SDMB subscription problems? Read this

Having technical problems subscribing to the SDMB? If so, please do the following. (NOTE: if your problem is that you were charged $7.48 rather than $4.95, see note at end.)

[li]Try a different credit card (or try a PayPal account if you have one).[/li][li]Try a different browser.[/li][li]Try a different PC.[/li][/ul]
If none of the above avails, check your browser settings as follows, courtesy of SimonLee:

“More than likely a problem with your setup. When you click the credit card button, you leave the regular SDMB site and enter a secure site. If you’re using IE, click tools -> internet options -> advanced, scroll down towards the bottom and make sure “Use SSL 2.0” and “Use SSL 3.0” are checked. If they are, you may be running a firewall or be behind a proxy which is blocking port 443, in which case you’ll need to either have a play around, or see your network admin.”

Still no go? Then post a message here succinctly describing your problem. Include the following info:

[li]PC or Mac?[/li][li]Browser type and version number[/li][li]Home or work?[/li][li]What country are you in?[/li][li]Is there a firewall installed?[/li][li]Is antivirus software installed?[/li][li]Type, brand, and issuer of credit/debit card are you using, e.g., Bank One Visa debit card[/li][li]Did you try a different credit card, browser, and computer?[/li][li]Describe exactly what you did, and with what result. Indicate error messages received, preferably by copying. Include any error codes, e.g., 404 Not Found.[/li][/ul]
After you have posted the above, e-mail me a copy. Don’t worry, if you want to give us money, we’ll find a way to take it from you.

Were you charged $7.48 rather than $4.95? If so, based on preliminary inquiry, it appears you inadvertently subscribed for two years - the charter member rate for the second year is $7.48 (50% of $14.95). To confirm, click on “User CP” in the menu bar, then “Paid Subscriptions” toward the bottom of the list at left. This should tell you when your subscription expires. If it’s in 2006, you’re paid up for two years. $7.48 is of course a fabulous deal, but if you want your account credited for the second year pls e-mail me. Don’t forget to include your username. Thanks!

After filling in my card number, adress and name, I get the message: Unable to charge creditcard.

It’s valid. I just bought stuff from Amazon.

I only HAVE one creditcard. [who do you think I am, Paris Hilton?] Paypal doesn’t work for me. No other PC handy as well.

PC or Mac? - PC
Browser type and version number - explorer 6
Home or work? - home
What country are you in? - Netherlands
Is there a firewall installed? - no
Is antivirus software installed? - no
What type of credit card are you using, e.g., Bank One Visa? - mastercard
Did you try a different credit card, browser, and computer? -NO
Describe exactly what you did, and with what result. Indicate error messages received, preferably by copying. Include any error codes, e.g., 404 Not Found. -

Clicked on the links, filled in name, address, sort of card, expiration date, and card number.
Get message:
Unable to charge creditcard.

I’d love to hear what’s wrong. Thanks.

I’m inquiring with the techs, but it seems clear this is a bank problem, not a computer problem. We’ve had a handful of non-U.S. users who can use their cards to buy things from Amazon but get declined trying to sign up with us. Incidentally, MasterCard is just the brand on your card - what I was really trying to get was the issuing financial institution - possibly we can inquire with MasterCard and see if the issuing bank has a lower limit on international transactions. In the meantime, since snail mailing a money order to the U.S. seems like a dubious proposition, I’d suggest the following:

[li]Find a friend with a PC and a credit card, preferably from a different issuer, who will sign up on your behalf if you give him/her the equivalent of $5 US. [/li][li]Find a proxy in Europe using the thread in this forum. [/li][li]We can always ask Coldfire, who lives in the Netherlands and knows his way around banks. I dare say no more.[/ul][/li]Don’t worry, we’ll figure out a way to get you signed up.


Q.E.D. was kind enough to be my sponsor, and he just paid for my subscription. My post count and location are listed, but my title still says, “Guest.” is there any way to fix this?

Gilda Radner/
Never mind.
/Gilda Rander


I’m in Ed, courtesy of my brother. Thanks for the help.

Okay, I’m probably missing something obvious, but I’ve agreed to pay for someone’s subscription, but I can’t figure out how to do it. If I go into “Subscriptions” while I am logged in, the only choice I’m offered is the extend my subscription. I can’t log on under her name, because I don’t know her password, and if I try to create a new identity to use to pay for her subscription, won’t I be guilty of setting up a sock puppet? Plus, I may pay for others, and I don’t think I should set up a new identity each time.

Please, what am I missing?

You need to get her password, log out as you, log in as her, then sign her up. (Follow that?) After you log off, she can log on as herself and change her password.

Just some data to add. I initially tried to sign up via Paypal, but that didn’t go through due to some Paypal trouble. I then went to sign up with my Mastercard that I usually use for Internet transactions. I got the “Unable to charge credit card” message mentioned above. I then pulled out my other credit card, a Visa, and successfully signed up with it.

That tells me the problem most definitely has nothing to do with anybody’s PC or location or country. That lends credence to your statement about this being a bank problem … but it still begs the question: Why would a credit card that people usually use for internet transactions not work for the Chicago Reader? Sounds like you all may need to get some expert (i.e., financial services) advice.

Well, that’s my two cents worth anyway.

To confuse things further: My brother’s creditcard - that got me in here - is a Mastercard.

So: My mastercard didn’t work, his did. No complaints. I’m in. Just trying to be helpfull [?]

MasterCard is just the brand. Acceptance policies are set by the bank that issues the card. (Many banks issue both Visa and MasterCard.) Was your brother’s card issued by the same bank as yours?

I just asked, Ed. Yup, same one. Different branche. Do you need the name of the bank?

p/s Thanks for all your work.

Not necessary; obviously the bank wasn’t the problem. Do me a favor. If you get a minute with nothing better to do, call the customer service number on the back of the card and ask why the transaction was declined, even though Amazon worked, your brother’s card worked, etc. This has come up several times now and it’d be nice to have a definite answer.

I will. Not during the weekend, though. Customer service is tip-toeing through the tulips during the weekend.

Have a good one yourself. Weekend, I mean.

Paying via Paypal: I’m at the screen where it says to confirm your payment, but nowhere is there a chance for me to give my username? How will you know it’s me? My paypal email isn’t the same one as my email on the board. Maybe there will be on the next screen, but I’m afraid to click as it may be a wasted $5. Please help me out.

And PS: Thanks to DeVena for the extra 15c I needed. :wink:

Ed Zotti I called the bank. They said everything was okay and it should have been accepted.


Not much help, huh.

EvilHamsterOnCrack, since you’re a Charter Member know, what did you end up doing? Just putting it through Paypal on faith?

Well, thanks for asking. Random burp, I guess.

When I did my own subscription via PayPal, as well as the numerous others I’ve done that way either as an intermediary or as a sponsor, the fact that the link to PayPal came from the SDMB while logged on as a specific user, it “knew” who was paying.

For what it’s worth, I had no problems at all with any of them.

Damn! If I had known that I could have gotten two years for only $7.48, I would have gone for it. Any way to change, or do I have to pony up $7.48 for the second year alone? Or have I (quite likely) misunderstood the situation? No big tragedy either way, as $4.95 is still a good deal.