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Please read: Racing Clubs & Leagues Go Premium

Discussion in 'Site Feedback & Support' started by RaceDepartment, Jan 26, 2015.

  1. RaceDepartment

    Administrator Staff

    With the start of the New Year, RaceDepartment has decided to take a slightly different approach in order to bring as much to this great community as possible. As with any major change that will have a site wide impact we first had a long discussion with our Premium members during the last months of 2014, this input was then taken to the staff, and we have concluded based on the received feedback to make some changes which will bring RD more than ever, and fit the needs of all sim racers as best as possible.

    What are the changes?
    Beginning March 1st, 2015 our Racing Clubs and Racing Leagues, that are hosted on our dedicated servers, will become Premium only. Premium memberships can now be purchased yearly for only 9.99 EUR. Memberships can also now be given as a gift to other members as appreciation for their work to the site or just make some of your online racing friends happy.

    There will however remain an opportunity to race on RD servers for free. The existing 24/7 Server(s) will become public servers, moderated by a handpicked group of Premium members.

    Why upgrade?
    A premium membership will now include more benefits than ever. Not only does it provide the same benefits as always, click here for the full list of extra features, and access to all our clubs and leagues, but also access to our servers. We're hard at work on systems that will allow Premium members to host custom events, to race with other premium members as they wish.

    In the near future we hope to bring real prizes to our leagues as well, for example prizes like new hardware or a chance to go behind the scenes to a real race. We are working on deals to make this happen, but we will need the support of Premium members to make this happen.

    We are also working to provide not only a better racing experience but also a better experience overall on the website. RaceDepartment is already known as a one stop shop for sim racing. Well we want to make it a true one stop shop for all your sim racing and motorsport desires.

    Why the need for such changes?
    Hosting such a website, a range of dedicated servers, and providing the best possible content and resources costs money. As things stand today, RaceDepartment sometimes struggles to have the monthly bills paid, and can not afford to provide exclusive content and prizes to its members.

    With our user base growing larger by the day, we will need more resources to keep up. With the help of our Premium members we can make RD a true haven for sim racing and motorsport enthusiasts alike.

    As a premium member, you are supporting RaceDepartment and helping it to reach its full potential to provide an excellent resource for the community. Not only is that something to take pride in, but it means you can have a say in the future of RaceDepartment as well. This decision was made with the help of our existing premium members, without them providing the things that we currently have, this would not have been possible.

    How to proceed?
    Make sure to upgrade your account here from the 1st of March on wards so you can continue your online racing experience on our dedicated servers (this of course doesn't include self-hosted (Presto GP, FSR) and console racing events run by our members, such as F1 2014, Forza, Gran Turismo etc).

    At the first of March the current "licensed member" group will cease to exist and all accounts will be become regular registered users with or without premium feature access.

    Got questions?
    Feel free to ask any questions you may have in the comments below and we'll do our best to help you out and make the transition for everybody as smooth as possible.
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  2. Rami

    #20 FinnTeam Premium Member

    Hi. Is there going to be possibility to make the payment with debit/credit card?
    Or any other method like bank transfer etc...
    Would be good for us who don't use paypal.
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  3. Gavin Hendley

    Gavin Hendley

    It doesn't get any easier than Paypal! Have you even tried to register your debit or credit card to paypal it takes 2 mins.
    • Agree Agree x 8
  4. Gavin Hendley

    Gavin Hendley

    Would be nice, if someday RD could organise trips to real race event for its members:inlove: how cool would that be.:)
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  5. Bram

    Roaring Pipes Maniacs | #27 Staff Premium Member

    Not even very unrealistic either. Keep an eye out for Le Mans 2015 (or latest '16) :)
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  6. Rami

    #20 FinnTeam Premium Member

    Yes I did... They said they will make a withdraw from my account and from that payment I should enter a code. Well, there never was any transaction by paypal, I never got the code and that's where I lost my interest :)
    • Agree Agree x 3
  7. Frank

    Administrator Staff Premium Member

    It took a week for me to do so, but in the end they get it done :-P.
  8. Dragos Haba

    Dragos Haba
    #9 | Roaring Pipes Maniacs Premium Member

    Hey @Rami Mattila ,

    From my understanding of paypal, you need not be a member to even make a payment. You can pay as a guest, all it requires is that you enter your billing information and credit card number and then process the payment, in fact that is the process that I just used 10 mins ago to get my premium membership!
    • Like Like x 2
  9. Matheus Machado

    Matheus Machado
    #17 Talking Door Racing Staff Premium Member

    As I have huge problems with paypal, is there any other options available for payment, already tried to buy a premium membership for two hours without any success.
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  10. Andy Jackson

    Andy Jackson
    Sponsored by BRUT Premium Member

    I think this change to our RaceDepartment is great and will bode well for the future. Nice one RD owners/staff.:thumbsup:

    I have another idea you might find interesting too. How about a contributions tab, where members can pay via paypal a small amount (of their choosing) at any time as a contribution to the running of this fine place? I used to be a member of another forum that did this and had a contributions target banner along the top and every month they would pass their target (usually a small target of say 150 euro's.)

    Then anyone who contributes gets to have a small badge under their username (RD contributor) that times out every month unless they make another small contribution. ;)

    Members would feel they are helping to support this great community with whatever they can contribute (set a minimum of 1.5 euro's. If 150 members contributed 1.5 euro's it soon add's up.

    Just an idea. :) That could run along side premier membership.
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  11. Sk3ptik0n

    Premium Member

    Paypal let you pay with any credit card without membership. Even though I am a member of Paypal, I often like to use a different credit card and invariably I am able to do so. The trick is to actually stop and read the payment page carefully. Of course PP tries to make it easier to join and become a member than to just use the service as an outsider, but the possibility is there.

    it used to be that if you were a member it was almost impossible to pay without using your membership (which was annoying), but now it's much easier and I do it all the time.

    The next time I buy something in that fashion, I'll see if I can make a quick video tutorial of it and maybe we can publish it here to make things easier from everyone.

    of course, my experience is US based. I have no idea if in other countries it works differently.
    • Agree Agree x 1
  12. Ricoow

    420 Premium Member

    Oh god I'd cry from happiness if we do this :o
  13. An option besides PayPal would be VERY welcome. I only ever use pre-paid cards. The cards I get from my bank are Mastercard. I know for a fact (due to several experiences) that Mastercard and PayPal don't get along very well when it comes to payments such as this. .. Heck, I had issues using PayPal to get my current premium membership last year!
    Basically, PayPal doesn't particularly like pre-paid cards. That is ALL I use. PayPal wants cards that are directly linked to bank accounts. Not only won't I do that, I currently can't do that. My credit status won't allow it.
    • Agree Agree x 1
  14. PayPal has an option specifically for pre-paid cards and gift cards. It accepts them without issue for me, but when linking the card, you have to make sure you're doing it under the gift card tab.
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  15. I understand that premium memberships need to fund the servers, but people that are new won't know what it's like to be in the club without paying. Maybe a trial event or once-a-month events for non-premiums so they can see for themselves?
    • Agree Agree x 8
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  16. I just dealt with this a few months ago, actually. ... I did everything correctly -- customer support agreed about that. Ended up spending about two hours on the phone with PayPal support, who ended up calling my bank (who couldn't help) then ended up calling MasterCard directly.
    End result? The card wouldn't work via PayPal. ... Fortunately for me, the support rep "felt for me" and ended up having PayPal simply purchase, for me, the item I was trying to buy.
    While that was a bonus in that instance, I highly doubt they would do it again.
    It's nice and all that plenty of people seem to have no problem using PayPal like this. But stop telling those of us who DO have problems that there is no problem and that it's all really simple.
    It's NOT!!! And it's also very irritating for you to be telling us how simple and non-problematic it is to use PayPal. :\
  17. Bram

    Roaring Pipes Maniacs | #27 Staff Premium Member

    It is really simple but maybe not for South Africa. The only issues we've seen with SA were the recurring payment setup which is no longer available. Had to do something with the local banks not support online purchases? Can't remember anymore what is was exactly.

    Work around can be to ask somebody to gift you a premium membership and transfer the money to him?
    • Agree Agree x 1
  18. Matheus Machado

    Matheus Machado
    #17 Talking Door Racing Staff Premium Member

    That sound like a good option, if there's anyone that would do that I would be really happy. Because if I pay for a prepaid card, which has a 50 US dollars minimum fee I would have to pay 22% of the value in taxes.
  19. I don't understand why you're copping an attitude like this Bram?
    Perhaps it's simple to you, and plenty others. Fine. For other it is not so simple.
    I live in Wisconsin, USA .. not South Africa ... for you to make such a statement feels like you're ridiculing me (and others who experience issues)
    PayPal + Mastercard + online purchases = pretty broken. This has happened to me numerous times. They (Mastercard) tells me it has something to do with trying to combat cybercrime or some other BS.
    Granted I have not yet tried to purchase my next years' membership, but I do anticipate problems, due to past experience with the combination of PayPal and Mastercard.
    I feel I've been civil throughout my posts in this thread. .. I find your quoted statement to be, at best, rather contentious and rude. :cautious:
    Aside from that particular statement, the rest of the post is fine and reasonable -- so perhaps there's an error in translation or idiom somewhere?
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  20. Justin

    #1 overuser of the :P emoticon

    I also hope that there are some club events that can be opened up to everyone. Don't get me wrong, the amount of premium members that we have now is great and I imagine we'll see an influx of new premiums before the end of February as well.

    However in the future, having no ability to give people new to RD a chance to try the one big thing they're missing out on with premium, the club and league races, will not give anyone any incentive to upgrade their membership. There are other communities out there with racing clubs that have systems similar to what we have now, so new people would gravitate towards them instead of coming here, the pinnacle of organised sim racing anywhere on the interwebs.

    Opening up the 24/7 server is a great idea, but a public server will always be a public server and issues with those will always exist no matter how well they're administrated. Organised club racing actively works to avoid this and is successful due to it. There's also the fact that the 24/7 server is European and many of us outside Europe may not be able to race on there when it's busy due to time-zone differences and potential lag issues.

    Our current group of premiums might be large but without a constant influx of new members to replace premiums who may not want to renew in the future for whatever reason, the club race numbers will eventually begin to fall. That is something I don't want to see, as it would not only negatively effect the larger clubs like AC, but it could all but kill off the smaller clubs for less popular sims with less active members. I only ever became a premium after having an excellent time on the AC Racing Club (with all the great people involved in that community) as a Licensed Member for a few months first, and I'm sure I wasn't the only one. People aren't gonna fork out cash without knowing what they're getting, that's a simple fact of life.

    I just hope this change has been thought through thoroughly, that's all. :)

    Could there potentially be a system made where premium members have exclusive sign-up periods before races, with non-premiums able to sign up late to fill up servers at the last minute? For example, a club event gets posted a week in advance. Premiums have 6 of those days to sign-up exclusively. If the list fills up, then sign-ups close. If the list still has spots open or premium members sign out on the final day, whatever spots remain can be claimed by a non-premium member in the last 24 hours to fill the grid? If a premium signs up within the last 24 hours the system would work as it does now, with premiums given priority over non-premium members. This system still gives premium members massive benefits (ability to sign up earlier with exclusivity and still have priority access if they sign up late along with all the other benefits we currently have), while still giving an opportunity for non-premiums to try out what it is that makes premium membership so awesome. This also avoids empty servers and cancelled events due to low sign-ups.

    Just my two cents anyway, feel free to ignore this if you like staff members. :p
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