How to issue a refund without actually issuing a refund

So many Model Mayhem members are well aware that the site has experienced downtime last week due to a distributed denial of service attack. Lots of paying VIP and premium members were up in arms about the downtime and screaming for some kind of remedy in the form of a credit or refund. Let me first say that I am not a paying member so I don’t really care what they do for the paying members. Even if I was a paying member, I couldn’t care less about a credit for the few hours of down time and the week of spotty performance. A monthly VIP membership is $10 so a week is just $2.50. You can’t even buy an average drink in Starbucks for that amount. But people want some kind of appeasement so Model Mayhem had to pacify them.

So many Model Mayhem members are well aware that the site has experienced downtime last week due to a distributed denial of service attack. Lots of paying VIP and premium members were up in arms about the downtime and screaming for some kind of remedy in the form of a credit or refund. Let me first say that I am not a paying member so I don’t really care what they do for the paying members. Even if I was a paying member, I couldn’t care less about a credit for the few hours of down time and the week of spotty performance. A monthly VIP membership is $10 so a week is just $2.50. You can’t even buy an average drink in Starbucks for that amount. But people want some kind of appeasement so Model Mayhem had to pacify them.

There’s a few ways to handle this.

  1. Model Mayhem can issue all VIP and Premium member a refund for a week of membership. This is not really feasible. The transaction charge for such a small amount spread over many members makes it cost prohibitive.
  2. They can reduce the amount of the next charge by a week of membership. This would have been a fair option. There are no additional transaction charges and all the paying members enjoy a slightly lower bill next month. But this has a financial implication for Model Mayhem because they will lose a week of revenue in the next billing.
  3. Or they can credit paying member a week of time by extending membership for 5 days. This cost Model Mayhem nothing. Not a single penny and it gives the appearance to the paying members they are getting something.

So guess which option Model Mayhem chose? Hell yeah! Option 3. It’s a genius move on the part of Model Mayhem. They look like they are doing something without actually doing anything. What’s really funny is that it’s working. Most of the paying members are buying it. I don’t know how many paying members have actually figured out what’s going on. Apparently, those who have figured it out don’t really care.

Here’s how it works. Model Mayhem will issue a five day credit by moving the billing date from the 15th of the month to the 20th of the month. Yes, technically that is a five day credit but it means absolutely nothing until these members cancel their memberships. It would be like if your apartment flooded for a week and you had to move out. But instead of the landlord giving you a week of rent back, he tells you that your rent is now due on the 5th of the month instead of the 1st of the month.

It’s kind of funny that no one has said anything yet. What’s even more ridiculous is that the only thread about this is to ask for more than five days. Who cares? It can be ten days. It means nothing.

Oh well, maybe  VIP members will read this and get a flash of genius.

  • Jessica Sixx

    Pat, have you seen this?

    http://pics.livejournal.com/jessicasixx/pic/00002h9g

    My friend who works for one of the big search engines did it. She says that it used over 20 different sample sites over about a week and took out network slowdowns and other things outside of Model Mayhem. I asked her if Mayhem was slower lately and she gave me this.

  • Jessica Sixx

    Pat, have you seen this?

    http://pics.livejournal.com/jessicasixx/pic/00002h9g

    My friend who works for one of the big search engines did it. She says that it used over 20 different sample sites over about a week and took out network slowdowns and other things outside of Model Mayhem. I asked her if Mayhem was slower lately and she gave me this.

  • patyuen

    @ Jessica.I have not seen that but I don’t need a graph to know Model Mayhem is slow as molasses. I don’t even bother looking at portfolios anymore.

  • patyuen

    @ Jessica.I have not seen that but I don’t need a graph to know Model Mayhem is slow as molasses. I don’t even bother looking at portfolios anymore.