In “(Not) Embracing Sting Dilution” (don’t bother to read it – we’ve dropped the idea and I’m about to repeat the still-relevant parts), I talked about an idea for a kind of freeloader filter.
There’s a particular kind of user – and I think we accidentally encourage this in our marketing copy – who treat Beeminder as a game where the goal is to never ever pay Beeminder a penny. Some of those users have conversations with us in support about each derailment and why it wasn’t legit. It’s not actually common but it’s frustrating when it happens.
[EDIT: Ironically our most amazing users keep spotting that paragraph and freaking out that they’re who we’re talking about. Repeating my latest response: eeek, no no no! you are the exact opposite of that type of user! really really the opposite. you pay us regularly and only lean on support for actual exceptional circumstances. that’s exactly as designed! in the above paragraph i meant it very literally: people who view it as a game to literally never pay us and have zero shame about coming up with a ridiculous, weaselly reason for every single derailment, why it wasn’t their fault.]
Partly related to that problem (if it is a problem – we’re not actually sure!) and partly because we just like the idea, we’ve been thinking about revamping weaselproofing. It seems that “doctor’s note”-style weaselproofing like we have now is not actually popular and no one (least of all our poor support workerbees) would be sad to see it go away. Also it kind of encourages an excuse-making mentality which feels very… anti-beemindery.
(There are other aspects of weaselproofing besides the “show us proof that your derail wasn’t legit” aspect, like not letting you tamper with autodata or not letting you delete a goal in the first week, that we do still like and intend to keep.)
So instead of weaselproofing, we’re thinking about a no-excuses mode that you could opt into. Charges could happen as soon as your deadline hit and if you asked for a refund because your cat threw up or whatnot, we would, well, we can’t really refuse to do refunds but maybe we’d delete your whole account if you insisted on reneging? I don’t know. Spec needed there. Maybe it would be enough to remind people of what they agreed to. Also making you do something more than check a box to remove all ambiguity about what you’re agreeing to.
(At the opposite end of this spectrum, the idea of a self-serve legit check option is also semi-popular and I just can’t decide how to think about that. It might make sense as an expensive premium option so that only serious, conscientious users who know what they’re doing can risk ruining Beeminder by opting for it. Or conceivably we should charge for the status quo full-service legit checks since those are what actually cost us money. More likely we’ll just continue to eschew the idea of calling non-legit without talking to a human.)
Ok, poll time!
- [QUO] “I value status quo weaselproofing where I have to provide some kind of proof of my excuse”
- [NOE] “I’d sometimes opt in to ‘no excuses’ mode, committing to treat all derailments as legit”
- [MAN] “I value having a human on the other side of my legit checks as in the status quo”
- [SEL] “I’d love a self-serve legit check option and am certain that wouldn’t ruin Beeminder for me”
Approval voting as always; check all that apply. And if you already answered this in the beemail poll, you’re encouraged to re-answer.
The results from the beemail:
- 3ish people (~20%) value status quo weaselproofing [QUO]
- 6.5ish people (~50%) would be into no-excuses mode [NOE]
- 10 people (~80%) value the status quo with humans on the other side of legit checks [MAN]
- 6 people (<50%) (think they) want a self-serve legit check button [SEL]