A word about timeliness

This morning’s email included my Paid Subscription Expiry Notice from SDMB. It explains that my “access to the paid subscription “Straight Dope Board Membership” is about to expire.” I may renew, or revert to Guest status. All perfectly reasonable boilerplate.

Except I must question the “about to expire” part. Or rather, perhaps, emphasize it heavily. My Notice is dated 4/2. Looking in my CP I find that my expiration date is 4/4. So yeah, “about to” for a really, really, ridiculously, annoyingly, and unnecessarily small value of “to”.

Last week I was traveling. I had sporadic access to email and went without reading it for several days at a time. Had that happened this week, I’d have been expired. Lemme tell you, at my age, the last place I want to find myself is right up against expiration. In this marvelous modern age of computer wizardry, can’t SDMB set up a notification system that provides a bit more leeway than 48 hours?

(By this post I appear to be entering the One-in-Ten Insta-Ban Lottery proferred in the latest Rules declaration from our not-so-benevolent-after-all overlords. Guess we’ll see how it turns out. If you never hear from me again, that will be proof enough. ;))

I’m not in the inner circle, so take what I say as my opinion only. Hopefully, an Admin will be along to comment more authoritatively.

The renewal system has never been a great one. In the past, I can remember notices going out even later. :eek:

This is one of the worst features of the Board. I don’t know if it will ever be remedied.

Just be thankful you weren’t impacted.
On the plus side, tubadiva has quite often been able to overide the system and make sure people aren’t penalized when these things happen, even after their subscription expired.

I am not a moderator or administrator but I do agree that the email you received was very close to the expiration date. But note that you don’t need to wait for such emails. You can renew your membership at any time and if you do so early, you just extend your existing membership. (In other words, it’s not as if you’re going to get two copies of Time Magazine each week.)

Thanks both. I figured somebody had to field the hysterical “OMG! I’m expired! It was an accident!” emails. Sorry for tubadiva.

And Dewey Finn, sure I could renew early. But that still won’t help me when the inevitable last one runs out – with perhaps even less notice. Then I’ll be pestering the diva for reinstatement. I’m just surprised this is even an issue. I use a “tickler program” to remind me of important dates. But this is usually for people/occasions that I myself want to nudge. People or businesses that stand to get something from me should have me in their own tickler system. And scheduled soon enough to matter. I wonder if there are members who missed their renewal and just said screw it, I’ll be a guest and use Adblock. Poor business model, that.

You’re a regular member. Even if your membership elapsed, you wouldn’t lose anything. As soon as you renewed, your membership status would be re-established. It’s the charter membership that, originally, had to be continuously maintained or was lost forever.

I know, a lapsed then renewed membership is invisible, it’s a distinction without a difference. It hardly matters one jot in the greater scheme of things. But it just seems so stupid, and unnecessary. In my IRL job we also deal with paid “members”. And we have all kinds of automatic “reminders” that get sent out to all kinds and varieties of human and organizational members, at various distances in advance of their expiration dates, repeating and ramping up in intensity as the date draws near. The technology is trivial, transparent, and abundantly useful. I guess that’s why it annoys me so much that this site, where such an array of intellectual giants (and their intellectual opposites as well :D) routinely post, is using perhaps the most lame and frankly foolish (from a business perspective) “renewal” system I’ve ever seen.


That would be great, but the technology for more timely notifications, sadly, is still decades away :frowning:

Yeah. They’ve been promising timely notifications technology for years and years now. That and flying cars. Ohhh, and death rays! Can we please get flying cars with death rays on timely notifications? I’ll trade my kitten!