I want to add my 2 cents to this. I totally agree with @ManateeGaming and @gregzaal. The current system is counter-intuitive as nobody in the world (or almost nobody) charges like that and it affects our reputation!!! People don’t blame Patreon but us, creators, and think we want to scam them and they feel cheated by us (not by Patreon).
Even though I inform about the way it works in many places on my website and finally Patreon puts out the date of next charge in the last step of checkout process, some people ignore it or if they don’t, they just run away.
I don’t blame them - it’s so weird when on the last day of the month, they tell you that you’ll get charged again tomorrow - I’d think it’s a bug or seriously unfair system that I don’t want to be part of.
I cringe every time I see people become a Patron in the last week or so of the month. Because I know I will get emails like that at the beginning of the next month:
I am writing to express my deepest disappointment with ESL Patreon policy.
I subscribed on April 16th, and had half a month to benefit from it, even though I paid for a full month - I agreed on such terms (however I think it’s absurd)
Could you please tell me why I am getting charged again. I subscribed on April 13 and have not enjoyed a full month and you are charging me again on May 1. Don´t think this is very fair.
And these are the nice ones I got this month.
I don’t really understand why we have the payment system like now on Patreon - was it some design concept I don’t get or technical limitation when Patreon was starting up? Nevertheless, I think it causes more damage then it brings benefits. And honestly, this is the biggest pain point that makes me think how to move away from Patreon and which I believe seriously impacts how many people subscribe and the retention rate for new Patrons.
@mindy could you share with us what was the thinking behind introducing such a way of charging Patrons? What’s there that we don’t see? Plus, it’d be really nice to see some data, e.g.
- how the day of the month affect Patreon retention rate of new Patrons (in the case of creators that charge Up Front)
- does the pledge amount has some impact on the retention rate when charged Up Front (as @ManateeGaming wrote $1-3 Patrons won’t be so frustrated for being charged for fewer than 30 days as opposed to people who pay $5+)
My intuition would say that data will show that people don’t stick for long if we charge them for 14 days or fewer in their first month and the higher the Tier the more people cancel their pledge after 1 month. But that’s a hypothesis I’d love to test on wider audience rather than just my Patronage.