user memberships, not group owner payments), since it's only $2.50, and it's not a huge loss to pay back that amount, and it's too little money to spend support time on.  I recall having read various views and experiences about internet-based no-questions refunding, and the impression that I got was that it is not abused nearly as often as one might have expected.  With this solution, a user would automatically get a refund if he requests it, regardless of his reasons.

Refunds for group owners are a different matter, but since the amounts are higher, it's also less problematic to spend support time on such requests.


 

On Sat, Jan 9, 2021 at 08:15 AM, Samuel Murrayy wrote:
a very generous no-questions money-back policy
Great. So I can juwt tell anyone I don't think should be forced to pay, "Don't worry, you can just request a refund"?
I'm serious.
 
--
J

Messages are the sole opinion of the author, especially the fishy ones.
My humanity is bound up in yours, for we can only be human together. - Desmond Tutu


Sandi D <sandi.asgtechie@...>
 

On Sat, Jan 9, 2021 at 10:21 AM, J_Catlady wrote:
I think it would be clearly unethical for a member to pay for a year's worth of a group, get kicked out, and not get their money back.
What happens to groups who have paid and get closed down for not following the rules?

If a member of a group has paid $3-5 a year for an individual GIO account, they can join a different group. Maybe they have learned their lesson after the banned behavior. I have paid many a $69 a year no refund fee for a service I was not satisfied with. I don't think a non refundable $5 a year for an individual account is going to break anyone. They aren't banned from GIO. They have all their GIO benefits including joining another group. 

The optional model of allowing individuals to become paid supporters of GIO is in addition to the optional model of allowing group owner to become paid supporters of GIO. 

If the groups I helped create are forced to pay at any point they will leave GIO. If the members in those groups are given the option to pay at any point, many will continue on as members and the created groups they are in will remain as groups and attract more paying and non paying members. 

Someone has to pay. Allowing both group owners and GIO account holders the option to pay seems like it should be reasonably to considered. 
 
--
Sandi Dickenson


Samuel Murrayy
 

On Sat, Jan 9, 2021 at 05:34 PM, J_Catlady wrote:
On Sat, Jan 9, 2021 at 08:15 AM, Samuel Murrayy wrote:
a very generous no-questions money-back policy
Great. So I can just tell anyone I don't think should be forced to pay, "Don't worry, you can just request a refund"?
I'm serious.
When word gets out that the refund policy may be more generous than the web site officially lets believe, no doubt some group owners might go ahead and tell their members that they should claim refunds willy-nilly.  But remember: if a member gets a refund, then their account reverts to free-member status. So, if your group has insufficient free-member slots available, they won't be able to rejoin your group (and they will also be removed from all their other groups where there are no free-member slots available or where the group owners decide not to award a free-member slot to them).

But you make a good point: I believe there are certain types of groups where people typically join only for a month or two (or for 6 or 9 months), before leaving again, so this possibility needs to be taken into account.

Samuel


Duane
 

On Sat, Jan 9, 2021 at 10:34 AM, J_Catlady wrote:
So I can juwt tell anyone I don't think should be forced to pay
No one would be forced to pay as I read it.  There would be 'free slots' for each pricing tier that could be used or the group owner could upgrade to a higher tier with more free slots, as well as having the option of paying the incremental fee for additional members.   Unless/until the 'site membership' (assuming that's the plan) is implemented, there's no way to know how many people would get one.  Even though I have several grandfathered groups, including a Premium group, I'd still be willing to pay up to $10 per year to GIO for a membership.  I'm guessing/hoping that there would be quite a few people that feel the same, but we can't know unless it happens.

Based on Mark's comments and some research on my part, large groups are the exception rather than the rule.  Yes, it would be of some concern for those groups that attract a large number of members, but a site membership option might minimize the need to upgrade a group while still bringing in $$$ for GIO.

While I do appreciate the grandfathering that is in place, at some point I expect it to end.  Maybe not while Mark is in charge (hopefully for a long time ;>), but someday.

Duane


 

Making members pay is a dealbreaker for me. I know some feel the opposite. My feeling is that I am hosting. I’m not running a paid business here.

And the refund issue is orders of magnitude more complicated when members pay. There are synchronization issue between confirmation, pending questionnaires for restricted groups, multiple vs single groups, etc.

For me its a dealbreaker. It radically changed the entire model and what we’re all doing here. But that’s just me.


On Jan 9, 2021, at 9:07 AM, Sandi D <sandi.asgtechie@...> wrote:

On Sat, Jan 9, 2021 at 10:21 AM, J_Catlady wrote:
I think it would be clearly unethical for a member to pay for a year's worth of a group, get kicked out, and not get their money back.
What happens to groups who have paid and get closed down for not following the rules?

If a member of a group has paid $3-5 a year for an individual GIO account, they can join a different group. Maybe they have learned their lesson after the banned behavior. I have paid many a $69 a year no refund fee for a service I was not satisfied with. I don't think a non refundable $5 a year for an individual account is going to break anyone. They aren't banned from GIO. They have all their GIO benefits including joining another group. 

The optional model of allowing individuals to become paid supporters of GIO is in addition to the optional model of allowing group owner to become paid supporters of GIO. 

If the groups I helped create are forced to pay at any point they will leave GIO. If the members in those groups are given the option to pay at any point, many will continue on as members and the created groups they are in will remain as groups and attract more paying and non paying members. 

Someone has to pay. Allowing both group owners and GIO account holders the option to pay seems like it should be reasonably to considered. 
 
--
Sandi Dickenson

--
J

Messages are the sole opinion of the author, especially the fishy ones.
My humanity is bound up in yours, for we can only be human together. - Desmond Tutu


 

Even worse.


On Jan 9, 2021, at 9:08 AM, Samuel Murrayy <samuelmurray@...> wrote:

On Sat, Jan 9, 2021 at 05:34 PM, J_Catlady wrote:
On Sat, Jan 9, 2021 at 08:15 AM, Samuel Murrayy wrote:
a very generous no-questions money-back policy
Great. So I can just tell anyone I don't think should be forced to pay, "Don't worry, you can just request a refund"?
I'm serious.
When word gets out that the refund policy may be more generous than the web site officially lets believe, no doubt some group owners might go ahead and tell their members that they should claim refunds willy-nilly.  But remember: if a member gets a refund, then their account reverts to free-member status. So, if your group has insufficient free-member slots available, they won't be able to rejoin your group (and they will also be removed from all their other groups where there are no free-member slots available or where the group owners decide not to award a free-member slot to them).

But you make a good point: I believe there are certain types of groups where people typically join only for a month or two (or for 6 or 9 months), before leaving again, so this possibility needs to be taken into account.

Samuel

--
J

Messages are the sole opinion of the author, especially the fishy ones.
My humanity is bound up in yours, for we can only be human together. - Desmond Tutu


 

Duane,
Thanks for the (attempted) clarification. I’ll have reread this. It seems like a member-pay model affects every member, and therefore, affects all groups, even if indirectly.


On Jan 9, 2021, at 9:10 AM, Duane <txpigeon@...> wrote:

On Sat, Jan 9, 2021 at 10:34 AM, J_Catlady wrote:
So I can juwt tell anyone I don't think should be forced to pay
No one would be forced to pay as I read it.  There would be 'free slots' for each pricing tier that could be used or the group owner could upgrade to a higher tier with more free slots, as well as having the option of paying the incremental fee for additional members.   Unless/until the 'site membership' (assuming that's the plan) is implemented, there's no way to know how many people would get one.  Even though I have several grandfathered groups, including a Premium group, I'd still be willing to pay up to $10 per year to GIO for a membership.  I'm guessing/hoping that there would be quite a few people that feel the same, but we can't know unless it happens.

Based on Mark's comments and some research on my part, large groups are the exception rather than the rule.  Yes, it would be of some concern for those groups that attract a large number of members, but a site membership option might minimize the need to upgrade a group while still bringing in $$$ for GIO.

While I do appreciate the grandfathering that is in place, at some point I expect it to end.  Maybe not while Mark is in charge (hopefully for a long time ;>), but someday.

Duane

--
J

Messages are the sole opinion of the author, especially the fishy ones.
My humanity is bound up in yours, for we can only be human together. - Desmond Tutu


Sandi D <sandi.asgtechie@...>
 

It would seem to me this is very simple. 

If a group owner wanted a premium group and wanted to pay the cost of additional members over the tier's limits that group owner could do so and no members would be paying. Ditto for basic groups. They could updgrade to Premium and no members would have to pay. 

If on the other hand a group owner chose not to pay for additional members over the allowed limit, then they could continue to attract members who have opted to have paid individual GIO accounts.

A group owner would not have to leave GIO because they could not afford to pay for the group and did not want to collect money and manage a mechanism to pay GIO for their group. 

I also think a 30 day free individual membership should be considered. If the person did get banned or finds they don't like the groups they joined, no money is lost. After 30 days, if they choose to pay $5, they have had plenty of time to know what they are "signing up for" and had plenty of value for the past 30 days that were free. I can't think of any other service less than $3-5 a month. $3-5 a year is an extraordinary value and would bring in significant untapped revenue. 

I also would like to see a donation button for those wanting to give more than $5 a year so we don't have to create a group just to donate. 

--
Sandi Dickenson


Glenn Glazer
 

On 01/09/2021 09:08, Samuel Murrayy wrote:
But you make a good point: I believe there are certain types of groups where people typically join only for a month or two (or for 6 or 9 months), before leaving again, so this possibility needs to be taken into account.

Samuel

When we were in Canada once for a conference, word got out that a local cell phone shop was offering free phones and a large number of minutes for free with a no-questions money back guarantee. Since all of us were only going to be there for a week, you can imagine what happened.

Best,

Glenn

--
PG&E Delenda Est


 

The various proposed models are now do varied that I have no idea any more which one we’re discussing at this point. Yes, yes, I know, Samuels idea, but which variation of it as mentioned in this thread? So I will not comment further. I’ll just have to wai and see what comes out of this in the end.


On Jan 9, 2021, at 9:27 AM, Sandi D <sandi.asgtechie@...> wrote:

It would seem to me this is very simple. 

If a group owner wanted a premium group and wanted to pay the cost of additional members over the tier's limits that group owner could do so and no members would be paying. Ditto for basic groups. They could updgrade to Premium and no members would have to pay. 

If on the other hand a group owner chose not to pay for additional members over the allowed limit, then they could continue to attract members who have opted to have paid individual GIO accounts.

A group owner would not have to leave GIO because they could not afford to pay for the group and did not want to collect money and manage a mechanism to pay GIO for their group. 

I also think a 30 day free individual membership should be considered. If the person did get banned or finds they don't like the groups they joined, no money is lost. After 30 days, if they choose to pay $5, they have had plenty of time to know what they are "signing up for" and had plenty of value for the past 30 days that were free. I can't think of any other service less than $3-5 a month. $3-5 a year is an extraordinary value and would bring in significant untapped revenue. 

I also would like to see a donation button for those wanting to give more than $5 a year so we don't have to create a group just to donate. 

--
Sandi Dickenson

--
J

Messages are the sole opinion of the author, especially the fishy ones.
My humanity is bound up in yours, for we can only be human together. - Desmond Tutu


Glenn Glazer
 

On 01/09/2021 04:27, David M wrote:
In reading this proposal and the comments, one thing that seems not to be addressed is the situation where groups.io is used as a mailing list handler only. The members of the group do not actually ever login to the system. They are just subscribed and send/receive e-mail.

More to the point, these people are not groupies. They just want e-mails and the idea of making them have an account and login to pay is not going to work. Simplicity for the members is the goal.

I have no idea what would work best, but wanted the perspective of e-mail-only users considered.

David

Absolutely. All of my groups are like this. None of them would see any value in membership except the occasional file retrieval.

Best,

Glenn

--
PG&E Delenda Est


Dave Sergeant
 

Mark obviously has the actual figures, but of the 21 groups I am
subscribed to only 2 are below 100 members, 11 below the 500 Premium
level and the biggest has 5000 members. Virtually all volunteer groups
whose owners could not afford the cost of Premium and most members
would just leave if they had to pay. Incidentally one of my groups now
does most of its communication via Wattsapp (but not me, I don't have a
smartphone).

Dave

On 9 Jan 2021 at 9:09, Duane wrote:

Based on Mark's comments and some research on my part, large groups are
the exception rather than the rule.

http://davesergeant.com


ro-esp
 

On Fri, Jan 8, 2021 at 06:26 PM, Scott Chase wrote:
No one will join any group if Groups.io develops a reputation of
forcing a fee for membership!
[snip]
If something must be done for Groups.io to survive, I'd prefer...

* A uniform price for ALL members of Groups.io
sounds like a contradiction

If payment is necessary, it needs to be per group and/or per group-administrator, so you don't chase people to googlegroups, groupworks, cubits.org or riseup.net, and you don't have to keep track of a million payments per year

As it is now, only owners are able to give Mark money. I still think a
Wikipedia-style ' *Groups.io depends on donations* ' button needs to be added
Definitely! Linked to a normal bankaccount for those who don't have a creditcard

[sorry if what I say was already said/adressed]
groetjes/ĝis, Ronaldo


Scott Chase
 

ro-esp,
You over-snipped two different concerns that I had. I would prefer not ANY members be forced a charge, but rather enable members an easy way to contribute/donate directly. But, if Groups.io does ultimately FORCE a member charge, I don't want some members charged and others not charged.
 
Here's what I said...
 
RE: Once the free member slots are filled up, someone wishing to be a new member of the group would have to pay a yearly fee to Groups.io.
 
  1. Having any mix of free slots versus paid slots will create a Group culture of have/havenot members, and a perception of some being freeloaders while others are forced to pay to remain a member of a group. Free members will sit on the free slots and not release them, preventing the most valuable members to the Group from being free. Resentment, etc.

  2. We create these groups to bring people together to discuss and support each other. The threat of forcing payment to simply join, or shortly thereafter, will kill the vast majority of the not-for-profit and hobby groups on Groups.io. No one will join any group if Groups.io develops a reputation of forcing a fee for membership! Even Free Grandfathered Groups will be dodged by the masses, because people will think they have to pay to use Groups.io in general. "Groups.io isn't free!" Impressions are everything!
If something must be done for Groups.io to survive, I'd prefer...

  1. A uniform price for ALL members of Groups.io;

  2. And the first YEAR is free, so members become very well established in a Group, and for them to develop a sense of value and belonging, before a time-is-up, pay-up or be forced-out scenario occurs.
As it is now, only owners are able to give Mark money. I still think a Wikipedia-style 'Groups.io depends on donations' button needs to be added to help support the funding of individual groups and Groups.io as a whole. If donations alone don't generate enough income, Mark could figure out an accounting method to credit group owners for member donations, where the owner then would only be charge the remaining balance for a Group at the end of the billing cycle.

Scott


Jeremy H
 

Some of the recent posts seem to be trying to avoid the fundamentals: Groups.io has to be paid (or it will go the way of Yahoo groups); that payment has to be, in some combination, by groups owners and members; payment of individual group memberships (55cents a time on Mark's proposal) cannot be economically made; and that, as Mark has decided (thanks!) that existing groups have their current charges 'grandfathered' without increase, new groups will have to pay more than might be regarded as their fair share (and I would also suggest that existing, long standing, groups cause more than their fair share of costs).

I struggle to think that there is a better (read: less bad) way forward than - essentially - Samuel's proposal:
  • a group owner can create and have a free group with minimal features, and a limited number of members
  • group owners can pay for more features; and more members. Based on what they want and can afford.
  • members can have free membership of groups, as provided (free or paid for by owners) above. If they want more, they have to pay for a (groups.io) membership, providing for more group memberships.
The rest is details... No one wants to pay; someone has to; anybody got a better idea?

(The eagle eyed might spot what I have (implicitly) added to Samuel's idea: the concept of larger basic groups, where owners pay for more members, but not more features. But this is an extra option,which would reduce simplicity, and might not be worth it)

Jeremy


billsf9c
 

While I do appreciate the grandfathering that is in place, at some point I expect it to end. 

Grandfathering, once in place, cannot end without the Grandad itself - IO proper, ending - dying - being scuttled in-totality... Furture Grandfathering can be removed for the future potential recipients - but never going backwards. Otherwise, it was never Grandfathering in the first place.

That said, some sort of honorarium can be calculated for those that wish to pay or partially pay or ignore.

At some point, Mark could entreaty "us" to pay that and be gifted some small perk.

BillSF9c


txercoupemuseum.org
 

Hi Dwayne,

You said (in part):  "While I do appreciate the grandfathering that is in place, at some point I expect it to end.  Maybe not while Mark is in charge (hopefully for a long time ;>), but someday.”

Back many years ago when I lived in California there was an older “tax reformer” by the name of Howard Jarvis that managed to get passed (by the referendum process) an absolute limit on property tax increases for homeowners.  It was called “Proposition 13”.  After all the hue and cry from the bureaucrats, it took effect.  The world didn’t end.

They made it a “one-time thing”, so if you didn’t have a home when it [assed, you didn’t get the benefit.  When you moved, you couldn’t take it with you.  So, over time, it made less and less difference to government finances. 

In the same sense, over time, grandfathered groups will make up less and less of the demographics of Groups.io to the point their existence won’t make that much difference.  There is no reason Mark can’s put “growth limits” on grandfathered groups, since there IS an operational in redistributing lots of emails to subscribers.  He might even require, at some point, that “free groups” mandate digest delivery (less operational burden).

In short, there is no intrinsic reason that grandfathering has to end.  Like all things it can be managed, in terms of cost.

Best!

WRB

— 

On Jan 9, 2021, at 11:09 AM, Duane <txpigeon@...> wrote:

On Sat, Jan 9, 2021 at 10:34 AM, J_Catlady wrote:
So I can juwt tell anyone I don't think should be forced to pay
No one would be forced to pay as I read it.  There would be 'free slots' for each pricing tier that could be used or the group owner could upgrade to a higher tier with more free slots, as well as having the option of paying the incremental fee for additional members.   Unless/until the 'site membership' (assuming that's the plan) is implemented, there's no way to know how many people would get one.  Even though I have several grandfathered groups, including a Premium group, I'd still be willing to pay up to $10 per year to GIO for a membership.  I'm guessing/hoping that there would be quite a few people that feel the same, but we can't know unless it happens.

Based on Mark's comments and some research on my part, large groups are the exception rather than the rule.  Yes, it would be of some concern for those groups that attract a large number of members, but a site membership option might minimize the need to upgrade a group while still bringing in $$$ for GIO.

While I do appreciate the grandfathering that is in place, at some point I expect it to end.  Maybe not while Mark is in charge (hopefully for a long time ;>), but someday.

Duane


Duane
 

On Sat, Jan 9, 2021 at 03:02 PM, billsf9c wrote:
Grandfathering, once in place, cannot end without the Grandad itself - IO proper, ending
I was thinking more along the lines of a company acquiring GIO.  There are many cases of major changes when a new company is in charge of a business.  Just look at Yahoo, from the time Mark sold groups to them to where they ended up.

Duane


 

My interpretation is that the grandfathering would immediately cease to be in effect because the new proposal affects all group members. Even if a group itself is grandfathered in, members may have to start paying to join other groups. Nobody who created a groups.io account thought that was going to happen.


On Jan 9, 2021, at 2:30 PM, Duane <txpigeon@...> wrote:

On Sat, Jan 9, 2021 at 03:02 PM, billsf9c wrote:
Grandfathering, once in place, cannot end without the Grandad itself - IO proper, ending
I was thinking more along the lines of a company acquiring GIO.  There are many cases of major changes when a new company is in charge of a business.  Just look at Yahoo, from the time Mark sold groups to them to where they ended up.

Duane

--
J

Messages are the sole opinion of the author, especially the fishy ones.
My humanity is bound up in yours, for we can only be human together. - Desmond Tutu