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Old 03-11-2015, 10:35 AM   #21
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I dislike subscriptions but they can be a good deal when you are not locked into a contract. For example, we'll only run netflix when there's a new season of a show we want to watch (or we'll have guests that will want to use it).


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The one that bothers me the most is software packages. Adobe and Microsoft push the subscription licenses.
Adobe got a huge amount of blowback for their creative cloud but they stuck to their guns and do not offer Photoshop as a stand alone program anymore. However the package I have is not a bad deal at $10/month (photoshop + lightroom upgrades would normally be about $450/2years)

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I'm staying away from the software subscriptions.
Does that include photoshop? I think CS6 is still fairly close to the current version of CC but I imagine future versions might have some key feature that would be helpful.
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Old 03-11-2015, 10:45 AM   #22
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I dont know how Sirius stays in business. Pandora and iHeart Raido are free and much better (as long as you have an aux jack or blue tooth in your car).
I'm not sure they are better musically, but I do know that when you are traveling and going in and out of cell range they're nowhere near as good. I suspect that's part of it. I don't use any of them regularly, but I have friends that do and that's what they tell me.
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Old 03-11-2015, 10:46 AM   #23
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Hey, my church likes charging my CC monthly. They like the cash flow, I like the rewards (Both types )
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Old 03-11-2015, 10:46 AM   #24
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Originally Posted by photoguy View Post
Adobe got a huge amount of blowback for their creative cloud but they stuck to their guns and do not offer Photoshop as a stand alone program anymore. However the package I have is not a bad deal at $10/month (photoshop + lightroom upgrades would normally be about $450/2years)
I think I've used Photoshop since 1.0 (at least close).

Their subscription model drove me away. Now I use Pixelmator.
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Old 03-11-2015, 12:03 PM   #25
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We bought a lifetime subscription to Sirius in 2006 for $250. Now Sirius/XM, 3 cars and the house. Comedy, politics, every choice of music. No ads on music channels. All for 8 cents/day, paid in 2006! They lost money on us. Will keep DS on it forever and figure out a way that he gets to keep it.


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Old 03-11-2015, 12:58 PM   #26
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We bought a lifetime subscription to Sirius in 2006 for $250.
We did the same thing with TiVo. I just view the lifetime subscription as part of the purchase price.

Heck I get annoyed with something like our health insurance moving to monthly payments. I liked it much better when we could pay for a years worth all at once.
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Old 03-11-2015, 01:32 PM   #27
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Originally Posted by photoguy View Post
I dislike subscriptions but they can be a good deal when you are not locked into a contract. For example, we'll only run netflix when there's a new season of a show we want to watch (or we'll have guests that will want to use it).

Adobe got a huge amount of blowback for their creative cloud but they stuck to their guns and do not offer Photoshop as a stand alone program anymore. However the package I have is not a bad deal at $10/month (photoshop + lightroom upgrades would normally be about $450/2years)

Does that include photoshop? I think CS6 is still fairly close to the current version of CC but I imagine future versions might have some key feature that would be helpful.
The Adobe Creative Cloud 2014 is one of the few subscriptions that I happily subscribe to. It is quite a bit less than "updating" every 18 months... and comes with the bonus of having an "up-to-date" application at all times. (Not to mention the greater access to programs I could never otherwise afford.)


Oh! I almost forgot. Microsoft Office 360 is in the same happily subscribed category.
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Old 03-11-2015, 01:58 PM   #28
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I don't mind the trend. I just say no, if it doesn't make sense for me, and yes if it does. In the OP's list, I only use Amazon Prime and Netflix. I think both are a great value and Netflix can be canceled at any time, so that's not really a subscription-type commitment in my mind. Everything else, I either DIY, pay as you go, or see no value in the service.

I use Pandora for music. I've experimented with others like Spotify and Rdio that have larger libraries. But I really like the way Pandora "discovers" new music that I like. The longer I use it and provide feedback, the better it gets at predicting what I like. I would never go back to buying mp3's. CDs are even worse as you are forced to buy tracks you don't want. Music subscription, IMHO, is a much more effective way to distribute and consume music.
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Old 03-11-2015, 02:12 PM   #29
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I think with the way technology changes today its easier for everyone involved to do a subscription model. The business can ensure everyone has the most up to date software and receives continuous cash flow while consumers have the same software product/patch for easier customer support.

Now an HVAC subscription... I don't get that one
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Old 03-11-2015, 02:27 PM   #30
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We dropped one newspaper in part because of this. They would give you a gift for joining the monthly subscription but actually charged you MORE if you paid them for a year in advance with CASH! They must get something out of it. Must prefer that income stream and the ability to raise rates at will. Read about a few insurance services that had cost creep on their monthly billing for auto or home insurance. Folks would just call and threaten to move to another company and their rates would reset...and then start creeping up again.
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Old 03-11-2015, 02:37 PM   #31
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They must get something out of it.
A few things:
  • Canceling a subscription with automatic renewal requires an action. People have limited capacity for decisions and actions, so low priority items don't get done. Also know as : laziness.
  • If cancellation is only possible once a year or with several months notice, that makes a business better plannable. It's also easier to get better loan agreements and supplier contracts. Lumpy looks ugly vs. nice and steady,
  • Regular billing and subscription combats lumpiness, so you don't need "peak demand" flexibility (H&R Block style).
  • Inflation increases and sneaky extra items go unnoticed
  • Monthly (or even daily) amounts look smalller than if tallied on a yearly basis.
Viola, subscription for you.

Biggest advantage though is taking away the decision burden from the customer to renew. As in: customer does nothing, you get paid.
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Old 03-11-2015, 02:45 PM   #32
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We really focused on cutting recurring costs for our semi-ER. That is where the 40 - 50 year savings really kick in for us.

We did keep some we felt were worth the money after doing the math. Costo and Sam's for us were both keepers. We bought the Costco membership with a Living Social deal and Sam's on some kind of special offer. Our local Sam's often has deals on electronic and software that pay for the annual membership fee in one purchase. We buy groceries from Costco and save ~30% or more off the local retail grocery store prices.

We kept Netflix but dropped the DVDs by mail. We rented a Redbox movie that had a long wait list at the library over the weekend for 54 cents. Last weekend we got two DVDs from the library for free.

We get many of our subscription services free or a nominal cost through public libraries who pay for the group subscriptions with tax dollars, like Freegal for music streaming and downloads instead of iTunes or music services, Lynda and Treehouse for online classes, Zinio for magazines, Overdrive for ebooks, audio books and DVDs and free cultural activity passes.

We do buy annual museum and garden memberships, usually through Groupon specials, with reciprocal privileges so that covers a lot of day trips to museums, gardens and planetariums throughout the year at no extra cost. We also buy Entertainment memberships on sale and breakeven on just one half price meal out.

DH has a couple of offline magazines he likes to get. They both charge more to renewing subscribers so I trade off years with his name and mine so one of us always qualifies for the new customer rate.
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Old 03-11-2015, 03:32 PM   #33
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Regarding software moving to subscription -- I wonder if any of this is driven by revenue recognition standards? Perhaps an auditor/accountant can comment?
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Old 03-11-2015, 03:59 PM   #34
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I see his point too, but "jamming it down our throats" is a gross oversimplification.
It is a conversation starter, a figure of speech.

Although, the new Terminix attic inspection was pretty ballsy. I mean, she called like I've had this service forever. "Just give us a time for us to do our service, Joe."

Never asked for it. Maybe they weren't jamming it down my throat. But they were laying down an oil slick that I could easy slip on. I had to watch my step.

Is that a better expression?
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Old 03-11-2015, 04:20 PM   #35
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To avoid having recurring charges I go old-school and write a check.
I do that too when possible and for exactly that reason. The only software subscription I have is for Adobe's Photoshop CC and Lightroom and I did that reluctantly, but I use them a lot.

If Windows 10 goes subscription I'll take a hard look at Linux. But if there's no workaround to run Photoshop on it I'd probably have to go to a Mac.
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Old 03-11-2015, 06:27 PM   #36
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It is a conversation starter, a figure of speech.

Although, the new Terminix attic inspection was pretty ballsy. I mean, she called like I've had this service forever. "Just give us a time for us to do our service, Joe."

Never asked for it. Maybe they weren't jamming it down my throat. But they were laying down an oil slick that I could easy slip on. I had to watch my step.

Is that a better expression?
It's no different than the old "your magazine subscription is about to expire" trick that they've been playing forever. Caveat emptor has been true since Latin was a spoken language.
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Old 03-11-2015, 06:30 PM   #37
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Did you know that professional photographers have subscription plans for parents-to-be, starting with "before" pictures featuring the baby bump, then at regular intervals such as monthly or quarterly? Anything to keep 'em coming back.
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Old 03-11-2015, 06:43 PM   #38
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Did you know that professional photographers have subscription plans for parents-to-be, starting with "before" pictures featuring the baby bump, then at regular intervals such as monthly or quarterly? Anything to keep 'em coming back.
Exactly, it's marketing and selling. Nothing inherently wrong with it that I can see. I subscribe to one photography magazine and one online training site, read a couple of photography blogs, and some pro photographers have mentioned doing that. I've even read of a few pet photographers trying it.

It is a business (which is why I don't hang out a shingle) and they have the same living expenses everyone else does.
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Old 03-11-2015, 07:02 PM   #39
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My subscriptions inline. Not sure how else I would get such bliss...

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Pick your poison:
- Amazon Prime YES
- Costco membership NO
- Google play YES (free stuff only)
- iTunes NO (but use the software once or twice a week to play my 3's
- Netflix YES (+++)
- Turbotax NO (desktop)
- Quicken (3 yrs now, what's next?) NO
- Satellite radio NO
- Dollar shave club, or new guy, Bevel NO
- Mobile phones YES
- Termite inspections YES (yearly)
- Prepaid auto repair NO
- Grass service NO (no grass)
- Water softener service NO
- Furnace service NO
The only software I really own is Windows, OSX, Treepad, MSO 2010. Just about everything else is freeware, or bundled with the OS. I'll transition to Linux when Windows goes subscription.
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Old 03-13-2015, 07:46 AM   #40
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Our BOFA Visa has a service called ShopSafe where you can get a limited use credit card number (based on your card). It's a mild pain to use - you have to go to their web site to generate the number - but it's handy for two purposes:

1 - dealing with a vendor I'm not comfortable with handing over my regular credit card number. Usually any web site besides Amazon ;-)

2 - subscriptions. You can set the expression for the card number so there is no chance they can use it to renew a subscription with it.

I honestly can't remember the last time I wrote a check...
+1 I do the same thing with my Citi credit card.

The only time I write a check is to my town for taxes and the water bill.... They take electronic payments or credit cards, but they charge you a dollar to do it. So, I write the check and make them hand process it.
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