1. SubscriberRuss
    RHP Code Monkey
    RHP HQ
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    30 Nov '04 10:314 edits
    Back in the summer we decided we realistically need to raise subscriptions again. But rather than drop that bomb back then, only 6 short months after the last minor increase, I decided to hang on to the new year. Well, in the run up to now, a number of things have made this increase an absolute necessity.

    First the good news, we normally need to upgrade our severs at least once a year. For the first time ever, this will not be necessary. (Even though we still need to buy some new services.).

    Back in the late summer we had quite a bit of feedback about new users loving the site, but unhappy with the speed. This prompted me to focus on optimising the site – and this lead to a significant improvement. You may or may not have noticed it (the site used to stall frequently under load – and this problem was removed.), but the improvement was real. There has been one negative impact though. Our bandwidth usage has gone up 40% in about 5 months.

    This isn’t just because of an increase in users, but rather the site is faster, and people click around more. So the irony is, with our hardware costs under control, our bandwidth costs have spiralled. In fact, I had the shock of my life when I read an email from our hosts last night. One Excel session later confirmed what I suspected. Since the summer, costs have rocketed. I can hardly believe the amount of bandwidth we are chewing up at the moment.

    Also, to add to the misery, the EU (bless their souls) has just last month decided put nearly 20% tax on my hosting in the US plus the exchange rate on the US dollar remains miserable.

    So the result of this, subscriptions will rise from $19.95 to $29.95. (Actually the original price of subscriptions on this site, for about 2 weeks, and the price I suspect they should have always been.

    What about the monthly fee you may ask? This has yet to be decided. I have just recently had an unfortunate incident where a mother has bought a monthly subscription for ‘little Jonny’, waited 5 months, contested EVERY charge, and then left us to pick up a huge chargeback fee on EACH charge. I was mighty upset by that, but the procedure for reclaiming the money is far too complex, so I have had to write it off. This has been the first incident of this type, but it made me realise how much risk there in having a monthly fee. So I may remove it altogether or up it to something very unattractive, like $10.

    Anyway, most people will be unaffected by this – old subs continue at their existing rates, only new subscribers (from early January) will be impacted. Any questions, please post here rather than message me directly.

    -Russ
  2. Standard memberOuermyhte
    Muffy rocks your God
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    30 Nov '04 12:46
    Originally posted by Russ

    Anyway, most people will be unaffected by this – old subs continue at their existing rates, only new subscribers (from early January) will be impacted. Any questions, please post here rather than message me directly.

    -Russ[/b]
    does this mean that to resubscribe we will still pay the $20 like before?
    also, something iv been meaning to find out for a while; when ur subscription runs out wot happens to all ur games/clan membership etc? is there any grace time to resubscribe?

    marcussucrammarcussucrammarcus
  3. Melbourne
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    30 Nov '04 13:36
    Originally posted by Russ
    ... to add to the misery, the EU (bless their souls) has just last month decided put nearly 20% tax on my hosting in the US plus the exchange rate on the US dollar remains miserable...
    have you considered hosting in Australia? If you want to give me some info I can check pricing for you

    i understand the headaches involved in changing ISP's but if it saves a significant amount of money for you it might be worth it
  4. SubscriberRuss
    RHP Code Monkey
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    30 Nov '04 13:42
    Originally posted by Ouermyhte
    does this mean that to resubscribe we will still pay the $20 like before?
    also, something iv been meaning to find out for a while; when ur subscription runs out wot happens to all ur games/clan membership etc? is there any grace time to resubscribe?

    marcussucrammarcussucrammarcus
    The cost of an annual sub will remain the same for all existing subscribers. Although, renewing after a cancellation would require paying the new rate.

    As your subs are about to expire you will receive an email. You will have until about 1 week after the subscription expires to update your details, if you need to at all. (and even if you don't, all your games can be played out.)

    -Russ
  5. SubscriberRuss
    RHP Code Monkey
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    30 Nov '04 13:44
    Our current host is physically located closer to the majority of the users on this site, in the US, so although I appreciate your suggestion, we would not consider leaving the States.

    -Russ
  6. SubscriberRuss
    RHP Code Monkey
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    30 Nov '04 13:481 edit
    Originally posted by Russ
    In fact, I had the shock of my life when I read an email from our hosts last night. One Excel session later confirmed what I suspected. Since the summer, costs have rocketed.
    -Russ
    An update to this - after a phone conversation with our hosts, they had misquoted our additional bandwidths fees, which took the sting out of it a little.

    -Russ
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    30 Nov '04 14:56
    So the result of this, subscriptions will rise from $19.95 to $29.95.

    Thats a massive jump!!!! Personally i suspect this will deter new subscribers more than anything.

    Sorry Russ, $20 was a good reasonable price but $30 i think is just too much
  8. Melbourne
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    30 Nov '04 15:12
    Originally posted by Russ
    Our current host is physically located closer to the majority of the users on this site, in the US, so although I appreciate your suggestion, we would not consider leaving the States.

    -Russ
    I thought about that after my last post and realised that would probably be the case.

    Re $20 up to $30, it is a 50% increase, but I would be happy to pay it. Your service and commitment to your subscribers on both macro and micro levels is outstanding.

    Keep up the good work.

    Col.
  9. Joined
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    30 Nov '04 15:37
    I seem to remember, although I could be wrong, that monies towards the site were for support and now they have become subscriptions. Perhaps a sliding scale would be more appropriate, i dont know something like

    Free - Max 6 games, nothing else
    20$ - Unlimited games access to forums and clans
    30$ Unlimited games access to forums and clans + Tournaments + Sieges and t-shirt
  10. SubscriberRuss
    RHP Code Monkey
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    30 Nov '04 15:41
    Originally posted by Bernardmidgley
    So the result of this, subscriptions will rise from $19.95 to $29.95.

    Thats a massive jump!!!! Personally i suspect this will deter new subscribers more than anything.

    Sorry Russ, $20 was a good reasonable price but $30 i think is just too much
    Possibly, but it is a neccessary risk. That is all I can really say about it.

    -Russ
  11. SubscriberRuss
    RHP Code Monkey
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    30 Nov '04 15:46
    Originally posted by Bernardmidgley
    I seem to remember, although I could be wrong, that monies towards the site were for support and now they have become subscriptions. Perhaps a sliding scale would be more appropriate, i dont know something like

    Free - Max 6 games, nothing else
    20$ - Unlimited games access to forums and clans
    30$ Unlimited games access to forums and clans + Tournaments + Sieges and t-shirt
    A nice idea, but keeping things simple really helps :

    One fee, and then 'eat all you want'.

    Offering a t-shirt would leave very little for costs, after shipping.

    -Russ
  12. Braga, Portugal
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    30 Nov '04 16:541 edit
    Originally posted by Russ
    A nice idea, but keeping things simple really helps :

    One fee, and then 'eat all you want'.

    Offering a t-shirt would leave very little for costs, after shipping.

    -Russ
    I agree One Fee is to unlock all is alot better.

    Also think that 30$ would make me think alot more.. but.. its ok. And afterall we have the benifit of paying 20$ to renew so its cool 🙂
  13. Standard memberDrax946
    The Chess Clan
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    30 Nov '04 19:12
    Russ-

    I think increasing the number of subscriptions may help as well as what you are going to do. Sounds a little funny, more people = more bandwidth used, but this may help greatly.

    What you proposed about making the RHP site more visible on another thread could only help matters, right? Links from Chess sites, Correspondence Chess sites, Chess Organizations, links from our websites. Would not all of these help make RHP more visible and bring in potentially more subscribers?

    I plan on starting OTB play again, wearing my soon to be purchased RHP cap!

    Russ, please take no offense at what I am about to say.

    RHP isn't the software, the servers, the database. RHP is *us*, everyone of us. We makeup the community, the atmosphere, the toughness of opposition. Let's take a little responsibility for our RHP community and pop a link on our websites, on our email sigs, send that email to that site who doesn't have RHP in its links. What does it cost? A little time in comparison to greater costs, loss of potentionally great opponents, clan leaders, forum contributers? friends?

    <getting off soapbox now> Well, I expect after that I deserve a good flaming. Just please be gentle.
  14. Subscribergumbie
    The man himself
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    30 Nov '04 19:17
    I don't see why you don't raise existing subs too.

    Prices go up everywhere.
  15. SubscriberRuss
    RHP Code Monkey
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    30 Nov '04 19:52
    RHP isn't the software, the servers, the database. RHP is *us*, everyone of us. We makeup the community, the atmosphere, the toughness of opposition.
    No offence taken, I can assure you. I am well aware (and have said many times before) that this site is nothing with out the personalities and people who play here. I see myself as the little minion who runs around greasing the wheels and changing the oil. Writing the software is one thing, but I always aim to provide a good environment for the community to develop. (Even all the little spats that occur occasionally help this in some small way.)

    -Russ
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