Faithlife - is this really ethical?

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This post has 10 Replies | 4 Followers

Posts 281
Sean McIntyre | Forum Activity | Posted: Thu, Sep 10 2015 12:45 AM

I recently received an email from Faithlife which is typical of some emails that I've received before. The subject line is something like this:

Just $8.70 More a Month for Word Biblical Commentary 59vols!

Now, my current payment plan is $40.88 and they are offering a payment plan of $49.58. Sounds great right? Except that my current plan has only one month left. what is actually on offer is $8.70 for one month and then just $49.58 more for 14 months.

This is not just a mistake. I generally only get this kind of email when a payment plan is coming to the end of its life. Granted I can work this out for myself but, nevertheless, the subject line is absolutely untrue and the claim within the body of the email that this is a "consolidated payment" is only true of the first month.

I understand the psychology behind this kind of sales technique but a Christian company ought to steer clear of this kind of ...dishonesty (?)

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Fred Chapman | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Sep 10 2015 11:21 AM

I do not see the "dishonesty" in this, however I would suggest contacting FL directly to express your concerns regarding this issue.

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Doc B | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Sep 10 2015 12:42 PM

Fredc:
I do not see the "dishonesty" in this

'Dishonesty' is probably the wrong word. I was thinking more along the lines of 'predatory'.

As I've said before, providing a product that people want at a price the market will bear is fine. Creating a market for a product that people don't know they want is a different animal. Using psychology along with easy forms of credit crosses lines.  Blurred lines, in this culture, maybe...but lots of lines.

It bothers me as much as it does the OP. But that's just my opinion. It is obviously in the minority report (where I'm happy to live).

My thanks to the various MVPs. Without them Logos would have died early. They were the only real help available.

Faithlife Corp. owes the MVPs free resources for life.

Posts 281
Sean McIntyre | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Sep 10 2015 7:21 PM

for me it's mostly the fact that, whether or not the word dishonest is the best one, what is stated in the email is simply not true. since the payment plan is ending, $49.58 is no $8.70 more. As Christians we are held to a higher standard in our business practices, which may sometimes mean not getting ahead so much as the rest of the world.

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Jan Krohn | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Sep 10 2015 7:23 PM

Doc B:
As I've said before, providing a product that people want at a price the market will bear is fine. Creating a market for a product that people don't know they want is a different animal.

I'd say that's also fine, and necessary for any innovation to succeed.

Doc B:
Using psychology along with easy forms of credit crosses lines.  Blurred lines, in this culture, maybe...but lots of lines.

Been there, done that...

https://community.logos.com/forums/t/100199.aspx?PageIndex=1

From my side, nothing more to say than the two lines I already quoted from the Vyrso blog.

https://community.logos.com/forums/p/100199/693042.aspx#693412

Doc B:
It bothers me as much as it does the OP. But that's just my opinion. It is obviously in the minority report (where I'm happy to live).

I'll join you in the minority report.

Past IT Consultant. Past Mission Worker. Entrepreneur. Future Seminary Student.
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Posts 602
Ted Weis | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Sep 10 2015 7:24 PM

Offer most likely generated by a number crunching computer

Posts 2829
Michael Childs | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Sep 11 2015 11:45 AM

Well, for years now Logos / Faithlife has used the same advertising ethics as any other business.  For example, I am much more bothered by the false % discounts based on a "regular price", which is higher than the regular price Logos charges for the item.  And this "regular price" is for a product which cannot be bought anywhere except from Logos.  So how can the "regular price" be higher than the price that Logos charges?  Did you follow that?

In other words the "regular price" often does not exist, except as a marketing tool to make the % discount seem larger than it is. That used to happen much more frequently than now, as there have been many complaints. 

Logos / Faithlife is a great company, and I am not attacking them.  However, in purchasing from Logos / Faithlife, it is still buyer beware.

Personally, I have appreciated the notice that for a few dollars more a month I could add a resource that I have long wanted.  But before purchasing, I would do the math myself, and check the terms.  Such offers usually come to me from my sales agent, and I don't mind.

"In all cases, the Church is to be judged by the Scripture, not the Scripture by the Church," John Wesley

Posts 150
Dustin Pearson | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Sep 11 2015 1:46 PM

Frankly, to be honest...I just find them insulting and delete the emails out of course.

Posts 2307
mab | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Sep 11 2015 5:55 PM

I get similar offers every so often. Adding something from my wish list or upgrading base package. I did once feel inclined, but now I just look at what's offered and mostly just delete the offer. I'm eager to finish off paying on my stuff.

If Faithlife really wanted to pry some dollars from me they would get some of those core heavy resources out of CP and Pre-Pub. I'm not in a big rush anymore, but it would surely be nice to finally have access to some of those scholarly treasures.

The mind of man is the mill of God, not to grind chaff, but wheat. Thomas Manton | Study hard, for the well is deep, and our brains are shallow. Richard Baxter

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Phil Gons (Faithlife) | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Sep 12 2015 3:37 PM

Michael Childs:

Well, for years now Logos / Faithlife has used the same advertising ethics as any other business.  For example, I am much more bothered by the false % discounts based on a "regular price", which is higher than the regular price Logos charges for the item.  And this "regular price" is for a product which cannot be bought anywhere except from Logos.  So how can the "regular price" be higher than the price that Logos charges?  Did you follow that?

In other words the "regular price" often does not exist, except as a marketing tool to make the % discount seem larger than it is. That used to happen much more frequently than now, as there have been many complaints.

Michael, we stopped doing this about three years ago (with the launch of Logos 5 in November of 2012). We used to have a retail price which represented the sum of all the corresponding print list prices. We decided that this "retail" price wasn't helpful and could be misleading, so we dropped it. We replace it with a regular price, which truly is the price we normally sell the product for. Occasionally we'll discount products below the regular price for a sale price. In short, the prices are accurate reflections of what they indicate. No tricks. Just the facts.

We're also in the process of rolling out a new price for collections that shows the sum of all the parts (like we do with base packages), so you can see what you're saving by buying the collection instead of the individual volumes. I think we'll call this product value, or something along those lines.

We appreciate your feedback on this. It's our desire to use sales and marketing tactics that are honest, transparent, helpful, above board, and consistent with the teaching of the Bible. Thanks for calling us out and holding us accountable.

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LogosEmployee
Phil Gons (Faithlife) | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Sep 12 2015 4:04 PM

Sean McIntyre:
I understand the psychology behind this kind of sales technique but a Christian company ought to steer clear of this kind of ...dishonesty (?).

Thanks for your feedback on this, Sean. I'm sorry this came across as dishonest. We're discussing it internally to make sure our sales and marketing efforts are always transparent and above board.

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