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Geocaching Ireland • Premium Membership Hike
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Premium Membership Hike

Posted: Wed May 22, 2013 10:54 am
by Tmsr
Notice that Groundspeak have hiked their Premuim membership fees from $30 to €30 per year. This increase applies to Europe due to VAT or some such justification. Wonder if any other Irish premium members have a view on this topic?. I'd suggest it's a little bit of a PR gaffe when US premium membership remains the same - wonder if one could suggest the US relations buy it as a present for you...
I see there's been quite a stir on the international fora, but without any official notification prior to renewal, the approx 33% increase might have escaped notice for some...

Re: Premium Membership Hike

Posted: Wed May 22, 2013 11:11 am
by GoldCircle
Yeah, a lot of hacked off European/International cachers - before someone suggests it, apparently, if you try to use PayPal to get around it, it picks up your location regardless, and defaults to the higher costs... so that's no workaround.

This differential pricing strategy is not unusual of American (and to be fair, European) corporates (even small ones like GS) and while there potentially can be VAT issues, and protection required for currency fluctuations, there is also an element of taking the piss with the international audience, because they feel they can get away with gouging us. American business culture in general is very sensitive to the home audience, but couldn't give two figs for what they perceive as an 'external' audience. I can't help thinking that the international audience accounts for a a very, very sizeable percentage of all cachers - and must have more weight that we realise.

I'm not sure what can be done, apart from starting a campaign to email GS and inform them that we'll not be renewing our Prem Subs until they review a pricing policy which has 'a tendency to discriminate based on ethnicity'. :wink:

Re: Premium Membership Hike

Posted: Wed May 22, 2013 11:13 am
by Fjon
Can you pay in £? Any difference in price?

Re: Premium Membership Hike

Posted: Wed May 22, 2013 12:41 pm
by GoldCircle
I understand the £ people got shafted also.

Re: Premium Membership Hike

Posted: Wed May 22, 2013 6:02 pm
by Hezekiah
With the US economy in the state that it is, you can't blame them for trying to get their hands on some hard currency! :oops:

Re: Premium Membership Hike

Posted: Wed May 22, 2013 6:47 pm
by dino
If you renew your membership you don't have to pay the extra money. This only applies to new memberships.

Re: Premium Membership Hike

Posted: Wed May 22, 2013 7:28 pm
by Tmsr
Don't think so Dino. Only way around it is for those who have a recurring membership. I'm up for renewal end of month and the new fee applies unfortunately. Will probably end up renewing but believe they're losing a lot of German Premiums and it could hasten the promotion of alternative platforms...
Think it's a major o.g. to divide their market in such a fashion.

Re: Premium Membership Hike

Posted: Wed May 22, 2013 7:30 pm
by TXLiz
Hezekiah wrote:With the US economy in the state that it is, you can't blame them for trying to get their hands on some hard currency! :oops:
Boy O Boy ..that's an idiotic statement. Like if I were to say 'at least we're not eating horse meat' that would be a idiotic statement. :roll: Now HUSH!! :x

Re: Premium Membership Hike

Posted: Wed May 22, 2013 7:57 pm
by dino
I haven't paid an awful lot of attention to it but from what I have been told there was no option but to increase European fees as they were officially told they were in breach of some kind of trading law. This means that the European prices will always be higher than the US ones (like there is with virtually every product you buy). Saying that there is a considerable difference even when you allow for currency exchange rates. I have a feeling (totally my own opinion) that €30 was chosen as a round number to match the $30.

However, the price of $30 has remained the same since I started caching over 8 years ago and at less than 10c per day (the new rate) I still feel it is very good value. If you disagree then you always have the free option of Basic Membership but think what you get for that 10c a day.

Re: Premium Membership Hike

Posted: Wed May 22, 2013 8:02 pm
by dino
Just worked it out.

$30 = €23.34 + 21% VAT = €28.24

This means we have been "overcharged" by €1.76 per year. Not really worth getting that worked up about to be honest!

Re: Premium Membership Hike

Posted: Wed May 22, 2013 9:36 pm
by GoldCircle
Don't forget that the $30 charged to US people has to include a US state sales tax - it's a gross figure already. (To be fair, sales taxes vary typically between 2-12% over there depending on the state) So, it's not as simple as marking it up for a nominal EU vat rate.

To make a false analogy, we're being taxed twice. Being Irish, I know that feeling...

With this in mind, there is simple gouging at play.

Perhaps, they update their servers with all the extra cash???

Re: Premium Membership Hike

Posted: Wed May 22, 2013 10:04 pm
by mr.-oda
Does that mean that I have to pay 30 Danish kroner which is around 4 euro, or do I need to pay 30 euro which I will say is discriminating as it is not my currency, and if they start making a difference they have to add the Danish VAT of 25%. How is it for the rest of the world now, does people in Asia or Australia still pay $30 or have they changed that as well?

Re: Premium Membership Hike

Posted: Thu May 23, 2013 11:51 am
by Hezekiah
Boy O Boy ..that's an idiotic statement. Like if I were to say 'at least we're not eating horse meat' that would be a idiotic statement. :roll: Now HUSH!! :x[/quote]

Check out http://www.usdebtclock.org/ to see just how idiotic it is!! :twisted:

Re: Premium Membership Hike

Posted: Thu May 23, 2013 1:19 pm
by TXLiz

Re: Premium Membership Hike

Posted: Sun May 26, 2013 6:15 am
by Tmsr
dino wrote:Just worked it out.

$30 = €23.34 + 21% VAT = €28.24

This means we have been "overcharged" by €1.76 per year. Not really worth getting that worked up about to be honest!
Interesting perspective...so on that basis if the dollar strengthens, it would be ok next year to round it up to 35 euro or say €40, and will they notify non US members of their random pricing in advance?

Not getting worked uo but merely wondering how they can justify introducing a two tier charge without informing their customers of such a charge first. Not every euro currency member may have the same VAT rates, and how are they pricing their product for European countries outside the euro zone?
Maybe such an Internet-savvy organisation could look at how all other online international purchases are managed and simply calculate the charges in real time using the technology available.

I got a D in accountancy in my Leaving Cert, so sure ain't an expert, but I'd imagine their reported refusal to share their VAT registration number could get people wondering where the 21% plus generous tip from the non-US customers is actually going...
Not querying value for money, merely questioning values....

Re: Premium Membership Hike

Posted: Tue May 28, 2013 7:21 am
by MunsterFan
Want to bet we won't an iota of performance increase to the steam driven servers that they must be using to serve the site, why o why have they not multiple clusters deployed???

As an aside, no company can refuse to share their VAT number either, Revenue might be interested if that is the case. The dollar being so weak €25 would have been a better choice of fee for euro countries.

Re: Premium Membership Hike

Posted: Wed May 29, 2013 10:57 pm
by klossner
GoldCircle wrote:Don't forget that the $30 charged to US people has to include a US state sales tax.
No it doesn't. By and large, US sales taxes are charged only for goods, not for services, excepting certain designated taxes such as for telephone service.

Re: Premium Membership Hike

Posted: Thu May 30, 2013 1:13 am
by GoldCircle
I stand corrected.

Re: Premium Membership Hike

Posted: Thu May 30, 2013 10:46 pm
by Daithi2004
dino wrote:Just worked it out.

$30 = €23.34 + 21% VAT = €28.24

This means we have been "overcharged" by €1.76 per year. Not really worth getting that worked up about to be honest!
The vat rate is 23%

$30 = €23.34 +23% VAT = €28.71

Re: Premium Membership Hike

Posted: Fri May 31, 2013 5:12 am
by dino
23? When did that happen!