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BroncoCacher

Family Premium Memberships

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I wrote to Groundspeak regarding premium memberships for families and they suggested that I brng this topic to the forums.

 

I find it to be a little ridiculous for a family of four, or five etc to have to purchase multiple Premium memberships in order for each person to access "Members only Caches". I have a son who is eight years old and has his OWN geocaching identity. We have done a couple of hundred caches together of which maybe 50% he has not been able to get credited for as they are "Members Only".

 

I would like to propose that Groundspeak offer a Family Premium Membership plan for an amount slightly greater than the Premium membership fee and allow say 4 Family members to access it. Any additional family members after that would be assessed an additional cost possibly even equal to the amount of an additional premium membership.

 

I am just floating this out here on the forums as a number of cachers in the Las Vegas area have thought that it would be a good idea and would gladly pay say $50 for a family premium plan.

 

I will leave it to the folks at Groundspeak to make the right decision. But remember that the kids as well as the adults enjoy seeing their find count grow.

 

BroncoCacher

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If you are mostly worried about MOC's, the dirty little secret is that they can be logged by non-members, if you know the trick (which I forget right now) but I am sure someone will email it too you. Unless of course that little workaround is now gone.

 

Otherwise, I think you have a good idea going there but it has some obvious issues to work out. Such as: How to prevent a group of friends going together as a "family"? Also I think the price should be more like $60 per year for up to 4 accounts that are somehow all independent and yet glued together.

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I have no idea if Groundspeak will ever embrace a Family Membership rate. But as StarBrand indicated there is a work around available that makes it possible for Non-Premium Members to log Members Only Caches. Note: There are a few cache owners who have indicated they do not want their Subscriber Only Caches logged by Non-Premium Members. Even they might be more tolerant of logs by family members. Explain your situation when your family logs the finds and I think you will experience little or no resistance.

 

A Non-Premium Member can go to ANY cache page. Click the link, "log your visit."

That will take you to a page with a url such as htp://www.geocaching.com/seek/log.aspx?ID=12345

If you know the numeric ID of the MOC cache you want to log, just change the number at the end of the url. Any Premium Member can get the correct number by opening the Menbers Only Cache and looking at the URL.

 

If you don't know the numeric ID, you change the "ID=" to "WP=" and replace the number with the GC code so you get: htp://www.geocaching.com/seek/log.aspx?WP=GCABCD

 

From there just log as usual.

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I like the idea of a family rate. Perhaps you could get four memberships for slightly more than it costs for two, but have there be a limit on the total number of PQs you get (perhaps a dozen per day?).

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I like the idea of a family rate. Perhaps you could get four memberships for slightly more than it costs for two, but have there be a limit on the total number of PQs you get (perhaps a dozen per day?).

 

Well if you could get a dozen PQ's for only slightly more, I predict a lot of "Family Membership" sales. That would be the new answer to: Can I get more PQ's?

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I like the idea of a family rate. Perhaps you could get four memberships for slightly more than it costs for two, but have there be a limit on the total number of PQs you get (perhaps a dozen per day?).
Well if you could get a dozen PQ's for only slightly more, I predict a lot of "Family Membership" sales. That would be the new answer to: Can I get more PQ's?
That's why I figured the cost at sligtly over two individual memberships. Edited by sbell111

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How a non-Premium Member can log a Members-Only cache

 

Method One

Go to the cache page while logged in as the Premium Member. Click the "log your visit" link.

Now while viewing the "Post a new log" page, click "log out" at the top of the page.

Log in as the regular member. The page will refresh back to the "Post a new log" page for the MOC.

Enter the log as usual.

 

Method Two

While logged in as the regular member, go to *any* cache page. Click the "log your visit" link.

That will take you to a page with a url such as http://www.geocaching.com/seek/log.aspx?ID=89885

Change the "ID=" to "WP=" and replace the number with the GC code of the Members-Only cache.

Enter the log as usual.

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I would like to propose that Groundspeak offer a Family Premium Membership plan for an amount slightly greater than the Premium membership fee and allow say 4 Family members to access it.

BroncoCacher,

I like the proposal. A lot.

I belong to a family of two, so selling one of these at 2x the normal rate would not affect me personally. Still, I like it. We already do many other things to keep this game family-friendly (no inappropriate swag, watching the language, etc). Why not extend that family-friendliness to the financial aspect? That's a pretty important aspect.

Edited by MissJenn

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I thank you all for your support and hope that the folks at Groundspeak are monitoring this thread. Thank you all for your assistance on logging subversively.

 

As far as friends getting together and joining as a "Family" Well you have those people in the game that ause caches and GeoJack them too. There are those that will try to beat the system and the overwhelming majority of us that appreciate the service and are glad to contribute.

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i vote yes to family membeships; it seems equitable. perhaps only the one set of PQs, though. presumably as a family you cache together and therefore you probably don't need more PQs.

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So, how do they verify it's a family and not a bunch of cachers looking for a cut rate?

 

Just asking.

 

Edit:

 

Here's a thought, maybe only one account can do the 5 PQ limit.

 

Maybe like a 'Parent' account with sub (limited-capability) accounts underneath. The sub account would be pared down to things like MOC logging and smaller book lists, or something.

Edited by BlueDeuce

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So, how do they verify it's a family and not a bunch of cachers looking for a cut rate?

 

Just asking.

I wonder if it might be useful first to define what family means for these purposes.

Same last names? Ha!

Same IP address? Hm.

Same physical address? He.

I could go on, but I'd soon run out of vowels that make sense after the letter H.

 

I am guessing family would be defined as ... let's see ... uh .... how about this?

Those who operate as a family day-to-day, up-to-4 people living in the same household, and most of the time caching together?

 

Once the word is (mostly) defined, then Groundpseak could just trust people. They have been known to do so. A lot.

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I am guessing family would be defined as ... let's see ... uh .... how about this?

Those who operate as a family day-to-day, up-to-4 people living in the same household, and most of the time caching together?

Congratulations! You've defined me and my daughter as NOT constituting a "family."

 

And therein lies the challenge. Any definition will be abused by some, and perceived as unfair by others.

 

Since the purpose of the OP was to gain access to PM only caches, and that's been addressed, perhaps that's enough.

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I know someone that pays for TWO premium accounts... for himself. He uses one to log caches he finds while on the road for work, and the other to log caches he finds while at home.

 

Surely it should be easy to prove that both of those accounts are in the same family, and nobody could argue.

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The family membership idea has come up before, and I like the idea.

I'll offer up a slightly different suggestion that hasn't been mentioned yet this time.

How about instead of a straight out fixed rate family membership, they offered an "junior membership" at a reduced rate. Say $10/yr. Junior members would not get PQs, but would get all the other current membership bennies. Future features would have to be determined if they become premium or junior features.

If desired, Groundspeak could require the junior membership to be tied to a premium account. They could even require the junior payment comes from the same credit card/paypal/checking account as the premium account if they wanted.

Or not.

Perhaps the junior membership could stand on it's own merits. It's been mentioned that many people think PQs are only good for use on a PDA. Now, most of us know this isn't true, but obviously the perception is still out there. The reduced rate PQ-less junior membership might get some of those people who want to find MOCS and bookmarks, but not PQs.

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Expanding on Mopar's post - maybe make all the junior accounts only have the same email address as the parent account??

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Congratulations! You've defined me and my daughter as NOT constituting a "family."

 

And therein lies the challenge.

My apologies!!

I knew, though, as I wrote that definition, that it would not suffice. That's why I wrote all those "..."'s.

I figured it might be a start, even if a weak one.

 

How do other organizations that offer "family subscriptions" define family?

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if the Junior Member has no PQ privileges it would be of no use to my son, as he needs his own gpx files for his GPSr.

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Yes, family memberships would be great for a few reasons: Currently so each family member would be able to get a PQ of caches that they have/have not found. Even if it's only 2 or 3 a day.

 

Also, in the future, it would be great to log a cache under a family (team) name. Then like we do with TBs, select the family members that were present on this visit. This would give one log (found it, SBA, note, etc) on the cache listing to represent the family, but each person gets the appropriate "found it" credit.

Edited by Moose Mob

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So, how do they verify it's a family and not a bunch of cachers looking for a cut rate?

 

Just asking.

 

I like the idea of family memberships. My thought is that when you sign up for one you can indicate all the users that are in your family. Those users will then be linked together somehow so, say, when you look at a profile you can see the other family members.

 

If you were abusing the feature and have your friends piggyback on your membership it would be pretty obvious looking at the family list.

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if the Junior Member has no PQ privileges it would be of no use to my son, as he needs his own gpx files for his GPSr.

 

allow all members of the family to load up the same PQs?

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Congratulations! You've defined me and my daughter as NOT constituting a "family."

 

And therein lies the challenge.

My apologies!!

I knew, though, as I wrote that definition, that it would not suffice. That's why I wrote all those "..."'s.

I figured it might be a start, even if a weak one.

 

How do other organizations that offer "family subscriptions" define family?

Dive clubs I've belonged to defined families as living under the same roof, however we were flexible enough to allow circumstances like Leps and took those on a case-by-case basis.

Personally I like the Junior member idea. My wife caches with me frequently and doesn't need, nor wants, to deal with PQs, however I'd pay the extra just to make logging MOC easier. My daughter rarely caches with us, however I'd also pay for a Junior membership for her again for the same reason.

I don't know if the most important part of the Premium membership has been addressed yet...Do they get to log into the Off-Topic area? <_<

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every one has different needs in each family or group as for me I don't care if a group of friends makes themselves a family account , I have no real family and up until recently I only cached with friends - they are my family, . I also think that every one in the "family" get all the benefits and privileges of the premium member would get normally if have family add a group/team membership as well- for some some of the extras will not be needed for others they will be loved. I am all for the family membership.

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I did pay for a membership for my daughter. One definite benefit is being able to run a PQ against her found/not found cache data.

 

If we do have junior accounts I hope something like this can be included in PQs.

 

Maybe like: Select caches not found by all members.

 

Just something to consider.

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At my work, whenever my boss has a good idea, he runs it past me, on the basis that I will quickly find lots of reasons not to do it. Quite often he goes ahead anyway - often with great success - but at least he and I agree that he can't say he wasn't warned, in case of trouble later.

 

So, on that basis, here's my 2¢ worth:

 

If I were involved in site admin I'd want to make sure that the extra revenue which this would bring in, would not be eaten up in PQ runtime and other increased site usage. As I understand it, PQs are a big drain on the overall performance of the site.

 

Suppose a family membership were $50/year for one main account with 5 PQs for the first member and 2 more for each other member up to 4.

 

Let's assume that PMs who don't currently use the full PQ quota won't band together to save 10 or 15 bucks a year. I don't think I would, anyway.

 

However, there would be a considerable temptation for a lot of single or childless cachers (which also includes people who have partners and children who don't go geocaching), to register their family members (effectively turning them into sock puppets) and use their PQs.

 

One possible solution might to be to price extra family members individually (say $15 per), and to make sure that the incremental cost of a PQ (price per extra person divided by # of PQs per extra person) is reasonably close to - if not slightly above - $6.

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No caching family for me but I have thought of this. What about the "Parent" account being able to have "child account" for lets say $10 a year. "Parent" account's email would be used for ALL PQs and contact. The "child account" would have all benefits of a regular premium account except for PQs. The "child account" could run 1 PQ per day and the MyFinds query. All family members would have access to all PQs under the family account. A "child account" could be updated to a full premium account at any time and for reasons such as the child is old enough to manage their own account or a husband and wife team divorces.

 

Note "Parent" and "Child" are used as Main and Subaccount not a relation, could be Wife and Husband, Father and Child or another type of family connection.

 

edit to add Parent account could have set amount of child accounts. Don't know what would be best. 5? 6?

Edited by SgtSue

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I like the idea of the Family Premium Memberships. I think my dad would also. My dad, brother, my wife, and I all geocache. My other 2 brothers and sister don't get the whole idea of it. My wife doesn't either but likes the hike in the woods. So that would be cool. Even though it would not help me out any. Since I don't live at home anymore. But it woud be cool for like a family team. Where you could get 4 or 5 members to join from a family for a rate. You could do it that all member's have to have the same last name for a family team. Or even ask the premium member who would be on his family team to get the family rate. Just in case like a father/mother has a daughter that is married and different last name. Or if the mother got remarried and wants to use her child for a family premium membership. Then charge the first one full rate. Then charge like $10 per family team member. Up to a limit of members. Then you would not get a whole area team from like the community of like 10+ people to join and take advantage of this. This is just my thought on it.

My dad was going to pay for my membership but after buying my geocoins and stuff to help me start geocaching. He didn't want to spend the extra money he didn't have for a membership for me. but if there was a family membership thing he might have.

 

edit to say:I am not sure what the PQs is. So I don't know how to state what I think about that part. Also it could work if you set a limit on people and have the main person pay for it. Then say who that person wants to be on the Family Team Premium Memberships.

Edited by GeoSmurfz

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Let's keep things the way they are.

 

It would be too easy to abuse the system where groups of people may call themselves a "family" when they are not the traditional family (like the original poster implied...we could get into what can be legitimately defined as a family...but we'd be getting into religion, politics, morality, etc). What you'd end up with is less revenue for GC.com to run everything they run due to a consolidation of memberships. If one thinks that GC.com is getting too much profit for what they charge individual memberships, then one has the option of not continuing their membership. If an eight year old is old enough and independent enough to have his/her own GC.com identity, then that individual (or parents) should be able to pay for their premium membership to get all the benefits entitled to that individual. If eight yr olds have their own GC.com identity and are only caching with their parents and visiting all the same caches, I question the reason why the eight year old NEEDS their own identity. If that individual is caching such that they need a separate GC identity (vs a family identity), then there is a reason they should have a separate premium membership.

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Let's keep things the way they are.

 

It would be too easy to abuse the system where groups of people may call themselves a "family" when they are not the traditional family (like the original poster implied...we could get into what can be legitimately defined as a family...but we'd be getting into religion, politics, morality, etc). What you'd end up with is less revenue for GC.com to run everything they run due to a consolidation of memberships. If one thinks that GC.com is getting too much profit for what they charge individual memberships, then one has the option of not continuing their membership. If an eight year old is old enough and independent enough to have his/her own GC.com identity, then that individual (or parents) should be able to pay for their premium membership to get all the benefits entitled to that individual. If eight yr olds have their own GC.com identity and are only caching with their parents and visiting all the same caches, I question the reason why the eight year old NEEDS their own identity. If that individual is caching such that they need a separate GC identity (vs a family identity), then there is a reason they should have a separate premium membership.

 

Part of this is not actually being able to afford 4-6 accounts a small discount would be nice for groups/family. geocaching.com should not even try to define a family just offer a discount if you by 3-4 memberships and a discount of a couple dollars (lest then the original per ) for each additional account . Also as far as the family page goes make it optional to be listed as "member of" thats whole nother can of worm I would hate to deal with. I will also repeat that the "child" account idea is no good it would require creating a new account time and programing and the like, on the other hand offering a program for a discounted rate for multiple people, would only require a policy change and adding something to the premium member page. As far as people thinking that geocaching.com makes to much money, I don't believe that a lot of people really think that, this is more an argument to help the pocketbook-at least a little bit. geocaching.com may actually make more money by selling some accounts at a discounted rate instead of possibly selling less accounts.

 

hears an outline of a proposed price structure:

this is based of a yearly scheme and a 3 member minimum

first member full price $30

next 3-6 members $15 each

any additional members $20 each

 

I think a family/group membership should not be restrictive it would just end up crippling it and make it pointless to have. I do hope geocaching.com looks more in to a program that would allow family's that cache together to have everyone interested in a pay account be able to have one if they are 8 or 80.

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I have just read 2 threads withing the Websire forum section. The first bitching about the site and the issues it was with down time and such. And now this one. $30 an account seems cheep to me for full access to the site. Other than this what does it really cost to participate. I cached for 2 months without paying a dime and borrowed a gps, making it totally free!!!.

 

I have a family of 6 and if at some point they all want to have there own id then I'll pay the $30 for the access.

 

This is what keeps it all moving, correct?

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I have just read 2 threads withing the Websire forum section. The first bitching about the site and the issues it was with down time and such. And now this one. $30 an account seems cheep to me for full access to the site. Other than this what does it really cost to participate. I cached for 2 months without paying a dime and borrowed a gps, making it totally free!!!.

 

I have a family of 6 and if at some point they all want to have there own id then I'll pay the $30 for the access.

 

This is what keeps it all moving, correct?

 

Not everyone has that kind of money.

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I have just read 2 threads withing the Websire forum section. The first bitching about the site and the issues it was with down time and such. And now this one. $30 an account seems cheep to me for full access to the site. Other than this what does it really cost to participate. I cached for 2 months without paying a dime and borrowed a gps, making it totally free!!!.

 

I have a family of 6 and if at some point they all want to have there own id then I'll pay the $30 for the access.

 

This is what keeps it all moving, correct?

Not everyone has that kind of money.
I agree. If I had a bunch of kids, I likely would consider buying a family membership. However, I wouldn't buy individual memberships for everyone. I would just make due with the one.

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Count me in for the family premium membership.

 

Right now, I've paid for separate premium memberships for me and my daughter. One day in the not-to-distant future, my son is going to start tracking his stats, too.

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Sure, I like the idea of a family membership. Let Groundspeak work out the details. My wife and I are both geocachers with grown-and-gone-kids so we are a small family but we'd sign up for a family rate

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I too, like the idea of family memberships, but like many others see problems in defining family and excess demand on the system if everyone wants a pq.

 

From Jeremy.................

"I like the idea of family memberships. My thought is that when you sign up for one you can indicate all the users that are in your family. Those users will then be linked together somehow so, say, when you look at a profile you can see the other family members.

 

If you were abusing the feature and have your friends piggyback on your membership it would be pretty obvious looking at the family list."

 

From SgtSue..............

"No caching family for me but I have thought of this. What about the "Parent" account being able to have "child account" for lets say $10 a year. "Parent" account's email would be used for ALL PQs and contact. The "child account" would have all benefits of a regular premium account except for PQs. The "child account" could run 1 PQ per day and the MyFinds query. All family members would have access to all PQs under the family account. A "child account" could be updated to a full premium account at any time and for reasons such as the child is old enough to manage their own account or a husband and wife team divorces. "

 

I do agree that a full membership for all members of a family could get expensive, but would like to point out that if they are caching together, the extra PQs would not be necessary. Thus, my support for some sort of combination of these to offer an affordable solution.

 

IMHO---- A child account should be a minor family member (true adults have jobs or income, and can afford their own membership), not just a friend that doesn't want to fully support the site. At the same time, prohibiting the PQ privilege assures the children are clearing any runs with the parent, an opportunity to screen for safety and keep the parent advised on the approximate whereabouts of offspring.

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I support the idea of a family plan, My 8 month old doesn't have her own log yet, but when she is older I am sure she will

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I like the idea of family memberships. My thought is that when you sign up for one you can indicate all the users that are in your family. Those users will then be linked together somehow so, say, when you look at a profile you can see the other family members.

 

If you were abusing the feature and have your friends piggyback on your membership it would be pretty obvious looking at the family list.

I am in favor of a family membership. Currently we have one account for the entire family. But the entire family isnt at every cache that we do. What would be nice is to say that at cache #xxxx team members 1 and 4 were there but team members 2 and 3 were misisng. Then the site could keep track of the different members stats.

 

I care mainly because i like detailed records.

Edited by knight2000

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I have a family of 6 and if at some point they all want to have there own id then I'll pay the $30 for the access.

If only we were all rolling in money...

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While I would not use it, I to can see a need for family memberships.

 

The additional ID's would be limited either without PQ capabilities or PQ's would be similar to the cell phone shared minute plans. This would still permit the other to features like the mis-used PMOC's that are out there, but not put any extra strain on the system or abuse of the PQ feature.

 

An alternative would be to do like satellite radio and have a master with a reduced fee for every additional account up to a certain amount. i.e. $30 for the master and $22 for each additional account.

 

Rarely does someone use all their PQ's and if it is strictly for record keeping, a "member" ID does that online and a spreadsheet or GSAK can do it offline.

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Well, this has been beaten to death and yet as with most meetings I've attended nothing has been resolved other than: many people want Family Plans within Geocaching.com and many do not. (details to be brought forth at next mtg.)

 

I DO! I DO! I DO! .... I want family memberships as I have a son and a girlfriend and (according to the courts) neither live with me. But in the same breath, none of us geocache without the other. Yes, my son and GF have non-Premium memberships and can cache and log as I do. Only I can get PQ's and neither of them want to bother with that part either.

 

I like the idea of an umbrella membership for a little more $$ that we can log our finds all at once just by checking off which family member was present at the time. I would also like the ability to get the "My Found" PQ's for each person to be used in GSAK.

 

Cost? Well Groundspeak gets $30 from us now and will continue to do so. I suggest $46.83 (just to add something stupid to be ridiculed), or round it to $45 which is 50% more than your getting now.

 

Okay, go ahead... everyone who now wants to bitch and complain against my thoughts.... GO!

Edited by BigBadger

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