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Tschakko

Different prices of Premium Membership

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If (big IF) the numbers of PMs in Europe decreases the will care. But then it will be to late.

 

But there will be no large decrease. No German that I have spoken to cares about this one bit.

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So the issue isn't the amount being charged more than someone in another country. The issue is that you don't know if Groundspeak has a VAT registration number...

The issue for me is partly that the amount being charged is uniform across the EU whereas tax rates vary across the EU. By all means charge me UK VAT rates, but charge the French rate for a French cacher, Danish rate for a Danish cacher etc... That becomes reasonable - simply charging a flat fee across the EU isn't. By all means charge me a standard rate for currency conversion as well on top of that - but, again, that goes on top of what the VAT rate is.

 

It certainly isn't if you can't explain why you're doing that clearly and at the time you implement such a change. There are reasons that it might make sense for Groundspeak to charge a flat rate, but the explanation needs to be clear regarding what they are doing and why. As this thread makes clear it wasn't and took some time to get a reasonable explanation. That's poor customer service - and trying to justify it as making it easier for me because I don't need to take into account the currency conversion stuff is pretty poor to be honest.

 

There are lots of reasons why I don't want to be a premium member. Certainly the lack of openness and inequity with regard to VAT rates are two of those, although they're not the most important reasons.

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1) Groundspeak refuses to divulge the information every other company does that would make it possible for us to check that the VAT actually is sent to the EU and doesn't just disappear into Groundspeak's koffers.

 

2) Groundspeak conveniently charges EU customers €29.99 instead of $29.99 + VAT, which works out to a 32% surcharge at current exchange rates. If they followed the rules, Groundspeak should charge $29.99 + 25% to its Danish customers, $29.99 + 21% to the Dutch, $29.99 + 19% to the Germans and so on. 32% is higher than the highest VAT rate in the EU, which is currently Hungary's 27% if Wikipedia is correct. Essentially, Groundspeak is charging us extra for the privilege of paying VAT and claims it is for our own convenience.

 

So the issue isn't the amount being charged more than someone in another country. The issue is that you don't know if Groundspeak has a VAT registration number. For businesses registered to collect Washington State sales tax you can look up their tax registration number by going to the Department of Revenue website and searching on the businesses name. Does the EU or member States not provide a service like this?

 

The European scheme is a botch that pretty much invites non-EU companies to add 20% to their prices, claim it's because of VAT and never actually hand over the VAT. Europe botching legislation isn't a new thing and certainly isn't Groundspeak's fault.

 

Further back in the thread Bryan (a GS lackey) said that they would provide their registration details if they were legally allowed to do so. Many people pointed to examples of other companies doing just that, so Groundspeak's response was then to say that because they weren't legally obliged to provide it they weren't going to provide it.

 

So if nothing else Groundspeak have demonstrated that their promises are worth precisely nothing. It's perhaps not surprising that many people question whether they want to continue to do business with a company that chooses not to honour promises made to customers.

 

As for the VAT if people really want to avoid it there are ways of getting around it, with varying degrees of legality. Getting around the fact Groundspeak regards promises as things to be made and broken quite freely is harder.

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I don't want to speculate about the reasons why Grouspeak rose up the prices for Europeans. I don't understand VAT. I’ve just paid in Euros, although it’s almost 200 Czech Crowns (CZK) more expensive than the last year. It’s not nice. :( As for me, 200 CZK don’t mean a big problem. I earn quite well. But I know many people here who wavered over buying PM for 600 CZK (30 $). What will they do if they have to pay almost 800 CZK (30 €) instead now? Many of them will prefer being BM (= paying 0 $/€/CZK), I think. 800 CZK is too much for students and many other people in Czechia.

 

Or, as I know Czech people, many of them will "move" from EU so that they could pay in US Dollars. 200 CZK are worth doing this. :anitongue:

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Was gutted by this price increase (purely for EU cachers). Luckily had a family trip to the Isle of Man. Renewed our membership there in US$. I'm sorry GS but if I bought it outside of the EU your arguments don't count so you can't touch my membership! I paid my money and you had better fulfill your obligations.

If you've got a trip outside the EU (there's some strange little places you'd never realise! IOM for one). Renew there!

Edited by Keystone
to comply with forum guidelines

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Well, thanks for telling me this.

I will not renew my membership for a few months in protest.

Checked and I salute you for stickin' to your guns.

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I was surprised to see this thread again, but then I realized that it was the 190th day since Bryan promised to provide full information if Groundspeak was permitted to do so. Since there is no legal bar, it seems like enough time to me to step up and show your integrity.

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I was surprised to see this thread again, but then I realized that it was the 190th day since Bryan promised to provide full information if Groundspeak was permitted to do so. Since there is no legal bar, it seems like enough time to me to step up and show your integrity.

Just renewed my premium membership in the UK - and I see from my receipt that Groundspeak are still charging VAT but refusing to provide a proper VAT receipt (i.e. including the VAT number).

 

Come on GS - I know you're a business and you have to make money and I don't have a problem with that - but if you're going to charge VAT because you say you're required to by EU/UK law, then provide a receipt in the form required by that same UK law. I'm sure you're not pretending to charge VAT and then putting the extra money in your own account - but given that you're continuing to ignore people's legitimate concerns seven months after this was first raised, I can understand why people think there might be something underhand happening.

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I'm sure you're not pretending to charge VAT and then putting the extra money in your own account - but given that you're continuing to ignore people's legitimate concerns seven months after this was first raised, I can understand why people think there might be something underhand happening.

 

The fact remains that they are charging US$ 40.5 at today's rate which is US$ more than "rest of the world membership fee" +21% VAT ($ 36.3).

So there is something underhand happening, namely a $4 price hike just for us Europeans (if GS is VAT registered, that is).

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Come on GS - I know you're a business and you have to make money and I don't have a problem with that - but if you're going to charge VAT because you say you're required to by EU/UK law, then provide a receipt in the form required by that same UK law.

 

Just to clarify for people coming late into this extended discussion, Groundspeak states that they are registered under the Vat On Electronic Services (VOES) program that allows companies outside the EU to collect the appropriate VAT for electronic services they provide to EU customers and remit this through payment to a single source. Under this special scheme, the standard rules for VAT receipts do not apply. As the HMRC states,

 

It is common practice for businesses supplying electronically supplied services to issue electronically an invoice or similar document which confirms the details of the sale. There are no special rules for issuing VAT invoices under the special scheme and consequently the normal rules apply. In the UK you are not required to issue VAT invoices for such supplies because your customers are not in business for the purposes of the special scheme and cannot deduct VAT on their purchases.

 

As detailed in the course of this discussion, some companies who are registered under this scheme make their VAT registration numbers available even though they do not issue formal VAT receipts. Bryan (speaking for Groundspeak) originally stated that they would do so if permitted. They soon reversed themselves and stated that they would not provide this information since they were not legally required to do so. This may not represent the kind of integrity, communication and openness that many expect from a company associated with this game - as I was once advised early in my career, never promise something that you will not provide.- but I cannot find any indication that Groundspeak is not following the law under the VOES scheme.

 

Since the rate for VAT varies according to the place of residence of the customer, the actual VAT that Groundspeak collects differs throughout the EU -- although it is paid through a single source where Groundspeak has chosen to register. As a practical matter, this means that excluding VAT Groundspeak is asking its EU customers to pay from $1 to $4 more than their customers in the US (as of the last time I checked exchange rates). It is a relatively small amount, but is interesting in light of Groundspeak's promises to certain members that rates would not be raised as long as membership was renewed.

 

The basic issue from my standpoint has not been whether Groundspeak is following the law, but whether they are openly communicating with their customers, providing the kind of information that would satisfy people's questions, and honoring various commitments they have made both as individuals and as a company. They clearly have chosen to withdraw from this discussion, which I think is too bad. They could have laid these concerns to rest a long time ago if they had chosen to do so.

Edited by geodarts

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Come on GS - I know you're a business and you have to make money and I don't have a problem with that - but if you're going to charge VAT because you say you're required to by EU/UK law, then provide a receipt in the form required by that same UK law.

 

Just to clarify for people coming late into this extended discussion, Groundspeak states that they are registered under the Vat On Electronic Services (VOES) program that allows companies outside the EU to collect the appropriate VAT for electronic services they provide to EU customers and remit this through payment to a single source. Under this special scheme, the standard rules for VAT receipts do not apply. As the HMRC states,

 

It is common practice for businesses supplying electronically supplied services to issue electronically an invoice or similar document which confirms the details of the sale. There are no special rules for issuing VAT invoices under the special scheme and consequently the normal rules apply. In the UK you are not required to issue VAT invoices for such supplies because your customers are not in business for the purposes of the special scheme and cannot deduct VAT on their purchases.

 

As detailed in the course of this discussion, some companies who are registered under this scheme make their VAT registration numbers available even though they do not issue formal VAT receipts. Bryan (speaking for Groundspeak) originally stated that they would do so if permitted. They soon reversed themselves and stated that they would not provide this information since they were not legally required to do so. This may not represent the kind of integrity, communication and openness that many expect from a company associated with this game - as I was once advised early in my career, never promise something that you will not provide.- but I cannot find any indication that Groundspeak is not following the law under the VOES scheme.

 

Since the rate for VAT varies according to the place of residence of the customer, the actual VAT that Groundspeak collects differs throughout the EU -- although it is paid through a single source where Groundspeak has chosen to register. As a practical matter, this means that excluding VAT Groundspeak is asking its EU customers to pay from $1 to $4 more than their customers in the US (as of the last time I checked exchange rates). It is a relatively small amount, but is interesting in light of Groundspeak's promises to certain members that rates would not be raised as long as membership was renewed.

 

The basic issue from my standpoint has not been whether Groundspeak is following the law, but whether they are openly communicating with their customers, providing the kind of information that would satisfy people's questions, and honoring various commitments they have made both as individuals and as a company. They clearly have chosen to withdraw from this discussion, which I think is too bad. They could have laid these concerns to rest a long time ago if they had chosen to do so.

 

Very nicely stated. (Although post #767 was much more entertaining before it was redacted)

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I must have missed something in the thread...

 

I was under the impression that Groundspeak is a COMPANY, providing a SERVICE - they can charge WHATEVER THEY WANT - that's capitalism. It's a business, not a democracy. If you don't like it, don't buy it; maybe enough people doing that may cause changes. I think whoever told you that you could guilt a company into charging less because they were "wrong" and you were "right" was feeding you some bogus information man.

Edited by Team Monkeyboy

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I must have missed something in the thread...

 

Yep, you did. Now start reading again from page one.

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Wow. I don't understand why this thread is still active...

Groundspeak is a COMPANY, providing a SERVICE - they can charge WHATEVER THEY WANT - that's capitalism. It's a business, not a democracy. If you don't like it, don't buy it; maybe enough people doing that may cause changes. But whoever told you that you could guilt a company into charging less because they were "wrong" and you were "right" was feeding you some bogus information man.

 

You just helped to keep it active.

 

 

"If you don't like it, don't buy it" I already cancelled the automatic renewal of my subscription.

 

 

ps: I just noticed that i quoted the original version of your post as I received it in the mail box. The phone caught my attention and my post was delayed. Hope you don't mind that I quoted your first words...

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ps: I just noticed that i quoted the original version of your post as I received it in the mail box. The phone caught my attention and my post was delayed. Hope you don't mind that I quoted your first words...

 

Nope, not at all - I rephrased my opinion to better convey my point.

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I must have missed something in the thread...

 

Yep, you did. Now start reading again from page one.

 

Unfortunately, I already did - all 16 pages - the same thing over, and over, and over.

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Unfortunately, I already did - all 16 pages - the same thing over, and over, and over.

 

Strange.... any reason you don't understand the point that was made?

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Unfortunately, I already did - all 16 pages - the same thing over, and over, and over.

 

Strange.... any reason you don't understand the point that was made?

 

Any reason you don't understand mine? I think it was pretty clear. Their company. Their rules. "Fair" is irrelevant. As much as we may dislike it, they can do what they want, when they want... you don't have to partake.

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Any reason you don't understand mine? I think it was pretty clear. Their company. Their rules. "Fair" is irrelevant. As much as we may dislike it, they can do what they want, when they want... you don't have to partake.

 

I'll type slow...

 

No problem with pricehike but state the price goes up.

Problem with fact that PM + VAT is rounded up.

Problem with saying GS is VAT registered but fails to provide VAT number so VAT registerd PMs can get VAT refunded as they can legally do.

 

Then there's "fair" and "legal".

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Problem with fact that PM + VAT is rounded up.

 

Rounded up from what?!?! The arbitrary price they chose for a PM? Fair or not, what makes you think it's mandatory to charge everyone the same amount?

 

Problem with saying GS is VAT registered but fails to provide VAT number so VAT registerd PMs can get VAT refunded as they can legally do.

 

Then there's "fair" and "legal".

 

...I cannot find any indication that Groundspeak is not following the law under the VOES scheme...

 

I think you two need to compare notes.

Edited by Team Monkeyboy

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The quote attributed to cheech gang in the previous post was never made by cheech gang. I know, I was there. It was made by "geodarts".

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The quote attributed to cheech gang in the previous post was never made by cheech gang. I know, I was there. It was made by "geodarts".

 

You're right - corrected. My apologies.

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what makes you think it's mandatory to charge everyone the same amount?

 

Ah, it's so simple to be an American. Not all those annoying consumer laws that curb practices like price discrimination. What Groundspeak is doing would be illegal in many European countries, which might explain why we don't approve of it.

 

And before you say so: yes, they are an American company and can pull all the gung-ho capitalist stunts they can think of. But they are doing business with Europeans, have European staff and are thus in a balancing act with regards to applicable regulation.

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US companies do have a tendency to follow this approach. I know it's not the same situation, but Microsoft just launched their new game console. It costs US399 in the US, €399 in the EU, or £429 in the UK. Converting to USD at current exchange rates, this means: USD399, USD540 and USD701... guess who's getting the short straw?

 

I too agree that this change by grounspeak is unacceptable.

 

João Pedro Martins

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US companies do have a tendency to follow this approach. I know it's not the same situation, but Microsoft just launched their new game console. It costs US399 in the US, €399 in the EU, or £429 in the UK. Converting to USD at current exchange rates, this means: USD399, USD540 and USD701... guess who's getting the short straw?

 

I too agree that this change by Groundspeak is unacceptable.

 

Buying that console (in Belgium) you will get an invoice that states the price to be €330 + €69 VAT (21%). GS fails to do even that. Also, the invoice will have the VAT number on it. GS fails that too.

 

Also, you would be buying from another store (located elsewhere) and not be treated different when buying at the same counter.

Edited by on4bam

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This change is unacceptable and as long as GS maintains this discriminatory approach I will not renew my subscription.

 

End of story for these guys - when they were small they need us and we support them, now that they are high and mighty, they treat us this way.

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Buying that console (in Belgium) you will get an invoice that states the price to be €330 + €69 VAT (21%). GS fails to do even that. Also, the invoice will have the VAT number on it. GS fails that too.

 

At this point in the thread, perhaps we can agree that Groundspeak is not selling consoles. They are selling electronic services under a special scheme that has been established by the EU for non-European business. As such, the rules governing VAT invoices for physical goods do not apply.

 

The Cypress wording came up first on google, but it is consistent with other member states - including the UK where Groundspeak is registered under the VOES scheme:

 

4.9 Invoices

It is common practice for businesses supplying electronically supplied services to issue electronically an invoice or similar document which confirms the details of the sale. There are no special rules for issuing VAT invoices under the Special Scheme and consequently the normal rules apply. In Cyprus you are not required to issue VAT invoices for such supplies because your customers are not in business for the purposes of the Special Scheme and cannot deduct VAT on their purchases.

 

This, of course, does not mean that Groundspeak cannot makes its VAT number public, as Bryan promised to do. Many companies do so, although others do not.

 

Many companies that supply electronic services also maintain a single base price and add the differing VAT rates from there. Groundspeak choose instead to apply a single all-inclusive EU rate. This means that different EU countries pay a different base price (before VAT is applied) for Groundspeak's services - and all are higher than the US. As far as I know they can do so. The main problem with this is that Groundspeak had a contractural obligation not to raise rates for certain recurring members, that they seem to have ignored.

 

The lack of information from Groundspeak continues to make this confusing. As detailed early in this thread, other companies do an excellent job of explaining VOES and why they do not discriminate against the EU. Despite Bryan's promises to improve communication, Groundspeak has chosen to ignore the issue (unless there is a recent change to the Knowledge Base).

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There is no differentiation in europeans an non europeans, for me there is a differentiation in payment methods.

 

THe prolongation of my subscription was booked this year like that:

15.11.13 Groundspeak Membership XXX-XXX-XXXX -30,00 USD Kurs: 1,34170 −22,36 EUR

15.11.13 1,75% für Auslandseinsatz Groundspeak Membership −0,39 EUR

It’s a german Mastercard of a german bank (Sparkasse) and I payed no VAT, just a fee of 1.75% for a foreign transfer.

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Unfortunately, I already did - all 16 pages - the same thing over, and over, and over.

 

Strange.... any reason you don't understand the point that was made?

 

Any reason you don't understand mine? I think it was pretty clear. Their company. Their rules. "Fair" is irrelevant. As much as we may dislike it, they can do what they want, when they want... you don't have to partake.

 

What is your problem? It was clearly stated that Groundspeak's actions are not illegal.

You say '"Fair" is irrelevant". Do you want to forbid Groundspeak's customers to warn each other for unfair actions? I was under the impression that in a democracy customers have the freedom to warn each other for unfair practices.

It is their company indeed. But why would that imply that customers are forbidden to speak to each other in this forum? As far as I know, even Groundspeak itself does allow it. They did not close or remove this thread. So it is their choice to allow this discussion. It is their company. People are using their policy. Why are you against it? It is their company, so please accept Groundspeak's policy and accept that this policy is used by their customers.

Edited by Wirholt

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I live in Germany, I don't trust PayPal and I don't want to send my credit card details via Internet. So I have sent 30 US$ cash to Groundspeak in 2012. No problem.

 

I did it again in Nov 2013 and told GS that the cash is on the way. They never received it and told me about this strange european law that made them pay VAT to Europe. This law really exists (since 2003) but gives GS the choice to pay the VAT rate of ANY european country for their customers in ALL european countries. Why did they not choose Luxembourg (15% VAT) for the good of their european customers, which is us? Even if they had chosen Hungary, which has the highest VAT all over Europe (27%, why would they do so???) it would not be 30 Euro all together.

 

After three months of eMail-conversation with Groundspeak (if you are intersted I can send it to you - contact fernwirkkopf@googlemail.com) I came to the following conclusions:

 

1. This law about VAT is stupid but real.

2. GS did not reply to my explanation of the law and the fact, that they can choose.

3. When I asked about the VAT since 2003, the year, the law became valid, GS told me that they have paid all the VAT since then.

4. When I offered to send 30 US$ plus 19% they told me they were - all of a sudden - not accepting cash anymore.

5. Which leads to my conclusion that the reason for charging europeans more than US-citizens can not be anything but greed.

6. Can anyone see a different reason? I hope so, because I don't want to believe that GS has lost all their idealism for money.

7. If GS sees non US-customers as second class customers and so try to make them pay more - well... Decide for yourself what you want to call this attitude.

 

Happy Hunting everyone!

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I would rather pay in $US, so why not have the option to pay $30 plus the 15% VAT?

 

Simple: $30+15% = $34.5 or €25.29 even with 21%VAT it's $36.3 (€ 26.61) It's pretty clear why they prefer to charge €30 ($40.91). $4.60 times the number of paying EU members = $$$$$$$$

By the way, it's "easier" for us Europeans too :blink:

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I live in Germany, I don't trust PayPal and I don't want to send my credit card details via Internet. So I have sent 30 US$ cash to Groundspeak in 2012. No problem.

 

I did it again in Nov 2013 and told GS that the cash is on the way. They never received it and told me about this strange european law that made them pay VAT to Europe. This law really exists (since 2003) but gives GS the choice to pay the VAT rate of ANY european country for their customers in ALL european countries. Why did they not choose Luxembourg (15% VAT) for the good of their european customers, which is us? Even if they had chosen Hungary, which has the highest VAT all over Europe (27%, why would they do so???) it would not be 30 Euro all together.

 

 

It would not matter what country that Groundspeak chose to use for their VAT registration under the special program for electronic services supplied by a business outside the EU. They pay through a single source, but the payment must identify the country of the purchaser and remit the appropriate VAT amount based on the country of residence.

 

This question is one more reason why Groundspeak should follow the example set by other businesses and explain the special scheme through their knowledge base or a special FAQ. If they did this - and Bryan fulfilled his promise to provide the VAT registration number that they can give out should they choose to do so -- there would be no need for this thread.

 

Because Groundspeak charges a single inclusive charge for the EU (apart from the UK), this means that some countries pay slightly more for Groundspeak's services than other countries. And all EU countries pay slightly more than customers in the US.

Edited by geodarts

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Because Groundspeak charges a single inclusive charge for the EU (apart from the UK), this means that some countries pay slightly more for Groundspeak's services than other countries. And all EU countries pay slightly more than customers in the US.

 

There's an 11.4% surcharge over the membership+ VAT amount, that's not "slightly" more.

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It would not matter what country that Groundspeak chose to use for their VAT registration under the special program for electronic services supplied by a business outside the EU. They pay through a single source, but the payment must identify the country of the purchaser and remit the appropriate VAT amount based on the country of residence.

 

 

WRONG!!!

Read the law and you will find out, that GS has the choice!

And even if it was right: They charge Euopean customers more - not just SLIGHTLY MORE - for no just reason.

 

If it is all just about money - and I am sure for GS it is - they charge extra and on top of that I am sure they HAVE chosen the EU country with the lowest VAT. Just to increase the profit even more.

 

I hope no-one signs up for a premium membership as long as the rates for all have gone back to a comparable level.

 

I hate this kind of attitude - forget about the ideals and good plans that you had in the first place and live and act for nothing but the profit. What a miserable life!

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...

 

I hope no-one signs up for a premium membership as long as the rates for all have gone back to a comparable level.

 

...

 

 

In two months, my premium membership subscription will expire (it was renewed at march 2013 before this problem was known) and I'll be another Charter Member less if GS doesn't treat all premium member in an equally manner.

 

It's a pitty but the values and self respect is more important for me than a title given by a company that doesn't respect me.

 

I'll continue to use GS services, as a basic member, for as many year as i paid the membership fee: 11,5 years. So the health and the joy for Geocaching as a hobby stays with me.

 

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WRONG!!!

Read the law and you will find out, that GS has the choice!

And even if it was right: They charge Euopean customers more - not just SLIGHTLY MORE - for no just reason.

 

The VAT on Electronic Services (VOES) is intended to simplify the process for businesses outside the EU to remit the VAT due to the member states. Rather than register in all member states, the business chooses a country as a "one stop" registration point. Groundspeak chose to register through the UK. They then must remit the VAT they have collected at the rate that applies to the country where the customer lives. The HMRC explains the process:

 

Non-EU businesses supplying electronic services to EU consumers are required to charge VAT at the rate which applies in the customer’s Member State.

 

VAT should be accounted for at the rate applicable in the Member State where the customer resides. The VAT due in each Member State must be submitted electronically with payment to the Member State in which you have registered. They will then pass the VAT on to the Member State where the tax is due. This procedure will save your business from having to submit VAT returns in every EU Member State in which you have a non-business customer.

 

Because Groundspeak has chosen to have a single VAT-inclusive rate, the cost of their services varies by country. A person who lives in a country with a 27% VAT rate is paying 23.61 euros for Groundspeak's services. A person who lives in a country with a 15% VAT rate is paying 26.08 euros for Groundspeak membership. So at today's rates (according to Google), Groundspeak membership ranges from $35.35 to $32.00. Those in the UK are paying the equivalent of $34.33.

 

While I do not regard the increase as a huge amount over the course of a year, Groundspeak made a contractual agreement with some of its members not to raise rates as long as membership was renewed -- so it appears that this promise was broken.

 

Some companies using this scheme chose to add VAT by country without changing the base price of their services. Groundspeak chose to implement a single VAT inclusive rate. In case you missed Bryan's post about this:

 

Because of the wide range of VAT rates throughout Europe and the United Kingdom, and also for ease of explanation on the site, we settled on one price for all EU and UK customers: 29,99 euros and 24,99 pounds, respectively.

 

With a static $ PM charge, European customers have historically held the risk of currency fluctuations. Each year of Premium Membership (for non-recurring payments) would be charged at a rate that depends on currency fluctuations. Going forward, by presenting the fees in foreign currencies, Groundspeak will bear the risk of currency fluctuation and customers will pay the same price year after year, should they choose to remain Premium Members. We recognize that this is currently more than $30 after VAT and does include additional revenue to cover associated costs (such as currency conversion fees) and to hedge against future currency fluctuations.

Whether you accept this as a valid reason for imposing higher rates or breaking a contract with users is up to you.

Edited by geodarts

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For those keeping score, it has been 286 days since Bryan promised to provide the VAT registration number if they were permitted to do so. "If we can provide more, we will." It's not required under the VOES, but other companies do this so I think they are permitted.

Edited by geodarts

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Aun seguimos pagando mas por el mismo servicio los geocachers españoles.

 

Saludos.

omortsoN

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Since I'm writing a book about Geocaching, I'm able to claim the VAT back. Where can I find Groundspeak's VAT number please?

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Since I'm writing a book about Geocaching, I'm able to claim the VAT back. Where can I find Groundspeak's VAT number please?

 

Since it has been almost one year (on April 19) since Bryan promised to research whether they could reveal this information - and to provide it if they could - I am beginning to have my doubts about whether Groundspeak will join businesses who choose to be transparent and provide their number, businesses who are registered under the same VOES scheme as Groundspeak. Groundspeak quickly shifted from "we will tell you every thing we can" to "we don't have to tell so we won't."

 

Your best chance is to contact Groundspeak directly. Some businesses who are registered under VOES state that they will work with individual customers who might be able to claim the VAT back. Groundspeak has not said anything about their willingness to do so.

Edited by geodarts

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I just found a way around the European discriminatory pricing. Just buy Premium Membership Gift Card - 12 Month from geocaching shop http://shop.geocaching.com/default/12-month-premium-membership-gift-card.html. At least it seems like the cost is $ 30, and there is no postal fee. Of course membership provided this way takes some time to arrive and VAT may still be charged if customs gets a hold of the mail package. But you should get it few € cheaper, possibly?

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I just found a way around the European discriminatory pricing. Just buy Premium Membership Gift Card - 12 Month from geocaching shop http://shop.geocaching.com/default/12-month-premium-membership-gift-card.html. At least it seems like the cost is $ 30, and there is no postal fee. Of course membership provided this way takes some time to arrive and VAT may still be charged if customs gets a hold of the mail package. But you should get it few € cheaper, possibly?

 

Couldn't you just change your location to the United States on the purchase page, and buy in dollars?

 

Has anyone tried this?

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I just found a way around the European discriminatory pricing. Just buy Premium Membership Gift Card - 12 Month from geocaching shop http://shop.geocaching.com/default/12-month-premium-membership-gift-card.html. At least it seems like the cost is $ 30, and there is no postal fee. Of course membership provided this way takes some time to arrive and VAT may still be charged if customs gets a hold of the mail package. But you should get it few € cheaper, possibly?

 

Couldn't you just change your location to the United States on the purchase page, and buy in dollars?

 

Has anyone tried this?

 

It's hard to see how the site could know the address is wrong, but if the address doesn't match the billing address on the card that could cause problems.

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Since I'm writing a book about Geocaching, I'm able to claim the VAT back. Where can I find Groundspeak's VAT number please?

... Groundspeak quickly shifted from "we will tell you every thing we can" to "we don't have to tell so we won't."

 

Your best chance is to contact Groundspeak directly. Some businesses who are registered under VOES state that they will work with individual customers who might be able to claim the VAT back. Groundspeak has not said anything about their willingness to do so.

 

Groundspeak doesn't seem to be a registered company in the UK, according to the Companies House records, so it can't be VAT registered. I expect that is why they won't reveal their VAT number, even though it is a legal obligation to do so.

 

Where are the VAT payments it collects from UK members going to then?

Edited by InvictusManemus

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It's hard to see how the site could know the address is wrong, but if the address doesn't match the billing address on the card that could cause problems.

There are no problems with wrong addresses. I never got a bill or anything else on paper to my home address, and nobody has ever checked the address (not even the country). I received always e-mails, so the address does not mind.

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Groundspeak doesn't seem to be a registered company in the UK, according to the Companies House records, so it can't be VAT registered. I expect that is why they won't reveal their VAT number, even though it is a legal obligation to do so.

 

Isn't this what the whole discussion was about? Making sure a company claiming to be VAT registered is actually registered?

 

Where are the VAT payments it collects from UK members going to then?

 

UK members? You mean the whole of the EU?

 

Still wondering what the reason is that the VAT registration is to be guarded better than the gold at Fort Knox.

 

And let's not forget that GS adds a nice "tip" (US$4.5 at today's rate) on top of membership + VAT.

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Groundspeak doesn't seem to be a registered company in the UK, according to the Companies House records, so it can't be VAT registered.

 

Yes it can, they're registered under the VOES scheme, there are links in this thread to the relevant HMRC pages.

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