PSA - Fine Woodworking's digital only subscription
#11
  
I've had the $34.95 digital only subscription to Fine Woodworking for a number of years. I've found it useful for looking up the odd article or video now and then. I don't use enough to justify the $99 unlimited, and I don't want the print magazine. Canceled that years ago. FW has discontinued that particular subscription, but they had said that you can keep it as long as you keep paying for it.

5-6 months ago my credit card was hacked and the bank issued a new card with, of course, a new number. Earlier this month I got an email from FW that they were unable to process my renewal payment and they were canceling my membership. There was a link to reorder my membership and it took me to a page where I could update my card.

Unfortunately that didn't restore my membership and customer service says that they can't renew my digital subscription, I have to resubscribe. Only problem is that there's no option to resubscribe to digital only.

Now, most vendors I deal with in that type of situation send an email saying that they can't process the credit card on file, please update the card. FW didn't do that. They just immediately canceled the membership. (Customer Service insisted that an email is always sent first, but I've checked my inbox, deleted folder and spam folder. There's no email.)

Remember that you can keep it as long as you keep your membership current pledge? It seems to me that they grabbed on to the first excuse to cancel without giving a chance to correct what has become a all too common issue with credit cards, namely they often get reissued. Can you off the top of your head list out every single place your credit card is on file? In particular the ones who only use it once a year?

Yes, I admit that they were acting within the letter of their pledge. If they were hoping I'd sign up for the unlimited plan, they're out of luck. And as I mentioned, I don't want the print subscription. So they've gone from receiving some revenue to no revenue. And left a very bad impression of Fine Woodworking and Taunton in the process.

So if you still have a digital only membership, be SURE to keep your credit card updated. It seems that they're looking for any excuse to clear out those subscriptions.

Cliff
You can only be young once
but you can be immature forever.
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#12
  Re: PSA - Fine Woodworking's digital only subscription by cpolubin (I've had the $34.95 ...)
That doesn't make much sense to me. There's no printing, no handling, no postage with
a digital subscription. I would guess the web and print formats have the same source.
However I had a similar experience with a maintenance contract
on a $500,000 piece of equipment. Without the maintenance contract it would be worth
about 1/3 of that. We weren't using this piece of gear and I'd forgotten that I had to file
a monthly report, even if the usage was zero.

The first I knew there was a problem is when
I got an email that we were delinquent and they intended to cancel the contract in 30 days unless
it was brought up to currency. Okay cool, except they had also disabled our web access to the account
which is how we made payments. After trying a few days to restore web access I got a company lawyer
involved. Then things began to happen. I fully believe without that they'd have foot dragged until the
30 days had elapsed. So same idea, figure out how to shed 'unprofitable' accounts.
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#13
  Re: RE: PSA - Fine Woodworking's digital only subscription by kurt18947 (That doesn't make mu...)
(06-17-2021, 08:20 PM)kurt18947 Wrote: That doesn't make much sense to me. There's no printing, no handling, no postage with
a digital subscription. I would guess the web and print formats have the same source.

Maintaining digital content is not free, and the content isn't the same as what is used for print media.  It requires converting the content to a format that's accessible to most subscribers (usually pdf), establishing a database and web-based portal where it can be stored and accessed, establishing a subscription system that maintains customer profiles, passwords, etc., establishing a pay system that can process payments, paying for security systems that protect customer profile and financial data, then maintaining all those systems with anitvirus updates, backups, etc.  You also need to maintain the hardware that stores and processes all that data.  FWW has had digital subscriptions for at least 10 years.  I'll bet they're not using the same computers they did 10 years ago.  Add to all that the folks that man the phones when you need help, the IT folks who update content and post new files, fix bugs, etc. and it's easy to see why it's not as simple as posting files to a web page.
Still Learning,

Allan Hill
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#14
  Re: RE: PSA - Fine Woodworking's digital only subscription by AHill ([quote='kurt18947' p...)
(06-18-2021, 10:07 AM)AHill Wrote: Maintaining digital content is not free, and the content isn't the same as what is used for print media.  It requires converting the content to a format that's accessible to most subscribers (usually pdf), establishing a database and web-based portal where it can be stored and accessed, establishing a subscription system that maintains customer profiles, passwords, etc., establishing a pay system that can process payments, paying for security systems that protect customer profile and financial data, then maintaining all those systems with anitvirus updates, backups, etc.  You also need to maintain the hardware that stores and processes all that data.  FWW has had digital subscriptions for at least 10 years.  I'll bet they're not using the same computers they did 10 years ago.  Add to all that the folks that man the phones when you need help, the IT folks who update content and post new files, fix bugs, etc. and it's easy to see why it's not as simple as posting files to a web page.

They charge you $34.95 each year to do all that stuff.  They are trying to phase out the $34.95 rate, for a higher, $99 yearly rate for "all access".

FWW is famous for regurgitating the same exact content, over and over.  I am subscribed at the $34.95 rate.  I will never pay $99 a year.  Sorry, but I won't.
...Naval Aviators, that had balz made of brass and the size of bowling balls, getting shot off the deck at night, in heavy seas, hoping that when they leave the deck that the ship is pointed towards the sky and not the water.

AD1 T. O. Cronkhite
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#15
  Re: RE: PSA - Fine Woodworking's digital only subscription by Martin S. ([quote='AHill' pid='...)
(06-18-2021, 01:55 PM)Martin S. Wrote: They charge you $34.95 each year to do all that stuff.  They are trying to phase out the $34.95 rate, for a higher, $99 yearly rate for "all access".

FWW is famous for regurgitating the same exact content, over and over.  I am subscribed at the $34.95 rate.  I will never pay $99 a year.  Sorry, but I won't.

I should have included that I agree $99 is a pretty steep increase in price.  The $34.95 was the same as a one year print subscription.  They do have a deal now where you can get 3 years of the print subscription for about $30/year.  But, I understand, you'd rather have the $34.95 deal.  They do have a deal where you can access the digital version of the print media if you are a print media subscriber.  You don't get access to all the other archived stuff, but I get your point.  I used to subscribe to the digital stuff like you, but I never used it much and I let it expire.  Now I get emails from them every two weeks begging me to come back.  No thanks.
Still Learning,

Allan Hill
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#16
  Re: PSA - Fine Woodworking's digital only subscription by cpolubin (I've had the $34.95 ...)
Cliff, contact Ben Strano.

Here is a link to the discussion I started there: https://www.finewoodworking.com/forum/ex...d-with-fww

Regards from Perth

Derek
Articles on furniture building, shop made tools and tool reviews at http://www.inthewoodshop.com
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#17
  Re: PSA - Fine Woodworking's digital only subscription by cpolubin (I've had the $34.95 ...)
I had the old membership too for a while but life got in the way and I wasn't using it enough to justify. The $99 price tag is pretty steep but they have soooo much content at FWW. At the old price, membership was a no-brainer but now It's one of those times you have to make that judgment call on your own. I'm making a concerted effort to increase my skills and work on bringing in some modest money with my woodworking so I deem it a reasonable value. If I was just a hobbyist putzing in the shop, it probably wouldn't be worth it.

The one thing that really burns me is that you have to look at all the ads on the website no matter what. Paying for the membership should decrease the number of ads you have to be subjected to. And FWW website is really heavy on the ads.


At the end of the day though you have to appreciate that they saw the writing on the wall and made the transition to digital and found a platform where they can keep the doors open. The same can't be said for all print media.
How do you know you're learning anything if you don't screw up once in awhile?

My blog: http://birdsandboards.blogspot.com/
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#18
  Re: RE: PSA - Fine Woodworking's digital only subscription by AHill ([quote='kurt18947' p...)
(06-18-2021, 10:07 AM)AHill Wrote: Maintaining digital content is not free, and the content isn't the same as what is used for print media.  

Disagree, they are doing that anyway for the archives.  The archives sure seem to be essentially the print edition in pdf form, is the digital subscription something else?
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#19
  Re: RE: PSA - Fine Woodworking's digital only subscription by EricU ([quote='AHill' pid='...)
(07-13-2021, 01:03 PM)EricU Wrote: Disagree, they are doing that anyway for the archives.  The archives sure seem to be essentially the print edition in pdf form, is the digital subscription something else?

There is a lot of video content that comes with membership.
How do you know you're learning anything if you don't screw up once in awhile?

My blog: http://birdsandboards.blogspot.com/
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#20
  Re: PSA - Fine Woodworking's digital only subscription by cpolubin (I've had the $34.95 ...)
Derek,

Sent an email to Ben. No response after a month.
So it goes.

Cliff
You can only be young once
but you can be immature forever.
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