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ScottJ

Charter Memberships: Policy Change?

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Upon returning to Geocaching after something of a long break, I recently discovered that my premium membership had expired. I renewed it. As had happened once before, I was a "Charter Member" before renewal, and afterward I was a "Premium Member" again.

 

When this happened before, I'd written to Jeremy and he'd simply reset me. No problem. I was relieved at that, because I am rather proud to have been around since the very early days. I was glad my inattention to things in the short term hadn't erased my history.

 

When I sent a support query today asking for my charter membership to be reset, I was flatly told no. At first there was no explanation at all. When I asked for elaboration, I was told that charter status now can only be reset if payment has been made "promptly."

 

I guess I have no standing to argue. It's their web site. I must have missed the memo on this change in policy, though. I would have been happy for my payment to have been applied as of the date I expired, if that meant keeping my status the same and my membership uninterrupted. I even selected the "recurring" payment option this time so that I wouldn't forget again, but it seems the damage is done.

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Scott! Where ya been hiding?

 

How long had your membership lapsed? I've seen folks get their "charter member" status back but in all the cases that I've seen it was when payment was within days or a week or two at most after expiration.

 

I'm hoping that TPTB have mercy on you and tap you on both shoulders with a hiking stick and dub you "charter member."

 

How about it Jeremy, et.al.?

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How long had your membership lapsed? I've seen folks get their "charter member" status back but in all the cases that I've seen it was when payment was within days or a week or two at most after expiration.

 

Hiya, Rebel! Last time I saw you, you were riding around on a 4-wheeler setting out event caches! :)

 

It apparently expired in late November. I did a few searches in the forums and found places where people had gotten their status reset after being expired for "a few months," so I didn't expect a problem.

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How long had your membership lapsed? I've seen folks get their "charter member" status back but in all the cases that I've seen it was when payment was within days or a week or two at most after expiration.

 

Hiya, Rebel! Last time I saw you, you were riding around on a 4-wheeler setting out event caches! :)

 

It apparently expired in late November. I did a few searches in the forums and found places where people had gotten their status reset after being expired for "a few months," so I didn't expect a problem.

 

Are you set up for yearly or monthly?

Edited by CO Admin

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Are you set up for yearly or monthly?

 

I have always paid yearly. It's set up for yearly recurring now with PayPal.

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Scott, if I remember correctly you are the one that came up with the slogan "The sport where You are the search engine". If so I think it would be nice if Jeremy cut you a break.

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Scott, if I remember correctly you are the one that came up with the slogan "The sport where You are the search engine". If so I think it would be nice if Jeremy cut you a break.

 

Awww. Someone remembered. <_< Thanks, Allen.

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I think charter members should be considered charter members for life, personally. But like you said, it's not our website.

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I think Charter Members should all get free Jelly of the Month subscriptions like the <deleted> members do. This month, we got wild blueberry jam, vanilla chai tea jelly, and dandelion jelly. Honestly, I figured dandy lion jelly would be horrible, but it wasn't bad. At least one good thing comes from those things.

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I think Charter Members should all get free Jelly of the Month subscriptions like the <deleted> members do. This month, we got wild blueberry jam, vanilla chai tea jelly, and dandelion jelly. Honestly, I figured dandy lion jelly would be horrible, but it wasn't bad. At least one good thing comes from those things.

 

If you look at the ToU of the <deleted> members you will see that section 4.C.3.002a prohibits the discussion of flavors. Please dont make me <deleted by moderator> you.

Edited by CO Admin

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I think Charter Members should all get free Jelly of the Month subscriptions like the <deleted> members do. This month, we got wild blueberry jam, vanilla chai tea jelly, and dandelion jelly. Honestly, I figured dandy lion jelly would be horrible, but it wasn't bad. At least one good thing comes from those things.

 

If you look at the ToU of the <deleted> members you will see that section 4.C.3.002a prohibits the discussion of flavors. Please dont make me <deleted by moderator> you.

 

So it would be bad if I repeated them all by quoting? :D:):lostsignal:

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I think charter members should be considered charter members for life, personally. But like you said, it's not our website.

Well, I'll THINK of myself that way for life, regardless.

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When I signed up to be a paying member, I was told that would make me a charter member. There weren't any stipulations attached to that, and so it is pretty unfair to take that away for some new rule made up years later.

 

I'd like to know why we weren't told in the beginning that it would disappear for a lapse in payment, and make all the previous charter members back into charter members like it should be.

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When I signed up to be a paying member, I was told that would make me a charter member. There weren't any stipulations attached to that, and so it is pretty unfair to take that away for some new rule made up years later.

 

I'd like to know why we weren't told in the beginning that it would disappear for a lapse in payment, and make all the previous charter members back into charter members like it should be.

Clearly, if we didn't pay the membership fee, the membership would lapse and we would go back to being 'regular' members. It only makes sense (to me) that if we let it lapse that we would have to re-enroll just like any other regular member. Therefore, since charter memberships are no longer offered, they would not be available.

 

TPTB have been really good about letting us keep the charter membership if we let it lapse for only a few days. It is great that they do this, but there has to be a line somewhere. I think it is reasonable for that line to be closer to a few days than four months.

Edited by sbell111

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Way back in the day Charter Membership was reserved for those of us who paid for premium membership in the first year it was offered. It seemed pretty simple to me.

 

The rules and regs of Charter Membership said nothing about ongoing premium membership, spotty paid membership, or prompt renewals of premium membership, just that you signed up that first year.

 

Since it all relates to that first year it should just stick. But when my charter membership was revoked I didn't even bother to ask why it wasn't reinstated (and I did ask to be reinstated) because I knew the answer would have evolved to "you have to have paid during that first year, and then keep on paying to renew it, and you can't have big gaps in that paid support, nevermind that you paid when we offered that nifty charter member deal".

 

Maybe they should have a "Charter Member + Platinum Member" for the ones who have paid consistantly and we normal Charter Members who have lost the title we were promised could be normal Charter Members.

 

Wait, I do recall that Charter Members were also promised that the fact we paid during the first year also let us lock in our lower rate. So when premium memberships costs 200.00 a year due to inflation we charter members get to stick with 35.00.

 

So how's that internet wayback machine work? We could see what it really said.

Edited by Renegade Knight

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The rules and regs of Charter Membership said nothing about ongoing premium membership, spotty paid membership, or prompt renewals of premium membership, just that you signed up that first year.

 

That was my impression too. Since there aren't actually any privileges associated with being a Charter Member, nor did I ever want any, I guess I'm having trouble understanding why that small point of pride, the one that said I'd been around since the very early days, needed to be revoked.

 

I haven't heard from Jeremy at all nor do I know how to reach him anymore. The person who denied my request is a guy named "Eric."

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The rules and regs of Charter Membership said nothing about ongoing premium membership, spotty paid membership, or prompt renewals of premium membership, just that you signed up that first year.

 

That was my impression too. Since there aren't actually any privileges associated with being a Charter Member, nor did I ever want any, I guess I'm having trouble understanding why that small point of pride, the one that said I'd been around since the very early days, needed to be revoked.

 

I haven't heard from Jeremy at all nor do I know how to reach him anymore. The person who denied my request is a guy named "Eric."

 

all I can say is "wow'...

 

:P

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Eric is one of the Lackeys (Groundspeak Employees) in the customer service department. He deals with much of the incoming e-mail to the contact address.

 

Remember back in 2002-2003 where e-mails would simply disappear into oblivion, never to be answered, because Jeremy was busy re-programming something?

 

I am sure glad there are folks like Eric and Michael to answer the huge volume of e-mail from geocachers.

 

While returning from a geocaching trip last year, my car died along the Pennsylvania Turnpike. It was at that point that I learned my AAA membership had lapsed, and I had to pay for a 32 mile tow up to the next exit, back to the prior exit, and then to a service garage that was within two miles of where I broke down.

 

When I went to renew my membership, I showed them my spiffy extra-special embossed plastic AAA membership card with the fancy silver symbol saying I had been a member for 25 years. It was explained to me that I had to start all over with a new membership number and a crummy paper membership card saying I had been a member for one year, because I let my membership lapse.

 

I didn't think of writing to the CEO of the American Automobile Association, but perhaps I should have.

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That analogy isn't really the same as Scott's situation. Unless, of course, you were given a nice plastic embossed, etc., card when you first signed up with AAA oh so long ago. I feel that once a Charter Member, always a Charter Member. If it weren't for my Paypal subscription automatically running, I'd probably suffer a lapse every now and then.

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....While returning from a geocaching trip last year, my car died along the Pennsylvania Turnpike. It was at that point that I learned my AAA membership had lapsed, and I had to pay for a 32 mile tow up to the next exit, back to the prior exit, and then to a service garage that was within two miles of where I broke down.

 

When I went to renew my membership, I showed them my spiffy extra-special embossed plastic AAA membership card with the fancy silver symbol saying I had been a member for 25 years. It was explained to me that I had to start all over with a new membership number and a crummy paper membership card saying I had been a member for one year, because I let my membership lapse.

 

I didn't think of writing to the CEO of the American Automobile Association, but perhaps I should have.

 

If you were a charter member perhaps you should have. I doubt it would help with membership beneifits, but I'm sure they would give you that gold embossed "Charter Member" card by way of thanks for helping make AAA one of the best deals going.

 

Longevity as an ongoing and continus member and Charter Member are two different things.

Edited by Renegade Knight

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Wait, I do recall that Charter Members were also promised that the fact we paid during the first year also let us lock in our lower rate. So when premium memberships costs 200.00 a year due to inflation we charter members get to stick with 35.00.

 

So how's that internet wayback machine work? We could see what it really said.

 

:P Its $30 or $3 per month (36 in a year).

 

As for the wayback machine, I think this is what you want:

http://web.archive.org/web/20021207170212/....com/subscribe/

 

Also, I agree with Sbell111. It would sense to me at least, that whatever features are given with a paid membership are linked to that membership being up to date.

 

edit to add another link;

Wayback machine

Edited by welch

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...As for the wayback machine, I think this is what you want:

http://web.archive.org/web/20021207170212/....com/subscribe/

....

 

Thanks. It did say subscription. So charter membership is like spawning salmon. They are all going to die off one by one as their subscription or they themselves lapse. It also means this site is doing folks a favor by allowing any charter members to be reinstated when the account does lapse.

 

With this better information I revise my opinion to agree with groundspeaks actions. (Which can change again if an earlier version of the policy said something different).

Edited by Renegade Knight

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Thanks for the blast from the past!

 

What's telling to me is what it doesn't say. It doesn't say that if you let your membership lapse that you'll be "demoted" in any way. I read it as talking about a subscription to the service, not a committment to always renew. Most likely the concept of premium vs charter memberships wasn't even thought of at that point.

 

ScottJ signed up as a Charter member and Charter he should remain - it shouldn't matter if he had a lapse. Look at his "joined" date. He's one of the pioneers.

Edited by Rebel

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Thanks for the blast from the past!

 

What's telling to me is what it doesn't say. It doesn't say that if you let your membership lapse that you'll be "demoted" in any way. I read it as talking about a subscription to the service, not a committment to always renew. Most likely the concept of premium vs charter memberships wasn't even thought of at that point.

 

ScottJ signed up as a Charter member and Charter he should remain - it shouldn't matter if he had a lapse. Look at his "joined" date. He's one of the pioneers.

By that logic, why should we ever renew our subscriptions? Pay TPTB their paltry $3 and be a charter member for life.

 

Do you not agree that if someone does not continue to pay for his/her membership, be it charter or premium, then the individual should revert back to being a member? The only way to keep your 'status' as a charter or premium member is to continue to pay. If you decide to stop paying and later decide to again buy a subscription, why should you regain charter member status? You should be able to buy whatever membership is available at the time you want to rejoin.

 

BTW, Jeremy used the term 'subscription' when he talked about charter memberships way back then.

 

Also, the joined date has nothing to do with when you bought a membership.

 

Edited to fix irritating typo.

Edited by sbell111

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What's telling to me is what it doesn't say. <snip>
It also does not say anything about the difference between Charter Members and Premium Members. It also does not say that if you are a disruptive jerk, you might have your membership terminated and there will be no refund. It doesn't mean that this might not happen though.

 

It is probably best not to try to read something into what is not there.

 

I really like ScottJ and wish he could get his CM back, but I also understand the site's position.

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"Do you not agree that if someone does not continue to pay for his/her membership, be it charter or premium, then the individual should revert back to being a member?"

 

If one hasn't paid, then one is merely a member.

 

"The only way to keep your 'status' as a charter or premium member is to continue to pay."

 

No. When one is in a paid status then one has the designation that was applicable when they first became a paying member. It doesn't follow that they would become whatever the current designation is as they aren't new to the game.

 

"If you decide to stop paying and later decide to again by a subscription, why should you regain charter member status?"

 

Let's not assume that he made a decision. The fellow may have been in hospital, off to war, or on an extended honeymoon or whatever. That he had lost interest in caching is an assumptiion that I wouldn't make.

 

"You should be able to buy whatever membership is available at the time you want to rejoin."

 

As I recall, there are only member and premium memberships available at this time. He was Charter when he initially signed up and charter he should remain.

 

"BTW, Jeremy used the term 'subscription' when he talked about charter memberships way back then."

 

Yes, but I feel it was in a generic sense and not meant to be lifelong. If that was the meaning then it should have been stated that one would lose Charter status if one didn't maintain membership.

 

"Also, the joined date has nothing to do with when you bought a membership."

 

Correct. But, it also shows early interest in caching and this site.

 

[edited to delete duplicate word and add]

 

I'm done now. Please carry on.

Edited by Rebel

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"Do you not agree that if someone does not continue to pay for his/her membership, be it charter or premium, then the individual should revert back to being a member?"

 

If one hasn't paid, then one is merely a member.

I'm glad that you agree. Do we not also agree that a member can only buy the subscription type that is available at the time of payment?
"The only way to keep your 'status' as a charter or premium member is to continue to pay."

 

No. When one is in a paid status then one has the designation that was applicable when they first became a paying member. It doesn't follow that they would become whatever the current designation is as they aren't new to the game.

Two thoughts on this:

First, the date that someone begins playing the game has no bearing on this issue.

Second, the idea that someone can allow his/her subscription to lapse for several months and then be able to pick back up a membership type that hasn't been offered for years makes no sense to me. Perhaps if you explain your logic, I will come around to your way of thinking.

"If you decide to stop paying and later decide to again by a subscription, why should you regain charter member status?"

 

Let's not assume that he made a decision. The fellow may have been in hospital, off to war, or on an extended honeymoon or whatever. That he had lost interest in caching is an assumptiion that I wouldn't make.

Based on his initial post, I actually assume that he forgot to renew. However, the cause of the issue doesn't really have a bearing on the issue. The bill was due and wasn't paid. Therefore, the subscription terminated. No action was taken for several months.
"You should be able to buy whatever membership is available at the time you want to rejoin."

 

As I recall, there are only member and premium memberships available at this time. He was Charter when he initially signed up and charter he should remain.

I would certainly agree with you had he kept his subscription from lapsing or took action without delay after it had lapsed. However, that is not the case. Again, perhaps if you fleshed out your logic it would help.
"BTW, Jeremy used the term 'subscription' when he talked about charter memberships way back then."

 

Yes, but I feel it was in a generic sense and not meant to be lifelong. If that was the meaning then it should have been stated that one would lose Charter status if one didn't maintain membership.

The fact that the subscriptions were available for monthly, yearly, or yearly (recurring) makes it clear that they are not for a 'lifelong' duration.
"Also, the joined date has nothing to do with when you bought a membership."

 

Correct. But, it also shows early interest in caching and this site.

Many people joined the site during that first year and decided not to purchase a charter membership. Is it your position that they also should be considered 'charter members'? Edited by sbell111

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Thanks for the blast from the past!

 

What's telling to me is what it doesn't say. It doesn't say that if you let your membership lapse that you'll be "demoted" in any way. I read it as talking about a subscription to the service, not a committment to always renew. Most likely the concept of premium vs charter memberships wasn't even thought of at that point.

 

ScottJ signed up as a Charter member and Charter he should remain - it shouldn't matter if he had a lapse. Look at his "joined" date. He's one of the pioneers.

By that logic, why should we ever renew our subscriptions? Pay TPTB their paltry $3 and be a charter member for life.

 

Do you not agree that if someone does not continue to pay for his/her membership, be it charter or premium, then the individual should revert back to being a member? The only way to keep your 'status' as a charter or premium member is to continue to pay. If you decide to stop paying and later decide to again buy a subscription, why should you regain charter member status? You should be able to buy whatever membership is available at the time you want to rejoin.

 

BTW, Jeremy used the term 'subscription' when he talked about charter memberships way back then.

 

Also, the joined date has nothing to do with when you bought a membership.

 

Edited to fix irritating typo.

 

If Charter Member meant you paid during the first year. Then you can be a Charter Member as just a Member or you could be a Charter Member as a Premium Member.

 

As it was. Charter Member only means you became a Premium Member during a certain time frame and didn't let your subscription lapse.

 

The logic is only what Charter Memeber really meant. Not if you should pay a fee to obtain premium featuers. If the first Charter Members got the moniker just for signing up and paying that first year, the moniker (not the benefits) should stick. If the Charter Member moniker was tied to an ongoing subscription then when it lapsed the moniker also lapsed.

 

I may have to experiment with that wayback machine. I recall a promise that Charter Members got to lock in their subscription rate but I either missed it on what Welch posted or there was a change in policy as the OP inquired about.

 

Edit: I could be confusing the "membership locked in" with "membership price locked in..." I'll have to dig a bit more.

Edited by Renegade Knight

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Well even after Presidents, Senators, Judges, etc. leave office they are generally still refered to by the title of the office.

 

 

Or at least "The Honorable"

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When I signed up to be a paying member, I was told that would make me a charter member. There weren't any stipulations attached to that, and so it is pretty unfair to take that away for some new rule made up years later.

 

I'd like to know why we weren't told in the beginning that it would disappear for a lapse in payment, and make all the previous charter members back into charter members like it should be.

Actually it is that way in a couple of organizations I belong to.

I am a Charter member for a professional organization and due to a pre-senior moment I had let my membership lapse.

When I did remember I paid the back dues and even paid for the following year again.

I knew I'd screwed up I accepted it.

The funny part was that had I continued working on the marketing/membership committees since I hadn't realized I forgotten to pay.

The committee chair took it upon herself to plead my case to the board and they made an exception.

It helps that I knew 3 of the 5 board members and they knew what a flake I was but due to previous work for the organization and their petty for my advancing senility they cut me some slack.

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I have returned the Charter Member Status to the OP. This is a one time reinstatement. The normal time limit between renewals is 2 months. If it lapses again and is not renewed within the two month period there will be no way to reinstate it again.

 

Please let me know if you have any further questions or concerns.

 

Thanks,

 

Michael LaPaglia

Community Relations Specialist

 

Groundspeak, Inc.

www.geocaching.com

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Thank you Michael. :laughing:

 

Thanks both for returning ScottJ to CM status and for giving us a definitive time frame for future reference that allows room for simple "whoops" problems.

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Hooray for Michael!

 

Hey buddy, can you call AAA for me???? :laughing:

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That was my impression too. Since there aren't actually any privileges associated with being a Charter Member, nor did I ever want any, I guess I'm having trouble understanding why that small point of pride, the one that said I'd been around since the very early days, needed to be revoked.

 

I hear ya, man. You know, you should be cut some slack, especially if they continue to use the slogan that you made up. Heck, you should be given free life membership for that!

 

I remember getting the notification about becoming a charter member but didn't figure it made that much difference. I only recently became a paying member because I wanted to take advantage of the PQs and quit manually inputting coordinates. At least you can rest assured that you're identified as one of the people from the early days by your "Joined" field next to your posts.

 

Group: Premium Members

Posts: 251

Joined: 22-December 00

From: Norcross, GA

 

But seriously, if this place had any class whatsoever, they'd make it up to you by giving you free charter membership for life for coming up with the excellent slogan they continue to use.

 

Ken

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Ken,

 

His reinstated charter member status won't be shown in the forums until the next time that Scott follows the "update" link.

 

So, dial it down a notch. It's all good now.

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OK.. dialing down. But... It a little appreciation ought to be shown the guy and he, alone, should get it for free.

 

Ken

Edited by n6mhg

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I have returned the Charter Member Status to the OP. This is a one time reinstatement. The normal time limit between renewals is 2 months. If it lapses again and is not renewed within the two month period there will be no way to reinstate it again.

 

Michael,

 

Thank you very much for this unexpected but most welcome consideration. I am extremely grateful. Thank you also for clarifying the policy with respect to lapses and renewals. I have set myself up for auto-renewal and will be doubly careful to prevent any future lapses.

 

Thanks also to everyone who has spoken up in support of my admittedly shaky position, and to those who participated in the policy discussion. This is indeed a community to which I can be proud to belong.

 

Scott

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over 30 complaints about this and only 3-5 thank you's. Its a shame that a good thing can't get the same press that a supposed bad thing does.

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Y'all done good, Groundspeak.

 

I for one thank you for confirming to me that you will do the right thing.

 

Very well done!

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I too let my Charter Membership lapse briefly and but it was caught in time to preserve it.

Glad Groundspeak stepped up on Scott's behalf and fixed this.

Bad press is always remembered but good press is quickly forgotten.

Way To Go Michael & Groundspeak!!!

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over 30 complaints about this and only 3-5 thank you's. Its a shame that a good thing can't get the same press that a supposed bad thing does.

 

I still want my Charter Member logo... :(

 

 

But I'll settle for a pony :)

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Didn't even know you could ask for your Charter Membership to be reinstated, so I haven't even asked. Might have to send off an email.

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After my whiskey buzz wears off, I'm gonna read this more thoroughly, especially since I think my Charter Throbbing Memership is gonna expire soon. I don't want to lose my "always available" server access.

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After my whiskey buzz wears off, I'm gonna read this more thoroughly, especially since I think my Charter Throbbing Memership is gonna expire soon. I don't want to lose my "always available" server access.

That must come with the throbbing upgrade.

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over 30 complaints about this and only 3-5 thank you's. Its a shame that a good thing can't get the same press that a supposed bad thing does.

 

I'll reserve my "thank you" for when ScottJ is really done right.

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over 30 complaints about this and only 3-5 thank you's. Its a shame that a good thing can't get the same press that a supposed bad thing does.

 

I'll reserve my "thank you" for when ScottJ is really done right.

They got what they asked for :rolleyes::o

 

or am I missing something?

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I'll reserve my "thank you" for when ScottJ is really done right.

They got what they asked for :rolleyes::o

 

or am I missing something?

 

What he asked for and what he deserves are two different things.

I'll leave it at that.

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