We canceled our automatically renewing memberships. Here’s why.

Last July, SustainFloyd added Paypal buttons to its website that allowed SF members to join online.

It’s now been a year, and some of those memberships are beginning to expire. Those members will soon be receiving emailed reminders to renew their memberships. We’re working hard to build more membership benefits, starting with the outdoor member meeting earlier this month. We want our supporters to feel like membership not only helps us, but gives them something in return, so we’ll continue to build new benefits.

Additionally, some of our members signed up for automatically renewing memberships. We’ve seen the first of those start to cycle over, as member dues are automatically deducted from their accounts and their membership renewed for an additional year.

However, we made the decision this morning to cancel all of the automatically renewing accounts. Those members are still part of SustainFloyd, but we won’t automatically renew their memberships and deduct that money.

Here’s why: We received a complaint from a member who wasn’t entirely satisfied with her experience and who didn’t realize dues for renewal would be automatically deducted on an annual basis.

To us this is a big concern. 1) We want members to feel that they’re getting value from their investment. And 2) We don’t want them to be taken by surprise when dues are deducted from their accounts.

Therefore, we went into our Paypal account this morning and canceled the automatic payment profiles that account for roughly a third of SustainFloyd’s members.

We started the automatic profile program so that we wouldn’t have to pepper members with reminders about renewing their memberships — but we’d rather do that than have the deduction take them by surprise.

As David Maren of Tendergrass Farms — a SustainFloyd business member and close partner — writes in this post about his business, we want to hear about it when we mess up, and we really do want to make it right when that happens. Even if that means more effort on our part.

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