Why does this happen when Patrons increase pledges?

Help, this has baffled me for months.

When Patrons increase their pledge I’ve noticed that sometimes the pledge goes up, but the reward tier stays the same. Here’s an example: this Patron increased their pledge from $1 to $5, but their reward tier is still marked as $1


I find this so confusing and am hoping someone knows the answers to these questions:

  1. Will the above Patron only receive the $1 reward even though their pledge is $5?

(For example, our $3 Patrons receive previews of our videos. But will this $5 Patron receive previews given they appear to be still on the $1 tier?)

  1. Why does this mismatch between pledges/rewards happen?

  2. Is it because Patrons forget to edit their tier when increasing their pledges? And if so, why is that even an option?

This happens often enough that it makes me think there’s something wrong with the process Patrons have to go through when they increase their pledges. Often I find myself writing to them asking them to edit their pledges and select the right tier so they’ll receive their rewards. Which of course is time consuming (for me) and confusing (for Patrons)

Patreon people: may I suggest that when Patrons increase their pledges to a higher tier, the default is for the tier to automatically match their new pledge? (unless they specifically choose otherwise)



Yeah, this is because they havent changed their tier.

They will get the content of whatever tier they are at, not based on the amount.

This sort of thing is allowed, I would assume, because patreon started off as a tip jar platform where folks could pay the tier price or more if they wished and to this day, lots if patrons do this because they legit just want to support a creator. I have multiple patrons that send a little more than what their tier asks for, just because they want to, and I know many others who experience this as well. I can say that for most of the folks I know whom have talked about patron behaviours with me, we would not want to change/remove this ability as it is very helpful to us overall and allows patrons more control over their pledge instead of finding alternative/seperate ways to support more if patreon works for them.

This also allows folks to have multiple levels of a tier without actually having different tiers. For example, my mailed merch tier is $x amount for folks in north america but if the person is international, they need to add extra to their pledge to cover the pricier shipping. If this feature went away, no one could offer all encompassing tiers like that or other cool bonuses and I watch a lot of creators who utilize tiers like this.

Sometimes it is indeed someone not understanding they need to choose a different tier if they want a different reward so for sure, the layout and wording of the membership management could probably be better to address this.

Curious, when you say you write notes, do you re-write it every time? If you do, I would suggest writing things that you may need to send that are generally the same concept every time, into a document that you can copy/paste from. This saves a lot of time for me when I send out notes I know I’ll need to send out semi frequently that dont need to really change the wording of the initial note. (And I can always add different pleasantries or extras if it warrants it, as I send it.)

Hopefully that helps clear some things up a little. It can be frustrating because I know for me at least, many patrons dont check their notes often but it still shows them directly what rewards they are getting in the tier description on their membership page and when they try to change their amount. I will sometimes give a little bonus thing if there was a mixup because we’re all human and miss stuff, but it’s also on them to read the page explaining what they are getting for their money or asking/using the FAQ. You can provide what customer service you can to ensure that was indeed their choice but in the end, there is also only so much you can reasonably do.

If you have specifics on what part of the membership management pages you think should be changed (or ask your patrons this) that specific info would probably be super helpful to the staff here so they can really see what folks are having a hard time with.

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Thanks for the detailed reply Temrin! This helps explain things a lot :slight_smile:

Just to clarify: I’m not suggesting the option of pledging a different amount to the reward tier should go away. But I do think it makes sense that when Patrons increase their pledge, the default is an automatic increase of the reward tier so that it matches the new pledge (leaving them the option to change that if they want)

The logic here being that most Patrons who increase their pledge would probably expect their reward to match their new pledge, so they would not take time to think about this. Whereas Patrons who, as you say, want to pledge more than the reward tier, will actively look for that option (and find it).

In short,. I think it makes sense for the default to cater to those who are on auto-pilot. But certainly I agree, the option to change that should still be available for the purposes you describe.

This happens so often (I’d say 50% of the time) that I thought it would be worth bringing to Patreon’s attention.


Thank you, as always, for chiming in @Temrin :slight_smile:

I see your point here @thejuicemedia, and I totally agree! This can be a confusing process for patrons and not to mention a frustrating one, when they feel they aren’t getting the benefits they’re paying for. I’ll surface this to the product team and see if we can do something about it.

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Thanks for the response @reyna so glad this will be looked into! :slight_smile:

In the past, you would set tiers based on values, and any patrons who pledged that amount or higher would be allowed that content. It changed some time ago where it was tied to a tier instead, so if you don't select a new tier and only change your value, you have what happens above. I think the new tier system was added so you could have tiers at the same price, but with different benefits. This means a patron has to select a tier, as Patreon would not know which benefits they have access to if two tiers were the same price.

This is a problem that I have brought up to Patreon personnel, in person, four different times at four different NYC meetups.

They either can’t fix this, or don’t want to.

When a $2 patron ups their pledge to, say, $5 – if they forget to “choose” the new tier – they’re stuck in the $2 tier.

You as the account owner can’t manually shift people between tiers.

It would be great if they’d give us this functionality, because I’ve had $2 patrons donating $15 for years now and I have to manually send them bonus content because I don’t want to annoy them with these small administrative tasks.