Bad to require credit card for free books/downloads.

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Matthew C Jones | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Mar 14 2011 1:33 PM

duplicated

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Jacob Hantla | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Mar 14 2011 1:52 PM

Welcome to the forum. I would hope that you wait for some discussion or response from Logos (feel free to send the CEO an email at bob@logos.com) prior to reporting them to the BBB, especially as they don't charge you for the free book. This is no different than Apple's practice with iTunes as far as I know

Jacob Hantla
Pastor/Elder, Grace Bible Church
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Michael B | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Mar 18 2011 11:01 PM

Thomas Black:

 I understand you see it differently and only hope that you don't attribute evil motives to logos when none are present.

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A safe assumption is that Logos does not have evil intentions, and I believe they are using up-to-date standards for protecting customer credit card information.  It is actually quite unreliable to speculate on motives.  With that disclaimer in mind, it feels like in this instance of requiring credit cards for free offers they are more concerned with the business than the customer.  Large organizations tend to look at things in terms of systems rather than individuals – in some ways this is necessary. 

 

Anyway, it seems to me that providing free book downloads without requiring credit card information would be a good business decision.  Making customers happy should pay off in the long run.  Even if it hurt their bottom line I still think Logos should not require payment information for something they are giving away for free. 

 

At a gut level, it still feels wrong for a business to take credit card information when they aren’t charging anything.  At risk of exaggeration, it seems unethical.  Think of a local store offering a free sample of something but requiring you giving them credit card information first; this would seem a little strange wouldn’t it? 

 

I appreciate the creative workarounds that have been offered.  Good out of the box thinking.  I probably won’t spend the time and effort to try any of them; I shouldn’t have to.  To me it comes down to principle.  If Logos says I have to give credit card information for free downloads; well my response is no thank you. 

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Rosie Perera | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Mar 18 2011 11:27 PM

Michael Bon:
At a gut level, it still feels wrong for a business to take credit card information when they aren’t charging anything.  At risk of exaggeration, it seems unethical.  Think of a local store offering a free sample of something but requiring you giving them credit card information first; this would seem a little strange wouldn’t it? 

Michael, I really don't think there are any wrong motives or bad business decisions involved here. It seems instead like an unintended design flaw in the ordering system. I think Logos employee Stephen Smith's response best addresses your concerns (he was the one with the blue Logos logo under his picture):

Stephen Smith:
Just want to let you know that the cc requirement is really a back-end, software issue, not something we intentionally impose on our customers. It's something we're looking at but, at the moment, have been unable to fix

See http://community.logos.com/forums/p/30699/230029.aspx#230029 for context.

It seems their ordering/download system was designed without thinking about the implications of the fact that they offer some free resources, and it's a complicated thing to fix it so that it would go through a different path when a user orders something free than when they order something they have to pay for. For now it just does all the same stuff in both cases. It sounds like they do wish they could fix that but haven't been able to at the moment.

True, you've pointed out a way in which this issue might cause some users to walk away completely. Evidently they aren't worried enough about what that could cost them in lost business (seems rather minuscule to me, in the grand scheme of things) to expend the development costs to fix this issue. You say you don't want to take the time to try any of the workarounds. You've at least taken the time and effort to keep coming back to check this thread on the forum, so something tells me you're intrigued enough by Logos to hope they will fix this issue someday. And maybe they will. (Too bad they didn't notice the problem before they did their major website overhaul last year, as that would have been the time to fix it.)

Maybe if you poke around on the website some more, one of the resources that aren't free will tempt you and you'll end up giving your credit card info anyway, and then the fact that the free resources currently require credit card info too will be a moot point. Smile

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Michael B | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Jan 12 2012 10:16 AM

Logos is still requiring credit card information for free books.  Makes me sad. 

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Matthew C Jones | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Jan 12 2012 10:37 AM

Michael B:

Logos is still requiring credit card information for free books.  Makes me sad. 

Hi there Michael,

(Matthew, here.)  

There have been so many free books from Logos and Vyrso lately that I would strongly recommend you get one of those VISA "cash cards"

Logos just started a "Free-Book-of-the-Month" page over here: http://www.logos.com/free-book-of-the-month

The January selection is a doosey! see my post here: http://community.logos.com/forums/p/43485/323591.aspx#323591

I just hate for you to miss out. I don't think the CC requirement is going to change.

Another note: I trust Logos more than I trust my utility companies, PayPal or restaurants. I use my bank card there so why not here?

Good to hear from you.

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Danny Baskin | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Jan 12 2012 12:57 PM

I'm just happy to get all that free stuff!Stick out tongue

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Michael B | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Jan 28 2012 11:03 AM
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My resistance finally broke down and I used a "virtual" credit card number and limited the maximum amount to $1.  A virtual credit card number is a temporary number that is tied to my regular card but has its own number and expiration date.  Then I went ahead and downloaded some of the free resources. 

I still believe it is bad to require credit card information for something that is free.  Thanks to everybody for participating in this discussion. 

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Chris Montes | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Dec 28 2012 10:42 AM

I have an iTunes account but do not have a credit card associated with it and am able to download free apps all the time. When I do want to buy something I just buy and iTunes card and validate it.

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Bruce Brewer | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Feb 4 2014 6:00 AM

Logos makes excuses like, "it's okay Bruce we're not going to charge you." or "Logos says, "other sites do it to for their free stuff."

This is pure poppycock. Here is a company (Logos) who makes their living selling computer stuff and claims to be Christian to boot. But they refuse to add a modification to their purchase program whereby when you "purchase" a free book the payment window is not opened and no credit card information is recorded.

Why do they refuse? Slothfulness comes to mind. If they are to continue to maintain they position as a top software company, then they must be on the forefront and not request information on a "free" purchase which is not necessary. I will gladly give my credit card info for a cash purchase, but I will never "buy" a "free" book that requires a credit card.

Logos has no excuse, other than be like the world in all the bad ways, for making this requirement mandatory.

Okay, now Logos will respond with more excuses why they won't modify their program. Excuses, excuses, excuses.....

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Graham Criddle | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Feb 4 2014 6:39 AM

Hi Bruce - and welcome to the forums

The last I heard Logos are planning to change this - see http://community.logos.com/forums/p/68775/479627.aspx#479627 for a response from one of their people in April last year.

In that post he speculated it would be done before the end of 2013 - which didn't happen - but the intent was there.

Graham 

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Mike Pettit | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Feb 4 2014 6:45 AM

I do not understand what the problem is here.

Logos gives away free stuff to encourage new customers to jump on board and in the future becoming paying customers, also to reward past customers. As such it makes perfect sense to ask Pele taking advantage of free stuff to become registered to the extent that they are able to make purchases in the future, I.e. to register a card.

If people do not want to register a card then do not do so but there is nothing deceptive about requiring you to do so, if you do not want to then do not take the book.

The need to register a card appears to be accidental and historic but I see no reason why they should change it.

People should really avoid playing the Christian card on this one, if anything it shows greed on their part if they get worked up about it.

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Matthew C Jones | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Feb 4 2014 7:02 AM

Chris Montes:

I have an iTunes account but do not have a credit card associated with it and am able to download free apps all the time. When I do want to buy something I just buy and iTunes card and validate it.

My daughter was required to enter a credit card to get an Apple ID for her iPhone. She has a pre-paid iPhone so technically the credit card will never be charged yet Apple requires it. (No different than Logos.)

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Denise | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Feb 4 2014 7:09 AM

Regardless of whether the Logos idea is good or bad (Logos' answers indeed being pure poppycock whatever that is), whenever I download an app that wants a signin (not even a CC), it's good bye. Takes all of 2 seconds.  Don't waste my time.

So my theory is that Logos is reluctant to get too many more customers.  Just minutes later, they jump on the forum and start theological arguments (without a 5-star review too). 

An app that offers 'free' but wants my credit card?? Sure thing.

Not in this day and time.  Welcome to Target.

 


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Matthew C Jones | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Feb 4 2014 7:38 AM

Denise:
Welcome to Target.

Logos has 2 of my credit card numbers. In 5 years time I have never had an unauthorized charge. On the other hand, I have had two other ccard numbers stolen in the last 5 months. (Target and a Chinese restaurant) 

I trust Logos with my card #. It is everybody else I don't trust.

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fgh | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Feb 4 2014 7:41 AM

Bruce Brewer:
they refuse to add a modification to their purchase program whereby when you "purchase" a free book the payment window is not opened and no credit card information is recorded.

To the best of my knowledge Logos has never "refused" to do this. They've said they have higher priorities, but they'll get to it in time.

Logos was, until very recently, a very small company and needed all their few developers to work on Logos itself, so, as I understand it, they bought all their administrative, financial, forum, etc software from elsewhere. Hence it was what it was, and just 'adding a modification' may not be as easy as you think.

For one thing they may not have the legal right to modify bought software.

For another, multiple systems tie into each other, and modifying one may require first modifying others. I have a faint memory of a post somewhere where Logos states that if they simply remove the credit card requirement, they won't know how many copies of that book they 'sold', and, naturally, the publisher requires them to be able to account for that. So they can't remove the requirement until they have another system in place that counts exactly how many copies they distribute of each book. And coding that probably requires first fixing something else. And so on. 

Thirdly, this isn't exactly the only thing we and/or they have wanted changed with their administrative and financial software, and it doesn't make sense to waste time and money on superficial modifications if your real intention is to rebuild the whole framework from the bottom up, as it is my impression that it is. We have already seen major results from this rebuild: the website now grays out items that we own, it gives us dynamic pricing, and it keeps track of our credits and lets us apply them even on prepubs. Those improvements are far more important than the one you ask for.

Fourthly, coding costs money, and that money is payed by me and others who buy our resources. Why would I want to pay for you not to have to enter your card number?

Personally, I am constantly surprised over the insistence on this change, and constantly shocked over the rudeness with which it is presented. I want Logos to spend their time and money on fixing what I have already payed for, not on placating people who don't want to pay. If someone offers you a free book, take it and be grateful, or leave it and move on. Insulting and making false accusations against someone who tries to be kind to you isn't very nice.

I'm sorry, but I'm just getting very tired of posts like this, that can't even be civil. To the point that I'm beginning to feel like urging Logos never to change this...

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abondservant | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Feb 4 2014 8:16 AM

Bruce Brewer:

Logos makes excuses like, "it's okay Bruce we're not going to charge you." or "Logos says, "other sites do it to for their free stuff."

This is pure poppycock. Here is a company (Logos) who makes their living selling computer stuff and claims to be Christian to boot. But they refuse to add a modification to their purchase program whereby when you "purchase" a free book the payment window is not opened and no credit card information is recorded.

Why do they refuse? Slothfulness comes to mind. If they are to continue to maintain they position as a top software company, then they must be on the forefront and not request information on a "free" purchase which is not necessary. I will gladly give my credit card info for a cash purchase, but I will never "buy" a "free" book that requires a credit card.

Logos has no excuse, other than be like the world in all the bad ways, for making this requirement mandatory.

Okay, now Logos will respond with more excuses why they won't modify their program. Excuses, excuses, excuses.....



At the risk of breaking forum rules here, I'm going to point something out. I don't do this to be mean - yet it may come across as such. My first thought when people start making accusations is that they can recognize this in others, because it is a path they themselves are walking. You accuse Logos of a few things right off the bat: Slothfulness, worldliness and some amount of presumed greed. Finally you insinuate some level of deceipt. Many of us have talked to/met/know the owners of this company, and saying such things will win you no friends here for one, and for two anyone who knows them knows different. Does marketing get out of hand sometimes? Sure. Do they make it right when it happens? Absolutely. They gave away 40k USD of software a while back over a mistake they had made (back in august I think).

So in short: 1. Check your heart. 2. you won't be convincing many if any with attacks like that, and 3. "let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger;" ( james 1:19B). I intend all this to come from a prov 27:6 perspective as I am presuming you are a brother in Christ.

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Erwin Stull, Sr. | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Feb 4 2014 8:18 AM

In response to the required CC for free resources issue. When I 1st began using Logos, I was also a bit reluctant to enter this information for a company and site that was little known to me, I searched around and did not find any bad reports on the company, I asked some people if they knew anything about Logos, and I thought this through for several days. What I eventually did (still reluctant to enter CC information) was to go out and get one of those Visa gift cards that was a real credit card with limited money on it (a debit card). I used that for several months before using my regular card, and have never experienced a problem where I was charged for a free resource or charged an incorrect amount for anything else.

With all of this said (and tested), I can truly say that Logos is a very reputable company. My statement is not speculation, but fact, as I have personally tested this myself several years ago.

Also, I will add that this practice is not exclusive to Logos. There are other sites/companies that require the same, and the choice is either to accept the practice or move on. Some I do accept, and some I don't accept.

If what Logos offers is valuable to you, and you are not sure whether to trust them or not, just put them through your own test.

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Denise | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Feb 4 2014 8:55 AM

When we drive in Phoenix, we typically move along at 70mph or so in heavy traffic. We've never had any problem before in Phoenix. Looks ok.  Had a problem in Dallas and watched a massive pileup in the rear-view mirror. 

When we first moved here, we tested out driving really fast in Phoenix. Didn't crash.  So I think we're ok.

Although I think most of the arguments here are specious (you'd really have to know the innards at Logos, the card processor, etc), I WILL say, Logos lets you MANAGE your CC.

I really cringe on both local businesses and internet sites that hold on to your information, and there's no way you can 'get it back'.

Periocally I've put in a dummy cc on my account when I thought the card might have problems (not Logos).


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Matthew C Jones | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Feb 4 2014 9:01 AM

Denise:
Although I think most of the arguments here are specious

OK. Point well taken.

I do take extra measures to limit my exposure on my credit cards. There is only a certain amount that can be charged without my direct intervention for higher charges. 

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