Saturday, August 11, 2012

You want my money? Make it easy!

I am a frustrated philanthropist, a sucker for good causes. I cannot afford to donate much, or to every cause that I find worthwhile, but I do what I can. Usually it is just $5 from PayPal, when I have a bit of a balance in there.

I just sent $5 to Mother Jones, a bastion of investigative reporting that deserves to be supported. Much of their content is free as a newsletter. With our political institutions bought up by the corporations, independent muckrakers are more important than ever. 

Now I would have liked to do the same or more for Tyee, a terrific online newspaper published right here in B.C. Guess what: Tyee only has two options. Support the e-paper with a monthly subscription, or continue to get it free. I cannot afford a monthly subscription, but I would like to send them
a few bucks now and then when I can. When I brought this to the attention of the Tyee I was told I could send them a cheque in the mail.

Guess what: Too many small steps are involved. Find the snail mail address, dig up a chequebook, find an envelope, dig up a stamp somewhere. I am not likely to do that. When I am in a generous mood you have to catch me right there at that moment, and entice me with a Donate button that hooks up to Paypal. Make it quick before I change my mind.

Yes Magazine, which I love, has no way to renew gift subscriptions online. I spent at least an hour trying to figure out what I was doing wrong. I finally used the contact button and had the following exchange:

"Sorry, but I am losing patience. I have been trying to RENEW my gift subscription to the Nakusp Public Library in B.C., CANADA. The shipping address shows as billing address. it won't let me change that. It keeps telling me I do not have a valid subscription. When I decide to just start fresh, I am told to fill in a valid ZIP and State. I am in Canada."

"Hi- Unfortunately, there is no way to renew gifts online. You can order new subscriptions for gifts but not renew. At this point, it would probably be best for you to give us a call or mail it into us. Sorry for the inconvenience."

In this case I am honour-bound to make the call. I just took a huge pile of overdue books and videos back to the library, 

or rather I asked my daughter to climb the steps and deliver the following message: "Would you like to receive the fines, or have YES renewed? I cannot do both." They opted for YES. I am glad since I love the magazine.

Visit it here: http://yesmagazine.org

and Tyee here: http://thetyee.ca

PS: YES had a generous buy one get one subscription offer. I ended up getting my own as well. They should still make it easier online.

1 comment:

Jacqui Binford-Bell said...

In this day and age there is no excuse for not making it easy. I am having a running fight with my landline/dsl company that has the most incompetent website for payments known to man. To do their quick pay I have to first enter the zip of where my service is, and because that is different than the zip of my billing address I have to later enter that.

Then 1/3 of the time they do something wrong with the banking transaction from their end. And I a month later get charged for "bounced check" (no check involved) and I have a confirmation number of the transaction.

I would gladly mail them a check since they cannot get their act together (it would be the only check I mail) if they could send me the statement early enough to mail the check and not get a late fee.

Frankly I think they do this deliberately. I admire your persistence. I don't know that I would muddle through if it was not necessary to stay connected.