As an independent publication, we need your support in order to create the in-depth articles and reviews we provide. However, we know that not everyone is able to help out to the same extent, so we've created a system where you can pay what you want to support the site. In return, we'll give you a few extra perks, including some frequently requested features.
Please remember that we're offering you an annual subscription, so you'll get a full year of these features for the amount you contribute. Our best supporters also get to have their name in lights on our top-ten list, as shown below.
At present, our average contribution is $32.96.
|1. End User||$250|
|4. Anonymous Gerbil||$150|
|6. Anonymous Gerbil||$100|
Choose the amount you'd like to pay toward your yearly subscription. The box on the right will tell you what benefits you'll receive.
How will you use the funds from these contributions?
To pay for our staff, equipment, web hosting, and operational expenses. The funds we receive will first be used to keep TR running in a difficult business climate. Anything extra will be used to fund the development of new subscriber features on the site and to hire additional editorial staff or contractors.
How can I be sure this credit card transaction is safe?
Although we're using a secure SSL certificate on our server, we don't actually store or process any complete credit card data ourselves. We leave that up to our payment processor, Stripe. When you type in your credit card info in order to subscribe, it's going directly to their servers over an encrypted SSL link. All we store is a pointer to your info on file at Stripe. If you wish, you can choose to delete our record of that pointer in the user control panel, too.
Initially, I got a Silver subscription, but now I'd like to upgrade to Gold. How does that work?
All you have to do is contribute enough to beat the current average. For instance, if you paid $20 initially and the average currently stands at $24, a payment of $5 will take you to $25 total and give you Gold status for the remainder of your subscription term.
I already have a Gold subscription, but I really like what you're doing. Can I pay more as a tip?
Certainly. Tipping is encouraged, and we'll take your support into account when we consider which new editorial projects to take on. (Be sure to shoot us an email with any related feedback.) If you tip enough, you may be able to climb the ranks into the top-10 list.
What happens if I pay a certain amount for a Gold or Silver subscription and then the average changes? Will my subscription be upgraded or downgraded?
Nope. Your subscription status is determined at the time you pay, and it won't change after that, regardless of how the average changes.
My nick is showing up in the top 10 contributors list, but I'd prefer to be anonymous. Can you help?
Sure. If you're logged in, click the "manage" link near the top right corner of any page of the site to access the user control panel. From there, you can change your preferences to be anonymous.
Do you offer corporate subscriptions?
We haven't created a formal, automated feature of this sort. However, there's nothing stopping a company from creating an account and making a subscription payment. If your company has done so and has paid $500 or more, we'll grant Gold status to as many as 10 accounts on your behalf. Just contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org with a list of accounts to be granted Gold, and we'll do the rest.
Can I give a subscription to one of my fellow gerbils as a gift?
We haven't implemented that feature yet, but it's on our radar. We'll consider adding it soon if there's sufficient demand for it.
I paid a custom amount and would like for my subscription to renew automatically when it expires. How do I make that happen?
Sorry, but presently, we only offer auto-renewals for the preset subscription rates. We will notify you via email once your subscription expiration date gets close. We are looking into making auto-renewal possible with any payment amount, and we may add this feature in the future.
I'd like to renew my subscription manually before it expires. Can I do that?
Sure. Any contribution you make within 60 days ahead of your subscription's expiration will be counted as a renewal. You renewal term will last a full year after the earlier subscription's expiration date. In addition, if you're a Silver subscriber and you beat the average with your renewal amount, we'll automatically upgrade you to Gold for the remainder of your current subscription term, as well.
Do you offer an ad-free subscription option?
Our goal in offering subscriptions is to increase our revenue so we can afford to continue providing high-quality articles and reviews. We'd rather not trade one form of revenue (from advertising) with another (from subscriptions) right now. If this whole subscriptions thing works out really well, we will consider adding an ad-free option in the future. However, that option probably won't be especially cheap or pay-what-you-want.
In the meantime, we'll continue to strive to keep the ads at TR relevant to our readers and fairly unobtrusive, with no pop-ups, pop-unders, interstitials, sounds, or similarly annoying stuff.
Are those angry rats?
The rodents in the artwork are gerbils, since that's what we call folks who post in our forums and comments. The term dates back to the beginnings of TR, when people were allowed to post anonymously in the comments. Our web developer at the time made anonymous posts say they were by "Anonymous Gerbil," and the name stuck. Today, the ranks associated with post counts in our forums are gerbil-based. If you participate in discussions at TR, you are part of the gerbil army. Be proud!
Three upvotes or downvotes for Gold subscribers? That doesn't seem very democratic.
No, it's not, but this is not a nation-state. We're happy to give a stronger voice to our best supporters.
Is my contribution to TR tax deductible?
Nope! Sorry. Although we appreciate that you're supporting us, you are technically buying a subscription when you make a payment. We're a business, not a non-profit entity, so we can't offer a tax deductible option.
None of these answers has helped. Where can I get support?
For assistance with subscription payments, features, or anything else, please don't hesitate to contact us at email@example.com.
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