Enable creators to set max number of times a patron can support

Friendly neighbourhood deplorable here. I would really appreciate the ability to cap the number of times someone can support us.

Each month we inevitably get someone who rage quits because they didn’t realize that they had to cap their pledge or they would be charged per episode. It would be nice to be able to cap the ones who don’t put in a max to a number less than infinity.

I’ll slink back into my satanic lair now. Oooga booga.

Hey there! I was intrigued by this issue you described and wanted to learn more.

One presumption that we have made at Patreon is that creators often know their audience best and set expectations around how often they will be posting, so we don’t cap it on the patron side because the patron will “know” what they signed up for.

We have definitely encountered people who post more than their patrons realized would happen, but typically that has been in violation of the trust of all of the patrons, not just some, and leads to many patrons quitting.

Could you explain how you would envision this? How many posts is ok vs too much for a default cap? Do you think you should set that as the creator?

I’ve never had more than a few patrons not know what’s going on. I go to great lengths to inform my patrons of how their pledges will impact them, but I still get those one or two patrons who don’t see the videos I create describing exactly what is happening and how to pledge in order to only support one time, the emails I send when I see a patron without a max, etc. etc. and rage quit because they don’t understand that our patreon charges per episode.

I’ve put instructions in the description to the show, I’ve updated each level with instructions to set the number of times to pledge to “1”.

I can only conclude that some patrons do not read or pay attention to instructions so I would like the option to set a max below what they set the max to when the max is obviously a result of confusion, not paying attention or a typo.

For example, maxes set to 11 are usually a typo. No max set is usually the patron not understanding the system.

In both cases I would like the option to set it to 1 or at least set it to an amount that the patron has previously pledged for without issue.

To use an example, I’m currently in a one sided conversation with a patron who will not set a max but has been a patron for two years. His pledge runs from 325/month to 500+/month to this month’s 1200/month which I am deeply uncomfortable with.

I would love to be able to cap him at 5-6 episodes a month and not have to go back in and refund him any excess which is tedious and time consuming and not possible if his pledge bounces.

I have to ask, if you’re making enough paid posts to go beyond what you think people will be comfortable supporting, then why not make some of those posts free and bring that number down? It sounds to me like you’re asking for a feature specifically designed to turn away business based on your own assumptions about the user, which isn’t my idea of a helpful feature.

Thanks for that additional detail, that’s really useful! I see what you mean, and I wonder if it could be as simple as allowing a creator to edit a patron’s pledge down from whatever the patron sets.

I’ll make sure our product team sees this thread as they are infinitely more creative/talented in coming up with solutions!

@Chris: It’s fairly obvious when patrons make a mistake about how many times they want to pledge, either they don’t put a max in or they put a strange max in like 19 or 11. This isn’t as much of an issue with patrons who are pledging 1 or 2 per episode.

I imagine such a feature wouldn’t affect anyone who doesn’t want to use it, but it would help people such as myself who aren’t “typical” creators on patreon and need more flexibility to ensure we’re not overcharging our patrons.

I wouldn’t want to be able to edit a patron’s pledge, just the number of times they pledge and only downwards.

If I may suggest, have a “default cap” for per-episode pledges at, say, 20 hits. The user can enter whatever limit he prefers when signing up, but if he fails to enter a number he gets the default. Thus a $1 pledge caps at $20, a $5 pledge caps at $100, and so on. People who might pledge $20 per ep are usually the sort who have better reading comprehension but at any rate should be few enough the artist can deal with errors as they arise.

Hi all! Just wanted to chime in here, as this is something we’re actively talking about in product. We’d love to make a per-thing cap a clear part of the process of pledging so that patrons are actually forced to choose a cap. We aren’t able to get to this quite yet, but it is something we want to address.

I’ll keep you updated when we’re closer to doing this!


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I think the issue they’re looking to address is when a patron neglects to set a maximum number of times they want to support, then gets blindsided when they end up supporting more times than they expected.

Perhaps a better system would be for Patrons who don’t set a maximum to OPT-IN to extra paid posts. Notify them of a new post, then simply tell them that this new post will charge them if they choose to unlock it. This way they can comfortably unlock posts when they desire.

This system could even be used to retroactively unlock PAST paid posts, for instance when a patron joins, they will then have access to the content moving forward and can pay to unlock content from before they joined by opting in to pay extra and unlock older content.

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That’s an excellent idea. It would be so useful and also solve another current issue: namely, that if you have set a cap, you will see the first x paid posts in that month and then stop seeing any new ones for the rest of the month, with no control over which. Being able to opt-in would mean the patron decides which posts to spend their quota on.