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Old 6th December 2018, 19:52   #1
MissMoppet
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Default Do we need free-riders?

Forgive me if this topic has been aired, maybe to exhaustion, but I've personally not spotted it before.

I've been a member for five years and now run two R75s. A huge part of my addiction is this wunnerful club. I've kept Basset Hounds for 45 years - no other breed interests me: the same with Rover 75s - I don't look at other marques.

But as I write this I see there are some 270 guests but only 40 paying members. Now I don't know whether it's puzzlement or resentment, but is the club giving away too much? I am constantly amazed and deeply gratified at the leading dozen or so gurus who freely give of their knowledge and expertise for the huge benefit of us all: I just hope they're all immortal.

When I ran a Stag I belonged to the Stag Owners Club. Their fee was £35, they produce a mag which I never read because it was all on-line but though there are only around 6K Stags as runners they had sufficient funds to organise tooling for impossible to get parts. Maybe this club has the money to do the same as parts will become scarcer?

With the exception of that dear old rag the Grauniad almost every news website restricts access either completely or else a few visits each month. Would it be possible/desirable to inch towards the same here?

If someone is running a R75 it is beyond my understanding why anyone should withhold a miserly ten quid? The search facility may not be open to non-members but Google speedily brings up all references.

Sorry if this reads like the wrong message at this Season of Goodwill, but I would venture to suggest that many of the guests think we're suckers?


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Old 6th December 2018, 20:29   #2
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Tend to agree with you.
On another forum (motorbike) , the unpaid members have a limited amount of access to info and stuff but they also only have 10 free posts , once they have been used up , you either pay up or leave.

Seems harsh but the fee is only £5 per year and nearly everyone has paid up.

Every paid member is also known as a sponsor of the forum and not a paid subscription as such.

I suppose every forum has it's own way of being run and if it was good when it started , why change?

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Old 6th December 2018, 20:35   #3
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My view is if you cannot bothered to pay the annual subscription you should only have "read only" access to the forum. I cannot believe these free loaders who suck technical knowledge from people.
I found the forum when googling the normal problem with the diesel thermostat. The inline thermostat saved me a fortune and on the basis I contributed £10.
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Old 6th December 2018, 20:38   #4
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I joined last time round to sell a car. Please remember also that many of the 'guru's' you mention choose not to subscribe. If I was smart enough to be able to give advice or solve someone's car problem I wouldn't want paying for it.
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Old 6th December 2018, 20:41   #5
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I've always supported a subscription only membership, then you wouldn't have a 2 tier system Any way, there's a heck of lot more paid subscribers than 42
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Old 6th December 2018, 20:49   #6
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Ok I’ll just trot off I was a member and actively contributed and often helped people who were members free of charge and gained plenty of advice and met many a gent.
I shan’t post questions about my Focus oh hang on I shouldn’t be here as
1. I’m not a payed member
2. I might gain important info on a car I no longer own or the 8 I did own.
3. The great people who I have met and talked to via this website will see me as the unwashed.
I’m so happy to have joined the club before you pipped up.

Last edited by coab; 7th December 2018 at 07:23..
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Old 6th December 2018, 20:51   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by coab View Post
Ok Iíll just trot off I was a member and actively contributed and often helped people when were members free of charge and gained plenty of advice and met many a gent.
I shanít post questions about my Focus oh hang on I shouldnít be here as
1. Iím not a payed member
2. I might gain important info on a car I no longer own or the 8 I did own.
3. The great people who I have met and talked to via this website will see me as the unwashed.
Iím so happy have joined the club before you pipped up.

To be honest, you should be banned just for having owned multiple BMW's!
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Old 6th December 2018, 20:54   #8
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Blocking the forums from guests (those who have not registered or signed in) does have a detrimental effect on our Google rankings and visibility in search engines. As an exercise last year and after a suggestion from a couple of members, we stopped the Bots and spyders from crawling the Owners Club site which meant we dropped off the face of the planet and virtually all 'guests' just disappeared.

Since reinstating the bots, our on-line visibility has returned as have the number of people looking in, this ultimately gives rise to more new members joining the club and that has to be a good thing long term.

Once here, as light blue members they have a fair amount of access and privileges, but not of course as much as those who decide voluntarily to subscribe for £10 a year. To those members who's names appear red, more of the forum is available and that's as it should be as a reward for helping to cover the club's running costs.

It's an age old problem which has been covered many times before, regarding whether there should be a compulsory membership fee, and indeed how much it should be etc.

Certainly, to embark on getting tooling made for rare to find parts, would cost an enormous amount of money and would certainly require a substantially increased membership subscription and possibly a compulsory one at that. That idea doesn't sit well with everyone however, and so for now we continue with the model we have, which works by and large...after a fashion
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Old 6th December 2018, 21:09   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by another_clean_sheet View Post
My view is if you cannot bothered to pay the annual subscription you should only have "read only" access to the forum. I cannot believe these free loaders who suck technical knowledge from people.
I found the forum when googling the normal problem with the diesel thermostat. The inline thermostat saved me a fortune and on the basis I contributed £10.
That why I subscribed and the following 3 or 4 years until last year when I chose not to.

I have always been of the persuasion that the all but the general forum should be closed to non paying members, but that's just my opinion and experience. It allows the club to stay open enough to encourage ownership, by showing the support the marque has, and would hopefully keep the club secure for years to come.

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Old 6th December 2018, 21:22   #10
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Other forums survive without charging for membership so why cant this one?

If I pay, then why cant the next man?

I don't actually know how I feel or what is right when it comes to subscription for non traders.
The traders that give advice for free are going above and beyond what I think can be expected of them.


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