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Author Topic: META: All the information you need to know about become a VIP Member!  (Read 139882 times)
Anarchology
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« on: October 05, 2013, 08:28:18 PM »

I noticed that there were far too many stand-alone topics created regarding the the history of VIP Membership contributions ever since Anarchy Nation (formerly Anarchology.org). The site has been live for almost 6 years come February 2014. Of that time, VIP Memberships by small monetary contributions were offered for roughly 3.5 years considering the date of this post being modified. Numerous changes have been made over the years, and the posts in this section should better explain all of them.

You can jump to any post of your choice by clicking on the following:

« Last Edit: October 18, 2013, 08:15:42 PM by Anarchology » Logged
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« Reply #1 on: October 16, 2013, 05:31:49 PM »

For the last two or so years, Anarchy Nation (formerly Anarchology) has accepted contributions ranging between $10 to $40 through Google Wallet (formerly Google Checkout) merchant services. For those who may not be familiar with Google Wallet, it has been a very simple alternative to PayPal. By this, we mean that it has been a simple middleman to process credit cards for us. This means we never have to deal with any details of personal information like people's credit cards. Google Wallet processes the transactions, took a small cut for processing, and then would release the funds to us in order to pay for server fees much like PayPal transactions for sellers on eBay. As of November 20, 2013, Google Wallet will stop their credit card processing for all merchants, which obviously includes Anarchy Nation.

For the time that we have used Google Wallet, the processing and management of contributions for VIP Status has been smooth sailing. Unfortunately, Google is getting out of the business of offering merchants their alternative to PayPal. This is unfortunate for us because Anarchy Nation has had nothing but the utmost appreciation of Google Wallet's services. We are sad to see the service go, but it has allowed us to open our eyes to various other potential payment processing services currently in use.


Last Update: October 16, 2013
« Last Edit: October 16, 2013, 06:02:51 PM by Anarchology » Logged
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« Reply #2 on: October 16, 2013, 05:46:25 PM »

Ever since we first started taking contributions from members in order to offset the growing costs in server fees, we've always had the personal priorities of the members in mind over just choosing any random payment processing service. Over the span of 4 years, we have processed 700+ individual transactions through two of the largest payment processors: (1) Google Wallet which accounted for more than 470 transactions, and originally (2) PayPal that accounted for roughly 250 transactions. If you read some of the other posts in this topic, you will quickly learn which of the two we admired, and which one we loath. With that aside, both are now out of the question for processing, and we must look for alternatives. More importantly, we look for payment processing services that obviously we qualify for, and that are trustworthy with internet credibility. For that reason, we have criteria each must meet on the user and client ends of the transactions which are below.

On YOUR END of the transaction process, these are the criteria that we seek:
Security - First and foremost, security is key. Any private information that you provide must be protected, and absolutely not visible to even us. We don't want to see your credit card numbers! This is why we choose to vet reputable middlemen like Google Wallet to do deal with the sensitive information.

Ease of Use - There is absolutely no reason why someone trying to make a small purchase has to sign up for an account on some payment site. You already signed up on Anarchy Nation. There's no need for you to create some benign account on payment processing site just to gain access to other parts of this one.

Discretion and Anonymity - We understand that many members seeking VIP Memberships don't want them broadcasted loudly on their credit card statements. This is why we seek providers that allow for the description on CC statements to be what we say it will be. In the case of Google Wallet, VIP Memberships show up as "Chaotix" on CC statements.

On OUR END of the transaction process, these are criteria that we seek:
Security - As security is the main drive for processing transactions on your side, so is it on our side. Merchants are subjected to far more intrusive means by including personal information to these middleman sites for processing transactions. This likely includes bank accounts, business ID numbers, and social security numbers in some circumstances.

Fraud Prevention - Given this site spans the entire globe in its reach and scope, fraudulent transactions are bound to happen from time to time. We are not looking for a transaction processing site that just processes questionable transactions now, and asks questions later. Fraud preventions within these sites must be done long before money is exchanged.

Simple Deposits - We need to pay the bills in order to run the site on a monthly basis. Funds that have accrued through any given website processing transactions must be on a set schedule. Google Wallet has had a great setup where funds were deposited after two business days after they were accepted. We need something like this, or somewhat similar.  

Site Discretion - With the site's growth as well as some of the rather risky content, personal information regarding the site owners, administrators and moderators must be protected just as much as the personal information of any individual contribution for a VIP Membership. We must combat any forms of doxxing and/or hacking of the information of any member on the site regardless of their status.

Last Update: October 16, 2013
« Last Edit: October 16, 2013, 06:02:34 PM by Anarchology » Logged
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« Reply #3 on: October 16, 2013, 06:01:44 PM »

Many new members seeking to become VIP Members through contributions often private message the Admins asking if PayPal is a means of payment for membership. The answer is always NO! There is a very good reason for this, and that reason is that PayPal threw Anarchy Nation under the bus a couple years ago with the utmost absurd reason for their ruling. We aren't shy here at AN when it comes to telling it exactly as what it is, so below is the breakdown Q&A of the falling out between AN and PayPal, and how we managed to turn 180 degrees in our support of this payment processing service.

Has Anarchy Nation used PayPal to process VIP Memberships?
Yes! This was when Anarchy Nation was formerly Anarchology.org, and had a span over one and a half years. Our site processed roughly 250 contributions ranging from $3 to $10 for each transaction. This was prior to our new setup where we allowed for mere $3 or $7 contributions that offered now other perks other than a status of being a "Contributor" under the user's name. The PayPal account associated with the contributions was solely setup for such transactions. Out of all of the processed transactions through PayPal, there was not a single dispute or fraudulent contribution recorded on either the provider (PayPal), or the merchant (this site). Zero fraud out of 250 transactions would be considered a rather impeccable merchant record.  

How did things go wrong with PayPal?
Out of nowhere, the PayPal account associated with this site was locked. No real explanation was given. All members trying to contribute to the site during this time was subjected to a message by PayPal stating that the associated account was frozen for a violation of their Terms of Service agreement. The email message also stated that there was no means of appeal as the account was indefinitely suspended. More details in the Q&A below.

Exactly how was this site's PayPal account restricted?
This is where it got rather interesting. PayPal has many clauses within their rather lengthy Terms of Service agreement that anyone would run from their services if they actually had the time to read through all of it. Most notably, any and all funds currently held in the account that was locked/suspended would be held their for 180 days. Yes, they could legally hold your balance for SIX months before relinquishing them to your bank account. Furthermore and much more absurd, never can you remove your personal information from the account, nor could you ever delete that account. The site owner can still log into that suspended PayPal account, view all credit card and bank account information previously added to the account, but NEVER be able to have that information deleted from their servers.

Did you contact PayPal Customer Service? What did they say?
There were two exchanges with PayPal Customer Service via their phone line hidden quite well within their Terms of Service agreement where both of which were conducted so badly that any company not of their size and scope would likely be run out of business. The first call to their customer service was placed within 24 hours of the suspension of the account. It was to find out (1) specifically why the account was suspended, and (2) what could be done to rectify the situation. The call went as follows (paraphrasing as no transcript was available):

PayPal Rep: Thank you for calling PayPal. I must inform you that this call is recorded for quality assurance purposes. How can I help you?
AN Owner: Yes, my account was suspended, and I don't know why.
PayPal Rep: What is your email address and [insert other security questions]?
AN Owner: [provides the proper credentials]
PayPal Rep: I'm sorry, but this account has been indefinitely suspended.
AN Owner: For what? What exactly is the reason for this? There has never been any kind of fraudulent purchase.
PayPal Rep: The records show that the transaction [transaction number] to [contributor's email address] was flagged for "selling sexual acts".
AN Owner: Selling what? [reviews the transaction] This is a transaction for $10 and the purchaser's address is 1000 miles away from me. There have been 200+ transaction just like this just to grant access to the site I own.
PayPal Rep: I'm sorry. I can't provide any more information on this.
AN Owner: Can I speak to your supervisor?
PayPal Rep: We can't access anymore of this information. But what I can do for you is send you an email on how you can appeal this suspension via email to our ToS department.
AN Owner: If that is all I can do, I guess so.


At this point, no real questions were answered, nor were any means to create a solution were given. The ToS email address given didn't help out at all. The case was 'closed' as they explained. The account was locked out, and PayPal was no longer available as a means of contributions for something as $10 contributions. The second, third and fourth calls to PayPal Customer Service ended even more abruptly as shown below:

PayPal Rep: Thank you for calling PayPal. I must inform you that this call is recorded for quality assurance purposes. How can I help you?
AN Owner: Yes, but first I would like to inform you that I, too, am recording this conversation for reference purposes.
PayPal Rep: Thanks for calling! [hangs up]


Recording on one side of the spectrum seemed to be fine, but just a single merchant doing the same within the same process? Nope! It is understandable that when an individual invokes legal counsel in verbal exchange with representatives of a company that the protocol of that representative is to shut down, and suggest the individual contact their legal department. However, when exactly does purely stating the same form of recording end in being hung up on?

What is the perceived reason why PayPal suspended the AN's account?
Though just purely speculation, much of the what that happened seems to stem from the postings in one section. Namely, this section previously available on the site posted news articles regarding WikiLeaks. As WikiLeaks' PayPal account was suspended with 180 days (SIX weeks) holding their funds, the AN PayPal account was suspended under the hilariously pointless and frivolous claim that a contribution to this site was for "the purchase of sexual acts" from one person 1000 miles away, and for the cost of $10. This is how PayPal works!

Did you take it to the Better Business Bureau (BBB)?
Our site owner did! The stipulations of the complaint were regarding the horrible customer service from PayPal. Added to the complaint was that all personal information associated with the account (i.e. account information in general, all added credit cards and all linked bank accounts) be removed from their servers. Keep in mind that even if PayPal locks you out your account, they still keep all of your information. You have no means to delete it. After all, why would they need this information? The BBB complaint was denied by PayPal given their extensively worded Terms of Service agreement. This is how powerful PayPal is. They can keep your money for no real reason, hold it hostage for months, and still can go about their business. I ask you: What other local organization could do this shit and get away with it?

Anarchy Nation is Anti-PayPal:
PayPal is a horrible payment processing source that sadly is on the top of all payment processing services. PayPal will never be used as a means for payment on Anarchy Nation. We also welcome, with open hands, any members who would like to share their negative views of PayPal.

Last Update: October 16, 2013
« Last Edit: October 16, 2013, 06:30:24 PM by Anarchology » Logged
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« Reply #4 on: October 16, 2013, 07:16:55 PM »

This is the largest concern regarding those who have contributed to become a VIP Member through the available payment processing services. Many new contributors should read the following in order to understand the entire process. Please read the following if you are one of those who have recently contributed, but don't see that your status has changed.

All transactions are personally reviewed, and VIP Status is added manually:
Unlike other websites that offer immediate access upon purchase of a membership, Anarchy Nation staff makes sure that all transactions are valid and free of fraud before any member is granted access to a VIP Membership. This process should take no longer than 24 hours just as long as all of the needed information is provided.

NOTE: The transactions or orders from the payment processing services are not tied to a member's account. At most, the email address associated with the purchase is provided, but not useful if the buyer uses an email address for the transaction that is different than that used on the site.

Check your email inbox for emails from us:
If you haven't seen VIP added to your account after a day, it's best to check the inbox for the email address used for your transaction. In some cases, you might need to check your spam folder. If you see an email from us, we certainly do know about your contribution, and just need some further information in order to seek out your account on the site. Look for the following email:

Subject:
Quote
Contribution Approved: Please email back with the username you want VIP added to!

Body:
Quote
Thanks for your contribution. However, I'm not seeing a username that coincides with this email address. This may just be a result of you contributing for VIP but clicking the button to keep your email address hidden during the checkout procedure, or you may have an account under another email address. Please email me, or send a private message to Anarchology on the board from the username you would like to associate VIP Membership with. Please include at least the order or transaction number in your message or email. Once you are able to get that username over to me, I'll add it to VIP status.

NOTE: If you have not yet created an account on the site, you should do so before replying. Please follow the link below to view the registration page. All that is needed for registration is that you choose your username, password, and add a valid email address. One you have a username setup, email us back with it, and VIP will be added accordingly.

http://anarchynation.org/index.php?action=register

P.S. If private messaging member Anarchology, include the transaction number!

Anarchology
http://anarchynation.org

If you don't currently have a registered account, but paid for VIP Status:
This happens more times than we would expect. All guests viewing this site can register their own account for free using the Registration link (CLICK HERE). Once you go through the process of creating a free account, be sure to either Private Message the Admin at Anarchology, or use the Contact link on the main table seen on any part of the site.

VIP Status starts the day when enacted, not the day of purchase:
Because of our means to personally add VIP status to a member that has contributed, the number of days for their VIP Status starts when staff adds the privileges. There is no need to worry for a prospective VIP Member contributing on October 4th, yet having their VIP Status go live on October 10th. If you paid for one year, we start that year the day that VIP Status is provided, and NOT the day when the transaction was processed.

Last Update: October 17, 2013
« Last Edit: October 18, 2013, 07:41:16 PM by Anarchology » Logged
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« Reply #5 on: October 18, 2013, 08:01:26 PM »

As we reach our 6 year anniversary, Anarchy Nation (formerly Anarchology) is revamping our VIP Membership contribution setup. It is well overdue, and offers a couple new perks for VIP members. We are currently adding new ways to process payments for VIP that are far more easier than what was previously setup. Even better, we added a new way for our members to make some real cash by posting referral products from sites like Amazon, eBay, Overstock, Woot, etc. Learn more about this by scrolling down to the Lifetime VIP Plus!

VIP MEMBERSHIP
ONE YEAR for $10
TWO YEARS for $18
LIFETIME for $30

- * NO ADS AT ALL (you will never have to view advertisements on this site so long as you are logged in)
- The group title "VIP Member" under your title
- Override current post count requirements that keep you from viewing certain sections
- Custom orange lettering showing you when online
- The choice to be "hidden"
- The choice to change your viewable online name
- Access to VIP Member discussion section
- Access to trashed posts and reports (you can see all removed posts)
- Unlimited private messages
- Immediate access to all hidden sections
- Attachments can be posted in various sections
- Access to the controversial Rogue Science Archives not seen by regular members (many in the works... at least another 1000 topics)

LIFETIME VIP PLUS for $40
- Lifetime VIP Membership including all of the perks above
- Ability to post in the Anarchy Nation Marketplace sections
- Make easy money by posting on our forum by using our 4.5 MILLION hits a month
- Access to tutorials, web sources and templates to make posting easier
- Advertise your own Referral Links here on the site

PLEASE READ FOR NEW CONTRIBUTORS:
This is very important. VIP status is NOT added automatically. Administrators view the transactions before granting VIP access. We do this manually, so the process usually takes no longer than 24 hours. The best way to expedite your VIP Membership is to contact me (Anarchology) via a Private Message. You must be logged in to do so. The other option is to contact us via email, which can be done by using our Contact Us form. Please include the following information for the following means of contacting us...

By Private Message:
- Include the transaction number in your message.
- Include the type of contribution used to send funds (i.e. Google Wallet, Stripe, Bitcoin)
- Send the Private Message from the username you want VIP added to.

By Contact Us form:
- Input the username you want VIP added to in "Your Name (or username)" portion of the form.
- Input a subject title like "I paid for VIP"
- Be sure that the email address you use in the form is correct. Otherwise, we have no ways of responding.
- Include the transaction number in your message.
- Include the type of contribution used to send funds (i.e. Google Wallet, Stripe, Bitcoin)

WE DO NOT RECHARGE YOU AFTER YOUR MEMBERSHIP EXPIRES:
We have it specifically setup so that yearly memberships DO NOT automatically charge you when they expire. When your membership expires, your account is switched back to being a regular member, and we send your account a Private Message about the expiration. There is no need to worry as all of your previous posts are not deleted. Everything you've posted will remain there. However, any of your posts made in VIP-only sections will not be accessible to you. You can choose at any time to contribute again to regain VIP status.

* To clarify the first perk for every VIP Member regarding seeing ads, this ONLY applies to types of ads you see on AnarchyNation.org. It does not stretch to any linked-to website. You will not see any banner ads, pop-ups or pop-unders on AnarchyNation.org just so as long as you are logged in as a VIP Member. However, if you follow a link posted by a member, we obviously cannot control any kind of advertising you encounter. Anarchy Nation does not host any videos, pictures or files on our servers. Keep in mind that member posts linked or hotlinked to such content should be subject to scrutiny, and have absolutely no connection to this site.

Last Updated: October 19, 2013
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