Payment Plans and you

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This post has 134 Replies | 16 Followers

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SineNomine | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Nov 23 2015 10:14 AM

James:
Can you tell me why my 27 month plan will be cut down to 12 months for adding something to my plan? This has forced me to cancel all of my pre-orders.

You can add a second plan. That second plan will not affect your old one.

Glenn Airoldi:
All new orders placed using our Payment Plan program will require a minimum downpayment: 25% of the order total or $500, whichever is less.

I think that that $500.00 USD cap is really important and a very good thing for you and your customers.

Posts 406
Erik | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Nov 23 2015 1:04 PM

James:

Most of these changes I can understand why they need to be implemented from a business perspective. There is one change however that I fail to see a sensible explanation for that Glenn has made above;

Glenn Airoldi:
Pay the remaining combined balance over the months allowed, based on the size of your purchase. Note:  If the length of your existing plan is greater than 12 months, the length of your new combined plan will be either the number of months allowed with your new purchase, or 12 months, whichever is greater.

Can you tell me why my 27 month plan will be cut down to 12 months for adding something to my plan? This has forced me to cancel all of my pre-orders. Really I am so annoyed beyond description about the fact I received no email or notification about this and now I have to miss out on the long awaited TDOT @ $399 pre-pub price. Do you want to know how I found out about these changes?

Me: Hi, I'd like to add Church Dogmatics to my payment plan.

Sales Rep: Sorry, we have made changes to our payment plans now. You need to pay 25% up front and your existing plan will be cut down to 12 months.

Really you guys could have at least made this effective as of 1st of Jan 2016 or something. I will have to skip on all Christmas/Black Friday specials now too.

 

The communication on this change has definitely been handled unprofessionally. I don't take issue with Faithlife making business decisions that are best for them, but this is not an example of how a company should communicate with its customers.  I still haven't seen this mythical email and don't think a post by a FL employee in the forums is a sufficient substitute.

I realize that Bob has indicated that FL is financially sound, but surely FL must understand that the way in which this change has been communicated conveys a sense of urgency that makes customers uneasy. 

I really get the sense that this move is in part intended to promote the cloud-based rental model; until FL weans everyone off the long term payment plan ownership model, there isn't much incentive for customers to switch to the cloud. Other than the occasional resource required for my classes, I don't foresee any major Logos purchases for me in the next 21 months until my current payment plan expires.

 

Posts 57
James | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Nov 23 2015 1:21 PM

SineNomine:
You can add a second plan. That second plan will not affect your old one.

Simply adding another plan is not a substitute for the flexible system that was in place. I'm not sure I see the sense in paying multiple monthly admin fees to Logos, period. The question of why this change has taken place still goes unanswered. Can someone please explain this logic of shortening a 27 month plan to 12 months when something is added?

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JRS | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Nov 23 2015 2:40 PM

As long as we're discussing FL covering their costs, and their cash flow, I've always been amazed that they don't charge a fee for cancelling a PrePub or CP order at the last minute before it ships.  Ditto for returning an order in the 30 day window after delivery. 

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William Gabriel | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Nov 23 2015 3:06 PM

Shhhh!!!!!

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JRS | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Nov 23 2015 3:29 PM

William Gabriel:
Shhhh!!!!!

I can appreciate that sentiment, but think about it for a moment. 

A small, "re-stocking" fee would help their ability to predict cash flow by weeding out those who routinely abuse this graciousness on the part of FL (and we all know they do exist).  Even though at first blush it sounds like FL would be turning the screws tighter, in the long run it would help to make them a stronger, more durable company.

Further thought:  It would make sense to prorate the re-stocking fee based on how close to the delivery/shipping date the order is cancelled or returned.

How blessed is the one whom Thou dost choose, and bring near to Thee(Psa 65:4a)

Posts 1645
Rick | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Nov 23 2015 3:58 PM

JRS:

...I've always been amazed that they don't charge a fee for cancelling a PrePub or CP order at the last minute before it ships.

I think that if this was implemented, you would see PrePub and Community Pricing orders drop. I know that I wouldn't order nearly as much out of fear that I might not be able to pay for it down the road, sometimes years later. Since these titles sometimes take years to produce from the time that you order, you cannot predict the future and know when a shortage of funds might happen. I don't cancel very often but I have done it before. If Faithlife gave hard dates at the time of order, I could understand a charge but you would be able to make your plans a lot more easily too. Also, my understanding is that Faithlife takes into consideration that a certain percentage of people will cancel and they take that into consideration before moving a resource into production by making sure that they have a certain percentage over the cost of actual production. My understanding of that may be wrong but it seems that I have read that before.

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Posts 57
James | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Nov 23 2015 3:59 PM

JRS:
A small, "re-stocking" fee would help their ability to predict cash flow by weeding out those who routinely abuse this graciousness on the part of FL (and we all know they do exist).  Even though at first blush it sounds like FL would be turning the screws tighter, in the long run it would help to make them a stronger, more durable company.

I agree with you on this that there could have been some work done here and perhaps even on the general 30 day return policy. I admit there are times where I have been uncertain about a product, purchased it and returned it and I would say that I have probably done this about 20 times this year alone. It's a bit of a double edged sword though. For people who are not in seminary, it is almost impossible to view the content of the more esoteric academic resources or even some of the top commentaries. This is especially the case for Australia, and I am sure for many other countries outside the UK and USA. If I wanted to view some of these resources, I would have to;

1. Purchase from Amazon, pay exorbitant shipping costs plus 40% extra in exchange rate + international transaction fees. Ebay is no better.

2. Purchase as a special order from our major supplier Koorong. Considering they charge nearly $2,000 for HALOT and over $100 per volume of AYB and HERM, these products are naturally non-refundable special orders. The same case for many many other products they sell.

3. Pay for journal subsriptions - some of the journals are reasonable, like SBL's $55 per year membership. You can certainly forget about premium subscriptions though like De Gruyter or Bloomsbury (for LHBOTS etc), priced well out of my reach.

I try not to abuse the 30 day trial as I understand there are costs associated with returns etc. but for many many products I have no hope of viewing, I am dependent upon Logos's graciousness in this sense.

Now that the payment plan changes have rolled in, I have to freeze any future purchases. Probably not such a bad thing really, just a shame I miss out on some excellent pre-order opportunities (if only TDOT came out 2 or 3 weeks ago!).

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Posts 168
Jim Snowden | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Nov 23 2015 4:15 PM

I was planning to take a new payment plan when my current one expires in December to get Collector's edition. The payment plan changes of now 25% deposit and reduced months have persuaded me I can do without it really. So my wallet is happy although perhaps not Logos as they have lost a sale.

(I also have had no personal email about the changes. And a minor thing but I wasn't impressed by there still being a $5 charge for the 25% deposit payment).

Jim

Posts 57
James | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Nov 23 2015 4:21 PM

Jim Snowden:
I was planning to take a new payment plan when my current one expires in December to get Collector's edition. The payment plan changes of now 25% deposit and reduced months have persuaded me I can do without it really. So my wallet is happy although perhaps not Logos as they have lost a sale.

Jim, just to clarify, it is either 25% or $500 whichever is less. So depending on what your current dynamic pricing is, you will only have to cough up $500 maximum. Hope this helps.

This is from Glenn Airoldi's post earlier in the thread: Purchase new books, put at least 25% of today’s purchase price on your credit card (or $500, whichever is less), along with the $5 payment plan fee.

So even if you purchased Collectors at full price, you won't have to sell your kidney to afford the 25% of just over $2.5k

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JRS | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Nov 23 2015 4:26 PM

I am not necessarily arguing for the implementation of such fees.  I have no inside information as to why FL is so gracious w/r to these things ...   perhaps they do it for all of the reasons stated above ... perhaps they do it as a loss leader ... only they know.  I am only stating my amazement at their current policy.

Still it would seem that if cash flow is a concern, then being able to reliably predict cash flow becomes crucial.  Furthermore, it would seem that no matter how much one might sympathize with the reasons stated above in favor of the current, gracious policy(s), a prorated return/cancellation fee could only help FL to remain strong and deliver the service(s) we all desire.  As a man once said, "There is no such thing as a free lunch."

How blessed is the one whom Thou dost choose, and bring near to Thee(Psa 65:4a)

Posts 2993
David Taylor Jr | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Nov 24 2015 5:21 AM

James:

SineNomine:
You can add a second plan. That second plan will not affect your old one.

Simply adding another plan is not a substitute for the flexible system that was in place. I'm not sure I see the sense in paying multiple monthly admin fees to Logos, period. The question of why this change has taken place still goes unanswered. Can someone please explain this logic of shortening a 27 month plan to 12 months when something is added?

Actually Bob gave a pretty detailed answer earlier in the thread and subsequent details even after that.

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Matthew C Jones | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Nov 24 2015 8:22 AM

JRS:
 Furthermore, it would seem that no matter how much one might sympathize with the reasons stated above in favor of the current, gracious policy(s), a prorated return/cancellation fee could only help FL to remain strong and deliver the service(s) we all desire. 

If this were implemented it would destroy the Pre-Pub program. When it takes Faithlife more than two years to publish some titles most people would not risk a cancellation fee. I would cancel my remaining Pre-Pub list.

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Posts 145
Dustin Pearson | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Nov 24 2015 12:38 PM

Super.Tramp:

JRS:
 Furthermore, it would seem that no matter how much one might sympathize with the reasons stated above in favor of the current, gracious policy(s), a prorated return/cancellation fee could only help FL to remain strong and deliver the service(s) we all desire. 

If this were implemented it would destroy the Pre-Pub program. When it takes Faithlife more than two years to publish some titles most people would not risk a cancellation fee. I would cancel my remaining Pre-Pub list.

Unfortunately with the way FL handles things you won't know till one day you go to cancel one and you find there is a fee...not like they would announce with any real notice that they are making a change.

Posts 3154
Whyndell Gizzard | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Nov 24 2015 1:04 PM

Dustin Pearson:

Super.Tramp:

JRS:
 Furthermore, it would seem that no matter how much one might sympathize with the reasons stated above in favor of the current, gracious policy(s), a prorated return/cancellation fee could only help FL to remain strong and deliver the service(s) we all desire. 

If this were implemented it would destroy the Pre-Pub program. When it takes Faithlife more than two years to publish some titles most people would not risk a cancellation fee. I would cancel my remaining Pre-Pub list.

They would have a very hard time collecting a fee that was not part of the original purchase or program agreement- can't see that happening- they would have to have it clearly stated within the purchase agreement or sorry, so sorry you cannot collect it.

Unfortunately with the way FL handles things you won't know till one day you go to cancel one and you find there is a fee...not like they would announce with any real notice that they are making a change.

Posts 5247
Dan Francis | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Nov 24 2015 1:53 PM

Dustin Pearson:
Unfortunately with the way FL handles things you won't know till one day you go to cancel one and you find there is a fee...not like they would announce with any real notice that they are making a change.

I doubt this could happen... it clearly states that PRE-PUBS can be canceled at anytime and you are not charged till it ships. To institute a cancelation fee retro actively would almost certainly be illegal and almost certainly result in some kind of class action being filed against FL knowing how litigious americans are.

-Dan

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Jack Caviness | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Nov 24 2015 2:47 PM

Dan Francis:
knowing how litigious americans are.

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Posts 236
Michael March | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Nov 25 2015 7:14 AM

I appreciate the transparency and the honesty of this company. There are not many companies where the ceo answers marketing questions directly and quickly when they really don't have to. I am continually amazed at that and also a little chagrined at how many still find fault.

Thank you Bob and company.

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Doc B | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Nov 25 2015 7:42 AM

JRS:
A small, "re-stocking" fee

That might make sense, except that no stock ever left the shelf (so to speak).

In some states, it is illegal to charge a cancellation fee unless there was a contract in effect, and in the case of CP and Pre-pub orders, no contract is in effect. While Pre-pub could be altered to make a contract in effect (by giving consideration up front for an item), CP cannot, because some CP items never reach publication (apparently), and there is no definite term by which to judge delivery/non-delivery.

So charging a 're-stocking fee' for CP items is equivalent to me charging you, right now, for something you might someday order from me.

Please don't confuse 'grace' with a business model. They are not the same.

Your last sentence bears out why the 'fee' can't be done as you say, as there is no 'shipping day' on CP orders.

I'm assuming that FL operates under laws in the State of Washington. They can operate on that basis at will, but the courts have held that when transactions take place across state lines, certain Federal regulatory guidelines also become involved. I suspect these are why the system is set up as it is.

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Posts 852
Ron Corbett | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Nov 25 2015 8:27 AM

For some of us, this is a sudden and dramatic change. I would have suggested that new people coming on board get into the flow of Logos plans under new policy guidelines. Those who have been in Payment Plan mode for a long time (me, since 2008) might be gently weaned off the current plan and brought more in line with company's desired changes more slowly. I love Logos and am committed to the software and the company, but this is too much too quickly. It is hard to swallow. 

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