Charge upfront: necessity against piracy

It has become a recurring fact that weekly, several “patrons” of fake accounts try to subscribe to my page. Some, most of them, are detected and blocked almost in the act by Patreon.
Others pass the “filter” or security measure that the site has and sometimes I take a little longer to detect them, although I’m fine-tuning the aim of each attempt, but I can´t live stucked to Patreon 24h.

The problem is that I can´t see another option to avoid that, or at least serve as a deterrent to implement the Upfron charge option already.
I requested it months ago … and I’m still waiting for some kind of response.
We can not know what patrons are going to do with our content once they download it, but at least Patreon should assures us of the retribution for what we are offering on its platform.
I do not understand, if it has ever been explained, the reason why some can and others can´t use this Upfront charge option, but I begin to ask if it really worthwhile to continue in patreon where the protection and guarantees of receiving your income leaves a lot to be desired… and it´s so easy to play with the rules to catch content without paying the required.


I am SOOOOOOOOOO with you on the upfront charging - it’s a regular problem for me on a smaller scale. People come in, get access, and leave before even being charged. Not cool. There will always be scammers, but this at least makes 'em pay for their dirty deeds.

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Exactly… but seems this problem is not a priority here.

I’m using the “charging upfront” feature but that isn’t as safe as you might expect and you still gotta be careful.

Many “patrons” -I hate calling them like this cause “freeloaders” would be much more appropriate- grew even “smarter” than that, and I’ve managed to spot a few.

I offer exclusive content depending on tiers, and some guys pledged the amount needed to get that content only to ask for a refund + a tier downgrade later because “that happened by mistake” or “I didn’t mean to pledge that much from day one” and so on…Now: that may actually happen, but it may also be a lame excuse to get money back as soon as they’re done downloading.
Needless to say, it takes careful consideration on a per case basis as denying refunds may bring a bad rep and I personally don’t want this, but still…It was just for saying: don’t feel deprived due to your account lacking “charging upfront” feature: it surely represents an huge leap forward but it has leaks too.

Good luck.

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Charge up front does get rid of pretty much all the bots, which is nice, but it still won’t block a motivated pirate. If they want to make off with your content on the cheap, they will. The secret is to find the specific scumbags who do it and block their access. I’ve got a tool that can help you do that if you’d like to try it out (it only works on jpeg images at the moment)

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That sounds interesting… and frustrating too due shows how ineficace is being Patreon about to uarantee the protection of the content published on its platform.

Anyway it seems that this problem will be solved by itself for me because I will not continue using this site, despite its advantages, which I admit, I see that there have BIG HOLES too.
Using patreon is like opening a restaurant where people can decide if they want to payor not to eat there.
Bad business for the chef.

Actually this is also what opening a restaurant is like. Pretty much no restaurant I go to charges upfront, and if someone wants to be malicious, they just walk out after eating.

Chargeback problems comes from credit cards and immaterial goods, not Patreon. You would still have to deal with this if you processed payments yourself with Stripe (which does tons to prevent it already)

Patreon could possibly do better to solve this problem but I feel like there is a lot of complaints against Patreon for problems that are just inherent in running a business. Membership businesses inherently have the chargeback problem because we rely on credit cards which we can rely on because they are popular and they are popular because they are strong consumer protection, which is sometimes exploited against us.

Perhaps the problem can be designed away in the content delivery / business model? If people are incentivised to subscribe and unsubscribe quickly, then perhaps content can be delivered in smaller installments? Like one thing every week or something? I’m not quite sure, but somehow design the content delivery so that it doesn’t make sense to unsub. I.e. you buy ongoing access to a flow, not so much a set, of content.

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Well… if you run out from a restaurant without paying you are taking the risk the waiter breaks your head with a bottle… here you have a staff member saying says goodbye waving a handkerchief while yo are remaining with idiot face , wishing that bastard doesn´´ t post your content in a pirate site.

But really most of you say is the way I used Patreon.
I offered to my subscribers weekly of 5-8 images, ofen even more content only for one type of pledge: 5$.
But the system of Patreons seems designed in a very little effective way to support the creators. Nothing really prevents that people come,take and leave and you, as creator don´t see any cent.
Currently I cant find in Patreon any feature that compensate me to “use” this intermediary system between creator and cosnumers.

Using Paypal, as I´ve using ofr years before try this failed experience here, guarantee you practically infallible payment system and reliability in the payments you receive.
So if i have to invent ways to prevent be stolen why I need using Patreon? I prefer continue with the cooking myself method and send the content after receive the payment as I´ ve doing before joing here.
Losing the automated process of Patreon in favour to get all the paymets for your conent… I prefer the second option.

Also the upfront charge is not available for all, just for someones (why?) you have to ask for it as you know ( I waited for MONTHS and I never receive any info about).
Good luck for those ones who like this. For me Patrons is a wanna be.
A good idea on paper, poorly carried out and worse maintained.