This is pretty much idle curiosity, no real expectations, but I figured I’d ask.
Back in the Great Meltdown of '04, I rather hotheadedly asked to be banned. I emailed a Mod directly (unfortunately don’t remember which one) and received a reply to the effect that I couldn’t be banned but they could downgrade my status from Charter Member to Member.
Four years on, it seems like a really stupid thing to have done on my part. So is it possible - since the downgrading was done at my own request, and not linked to any violation or infraction of SDMB rules - to have my Charter Membership restored?
I don’t know who told you that but whoever you talked to gave you bad advice and wrong information and that is unfortunate.
It does appear that you were a Charter Member and you allowed that Charter Membership to expire. We did nothing to change your status; you simply failed to renew your subscription when it came time to make a payment.
When you did that you no longer were a Charter Member and became a Guest. You did not become a regular Member; you have not been a subscribing Member of the Straight Dope since you allowed the Charter Membership to expire. You have remained a Guest since that time.
The number one rule of retaining Charter Membership is that you continue to keep that subscription in force. Failing to do so – as in this case – means the Charter Member status is lost. Once lost it cannot be restored.
I’ve received the same ill-considered reply from a much stronger argument involving the fact that at the time my posts showed a change from “Charter Member” to “Guest”, the board tech person reported that people were being misreported as “Guests” who were actually still “Charter Members”. Thus, having not received the renewal email, I let the matter slide until I later learned I had missed the deadline.
I also emphasized that I was not asking for the reduced price but simply that my status be restored because the loss was a consequence of board tech problems and/or the confusion that resulted.
So what do I consider to be “ill-considered” about these replies? That word “cannot”. When these issues were most prominent, here in this forum Dex came right out and admitted that they certainly could restore someone’s status (technically and procedurally), and do it easily, but there might well be difficulties in verifying that someone actually was a Charter Member. So I spent weeks scouring my old hard drives and old Internet archives for such proof, but after all that effort, when I presented this evidence along with my request to repair my status, you, Tuba, again relied exclusively on the word “cannot”.
At this point, I just want to call you, Tuba, on your insistent use of the word cannot in this context. It’s not the honest word choice. I suggest telling people the truth by using the only appropriate and candid word: “won’t”