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Tschakko

Different prices of Premium Membership

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Exactly how would someone go about 'verifying' the claim that there are less than twenty 'deleted' posts? :unsure:

 

I counted 19, and I can tell you that the vast majority were for links to competing sites and inappropriate language. None of these have ever been tolerated in the forums. Some of those I counted were reposts, as the poster tried to post their note multiple times. Those identical posts was removed again and again.

Not to forget the at least 3 or 4 Post referring to a certain Canadian geocaching supplier which can be mentioned in the coins section but not in this thread!

 

Now Groundspeak: I am tired of waiting. An explanation and an excuse, please! And both plausible and no fishy talk again. You had a fourtnight to think "long and hard" about a 10 year old law.

Edited by squirrel42

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... an now ... nothing left, no one is writing, no answer of GS ...

 

Thanks to GS for the ignoration of their missbehavior and discrimination of the european cachers. ... and don´t feel invited to join events in Europe or be sure to know, that you have to answer questions and you can handle this :)

 

If there is any chance to get rid of this lack of communication skill, it would be a good thing for you.

 

Perhaps GS are saving up money so that they can open up a new HQ in Europe so that Euro based cachers can get the HQ icon, BlockParty icon, GPS Adventures icon and Lost and Found icon without having to fly to the US. Or, if they aren't going to do this, perhaps we should pay a discount of 4/18's of the price US based cachers pay as we only get to look for 14/18's of the cache icons that US cachers can get?

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Hello there,

 

I just noticed, that the prices of the premium membership do vary depending on the region you live in. I will move to the amercias soon and so I tried two different countries.

 

Germany would be 29.99 Euros per year and in America it would only be 29.99 Dollars. That´s almost an additional 10 Dollars for Europeans.

 

Does anyone know why this would be appropriate? I have to say that I do feel a bit discriminated and disappointed. I really doubt, that the income levels do differ that much...

 

When I updated to premium today, I was charged £24.99 for a year. I thought this was just an increase as I had previously paid just under £20.00.

Suspiciously, I have just read a thread on Facebook and investigated further and it seems if I had renewed through the site without being logged in (in the UK) I could have received the same benefits for $30.00 US which at today's exchange rate equates to £19.28.

I would like a refund of the difference as I believe this to be an unfair discrimination due to geographical location.

 

Noting to do with vat or bank charges as neither have applied before, nor are they being paid by GS. Just purely discrimination due to where you reside? About time this was stopped as you can still renew under the US currency if you remove the local currency by logging out first?

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I tried to get some informations via direct mail-contact. This was the answer:

 

Hello again,

 

Please visit our forums for more more information about the premium membership price change.

 

Regards,

 

Paige Edmiston

Community Manager

 

(There was a link to Brians post included)

 

Here my answer:

 

Unbelievable.

 

1) This informations are null and void. Neither you can take VAT without informing about the exact price without VAT and the VAT amount nor you can take VAT without informing about your VAT-number. The german law is in this case clear and simple and has no room for “we are thinking if” or “a learning curve” …

2) This information is telling me, you think I´m nuts, because you take over my currency fluctuations. How nice … but until the exchange-rate is not 1 : 1 there is no problem for me and I have to pay more without getting something for it.

 

This answer is just another slap in every face of the european cacher.

 

Therefore I kindly ask you to send me some real reasons for this “discrimination”.

 

Regards

Edited by Chapeman

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As I see it, Europeans are getting a price hike due to GS wanting them to have a constant rate to pay. The reason cannot be financially motivated because otherwise Americans and other countries would also surely be getting a price hike? Would it not make life easier if GS added an option on the paying screen to pay either the fixed rate in the Euro or Sterling, or pay in US Dollars. If one pays by PayPal as many people do, there are no currency conversion costs. I can understand prices do increase over time but as the situation is, Europeans are being locationally discriminated against by an American firm!

 

In addition, if we are going to pay Premium membership prices, I at least expect the features of the website (namely maps) to work correctly.

Edited by EdwardJP

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As I see it, Europeans are getting a price hike due to GS wanting them to have a constant rate to pay. The reason cannot be financially motivated because otherwise Americans and other countries would also surely be getting a price hike? Would it not make life easier if GS added an option on the paying screen to pay either the fixed rate in the Euro or Sterling, or pay in US Dollars. If one pays by PayPal as many people do, there are no currency conversion costs. I can understand prices do increase over time but as the situation is, Europeans are being locationally discriminated against by an American firm!

 

In addition, if we are going to pay Premium membership prices, I at least expect the features of the website (namely maps) to work correctly.

 

Hard to see GS caring whether we have a consistent price to pay and even if they did it's even harder to see them honestly expecting people to accept an argument of "you'll never know if the $30 will cost you £18 or £21 so let's just call it £24.99 so it's always the same".

 

If they want to put the price up for Europeans they are free to do so but to endlessly insult us with lots of daft-sounding reasons that don't stand up to much scrutiny seems to me to be what's annoying everybody.

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Does anybody know a responsible EU/German/British etc. authority (with e-mail or address) where we can report the behaviour from Groundspeak:

Net price is not stated, VAT percentage is not stated, VAT ID is not published at their web site, no invoice and so on.

I checked other companies like Amazon and ebay. All of them have done this, sure, because it is legally required.

Edited by dbox

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Now that the US is working hard to have US based companies to charge sales tax (already voted in the US senate) GS will have to charge sales tax to it's US customers soon. The tax is different for each state (5 states have no sales tax) so I wonder if GS will start charging US$40 "including all taxes". I bet they are thinking hard already.

 

Will they get away with a fixed price for all in the US or will they charge sales tax depending on the percentage for each state?

 

 

BTW GS, this is not going to go away by not posting in this thread... if you handle the US state tax as you did VAT this thread is going to be one of the longest for years...

Remember you are dealing with paying customers who are able to vote with their credit cards and wallets.

 

For the time being you can still pay US$30 by using a reseller, getting a gift PM, changing your location to an out of EU zone country. US customers could just use a reseller that has a less than US$ 1.000.000 in sales per year in a state other than their own.

Edited by Keystone
To meet forum guidelines

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Does anybody know a responsible EU/German/British etc. authority (with e-mail or address) where we can report the behaviour from Groundspeak:

Net price is not stated, VAT percentage is not stated, VAT ID is not published at their web site, no invoice and so on.

I checked other companies like Amazon and ebay. All of them have done this, sure, because it is legally required.

As Groundspeak says, they are registered with the British HMRC this would be the relevant page you are looking for: Customs, Excise and VAT fraud reporting

Edited by squirrel42

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This post has been edited by Keystone: Today, 08:24 AM

Reason for edit: To meet forum guidelines

 

Still waiting for an "edit" (also within 4 minutes after posting if possible) as to why VAT can't be calculated and put on the invoice as is legally required. Still thinking? :blink:

 

Reason for edit: meet legal requirements

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While Deep Thought is still pondering how to justify its European rip-off pricing policy, I've just received my renewal notice - which still includes the advice that:

 

"If you currently pay via a recurring PayPal payment, please cancel this payment and renew your Premium Membership via the Groundspeak Premium Membership upgrade page on:

• Geocaching

• Waymarking

• Wherigo

This directs your PayPal payments through the Groundspeak system so that we may better serve you."

 

So despite the earlier promise that existing automated payments would not be affected they are still advising those concerned to move onto the new higher payments!

 

Con artists have a better reputation than Groundspeak at present!

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So despite the earlier promise that existing automated payments would not be affected they are still advising those concerned to move onto the new higher payments!

 

That's because they haven't thought about the fact the have to add VAT and it's illegal to sell membership without this tax to the EU. The whole promise was illegal so this is their "workaround".

 

Best thing to do now is:

1. Not renew

2. Renew by giving yourself a gift PM (at US$30)

3. renew via Land.... .ca for Can$30 (which is a little less than US$30)

4. renew via any other reseller that offers PM @ US$30

5... get ripped off

 

Your choice

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So despite the earlier promise that existing automated payments would not be affected they are still advising those concerned to move onto the new higher payments!

 

That's because they haven't thought about the fact the have to add VAT and it's illegal to sell membership without this tax to the EU. The whole promise was illegal so this is their "workaround".

 

Best thing to do now is:

1. Not renew

2. Renew by giving yourself a gift PM (at US$30)

3. renew via Land.... .ca for Can$30 (which is a little less than US$30)

4. renew via any other reseller that offers PM @ US$30

5... get ripped off

 

Your choice

 

I would recommend number 1, 3 or 4!!!

 

But don´t you think your post will be edited soon due to compliance failures?

Edited by Tschakko

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Still waiting for an "edit" (also within 4 minutes after posting if possible) as to why VAT can't be calculated and put on the invoice as is legally required. Still thinking? :blink:

 

Reason for edit: meet legal requirements

 

Why do you state that this is legally required under the VAT On Electronic Services (VOES) special scheme that Groundspeak uses? This scheme uniquely applies to Non-EU businesses supplying electronic services to EU customers. HMRC states that there are no special rules for issuing VAT invoices under this scheme and that businesses are not required to issue VAT invoices.

 

I do not know of a legal reason why Groundspeak cannot charge a VAT inclusive fee as long as they submit the money they have collected to the HMRC and identify the various countries that should receive payment. Proz.com, for instance, charges all of its EU members a single fixed rate under a rationale that seems similar to Groundspeak's approach.

 

If you know anything to the contrary that specifically applies to the VOES scheme, please provide that information. Nobody has done so up until now.

 

That being said, Groundspeak's communication has been abysmal. Many other businesses provide knowledge base articles that explain the VAT (VOES) system. Some businesses list the VAT percentages applicable, set a base price, and charge differing inclusive rates depending on the country of the consumer (Blake Quarterly Magazine [charging inclusive rates in US dollars]). Some do not issue formal VAT invoices but identify the VAT charges as separate items in the invoices they do issue (Amazon Web Services). Some provide the VOES registration number on their invoices (Tracker). Some provide the VOES number on a FAQ on their web site (HostGator, Kagi).

 

Bryan stated Groundspeak was researching whether they can make the VOES registration number available. Since other companies sometimes do this, I do not know of any reason why Groundspeak cannot do so.

 

Groundspeak could publish a knowledge base article explaining the VOES system and additional fees that they must pay as a result; what percentages are being collected for each country; the vat number; the actual base rate for Groundspeak services that is being charged for each country (which varies from 23.62 euros (US$ 30.97) to 26.09 euros ($34.20). Undoubtedly that kind of information would have answered many of the concerns expressed in this thread.

 

I have no reason to doubt that Groundspeak is satisfying its legal obligation under the VOES scheme. But this is a test of the kind of communication that Groundspeak is willing to provide its customers. So far, the results of that test are not encouraging.

Edited by geodarts

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But don´t you think your post will be edited soon due to compliance failures?

 

Nope, do you think I"m violating VAT laws? I'm not even reposting a link that can be found 801 times on this forum already but was deleted in this thread once...801 times to go for this "official reseller" :)

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3. renew via Land.... .ca for Can$30 (which is a little less than US$30)

 

They're now charging Can$32 to cover the Can$:US$ exchange rate which they say is 1.06!

 

Chris

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So despite the earlier promise that existing automated payments would not be affected they are still advising those concerned to move onto the new higher payments!

 

That's because they haven't thought about the fact the have to add VAT and it's illegal to sell membership without this tax to the EU. The whole promise was illegal so this is their "workaround".

 

Best thing to do now is:

1. Not renew

2. Renew by giving yourself a gift PM (at US$30)

3. renew via Land.... .ca for Can$30 (which is a little less than US$30)

4. renew via any other reseller that offers PM @ US$30

5... get ripped off

 

Your choice

 

For all option (1) is looking attractive right now - most of the caches in my area that I haven't already found seem to be film pots behind signs, and this latest farce of Groundspeak's lack of communication hasn't helped.

 

That said option (6) seems a nice easy one to go for as well, which is to virtually move to somewhere like Wilmington in Delaware, buy a premium membership, then decide that living in Europe is better after all.

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3. renew via Land.... .ca for Can$30 (which is a little less than US$30)

 

They're now charging Can$32 to cover the Can$:US$ exchange rate which they say is 1.06!

 

Chris

 

I am not sure, but how the discussion is going here I would bet that G$ is forcing them to do so, as it can not be that Canadians pay less than Americans...

Edited by Tschakko

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I just got the weekly email that still contains precisely no information about this issue but does invite me to submit short films for the encouragingly named "Geocaching International Film Festival". I did wonder if I was the only one to at least consider combining two topical issues. I doubt it would win though...

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I just got the weekly email that still contains precisely no information about this issue but does invite me to submit short films for the encouragingly named "Geocaching International Film Festival". I did wonder if I was the only one to at least consider combining two topical issues. I doubt it would win though...

 

I am sure they only put "International" on it because they don't know how to send the newsletter just to their American members. For sure there won't anyone win but an American.

 

It's a shame how this thread is being ignored. G$: This issue won't just go away by ignoring it. You are upsetting members every minute that passes...

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I don't care about any legal issues, but this is what I got from this incident:

 

* GS decided to raise the price for EU-PMs without announcement; instead they simply switched the currency (dynamically) hoping nobody would notice.

* GS thought the only two currencies within the EU were GBP and EUR, so e.g. Swedish PMs also were (still are?) charged in EUR.

* Recurring membership was not affected, surely because of legal reasons. Instead GS sends out reminders telling those members to cancel their contract and sign the new one, again without any word of the price increase.

* The only official statement is outright insulting to many members, but GS promises to improve communication skills.

* No further statement from GS, no changes.

 

The mistakes are really getting better and better.

Edited by Rebore

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Fortunately geocachers are used to solving puzzles, attending to details and finding their way around obstacles. Where there is a will, there is a way as has been mentioned above many times. :ph34r:

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Will they get away with a fixed price for all in the US or will they charge sales tax depending on the percentage for each state?

 

 

Future US renewals will be charged 30€, but it will of course include all local taxes and currency conversion rates. :ph34r:

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Well one thing is for sure. No Lackeys will be able to attend European Megas anymore without getting an earful.

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Well one thing is for sure. No Lackeys will be able to attend European Megas anymore without getting an earful.

 

Do you think they care about that? They will just get themselves some golden earplugs and will be so relaxed after their first class flight that they just fly by the event on cloud #7 ;)

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same website = same prices!

Edited by _Jan_

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No Answer from GS till now? Newsletter was a Movie Competion! MMMmh i think the Oscar goes to -..... Groundspeak for no Information about this Thing! Thanks GS!

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The mistakes are really getting better and better.

This is definitely all a learning CURVE for GS.

 

But i have the impression that the learning curve is going down not up...

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No Answer from GS till now? Newsletter was a Movie Competion! MMMmh i think the Oscar goes to -..... Groundspeak for no Information about this Thing! Thanks GS!

 

There has NEVER been any business related announcement in the newsletter. There has never even been any news in the newsletter. Complaining that they are now ignoring you in the newsletter just makes you look like a complainer.

 

Here's my suggestion to all of you collectively. If you're going to quit, quit and get it over with. If you are not going to re-up your premium membership, then don't. If you are going to report them for tax fraud, do it.

 

This is the way that Groundspeak does business. It has been this way for quite some time, so for all of you to sit here and continually whine and place idle threats and not actually do anything, or add anything useful to the discussion, just makes you look like a bunch of whiners.

 

Anyone that thinks that Groundspeak is going to give them a personalized response about their accounting system, in a public forum, and then complains when it doesn't come, probably has much bigger problems going on then just being charged a couple of extra euros.

Edited by Don_J

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No Answer from GS till now? Newsletter was a Movie Competion! MMMmh i think the Oscar goes to -..... Groundspeak for no Information about this Thing! Thanks GS!

 

There has NEVER been any business related announcement in the newsletter. There has never even been any news in the newsletter. Complaining that they are now ignoring you in the newsletter just makes you look like a complainer.

 

Here's my suggestion to all of you collectively. If you're going to quit, quit and get it over with. If you are not going to re-up your premium membership, then don't. If you are going to report them for tax fraud, do it.

 

This is the way that Groundspeak does business. It has been this way for quite some time, so for all of you to sit here and continually whine and place idle threats and not actually do anything, or add anything useful to the discussion, just makes you look like a bunch of whiners.

 

Anyone that thinks that Groundspeak is going to give them a personalized response about their accounting system, in a public forum, and then complains when it doesn't come, probably has much bigger problems going on then just being charged a couple of extra euros.

 

What else to expect from an American...

 

Edited to add: This discussion will keep on going until there is an answer. And even if there is not, it should keep going just to make more people aware that they are being cheated upon by G$ in several ways on this topic!

Edited by Tschakko

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No Answer from GS till now? Newsletter was a Movie Competion! MMMmh i think the Oscar goes to -..... Groundspeak for no Information about this Thing! Thanks GS!

 

There has NEVER been any business related announcement in the newsletter. There has never even been any news in the newsletter. Complaining that they are now ignoring you in the newsletter just makes you look like a complainer.

 

Here's my suggestion to all of you collectively. If you're going to quit, quit and get it over with. If you are not going to re-up your premium membership, then don't. If you are going to report them for tax fraud, do it.

 

This is the way that Groundspeak does business. It has been this way for quite some time, so for all of you to sit here and continually whine and place idle threats and not actually do anything, or add anything useful to the discussion, just makes you look like a bunch of whiners.

 

Anyone that thinks that Groundspeak is going to give them a personalized response about their accounting system, in a public forum, and then complains when it doesn't come, probably has much bigger problems going on then just being charged a couple of extra euros.

 

What else to expect from an American...

 

Well, what you can expect from this American is that I won't consider the whiny, self centered, almost narcissistic behavior that I see in this thread to represent all Europeans.

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Well, what you can expect from this American is that I won't consider the whiny, self centered, almost narcissistic behavior that I see in this thread to represent all Europeans.

 

So why shouldn´t we be self centered in this? It´s us being discriminated against by G$. So I do see the need to keep talking about our interests.

 

I have to say that you show nothing else but narcissistic behavior yourself. Obviously you do not care that we are being discriminated. I can only guess why you do so. But my guess would be: If G$ would consider same prices worldwide it will conclude in a higher price for Americans too and not in a cheaper price for us. That´s not in you interest.

 

So if you do not want to see Europeans "whine" in here, then just go and read a different topic!

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Heard an interesting thing on watchdog tonight, there is a case where a airline was charging English customers more than customers from other countries. The suggestion was that they are committing the offence of Indirect Racism.

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Well, what you can expect from this American is that I won't consider the whiny, self centered, almost narcissistic behavior that I see in this thread to represent all Europeans.

 

So why shouldn´t we be self centered in this? It´s us being discriminated against by G$. So I do see the need to keep talking about our interests.

 

I have to say that you show nothing else but narcissistic behavior yourself. Obviously you do not care that we are being discriminated. I can only guess why you do so. But my guess would be: If G$ would consider same prices worldwide it will conclude in a higher price for Americans too and not in a cheaper price for us. That´s not in you interest.

 

So if you do not want to see Europeans "whine" in here, then just go and read a different topic!

 

It's fairly obvious that Groundspeak is not going to address this in this forum thread, or if they do, it won't be until they are ready to. I happen to enjoy reading the discussion between those that are discussing it in a civil fashion, however, for a vast number of these posts I get a mental image of a three year old holding their breath and stomping their feet until they get what they want.

 

You pretty much said that if I don't like it, leave. I believe that was the point of my post. Either do something constructive, or leave. Repeatedly stopping your feet and threatening to do so just makes one look silly.

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There has never even been any news in the newsletter.

I know this is a serious thread, but didn't anyone else find this funny? :lol:

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There has never even been any news in the newsletter.

I know this is a serious thread, but didn't anyone else find this funny? :lol:

 

Now that you mentioned it, it is a good line that happens to be true. And by now. almost 500 posts in this thread, the subject is hardly news. Perhaps it would be news if Groundspeak chose to further respond to this thread or post the VAT number as Bryan stated he would do if he were able. Since there is no reason not to do either, I assume that Groundspeak is returning to its usual form of communication. So I will try to help them out.

 

Yesterday, I posted a link to a web site (proz.com) that explains why it is charging its European members a different rate than those in the United States. The exact language is buried on the linked page but since it is similar in some respects to what Bryan stated, I decided that I would post the particular language in case Groundspeak wants to "borrow it" in the interests of communication.

 

The company clearly explained why it was imposing VAT:

 

Even though ProZ.com is not based in the EU, as a company selling a digital service "consumed" in the EU, ProZ.com is obligated by the EU to collect VAT at the national rate of the consumer, and to remit all VAT collected to a single EU country in a quarterly basis. (ProZ.com remits to Spain.)

 

But it also addressed the specific rates it was applying:

 

ProZ.com became obligated by EU directive to remit VAT tax (in euros.) In light of the high percentage of euro expenses, and associated currency risk, it became necessary in June 2003 to adopt a pricing policy that involves both euros and dollars. Without this policy, ProZ.com would have to absorb currency fluctuations of 25% or more and still pay VAT taxes of up to 25% on membership sales. The company is not in a position to do that. It was determined that the fairest policy would be to charge members fixed rates in their own currencies. So rather than paying a different amount each year due to currency fluctuations, members both in the Euro Zone and the US will pay a fixed amount, regardless of currency fluctuations.

 

Though this policy means that there may be discrepancies in the absolute amounts paid by EU and non-EU members from year to year, ProZ.com has promised to apply the policy consistently going forward. Over time it is thought that amounts paid will balance out (and if they do not, adjustment will be made). By paying in your own currency, you enjoy stability, and help to give stability to ProZ.com.

 

If Groundspeak had said something like that from the start and followed the examples of other businesses in a knowledge base article explaining the VOES tax, the amount of money that each country is paying for its services, and the VAT number, I don't think we would have reached 500 posts. People might have even forgiven them for compromising its obligation not to raise rates for certain members. But we are where we are . . . so back to holding one's breath.

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<SNIP>

The company clearly explained why it was imposing VAT:

 

Even though ProZ.com is not based in the EU, as a company selling a digital service "consumed" in the EU, ProZ.com is obligated by the EU to collect VAT at the national rate of the consumer, and to remit all VAT collected to a single EU country in a quarterly basis. (ProZ.com remits to Spain.)

 

But it also addressed the specific rates it was applying:

 

ProZ.com became obligated by EU directive to remit VAT tax (in euros.) In light of the high percentage of euro expenses, and associated currency risk, it became necessary in June 2003 to adopt a pricing policy that involves both euros and dollars. Without this policy, ProZ.com would have to absorb currency fluctuations of 25% or more and still pay VAT taxes of up to 25% on membership sales. The company is not in a position to do that. It was determined that the fairest policy would be to charge members fixed rates in their own currencies. So rather than paying a different amount each year due to currency fluctuations, members both in the Euro Zone and the US will pay a fixed amount, regardless of currency fluctuations.

 

Though this policy means that there may be discrepancies in the absolute amounts paid by EU and non-EU members from year to year, ProZ.com has promised to apply the policy consistently going forward. Over time it is thought that amounts paid will balance out (and if they do not, adjustment will be made). By paying in your own currency, you enjoy stability, and help to give stability to ProZ.com.

 

If Groundspeak had said something like that from the start and followed the examples of other businesses in a knowledge base article explaining the VOES tax, the amount of money that each country is paying for its services, and the VAT number, I don't think we would have reached 500 posts. People might have even forgiven them for compromising its obligation not to raise rates for certain members. But we are where we are . . . so back to holding one's breath.

 

WOW!

That is just amazing! :o

 

How do you suppose ProZ.com was able to come up with such a clear and concise explaination? :unsure:

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Heard an interesting thing on watchdog tonight, there is a case where a airline was charging English customers more than customers from other countries. The suggestion was that they are committing the offence of Indirect Racism.

 

That is stupid. Being English is not a race, it is a nationality.

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The problem is not the price itself, but that the Groudspeak has done nothing to be payed for. They are not making the caches, they don't service them. They are only parasiting on their user's work!

 

What is even more annoying, the GC hasn't even made an effort to adapt their payment methods to european environment. Hey Amis, you think that everyone on the world use date format month/day/year minute/hour/second, count distances with miles and pays with credit card on paypal? You are wrong!

Edited by Keystone
to comply with forum guidelines

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@geo jedimeister. Thanks for your balanced well thought out reply.

So if a firm puts up a sign saying "no irish" "no polish" etc it's not racism? Good to know that they can cite you as their defence.

 

I was pointing out that they "might" be committing the offence as it would appear to be similar to the case that was on tv.

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No Answer from GS till now? Newsletter was a Movie Competion! MMMmh i think the Oscar goes to -..... Groundspeak for no Information about this Thing! Thanks GS!

 

There has NEVER been any business related announcement in the newsletter. There has never even been any news in the newsletter. Complaining that they are now ignoring you in the newsletter just makes you look like a complainer.

 

Here's my suggestion to all of you collectively. If you're going to quit, quit and get it over with. If you are not going to re-up your premium membership, then don't. If you are going to report them for tax fraud, do it.

 

This is the way that Groundspeak does business. It has been this way for quite some time, so for all of you to sit here and continually whine and place idle threats and not actually do anything, or add anything useful to the discussion, just makes you look like a bunch of whiners.

 

Anyone that thinks that Groundspeak is going to give them a personalized response about their accounting system, in a public forum, and then complains when it doesn't come, probably has much bigger problems going on then just being charged a couple of extra euros.

 

What else to expect from an American...

 

Edited to add: This discussion will keep on going until there is an answer. And even if there is not, it should keep going just to make more people aware that they are being cheated upon by G$ in several ways on this topic!

 

I am American but you can bet that i don't agree with Don_J. That's one of the problems with our society,, people turning their heads and not standing up for what is right. What i am seeing shouldn't be just swept under the rug. To be honest though, this is what i feel Groundspeak is hoping for. Maybe not swept under the rug but that the concern will lose interest and go away. I've seen it happen a few times on this website.

 

The basic membership fee for using the site should be the same for everyone. Taxes, vat, or other fees levied from beyond Groundspeak's control would simply be added at checkout. To surprise customers with an arbitrary price and say it covers fluctuations and the such is not right.

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No Answer from GS till now? Newsletter was a Movie Competion! MMMmh i think the Oscar goes to -..... Groundspeak for no Information about this Thing! Thanks GS!

 

There has NEVER been any business related announcement in the newsletter. There has never even been any news in the newsletter. Complaining that they are now ignoring you in the newsletter just makes you look like a complainer.

 

Here's my suggestion to all of you collectively. If you're going to quit, quit and get it over with. If you are not going to re-up your premium membership, then don't. If you are going to report them for tax fraud, do it.

 

This is the way that Groundspeak does business. It has been this way for quite some time, so for all of you to sit here and continually whine and place idle threats and not actually do anything, or add anything useful to the discussion, just makes you look like a bunch of whiners.

 

Anyone that thinks that Groundspeak is going to give them a personalized response about their accounting system, in a public forum, and then complains when it doesn't come, probably has much bigger problems going on then just being charged a couple of extra euros.

 

What else to expect from an American...

 

Edited to add: This discussion will keep on going until there is an answer. And even if there is not, it should keep going just to make more people aware that they are being cheated upon by G$ in several ways on this topic!

 

I am American but you can bet that i don't agree with Don_J. That's one of the problems with our society,, people turning their heads and not standing up for what is right. What i am seeing shouldn't be just swept under the rug. To be honest though, this is what i feel Groundspeak is hoping for. Maybe not swept under the rug but that the concern will lose interest and go away. I've seen it happen a few times on this website.

 

The basic membership fee for using the site should be the same for everyone. Taxes, vat, or other fees levied from beyond Groundspeak's control would simply be added at checkout. To surprise customers with an arbitrary price and say it covers fluctuations and the such is not right.

 

 

Very well said! I was not affected by this change in the price policy and despite I have my subscription paid until next year, I intend to stop it - and stop being a Charter Member also - because I think is it wrong the way it was implemented and I can't turn my head just because it didn't affect me. It's a matter of respect and consideration, not a matter of a few euros...

 

But now, let me stop whining... When the time comes, I'll vote with my credit card.

 

I was decided to contain my intervention here in this topic but your words touched me.

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D'OHHH. Missed the 500th entry. I hoping for a Souvenir on that one. Even IF it is the 'Whiny European of the month' award...

 

Either way, the solution seems to be to claim I live in Delaware (or one of the other 4 non-VAT states) and thus show GS the virtual finger or find someone in the US that gifts me a membership from there for $US 30 (and not a cent, US cent that is, more) and pull a GS on it (not telling or admitting).

 

Regardless of how much I disagree with Don J's comments and the generally non-community oriented mindset, he has a point when he says that GS will not care or react as long as the PMs keep on coming in. AZcachemeister's comments are well received (at least by me), but they will also not change the 'official' opinion.

 

The logic by GS is as obvious as it is despisable (if that is a word). I enjoy my PM, for some of the featires and if I can find a way to cheat GS out of the increase (see above) I will do so... yet, while I get my privileges (like upholstery on seats at Mega Events), they get their $30. Since I want to go on caching with those perks that a PM gives me, I might not have a choice (for convenience sake) but to pay... yet... it still comes down to them getting their 30 silverlings, sorry dollars...

 

So why react, GS?

 

Having typed all that, I am still mad as hell at 'them'. [insert your line of heartfelt curses and profanities here, Heaven knows I have]

 

Thore

 

P.S.: If you have links, why not post them in your profile (by typing out the @ as [at] and refer to your profile from here...? Just a thought.

P.P.S.: Edited for typos and grammar. The latter to appear more clever.

Edited by Thore

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@Mudfrog and MAtunes:

 

Much appreciated.

 

I had the chance to meet briansnat once, a few years ago, as another Chartermember and was wondering the other day what his opinion would be...

 

Thore

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No Answer from GS till now? Newsletter was a Movie Competion! MMMmh i think the Oscar goes to -..... Groundspeak for no Information about this Thing! Thanks GS!

 

There has NEVER been any business related announcement in the newsletter. There has never even been any news in the newsletter. Complaining that they are now ignoring you in the newsletter just makes you look like a complainer.

 

Here's my suggestion to all of you collectively. If you're going to quit, quit and get it over with. If you are not going to re-up your premium membership, then don't. If you are going to report them for tax fraud, do it.

 

This is the way that Groundspeak does business. It has been this way for quite some time, so for all of you to sit here and continually whine and place idle threats and not actually do anything, or add anything useful to the discussion, just makes you look like a bunch of whiners.

 

Anyone that thinks that Groundspeak is going to give them a personalized response about their accounting system, in a public forum, and then complains when it doesn't come, probably has much bigger problems going on then just being charged a couple of extra euros.

 

What else to expect from an American...

 

Edited to add: This discussion will keep on going until there is an answer. And even if there is not, it should keep going just to make more people aware that they are being cheated upon by G$ in several ways on this topic!

 

I am American but you can bet that i don't agree with Don_J. That's one of the problems with our society,, people turning their heads and not standing up for what is right. What i am seeing shouldn't be just swept under the rug. To be honest though, this is what i feel Groundspeak is hoping for. Maybe not swept under the rug but that the concern will lose interest and go away. I've seen it happen a few times on this website.

 

The basic membership fee for using the site should be the same for everyone. Taxes, vat, or other fees levied from beyond Groundspeak's control would simply be added at checkout. To surprise customers with an arbitrary price and say it covers fluctuations and the such is not right.

 

Where did I say that people shouldn't stand up for their rights? If anything, I said that they should stop complaining and actually do something. Words without action don't mean anything. Either you accept it or you do something about it, complaining just makes you a complainer.

 

Personally, I don't know how anyone can read Geodarts explanation of the tax system and not accept it for what it is. It's sad that some guy in California has a better grasp on this than all of the people over there that it actually applies to. If you do accept it but are simply pissed that Groundspeak didn't notify you, get over it.

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Just as a quick reminder for everyone jumping into the discussion now, the geodart post (with a bold highlight from me):

 

Why do you state that this is legally required under the VAT On Electronic Services (VOES) special scheme that Groundspeak uses? This scheme uniquely applies to Non-EU businesses supplying electronic services to EU customers. HMRC states that there are no special rules for issuing VAT invoices under this scheme and that businesses are not required to issue VAT invoices.

 

I do not know of a legal reason why Groundspeak cannot charge a VAT inclusive fee as long as they submit the money they have collected to the HMRC and identify the various countries that should receive payment. Proz.com, for instance, charges all of its EU members a single fixed rate under a rationale that seems similar to Groundspeak's approach.

 

If you know anything to the contrary that specifically applies to the VOES scheme, please provide that information. Nobody has done so up until now.

 

That being said, Groundspeak's communication has been abysmal. Many other businesses provide knowledge base articles that explain the VAT (VOES) system. Some businesses list the VAT percentages applicable, set a base price, and charge differing inclusive rates depending on the country of the consumer (Blake Quarterly Magazine [charging inclusive rates in US dollars]). Some do not issue formal VAT invoices but identify the VAT charges as separate items in the invoices they do issue (Amazon Web Services). Some provide the VOES registration number on their invoices (Tracker). Some provide the VOES number on a FAQ on their web site (HostGator, Kagi).

 

Bryan stated Groundspeak was researching whether they can make the VOES registration number available. Since other companies sometimes do this, I do not know of any reason why Groundspeak cannot do so.

 

Groundspeak could publish a knowledge base article explaining the VOES system and additional fees that they must pay as a result; what percentages are being collected for each country; the vat number; the actual base rate for Groundspeak services that is being charged for each country (which varies from 23.62 euros (US$ 30.97) to 26.09 euros ($34.20). Undoubtedly that kind of information would have answered many of the concerns expressed in this thread.

 

I have no reason to doubt that Groundspeak is satisfying its legal obligation under the VOES scheme. But this is a test of the kind of communication that Groundspeak is willing to provide its customers. So far, the results of that test are not encouraging.

[end of quote]

 

Two quick points with regards to that post, that have already been raised:

a. The VAT changes from country to country in Europe, so applying a flat fee seems... arbitrary? See highlighted section for a few very good thoughts

b. This applies to the United Kingdom as indicated by the first two letters in the acronym HMRC, which stand for 'Her Majesty', laws are different in Germany (for example) as pointed out by Tschakko.

 

All the factual and geographical discussions aside... Don J is right that complaining does not change anything (other than making tptb aware that something 'is rotten in the state of [enter the afflicted non-US country here])

Now, what would your suggestion be?

PMs are cannot be cancelled. Money cannot be asked back. The CEO cannot be released. There is no complaint dept. other than this forum. Setting up another platform has been tried, but did not help.

Any more thoughts? What is your personal opinion, btw? You think it fair?

 

Thore

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D'OHHH. Missed the 500th entry. I hoping for a Souvenir on that one. Even IF it is the 'Whiny European of the month' award...

 

Either way, the solution seems to be to claim I live in Delaware (or one of the other 4 non-VAT states) and thus show GS the virtual finger or find someone in the US that gifts me a membership from there for $US 30 (and not a cent, US cent that is, more) and pull a GS on it (not telling or admitting).

 

Regardless of how much I disagree with Don J's comments and the generally non-community oriented mindset, he has a point when he says that GS will not care or react as long as the PMs keep on coming in. AZcachemeister's comments are well received (at least by me), but they will also not change the 'official' opinion.

 

The logic by GS is as obvious as it is despisable (if that is a word). I enjoy my PM, for some of the featires and if I can find a way to cheat GS out of the increase (see above) I will do so... yet, while I get my privileges (like upholstery on seats at Mega Events), they get their $30. Since I want to go on caching with those perks that a PM gives me, I might not have a choice (for convenience sake) but to pay... yet... it still comes down to them getting their 30 silverlings, sorry dollars...

 

So why react, GS?

 

Having typed all that, I am still mad as hell at 'them'. [insert your line of heartfelt curses and profanities here, Heaven knows I have]

 

Thore

 

P.S.: If you have links, why not post them in your profile (by typing out the @ as [at] and refer to your profile from here...? Just a thought.

P.P.S.: Edited for typos and grammar. The latter to appear more clever.

 

Thank you. This is not the type of post that my comments were directed to. I'm sorry if I offended anyone that is trying to discuss this in a reasonable manner. I think what set me off was some of the comments directed towards the moderator who's sole stake in this is to enforce forum guidelines and has nothing to do with Groundspeak's business decisions.

 

If I felt very strongly about not renewing my PM, I would write to Groundspeak and tell them just that. I would make it clear why and I would make it clear what I feel has to change in order for me to reconsider. My email would be civil, business like and to the point. If I had bullet points to support me, I would list them. If I felt a compromise may resolve the issue, I would offer it.

 

I understand that this issue is being discussed in a substantial number of local forums? I think that you all need to organize and come up with such an email and flood Groundspeak with it. You are simply not going to get the satisfaction that you desire by posting in this user forum. If they receive enough serious emails that are more than an emotional sounding rants and raves, they may see that this could possibly effect their bottom line and be forced to address it.

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My membership was due so I asked if Groundspeak would honour their previous promise not to increase my membership which was not auto renewal and received the following reply.

 

"Thank you for contacting us. I have reviewed your accounts in our system and even though you have been a Premium Member with us for several years, your account was not set-up to auto-renew.

We have stated that Premium Members with recurring memberships, that are set-up to auto-renew, will be grandfathered in the payment system and are not affected. They'll continue to pay their original rate.

I apologize for the frustration. As a courtesy, I have added 7 free days of Premium Membership to your accounts.

Let me know, if you have further questions and concerns."

 

So thanks Groundspeak for 7 free days amounting to about 57 Cents. Do I feel insulted, of course I do.

 

Just pleased someone has just gifted me a membership.

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I work for a large international equipment rental company. Every single one of our customers has the opportunity to place an online review of our service, on our website. If your review is not satisfactory, a manager will contact you personally and make every reasonable effort to resolve the issue. The strategy is to stay ahead of any issue, correct the problem and make sure that the customer is satisfied.

 

I can't believe that Groundspeak did not get in front of this from the git-go and let it spread like a wildfire across a prairie. I guess that is the luxury of having a virtual monopoly on the business.

 

I live in a mobile home community that has TV cable in it owned by Time Warner. Verizon will not invest in running cable and the HOA will not allow new satellite dishes to be placed on our roofs. If I want premium TV, I pay TW for it and that's that. The local TW is well aware of their position and at times treats us as second class citizens. I want my TV, and I see no way to change the situation, so I accept it and get on with my life.

 

I am in no way insensitive to the situation that Groundspeak has placed half of their customers in. What I am insensitive to are some of the reactions that I have seen posted in this thread.

Edited by Don_J

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"Thank you for contacting us. I have reviewed your accounts in our system and even though you have been a Premium Member with us for several years, your account was not set-up to auto-renew."

That, as everyone except Groundspeak seems to know, was not the promise. The wording, before Groundspeak carefully removed it in advance of not announcing the price increase, was "...so long as you continue to renew". There was no mention of auto-renew.

 

Do I feel insulted, of course I do.

And you're far from being the only one. Does Groundspeak care? Apparently not.

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