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Tschakko

Different prices of Premium Membership

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Tell you what, get up out of your chair, walk over to the wall and have a conversation with it. You will probably get more satisfaction from that then you will preaching to the choir in this forum. Don't you get it? No one is paying attention. You need to write to them directly. Telling them that they are not getting your money until they address the issue is not begging.

 

FWIW it seems writing to G$ is no more productive to talking to the wall either, so what's the point in doing that? At least bringing it here is letting everyone else know that they're not the only ones who feel they're being shafted, and maybe that will encourage a larger scale exit of PMs which would have some effect on G$'s bank balance.

 

I doubt anything will change though.

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Ask them on Facebook (not message, but as post visible for all). Make this discussion public!

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I doubt anything will change though.

You might be right. That's why this story about "learning curves" is so funny to me. It's not the first time that a lack of communication has been critizised. Shouldn't a propper learnig curve lead to more communication and make Groundspeak to provide necessary information?

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Ask them on Facebook (not message, but as post visible for all). Make this discussion public!

 

If they don't care about what their customers are saying on their own forum why would they care what the same customers are saying on twitface or anywhere else?

 

If they suddenly find their European membership rates have slumped they may deign to talk to us. I still wouldn't hold my breath.

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Ask them on Facebook (not message, but as post visible for all). Make this discussion public!

 

Done this already ... no one notice it, between the "la la la" - posts.

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Ask them on Facebook (not message, but as post visible for all). Make this discussion public!

What about a footer in each log we write?

This is really public!

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Ask them on Facebook (not message, but as post visible for all). Make this discussion public!

What about a footer in each log we write?

This is really public!

 

That´s a really great idea! I will go for that :)

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Ask them on Facebook (not message, but as post visible for all). Make this discussion public!

What about a footer in each log we write?

This is really public!

 

That´s a really great idea! I will go for that :)

Yes. And talk to your fellow cachers when you meet them in the woods or at events.

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Ask them on Facebook (not message, but as post visible for all). Make this discussion public!

What about a footer in each log we write?

This is really public!

 

That´s a really great idea! I will go for that :)

 

Mee too. smile.gif

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Tell you what, get up out of your chair, walk over to the wall and have a conversation with it. You will probably get more satisfaction from that then you will preaching to the choir in this forum. Don't you get it? No one is paying attention. You need to write to them directly. Telling them that they are not getting your money until they address the issue is not begging.

 

FWIW it seems writing to G$ is no more productive to talking to the wall either, so what's the point in doing that? At least bringing it here is letting everyone else know that they're not the only ones who feel they're being shafted, and maybe that will encourage a larger scale exit of PMs which would have some effect on G$'s bank balance.

 

I doubt anything will change though.

 

All of the emails that have been shared here are those asking questions. I agree that the responses from Groundspeak are not helpful and are bordering on arrogance. As yet, no one has shared an email where they have notified Groundspeak that they are not renewing their PM because of the new policy, or the lack of public response to criticism of the new policy. When I see that and response from Groundspeak that says, "Who cares", then I will agree with the idea that writing to Groundspeak is not worth the trouble.

 

It's really sad that so many are willing to continually complain in this thread but so unwilling to put their money where their mouths are, so to speak, and notify Groundspeak that they will no longer give them their money.

 

Even if Groundspeak is reading this thread, which I think is doubtful, all they are seeing is idle threats. They see this every time they make an unpopular change and they have always weathered through it by basically ignoring it because in the end, nobody ever really does anything.

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<snip>

Even if Groundspeak is reading this thread, which I think is doubtful, all they are seeing is idle threats. They see this every time they make an unpopular change and they have always weathered through it by basically ignoring it because in the end, nobody ever really does anything.

 

I'm sure they are still reading the thread. Will they comment? Not likely.

 

But really what can you do? I doubt the AG will initiate a Sherman act case and if even 100 drop their membership because of what GS did, do you think they would notice, or care? Probably over the next four weeks or so enough new members will join oblivious to the brouhaha that the numbers will be back. Unless GS does something so egregious that many members refuse to renew they won't notice. And note that it can be many months before the lack of renewing will show effects. About the only thing that will get the attention if many members write demanding their membership be canceled and the prorated membership be refunded. What would get their notice is if a completing site was established and really started growing. But again, not likely.

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I'm sure they are still reading the thread. Will they comment? Not likely.

 

But really what can you do?

 

I agree that Groundspeak is unlikely to comment or change their policy in any respect. It is one more reason, I suppose, why monopolies are a bad idea. I do not expect any response other than what they have given: "We are Groundspeak and we are not legally obligated to tell you anything."

 

They may be right about that under the rules for non-EU companies collecting VAT for electronic services. Nobody who complains about Groundspeak acting illegally has shown that they are not conforming to the one-stop "special scheme" (VOES) that is applicable throughout the EU.

 

However, I had hoped for more. Bryan's post in this thread spoke about a commitment to communication and openness. Instead we find the Groundspeak approach: silence; disregard for past promises and contractual obligations; more silence.

 

I joined as a premium member before I even had a gpsr because I thought I should help pay for a service I was starting to use and because Groundspeak offered never to raise the rates as long as I renewed. I renewed because my areas of disagreement with Groundspeak did not push me over the edge. I am not directly affected by this latest failure, but if I decide to continue to renew it will be in spite of the company rather than because of it.

 

In addition to the companies I already posted, here are a few other companies doing what Groundspeak states that they cannot or will not do under the VOES special scheme. Linden Lab (Second Life) provides a detailed page explaining why they are not discriminating against Europeans and gives a summary of VAT charges in the user's account statements. They must have gotten some of the same complaints that started this thread, but handled it in a much different and open way. In fact, they have more than one page explaining VAT and how much users are charged, but this one is the most impressive. Kudos to them. Groundspeak could learn from how they handled it.

 

Also: Network Solutions provides the amount of VAT for electronic services in their customer's billing information and explains it in a support page. Justhost provides the VOES number on their web site (the number beginning with EU.....). Blue Host makes their VOES number available. Pixgenius provides detailed information about the VAT for electronic services.

 

Its hard to conceive of any company who would want to hide the price of their basic services (even if the inclusive VAT fee is listed). Most companies want to shift the blame for higher costs to the tax-man and are willing to show exactly what people are paying them to do.

 

Given Groundspeak's history, of emerging from a community of users and volunteers, I expected them to opt on the side of openness and integrity. Its disappointing. But what can I do other than to make an individual decision when it comes time for renewal.

Edited by geodarts

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I would have to say the ball is now in the court of the European community.

If you want to make your case, you will need to make your voice heard in the financial department.

 

Groundspeak has consulted VAT experts, and has taken their advice.

 

But do the VAT experts have advice about the friendly treatment of customers?

 

I think not.

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I was editing my previous post just to make it a little clearer and thought about starting a web site to list a VAT on Electronic Services Hall of Fame (about 10 companies that I know of at the moment) and a Hall of Shame (one company that I know of at the moment), but I was not sure if I would ever get around to it.

 

So instead here is my geocaching challenge for Bryan (if he or anyone else from Groundspeak is monitoring this thread): If other companies can provide detailed information (including the VAT percentages, the amount of money paid for services apart from VAT, the VOES registration number, and knowledge base articles explaining how VAT is applied) under the same special scheme that Groundspeak uses, why can't yours? Wouldn't this be the first step towards improving communication? I await your answer.

 

challenge.jpg

The hardest one of all?

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In addition to the companies I already posted, here are a few other companies doing what Groundspeak states that they cannot or will not do under the VOES special scheme. Linden Lab (Second Life) provides a detailed page explaining why they are not discriminating against Europeans and gives a summary of VAT charges in the user's account statements. They must have gotten some of the same complaints that started this thread, but handled it in a much different and open way. In fact, they have more than one page explaining VAT and how much users are charged, but this one is the most impressive. Kudos to them. Groundspeak could learn from how they handled it.

 

Also: Network Solutions provides the amount of VAT for electronic services in their customer's billing information and explains it in a support page. Justhost provides the VOES number on their web site (the number beginning with EU.....). Blue Host makes their VOES number available. Pixgenius provides detailed information about the VAT for electronic services.

 

 

Seriously, Groundspeak...learn from these examples.

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Groundspeak has consulted VAT experts, and has taken their advice.

Have they really talked to VAT experts? GS just spoke of "experts" and that means nothing. If they spoke to "VAT experts", why should they have recomended not to give vital imformation? Bryan said 4 weeks ago that GS would give the VAT number in the case GS found out they are allowed to publish this number. And yes, it is allowed to publish this number. Again another broken promise by Groundspeak. And there is no reason to hide the VAT number or not tell us what VAT rate they are taking.

 

As I said earlier, as recurring PM I'm at the moment not affected by the price hike but nevertheless I will cancel my PM. I don't want to do business with a company which treats its customers like this.

Furthermore I'll report GS to HMRC and German tax authorities as I suspect them of tax fraud.

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But really what can you do? I doubt the AG will initiate a Sherman act case and if even 100 drop their membership because of what GS did, do you think they would notice, or care? Probably over the next four weeks or so enough new members will join oblivious to the brouhaha that the numbers will be back. Unless GS does something so egregious that many members refuse to renew they won't notice. And note that it can be many months before the lack of renewing will show effects. About the only thing that will get the attention if many members write demanding their membership be canceled and the prorated membership be refunded. What would get their notice is if a completing site was established and really started growing. But again, not likely.

 

Bingo!

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I was editing my previous post just to make it a little clearer and thought about starting a web site to list a VAT on Electronic Services Hall of Fame (about 10 companies that I know of at the moment) and a Hall of Shame (one company that I know of at the moment), but I was not sure if I would ever get around to it.

 

So instead here is my geocaching challenge for Bryan (if he or anyone else from Groundspeak is monitoring this thread): If other companies can provide detailed information (including the VAT percentages, the amount of money paid for services apart from VAT, the VOES registration number, and knowledge base articles explaining how VAT is applied) under the same special scheme that Groundspeak uses, why can't yours? Wouldn't this be the first step towards improving communication? I await your answer.

 

It is interesting the way they've gone from "if we can publish it we will" to "we're not obliged to disclose it so we won't".

 

I'm drawing ever-closer to a similar migration from "if I can renew my premium membership I will" to "I'm not obligated to renew it so I won't".

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Don't you guys get it? GS already knows they will lose a few PMs and are willing to lose them since it will not make a big difference in their revenue. A year from now no one will be talking about this and EU geocachers will still be buying PMs.

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A year from now no one will be talking about this and EU geocachers will still be buying PMs.

And I'm quite positiv that Groundspeaks "learning curve" will by then lead them to some way of secretely increasing the price for recurring PMs as well. Also I'm quite shure that better communincation, though it's been promised, is not on the agenda for that "learning curve"

Edited by squirrel42

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Groundspeak has consulted VAT experts, and has taken their advice.

Have they really talked to VAT experts? GS just spoke of "experts" and that means nothing. If they spoke to "VAT experts", why should they have recomended not to give vital imformation? Bryan said 4 weeks ago that GS would give the VAT number in the case GS found out they are allowed to publish this number. And yes, it is allowed to publish this number. Again another broken promise by Groundspeak. And there is no reason to hide the VAT number or not tell us what VAT rate they are taking.

 

As I said earlier, as recurring PM I'm at the moment not affected by the price hike but nevertheless I will cancel my PM. I don't want to do business with a company which treats its customers like this.

Furthermore I'll report GS to HMRC and German tax authorities as I suspect them of tax fraud.

 

Well, it's been a month. What are you waiting for?

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Well, it's been a month. What are you waiting for?

I'm waiting for nothing. Just have to do the writing. The report will go to HMRC today. That's where my "learning curve" leads me to.

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It is interesting the way they've gone from "if we can publish it we will" to "we're not obliged to disclose it so we won't".

 

I'm drawing ever-closer to a similar migration from "if I can renew my premium membership I will" to "I'm not obligated to renew it so I won't".

 

Great post! I personally would change it to: ... "I'm not obligated to renew it so I ... CHANGE"

 

In my opinion the time for complaining is over. G$ has not and will not react in any way. So what can we do?

A ) Business as usual: paying whatever G$ wants to renew the membership?

B ) starting a little revenge by writing to European tax-authorities, with ... hmmm ... what goal? or

C ) thinking about geocaching beyond G$?

 

Yet there is no real alternative, but with more and more players and caches, the existing platforms will become real alternatives and THIS schould worry G$. Because every happy cacher on an other platform means G$ loses attractivity. I don't want to leave GCdotCOM, but I already have an account on another platform.

Edited by westpier scouts

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Well, it's been a month. What are you waiting for?

I'm waiting for nothing. Just have to do the writing. The report will go to HMRC today. That's where my "learning curve" leads me to.

 

Will you post a copy of your complaint report here?Others may want to copy it and send it again.

Edited by K13

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A ) Business as usual: paying whatever G$ wants to renew the membership?

B ) starting a little revenge by writing to European tax-authorities, with ... hmmm ... what goal? or

C ) thinking about geocaching beyond G$?

 

In my opinion

A ) 99% will renew.

B ) If GS was illegal, they should know this. If they were legal, we should know this.

C ) 99% will stay.

 

Sad, but I think nothing will happen...

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A ) Business as usual: paying whatever G$ wants to renew the membership?

B ) starting a little revenge by writing to European tax-authorities, with ... hmmm ... what goal? or

C ) thinking about geocaching beyond G$?

 

In my opinion

A ) 99% will renew.

B ) If GS was illegal, they should know this. If they were legal, we should know this.

C ) 99% will stay.

 

Sad, but I think nothing will happen...

I think we don't have to be that negative. I don't want to boykott G$, I just want to be treated as a customer and not a doormat.

Yes, most cachers will stay (me too - but not as a PM), and that's ok. But the more caches will be uploaded also on other platforms, the more these platforms become real alternatives, the sooner G$ will have to react on our protest. So my opinion is:

 

If you want to stay at GCdotCOM create an account on another platform!

 

Join in the protest. Spread it over your national Geocaching forums.

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Groundspeak has consulted VAT experts, and has taken their advice.

Have they really talked to VAT experts? GS just spoke of "experts" and that means nothing. If they spoke to "VAT experts", why should they have recomended not to give vital imformation? Bryan said 4 weeks ago that GS would give the VAT number in the case GS found out they are allowed to publish this number. And yes, it is allowed to publish this number. Again another broken promise by Groundspeak. And there is no reason to hide the VAT number or not tell us what VAT rate they are taking.

 

As I said earlier, as recurring PM I'm at the moment not affected by the price hike but nevertheless I will cancel my PM. I don't want to do business with a company which treats its customers like this.

Furthermore I'll report GS to HMRC and German tax authorities as I suspect them of tax fraud.

(1) Most companies don't have forum discussions of their pricing policies, tax-payment practices, etc. GS has above-average transparency on that issue.

 

(2) Most companies do charge different fees for the same services in different places.

 

(3) There's no "fraud" here. The services provided by this company are fairly unique and don't fit into a "plain vanilla" box. A German member, for example, can use his or her membership worldwide, so the "consumption" or use doesn't necessarily take place in Germany. It's a "gray area," hence the need to consult the experts.

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...

Yes, most cachers will stay (me too - but not as a PM)

...

 

Me too.

 

I'll stay as basic member, hopefully, as much as I stayed as Charter Member which, in March next year, will sum about 11,5 years.

 

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(1) Most companies don't have forum discussions of their pricing policies, tax-payment practices, etc. GS has above-average transparency on that issue.

 

(2) Most companies do charge different fees for the same services in different places.

 

(3) There's no "fraud" here. The services provided by this company are fairly unique and don't fit into a "plain vanilla" box. A German member, for example, can use his or her membership worldwide, so the "consumption" or use doesn't necessarily take place in Germany. It's a "gray area," hence the need to consult the experts.

 

I agree that I do not see any evidence of tax fraud - Groundspeak appears to be following the rules pertaining to the special scheme for VAT on electronic services (VOES). Application of the VAT is a relatively simple process that is not unique to Groundspeak. The percentages for the tax are based on the residence of the consumer and the money collected is paid through a single registration. Many of the standard rules for other forms of VAT within the EU (such as a requirement for formal VAT invoices) do not apply. But the issue here is largely one of communication. There is no need to consult the experts for that.

 

Most companies who use the same VAT program as Groundspeak in fact offer much more transparency. Other companies provide detailed information on the VOES; inform the consumer how much VAT is being collected; inform the consumer how much they charge for the underlying services; or, provide the VOES registration number. Groundspeak does none of this. Bryan wrote that Groundspeak would provide this information if they could but instead the company retreated they now state they will only tell consumers what they are legally required to divulge.

 

Groundspeak chose to charge a single inclusive price across the EU (resulting in different countries paying slightly different rates for the services that Groundspeak provides). As you point out, they can do so. The differences are not that significant. However, Groundspeak undertook a contractural obligation not to raise rates for their services to certain members. As far as I can tell, they unilaterally broke this contract without even bothering to communicate the change.

 

Forums are one thing. A company participating in those forums and providing information is another. So we are beginning Day Three of my personal challenge to Bryan. Why doesn't Groundspeak provide full communication and information about the VOES?

Edited by geodarts

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All I want is to know why the company can tell us about trivial stuff in their newsletters yet can't inform us all of important stuff like price rises. As I have said, I am happy to pay the extra. I would just like to have been informed by the people putting the prices up rather than reading about it on a forum.

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Will you post a copy of your complaint report here?Others may want to copy it and send it again.

Do you really need a copy?* I just sumed up the facts I know. I stated what Groundspeak is and what service they offer and the meberships they offer (basic=free, premium=paid). I also gave information about the unannounced price hike for EU members and that GS stated, it was because GS had to forward VAT as of April 17th 2013, that they don't want to give information about VAT rate and VAT registration number. I used this form to complain: https://online.hmrc.gov.uk/shortforms/form/CusConf_InformB?dept-name=Customs&sub-dept-name=Hotline&location=48&origin=http://www.hmrc.gov.uk

 

 

(1) Most companies don't have forum discussions of their pricing policies, tax-payment practices, etc. GS has above-average transparency on that issue.

Most companies don't need a discussion about this, as any other company I deal with has so far informed me in advance when prices change. They also offer information about VAT rates charged and/or VAT registration number. If you call GS's policy "transparent" then you might think the chinese wall is transparent as well.

 

(2) Most companies do charge different fees for the same services in different places.
No other company I ever dealt with changed the prices for a certain region without notice from one day to the other.

 

(3) There's no "fraud" here. The services provided by this company are fairly unique and don't fit into a "plain vanilla" box. A German member, for example, can use his or her membership worldwide, so the "consumption" or use doesn't necessarily take place in Germany. It's a "gray area," hence the need to consult the experts.
There is a clear regulation within the EU which is known as "VOES". Under this scheme it is not important, where you actually consume (in our case: where you read a cache listing or download a pq) but where you live. This is a special scheme for digital/electronic services and subscriptions. There is no gray area. Either you are a EU resident or you are not.

But nevertheless, GS already stated they are registered with UK tax authorities and claim to be forwarding EU VAT. So why do they make such a big secret out of the VAT rate and/or the VAT registration number? There is no need for this as neither the one nor the other is on the "top secret" list. Any other company gave me that information, at least on request but most did so even if I didn't ask for it.

 

Edit says: *anyone interested in my writing please drop me a note via my GS acount. Please note that I won't go into private discussion via e-mail!

Edited by squirrel42

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I agree that I do not see any evidence of tax fraud - Groundspeak appears to be following the rules pertaining to the special scheme for VAT on electronic services (VOES).

Well, as VOES is effective since 2003 and not April 2013 at least the question what about the period 2003 till 2013 is still open.

Besides why they charge 33% extra and not 20-25% and why non Euro countries such as Poland have to pay in Euro now...

 

Anyway, I think HMRC can sort this out better than we.

Edited by squirrel42

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I agree that I do not see any evidence of tax fraud - Groundspeak appears to be following the rules pertaining to the special scheme for VAT on electronic services (VOES).

Well, as VOES is effective since 2003 and not April 2013 at least the question what about the period 2003 till 2013 is still open.

Besides why they charge 33% extra and not 20-25% and why non Euro countries such as Poland have to pay in Euro now...

 

Anyway, I think HMRC can sort this out better than we.

 

Groundspeak did state that they were working with the EU to come into compliance. Many other companies came into compliance much sooner, but the failure to collect VAT for this period is a separate question. Are you complaining about not paying the VAT during this period?

 

Groundspeak states they are charging more than the VAT itself to cover certain costs and to hedge against currency fluctuation. They must remit the VAT in sterling based on rates applicable to the due date for payment. It is likely that this involves certain costs or risks. Other companies have taken similar positions and take these costs into account. The question is whether the increased price for their services (exclusive of VAT) comports to contracts with consumers not to raise rates - or why Groundspeak charges differ rates for their services to different countries in the EU. That does not involve HMRC at all.

 

I don't think the main problem has been with the VOES, but with Groundspeak's ongoing lack of communication. HMRC will not sort out those issues as long as Groundspeak makes accurate reports to them and remits the VAT they collected within the rules for the special scheme. And most users would not complain about the costs as long as they were explained. Groundspeak's problem is outside of the HMRC.

Edited by geodarts

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Are you complaining about not paying the VAT during this period?

Sort of "yes" as most PMs won't be prepared for letters from the local tax authorities claiming the VAT. And as a customer in the worst case you'll be liable to pay VAT if the company, in our case GS, doesn't forward VAT correctly.

 

I don't think the main problem has been with the VOES, but with Groundspeak's ongoing lack of communication. HMRC will not sort out those issues as long as Groundspeak makes accurate reports to them and remits the VAT they collected within the rules for the special scheme. And most users would not complain about the costs as long as they were explained. Groundspeak's problem is outside of the HMRC.
The communication problem is anyway a biggy for Groundspeak and I doubt they will ever learn that communication is vital if you want to do business.

On the other hand many PMs trusted in GS's promise, that the PM rate will be frozen as long as you keep on renewning. That promise was broken, so why should I trust GS that they forward VAT correctly now?

 

Edit: To make it plain, I am not saying, they are not forwarding VAT. All I can say I don't know if they are forwarding VAT and as information is poor I have some doubts.

Edited by squirrel42

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I agree completely that Groundspeak has the right to charge differently in different areas, while other providers I saw base these on the individual VAT amounts. Main problem is, that without knowledge which tax amount is included and without proper information that VAT indeed is payed, I, as individual, might be considered liable to announce tax to financial authorities, otherwise it would be me who would be suspicous of tax fraud. In normal invoices, especially for electronic services, VAT is usually listed, and company's information includes normally VAT id, so legality can be verified.

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...

Yes, most cachers will stay (me too - but not as a PM)

...

 

Me too.

 

I'll stay as basic member, hopefully, as much as I stayed as Charter Member which, in March next year, will sum about 11,5 years.

 

I'm curious. Have you personally written Groundspeak and explained to them that because of the way they are handling this single issue, they are losing the support of a Charter Member?

 

Seriously, if I was in your position and felt as you do, I would write such a letter. In it, I would detail the reasons why you choose to support Groundspeak from the very start. What it was about the company that made it special and convinced you to give your money to them. Continue with why you have supported them over the years, then go into what has changed that has brought you to this point.

 

If I was running the show and received such an email, I would take it very seriously and would have to take a careful look at what we were doing.

 

Edit:CWWC

Edited by Don_J

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Ask them on Facebook (not message, but as post visible for all). Make this discussion public!

What about a footer in each log we write?

This is really public!

 

Of course, if you posted such a message in a log on my cache, I'd ask you to take it out or I'd be forced to delete the log. Cache logs are supposed to be about the cache and your adventure finding it. It is the last place that you should be mounting a protest or promoting an agenda.

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Ask them on Facebook (not message, but as post visible for all). Make this discussion public!

What about a footer in each log we write?

This is really public!

 

Of course, if you posted such a message in a log on my cache, I'd ask you to take it out or I'd be forced to delete the log. Cache logs are supposed to be about the cache and your adventure finding it. It is the last place that you should be mounting a protest or promoting an agenda.

 

Good thing your caches are not placed within the EU area.

 

It´s the best place to make fellow geocachers (that do not frequently go to forums) aware that they are being discriminated against.

 

And we are talking about a subline here, not a declaration of several pages.

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Ask them on Facebook (not message, but as post visible for all). Make this discussion public!

What about a footer in each log we write?

This is really public!

 

Of course, if you posted such a message in a log on my cache, I'd ask you to take it out or I'd be forced to delete the log. Cache logs are supposed to be about the cache and your adventure finding it. It is the last place that you should be mounting a protest or promoting an agenda.

 

Good thing your caches are not placed within the EU area.

 

It´s the best place to make fellow geocachers (that do not frequently go to forums) aware that they are being discriminated against.

 

And we are talking about a subline here, not a declaration of several pages.

 

It doesn't matter. It's my cache and my cache page and I think that it would very inappropriate and disrespectful for you to try to promote an agenda by posting a log to it.

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Ask them on Facebook (not message, but as post visible for all). Make this discussion public!

What about a footer in each log we write?

This is really public!

 

Of course, if you posted such a message in a log on my cache, I'd ask you to take it out or I'd be forced to delete the log. Cache logs are supposed to be about the cache and your adventure finding it. It is the last place that you should be mounting a protest or promoting an agenda.

 

Good thing your caches are not placed within the EU area.

 

It´s the best place to make fellow geocachers (that do not frequently go to forums) aware that they are being discriminated against.

 

And we are talking about a subline here, not a declaration of several pages.

 

It doesn't matter. It's my cache and my cache page and I think that it would very inappropriate and disrespectful for you to try to promote an agenda by posting a log to it.

 

If you see it the way, that it´s just writing lofs to promote the agenda, the I agree. But I was thinking of adding a subline to a log that I write because I actually found a cache.

 

Something like:

 

ATTENTION: Discrimination of Europeans by Groundspeak! Further information on the forums (link).

Edited by Tschakko

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It doesn't matter. It's my cache and my cache page and I think that it would very inappropriate and disrespectful for you to try to promote an agenda by posting a log to it.

Do you delete also logs, where the cacher promotes the next event or so?

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Ask them on Facebook (not message, but as post visible for all). Make this discussion public!

What about a footer in each log we write?

This is really public!

 

Of course, if you posted such a message in a log on my cache, I'd ask you to take it out or I'd be forced to delete the log. Cache logs are supposed to be about the cache and your adventure finding it. It is the last place that you should be mounting a protest or promoting an agenda.

 

Good thing your caches are not placed within the EU area.

 

It´s the best place to make fellow geocachers (that do not frequently go to forums) aware that they are being discriminated against.

 

And we are talking about a subline here, not a declaration of several pages.

 

It doesn't matter. It's my cache and my cache page and I think that it would very inappropriate and disrespectful for you to try to promote an agenda by posting a log to it.

 

If you see it the way, that it´s just writing lofs to promote the agenda, the I agree. But I was thinking of adding a subline to a log that I write because I actually found a cache.

 

Something like:

 

ATTENTION: Discrimination of Europeans by Groundspeak! Further information on the forums (link).

 

Out of over 6800 logs posted to my caches, I have deleted 1. I would consider deleting such a log however.

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...

Yes, most cachers will stay (me too - but not as a PM)

...

 

Me too.

 

I'll stay as basic member, hopefully, as much as I stayed as Charter Member which, in March next year, will sum about 11,5 years.

 

I'm curious. Have you personally written Groundspeak and explained to them that because of the way they are handling this single issue, they are losing the support of a Charter Member?

 

Seriously, if I was in your position and felt as you do, I would write such a letter. In it, I would detail the reasons why you choose to support Groundspeak from the very start. What it was about the company that made it special and convinced you to give your money to them. Continue with why you have supported them over the years, then go into what has changed that has brought you to this point.

 

If I was running the show and received such an email, I would take it very seriously and would have to take a careful look at what we were doing.

 

Edit:CWWC

 

 

Yes I did.

 

Honestly, during all this years, I have written several times directly to Groundspeak - and one time, at the beginning, I even got a personal answer from the Jeremy himself. Despite english is not my mother language, I have no problems about expressing myself.

About this issue, I even offered myself to pay all the vat amounts Groundspeak seems has being paid on my behalf during all this years - as I already said, this is not about a few euros but it is about discrimination and lack of respect on the europeans geocachers.

 

I received a "thank you" for my offer but they cannot charge me retroactively.

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It doesn't matter. It's my cache and my cache page and I think that it would very inappropriate and disrespectful for you to try to promote an agenda by posting a log to it.

Do you delete also logs, where the cacher promotes the next event or so?

 

I would first ask the logger to edit out the irrelevant promotional material.

 

If they refused, I would then indeed delete the log.

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Let's go back to the topic, please.

 

The question is: what can we do aginst the arrogant way, G$ is treating their European customers?

 

My answers would be:

 

A ) Don't renew your PM until G$ changes this intransparent and unfair pricing-sceme.

B ) In order to keep GCdotCOM attractive in the way you want, strengthen other (international) platforms by uploading your caches there as well.

 

What are your answers?

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Let's go back to the topic, please.

 

The question is: what can we do aginst the arrogant way, G$ is treating their European customers?

 

My answers would be:

 

A ) Don't renew your PM until G$ changes this intransparent and unfair pricing-sceme.

B ) In order to keep GCdotCOM attractive in the way you want, strengthen other (international) platforms by uploading your caches there as well.

 

What are your answers?

 

Don't assume that they are paying attention to this thread. Write to them personally with your concerns and make it clear that they will get no more money from you until they address them. Get everyone you know to do the same thing.

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Let's go back to the topic, please.

 

The question is: what can we do aginst the arrogant way, G$ is treating their European customers?

 

My answers would be:

 

A ) Don't renew your PM until G$ changes this intransparent and unfair pricing-sceme.

B ) In order to keep GCdotCOM attractive in the way you want, strengthen other (international) platforms by uploading your caches there as well.

 

What are your answers?

 

Don't assume that they are paying attention to this thread. Write to them personally with your concerns and make it clear that they will get no more money from you until they address them. Get everyone you know to do the same thing.

I'm not writing to G$ any more, neither in this forum, nor to them directly. They won't react either way. I'm writing to the whole community, those who are affected and those who are backing our protest.

 

So, my above question lasts:

What are your answers?

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Let's go back to the topic, please.

 

The question is: what can we do aginst the arrogant way, G$ is treating their European customers?

 

My answers would be:

 

A ) Don't renew your PM until G$ changes this intransparent and unfair pricing-sceme.

B ) In order to keep GCdotCOM attractive in the way you want, strengthen other (international) platforms by uploading your caches there as well.

 

What are your answers?

 

Don't assume that they are paying attention to this thread. Write to them personally with your concerns and make it clear that they will get no more money from you until they address them. Get everyone you know to do the same thing.

I'm not writing to G$ any more, neither in this forum, nor to them directly. They won't react either way. I'm writing to the whole community, those who are affected and those who are backing our protest.

 

So, my above question lasts:

What are your answers?

 

Don't think that by posting here that you are talking to the whole caching community. Only a very small percentage of cachers ever come to the forums and a small portion of those are regulars on the forums. You're gonna need to go to the local groups to get a wider audience. But you will still not get everyone.

 

But I have to get on board with Don_J on this. You need a letter-writing campaign. That works better than just about anything in America. And, to be honest, actual letters are better than emails. We call that "the squeaky wheel" method, as in "the squeaky wheel gets the grease". The more noise you make, the more attention your cause will get. If you (in the collective sense) just quietly protest by simply not renewing your premium membership, your cause will just fade away. That's just how it works here.

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Don't think that by posting here that you are talking to the whole caching community. Only a very small percentage of cachers ever come to the forums and a small portion of those are regulars on the forums. You're gonna need to go to the local groups to get a wider audience. But you will still not get everyone.

 

But I have to get on board with Don_J on this. You need a letter-writing campaign. That works better than just about anything in America. And, to be honest, actual letters are better than emails. We call that "the squeaky wheel" method, as in "the squeaky wheel gets the grease". The more noise you make, the more attention your cause will get. If you (in the collective sense) just quietly protest by simply not renewing your premium membership, your cause will just fade away. That's just how it works here.

I AM active in the local forums in Germany (#2 country, when you just look on the number of active caches) and at the moment I'm seeking contact to the GAGB, the British Geocaching Association (#4 geocaching country). I know that I won't change the world by posting in this forum, but I hope to generate solidarity in other countries as well. To reach the one, who brings awareness to his local forum and spread the news around the world, and I know, that I'm on the right way, when I read posts like this:

As an Australian who is not (yet!) affected by this policy, I've nonetheless been following this thread with interest.

 

Frankly, Groundspeak's actions and attitude here are disgraceful.

 

They may well be being dragged into compliance with tax laws, and of course they would have no choice in that.

 

To raise prices by more than the tax margin, and claim it is because of the tax, is dirty.

To do it by stealth, with no announcement, hoping nobody will notice, is arrogant.

To claim the rise is for the convenience of those now charged more, is an insult.

To treat the community with contempt by ignoring the public outcry, is itself contemptible.

To refuse to honour the perpetual-renewal price lock-in contract (however foolishly it was made), is disgusting.

 

Groundspeak, it's not only the Europeans who are appalled by the way you're treating them.

But I won't write directly to G$, neither email, nor snail mail. It won't change a thing. Others may feel free to do so, I'm sure, I will join them, just to leave no stone unturned, but I won't initiate it. My goal is to persuade other cachers to list their caches on other platforms also.

OX

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Let's go back to the topic, please.

 

The question is: what can we do aginst the arrogant way, G$ is treating their European customers?

 

My answers would be:

 

A ) Don't renew your PM until G$ changes this intransparent and unfair pricing-sceme.

B ) In order to keep GCdotCOM attractive in the way you want, strengthen other (international) platforms by uploading your caches there as well.

 

What are your answers?

 

Don't assume that they are paying attention to this thread. Write to them personally with your concerns and make it clear that they will get no more money from you until they address them. Get everyone you know to do the same thing.

I'm not writing to G$ any more, neither in this forum, nor to them directly. They won't react either way. I'm writing to the whole community, those who are affected and those who are backing our protest.

 

So, my above question lasts:

What are your answers?

 

You continue to ask for advice, yet refuse to use the best advice that can be given. Why are you so afraid to write them with a simple ultimatum? The more that email and state that they plan to withhold their money, the greater the impact. Groundspeak is a small company with less than 100 employees. If the buzz around the water cooler at break time is all the emails they just received, all about the same issue, there is a slim chance that something may happen. Slim is better than none, and none is the best you can expect if your strategy is to sit around and post messages to a dieing forum thread.

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