Subscription Questions Answered
The only way to communicate with everyone at once (subscribers and non-subscribers) is to write words here. So this is a free post that attempts to answer a few common questions about subscriptions. It will be short. But it might answer that "why is this happening?" question you've been having. I know that you're not supposed to do this ("the majority of subscriptions go through just fine - if talk about the bugs and you'll look incompetent and then fourth-quarter earnings might drop by 6%"), but I've never had a problem talking about stuff like this.
And I should probably write this paragraph first: Brumby building this out on his own makes my career possible. We could use a service for subscriptions, but that service would want 17% or whatever. A huge part of our model here (where I can make a living at this) is to reduce those costs as low as they can go. Brumby is using his skills to make that happen (even though it's a massive ask). We're still working through bugs (he's still working through bugs), and that's to be expected, so we appreciate your patience.
OK, so I'll start with a general overview of the changes on the site. Some people were out of town when I wrote the Launch post and they missed the changes and are now trying to log in using the old TinyPass system. I'll try to keep this brief but I'm a wordy person.
The old system that we used (TinyPass) was external. You logged in with them. We also had a login to comment, so IlliniBoard had two logins - one to comment, one to subscribe. With this "launch", we combined the two. There's now one login. Your subscription is attached to that, and you can comment using that. The My Account tab at the top will tell you everything. You can find info like when your subscription runs out (remember, it will auto-renew now), how to cancel your subscription before it auto-renews (click the button there), how to subscribe if you're not a subscriber - all of that.
Many subscribers from before only had a TinyPass login. They never commented, so they never needed an IlliniBoard login. They just wanted to read all the articles. Because of that, people are trying to log in with their old (TinyPass) credentials and it's not working. I get it. It's confusing. That's a result of us trying to fix the "two logins" problem from here forward.
So for some, the solution is as simple as starting fresh. Ignore all of the TinyPass stuff (TinyPass Go, the platform we used, doesn't even exist anymore) and begin anew. Register for a username, select a password, and once you receive your verification email (we have to verify your email address - it's a way to keep bots out), click on the link and you can log in. Then the Subscriptions page (or the My Account tab) will show you subscription options.
Some of you are doing that and finding out that you registered for a username 7 years ago but you can't remember it. You find this out when you try to register and it tells you "there's already a username for that email address". We can look that up for you - just email me (firstname.lastname@example.org). We'll tell you the username (sometimes it's just your email address) and then you can log in if you remember your password or reset your password if you can't remember it.
OK, to the issues people are having. The bugs in our system, we'll call them. Brumby is chasing bugs, but when you launch a new thing (and you're a small shop like us without an IT department), there are always going to be bugs you won't know about until the system goes live. Here's what you need to know:
+ Some subscribers, for whatever reason, start seeing the "you have one article remaining" box. It stays at one - you can click around to 10 articles and never hit the paywall - but you see the "one remaining" message and obviously think "hey, I'm a subscriber, what gives?".
We are chasing that down. The system seems to be working fine - if you're a subscriber you still have access to everything, if you're not you hit the paywall - but the message randomly pops up for some people. Just know that if you see it, you're likely still good and can read all articles. And it will almost always just go away within 12 hours. We're just trying to find out why it happens for some. I blame Pat Fitzgerald.
+ Some subscribers, for whatever reason, get a weird looking "subscription successful" landing page. And then they find that their subscription processed but the site doesn't recognize it. If that happens, email me (email@example.com). We can simply re-attach your subscription and you'll be good to go.
Three people saw that the page looked weird, tried again, got the same weird landing page (but it still said "subscription successful"), and realized they probably just paid twice (they did - we refunded the extra payment). We can one-click refund any charge if that happens. Again, don't hesitate to reach out. And if you see that weird looking page (it seems to be one person every five days or so while others get through the process just fine), please know that your subscription went through but we might have to manually attach it.
+ Some people, when registering for a username, never get the "your email is verified" email because it gets screened out as spam. If that happens, email me (firstname.lastname@example.org). We can verify your email on our end. (Again, we have to do this or else the site would be 15,000 Russian bots.)
And if you're having any issues beyond this, just email me. It might take a few hours - I create tickets for Brumby, and then when he has time throughout the day he knocks out all the active tickets - but we can likely fix any problem. Can't get password reset to work? We can force a randomized password to be sent to you. Site tells you your email isn't verified? We'll tie a double knot around your email verification.
Finally, thank you to everyone who has subscribed. I can't say it enough - two weeks ago I put my career in your hands and asked you to support me, and I'm humbled by everyone who has said "I'm in". Really excited to see where this thing can go. Especially after we win the Big Ten West and make the Final Four.
One last thing: If you're Seventeen Club, please know I'm still working on the shirts. Samples arrive today so I can verify that they're not Tennessee orange. We'll have it worked out soon. I know I said October 1 and it's October 2 but I'm on it.
OK, that's it. Back to the mailbag post that was supposed to be here now.