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Topic: what is your opinion about the membership here?

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Subject: what is your opinion about the membership here?
Date Posted: 2/18/2016 6:22 AM ET
Member Since: 6/30/2008
Posts: 2,664
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Since we just passed a big renewal point on Feb 15, I wonder how the membership is holding up. I think there may have been some who did not renew. The last 2 books I requested were both from a la carte members. That may not mean anything but then it might be significant. hard to tell. One of the 2 books I requested from an a la carte went 4 days and then was passed on to another person who was also an a la carte. I thought that happened after 5 days but this time it was 4.

I have tried to talk about the club as often as I can, but I find it's sort of hard to explain how the club works. I always get bogged down in the details and the fees and credits and stuff. It sounds complicated by the time I get through trying to explain it.

Date Posted: 2/18/2016 9:05 AM ET
Member Since: 2/13/2007
Posts: 2,262
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I have noticed this week that the forums are much quieter, I think as a reflection that the number of members who have dropped to aka carte.

Your request that went to an ala carte member and went to another member after 4 days was most likely because the 1st member indicated that they couldn't mail the book. Unfortunately I think that is going to happen more and more. IMO making the forums exclusive to just the top two levels means that ala carte members don't feel as involved. The social aspect of the forums were a real draw, but not enough that people who weren't getting a huge quantity of books would want to pay for the right.

Date Posted: 2/18/2016 9:22 AM ET
Member Since: 6/20/2007
Posts: 4,979
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One of the 2 books I requested from an a la carte went 4 days and then was passed on to another person who was also an a la carte. I thought that happened after 5 days but this time it was 4.

It's possible that the member logged in and clicked "Cannot mail", in which case the request would've been passed on to the next in line. You wouldn't be notified, it just passes on, and the only way you'd know is by clicking to PM the sender and see if it's changed.

 

I think there may have been some who did not renew.

There are definitely some who did not renew.

Date Posted: 2/18/2016 9:50 AM ET
Member Since: 6/30/2008
Posts: 2,664
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I can always tell when a request is passed on to another member because my request date changes. In this case my original request was Feb 13. When the request went to the next person the request date changed to Feb 17. That member mailed the book the same day. Feb 17. smiley

Date Posted: 2/18/2016 10:48 PM ET
Member Since: 1/29/2009
Posts: 159
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The membership has definitely gotten quieter over the past year. I am dropping down to a la carte for a while because I haven't used up all my Limited swaps. I suspect that I received fewer FIFO wishlist books over the past year because Standard members post to their friends by default. Perhaps some Limited and ALC members are beginning to check the membership level of requestors and are choosing to swap among their own kind. It's unlikely, but you never know how people will respond to segregation.

Date Posted: 2/19/2016 2:18 AM ET
Member Since: 6/30/2008
Posts: 2,664
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as an a la carte I thought you were not supposed to be able to post.

Date Posted: 2/19/2016 4:51 AM ET
Member Since: 1/23/2014
Posts: 828
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Last Edited on: 5/10/16 9:11 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 2/19/2016 6:58 AM ET
Member Since: 6/30/2008
Posts: 2,664
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that makes this statement in the help pages kind of confusing.

Enrollment in Annual Membership is necessary to be able to Post in Discussion Forums

Date Posted: 2/19/2016 9:06 AM ET
Member Since: 1/3/2010
Posts: 15,295
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Since the intro of fees much is confusing. My feeling is with the former free membership we were all on equal footing. The fee structure changed that especially since the advent of special forums. If TPTB wish to maintain PBS on the long term, changes will need to be made. I suggest the first to be allowing all members at all levels the ability to post in the forums. Step two would be elimination of the two elitist forums at the top of the page. We're all readers, we should all be able to voice our opinions here. I have always cared about fairness and there's no way around the fact that PBS has become unfair in some ways.

I spend far less time on the site than I once did, which is a 6 of one and ½ dozen of the other situation; on the one hand I miss communicating with my fellow readers, on the other it allows me more time to read.

Date Posted: 2/19/2016 1:14 PM ET
Member Since: 6/2/2014
Posts: 8,161
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I stayed at my standard level because I am addicted to the games forums. Plus I love all the people who play, they have such fun personalities! (and some are so darned witty! ) If I was just siting here waiting for WL books, I would drop my membership level. I rarely get WL books (I'm not complaining, I understand some reading astes aren't as popular as others and when I see that something hasn't been posted since 2010, I don't hold out much hope for that! LOL) 

 

Date Posted: 2/19/2016 9:05 PM ET
Member Since: 2/28/2009
Posts: 850
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There are more members who will not mark a book 'received', even though my UPS tracking says it is delivered.  I wait about a week after the post claimed it delivered and then write a polite message asking them to mark it received.  Usually within hours the books get marked received.  It happens with at least 40% of the books I send.  It would be so nice if I wouldn't have to follow up on my sent books.

My real WL books are slow, but since I still send out plenty of books and have many credits, I tried new authors and genres and they are moving fast and I get them quickly.  But seriously I have not received a R.A. Salvatore or Haruki Murakami book in two years.  Oh well, that is what Amazon is for.

Date Posted: 2/19/2016 10:38 PM ET
Member Since: 2/26/2009
Posts: 35,615
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I stayed at my standard level because I am addicted to the games forums. Plus I love all the people who play, they have such fun personalities! (and some are so darned witty! ) If I was just siting here waiting for WL books, I would drop my membership level. yes  same for me

Date Posted: 2/20/2016 1:55 AM ET
Member Since: 1/25/2010
Posts: 2,914
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I'm wondering if maybe Margaret E. posted just before her subscription clock timed out.

Date Posted: 2/20/2016 9:00 AM ET
Member Since: 2/13/2007
Posts: 2,262
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I believe there is a two week grace period after the subscription expires before you lose the "privileges" that went with your subscription. So members who are still contemplating their choices can post.

Date Posted: 2/20/2016 5:14 PM ET
Member Since: 2/27/2009
Posts: 20,937
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Some formerly paid members have chosen to go ALC, so are no longer on forums.  A few downgraded to Limited and are still here, but getting ready to call it quits if the offers don't improve,  Other spent the year using up credits and PBS money and are in the process of closing their accounts.  Some just walked away - something all sites see.

Yes, the forums are quieter.  But the drop-off is not as dramatic as it was last year, just a steady attrition with occasional spikes.  

The number of books mailed, which was up substantially in Jan as members with 'free' trades used the last of their credits, is now down again, but almost 16+% from Jan and about 8-10% from last years average.  Not a good sign.  I'll keep an eye on it as Gold Key anniversary dates are staggers through the year and we will see more 'stay or leave or go ALC' decisions.

As books trades per year drop more and more, so does the PBS income stream, so, we'll just have to wait and see if paid members have offset the loss enough.

Date Posted: 2/21/2016 11:28 AM ET
Member Since: 6/30/2008
Posts: 2,664
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I made another request this weekend and it went to an a la carte. That makes 3 straight requests that went to alc. As somebody said it may be a sign of things to come. It really makes little difference as long as the books get sent.

Date Posted: 2/21/2016 12:32 PM ET
Member Since: 2/13/2007
Posts: 2,262
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At least 50% of my book requests have gone to ala carte members since we went to the tiered system. The only difference for me is when a book request goes to an ala carte member, I usually don't look at their bookshelves to see if there are other books I'd enjoy in case the request times out. All I really care about is getting the book.

Date Posted: 2/21/2016 5:59 PM ET
Member Since: 8/26/2008
Posts: 736
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Do not see why PBS is even bothering with all the devisiveness of varing  memberships when the same economic result could have been obtained by charging $0.49 per swap, 30 swaps for $12 or unlimited annual for $20. Why needlessly create class warfare???



Last Edited on: 2/21/16 6:55 PM ET - Total times edited: 2
Date Posted: 2/22/2016 12:45 PM ET
Member Since: 6/20/2007
Posts: 4,979
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I believe there is a two week grace period after the subscription expires before you lose the "privileges" that went with your subscription.

I dropped my membership from Standard to Limited and lost access to the Standard members forums and the ability to see how many copies of a book are available from the book listing page on 2/16, as soon as the change went into effect. So there does not appear to be any grace period.

Date Posted: 2/22/2016 1:04 PM ET
Member Since: 6/30/2008
Posts: 2,664
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Has anybody gotten a new person to join?

Date Posted: 2/22/2016 2:35 PM ET
Member Since: 1/25/2010
Posts: 2,914
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I sent a book to a new ALC member and we started talking about WL books and the forums. I wanted to give some pointers for maximizing WL management and how to get answers for any questions she might have. Membership info came up, so I linked her to the FAQ and she signed up for a Standard membership.

So... not a referral of mine, but an ALC member that will hopefully enjoy the site fully ^.^

Date Posted: 2/22/2016 5:30 PM ET
Member Since: 8/26/2006
Posts: 9,326
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Sheryl said,

I dropped my membership from Standard to Limited and lost access to the Standard members forums and the ability to see how many copies of a book are available from the book listing page on 2/16, as soon as the change went into effect. So there does not appear to be any grace period.

The two-week grace period means that if you renew your membership within two weeks of your membership expiration, you get your previous Wish List restored.
Date Posted: 2/22/2016 5:53 PM ET
Member Since: 8/16/2007
Posts: 15,186
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I don't find it that hard to explain. There are two levels of annual membership - Standard and Limited. If you believe you will be a light swapper and not want a big Wish List, the Limited Membership will save you some money. If you plan to request more than 30 or want a large Wish List, the Standard is the easiest. If you do not want to do anything but get a few books and don't plan on using any of the other features of the site, forego the annual memberships and just pay as-you-go with an A la Carte membership. 

Date Posted: 2/23/2016 1:09 PM ET
Member Since: 1/17/2009
Posts: 9,720
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Do not see why PBS is even bothering with all the devisiveness of varing  memberships when the same economic result could have been obtained by charging $0.49 per swap, 30 swaps for $12 or unlimited annual for $20. Why needlessly create class warfare???

That IS what they did. There are also several features that go along with the swap levels. There is no "class warfare". If you want the features you can pay either $12 or $20 depending on what features you want, or pay nothing in advance and pay by the trade as a a-la-carte.

It's like joining a gym with different membership levels. People choose the features and the level they want to join at. The people who choose a higher membership level are not in a "class war" with people who choose a lower level. You get certain features that you may be interested in by choosing a higher level of membership. Period.

Do you join a gym at the lowest level and then complain that people at the next highest level get more hours of access to the pool? When all you wanted was access to the pool? Of course not. You either pay more so you have the access you want to the pool, or you join another gym that has cheaper access to a pool, etc.

Businesses offer benefits, clubs, and enticements to people who spend more money with them or join their club. Got a Starbucks Rewards card? Playing Monopoly at your supermarket? Getting 10% off at Barnes & Noble on every purchase by purchasing a $25 membership? Get a free Jamba Juice after you buy 10? Become a sponsor of your local zoo and get special early morning hours that are not open to the public and member-only discounts? Live near Disneyland and get a cheaper southern-CA resident only ticket?

When you pay more at (lots of places) you get benefits that other people who use the business infrequently don't get. That's not class warfare.



Last Edited on: 2/23/16 1:10 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 2/23/2016 4:08 PM ET
Member Since: 8/26/2008
Posts: 736
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And PBS could have linked the same benefits to anyone purchasing 30 swaps (no expiration) for $12 or unlimited annual for $20. The memberships create class warfare and needless devisiveness.



Last Edited on: 2/23/16 4:09 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
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