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PSA: Provider Tag Fee Implementation
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PSA: Provider Tag Fee Implementation

jbilohjbiloh Administrator
edited April 27 in Announcements

Hello Everyone,

As many of you are aware, earlier today LowEndTalk implemented a new program related to “Provider Tag” holders in our community. Earlier this week a thread was posted to the Provider section of our forum discussing this upcoming change and asking for feedback. It is clear to us, and to me personally, that the rollout of this new “Provider Tag” fee program was poorly executed. It was a mistake to rely on the LowEndTalk thread (set to sticky & announced) as a means of communicating our plans to all Providers. For the confusion created and the inconvenience caused I apologize – we will learn from this experience and do better.

This thread is intended to clear up all of the confusion.

How do I become a Patron Provider?
Requesting a Provider Tag must be done through the LowEndTalk Billing System. Please refer to the Selling Rules thread for more information.

What type of fee are you talking about?
Moving forward, “Provider Tag” holders aka "Patron Providers" will pay a fee of approximately $16/month (billed in six month increments = $100/six month) for the right to create individual advertisement threads on LowEndTalk.

Why is this fee happening?
The LowEndTalk and LowEndBox platform is expensive to operate after considering hosting infrastructure, ddos protection, personnel, administrative office overhead, and all other costs. While our advertising partners help offset some of these expenses in order to maintain and grow our community and pay for new upcoming initiatives we need to increase our funding sources. Our goal is to not add additional advertisements, and to stay away from things that would negatively impact the U/I experience for our users.

Hosting Providers generally benefit greatly from LowEndTalk and LowEndBox and yet have never been required to pitch in. This very modest fee, of approximately $16/month (prepaid in six month increments) will go a long way towards keeping the lights on and allowing LowEndBox and LowEndTalk to continue the improvements already underway the past few years.

In part due to this new fee you can expect to see more content at LowEndBox and LowEndTalk, more giveaways, more interviews, an improved LowEndBox theme that conforms with the new WP standards, updates to the current version of Vanilla here at LowEndTalk, new YouTube video content and a few new content creators to help enhance our overall value proposition. When LowEndBox and LowEndTalk rank better on key search terms, thanks to our content strategy, more users flow to LowEndTalk, which in turn means more potential buyers for the hosting providers who call LowEndTalk home. A healthy and prospering LowEndBox and LowEndTalk represents a mutually beneficial and symbiotic relationship between our userbase and our provider base.

Is there a discount available for existing “Provider Tag” holders?
Yes. The fee for your first six months will be discounted by 20% as a thank you for your presence on LowEndTalk and LowEndBox. If you have already paid your invoice prior to this discount being applied please submit a ticket (https://billing.lowendtalk.com) and we will credit you accordingly.

Are there shorter payment term options available?
Yes. For 2022 providers may request to pay quarterly instead of semi-annually to help minimize the impact of this new structure. The initial quarterly payment would be discounted by 20% as previously outlined ($40/quarter) and then following quarterly payments would be the standard fee ($50/quarter)

To request quarterly payment structure please submit a ticket (https://billing.lowendtalk.com).

What other benefits will a “Provider Tag” holder receive by paying the fee?
All Provider Tag holders will be eligible to continue advertising and selling their services in accordance with our “selling rules.” Plus we are adding more benefits of being a Provider Tag holder, as listed below.

New Perks Effective April 1st, 2022:

  • Special "Patron Provider" Tag on LowEndTalk - to recognize your company's contributions to our platform
  • Inclusion in a special Black Friday email campaign for Provider Tag holders only
  • Special Black Friday LowEndTalk thread that is stickied through the duration of the BF/CM period for Provider Tag holders only (allowing you to publish your offers inside)
  • A new page on LowEndBox that acknowledges all Provider Tag holders and lists their services in a directory type layout
  • Periodic mentions on the video content on our YouTube channel

As part of this announcement we are modifying the maximum prices allowed to be adverted on LowEndTalk to adjust for market factors. These adjustments will also allow Providers to market services that generally could not fit under the prior $7/month limitation, such as powerful Ryzen based VPS packages, Windows VPS packages, etc.

The new pricing limitations are as follows:
VPS: was $7/mo, now $10/mo
Shared: stays at $7/mo
Reseller: was $10/mo, now $12/mo
Dedicated: was $100/mo, now $125/mo
IP Transit: now officially allowed, no price limit
Colocation: now officially allowed, no price limit
Software: now officially allowed, no price limit

Provider Tag holders will also receive special recognition for helping support LowEndBox and LowEndTalk. We are working on the specifics of what that entails now, but you can expect mentions on LowEndBox and social media / YouTube content. Keeping the lights on takes financial resource and we are sincerely thankful for the contributions of all.

I have received my Provider Tag invoice, when is it due?
We know this was an unexpected fee and so we want to be flexible. We would appreciate payment by April 1, 2022. If your invoice has not received the discount of 20% please submit a ticket and we will address that issue for you right away.

Where do I login to pay for the Provider Tag invoice?
Billing system URL: https://billing.lowendtalk.com

You will need to reset your password upon your first login attempt. Your username is your email on file at LowEndTalk.

Will it cost money to submit an offer on LowEndBox?
Submitting an offer and being published on LowEndBox is a free service available to all hosting providers globally (no provider tag or hosting rep tag required), so long as you meet our submission rules. The guidelines can be reviewed here: https://lowendbox.com/submit-an-offer/

How will new Host Rep or Provider Tag requests be handled?
Just as they always have been in full accordance with our Selling Rules. Parties interested in requesting a Provider or Host Rep tag should submit a ticket on the LowEndTalk support helpdesk with the information required per the Selling Rules. All requests will be reviewed in detail and are subject to approval at the discretion of our moderator and administration team. Once approved, and at their choice, the requestor will have the option to receive a Host Rep tag or pay the fee for a Provider Tag.

Next steps for Providers who would rather not advertise actively on LowEndTalk:
No problem, we get it, advertising on LowEndTalk doesn’t make sense for all hosting providers. LowEndTalk values and appreciates your presence and we are happy to have you here. Please submit a ticket at the billing system (https://billing.lowendtalk.com) and we will convert your “Provider Tag” to a “Host Rep Tag.”

To be clear, Host Rep tag holders are not able to create individual offer/advertising threads. However, Host Rep tag holders are eligible to:

  1. Participate in all general conversation, just like all other members
  2. Reply to comments and threads that specifically reference their company
  3. Represent their company professionally
  4. Participate in the unified LowEndTalk sponsored “Mega Deal” thread(s), such as our Black Friday, Cyber Monday, New Year’s, etc, event threads. Host Rep users will be able to post their offers inside the Mega Deal thread, but not their own individual advertising threads. Individual advertising threads are limited to "Provider Tag" holders.
  5. Reply, with service offers, to user created service request threads within the "requests" category - https://lowendtalk.com/categories/requests
  6. Host Rep tag holders may advertise their company in their signature
  7. Inclusion in the periodic Host Rep Roundup (HR3)

Earning a Free Provider Tag
Part of our mission at LowEndBox and LowEndTalk is to enable the success of small upstart hosting companies. As part of that objective we've rolled out Host Rep Roundup (HR3). We are giving out, free for six months, two Provider Tags to the first two hosting companies that take part in HR3 for six months in a row. Inquire within the Host Rep Roundup thread.

On behalf of the entire LowEndBox and LowEndTalk staff, please know that your support and contributions to our platform are appreciated. Without our user and provider base there would be no LowEnd* world -- and that is a fact we respect and acknowledge. We will continue working hard to ensure that our community grows and thrives in the years to come.

Thank you,

Jon Biloh

Thanked by 1lentro
«13456736

Comments

  • KermEdKermEd Member
    edited March 12

    When do you plan to start charging normal users a subscription fee too? Or is that being held off for the moment :disappointed:

    I think you bought this platform to turn it into something we don’t want, to spend money on stuff no one cares about, without understanding why we are even here. This post literally only exists because people complained about it not being shared publicly.

    The end is nigh.

  • jbilohjbiloh Administrator

    @KermEd said:
    When do you plan to start charging normal users a subscription fee too? Or is that being held off for the moment :disappointed:

    I think you bought this platform to turn it into something we don’t want, to spend money on stuff no one cares about, without understanding why we are even here.

    The end is nigh.

    We will never charge users for access.

  • speedypagespeedypage Member, Patron Provider
    edited March 12

    It's not $16 a month, it's a $100 payment every 6 months. Stop saying $16 to make it sound less and not as impactful :#

    EDIT: Also, Shared was reduced to $5 per month? How can reseller go up but shared go down?

  • YOLO all the way, and never stop the madness.

    Lets unban cociu guys.

  • dosaidosai Member

    Third chances for providers those who can pay $16 per month.

  • KermEdKermEd Member
    edited March 12

    @jbiloh said:

    @KermEd said:
    When do you plan to start charging normal users a subscription fee too? Or is that being held off for the moment :disappointed:

    I think you bought this platform to turn it into something we don’t want, to spend money on stuff no one cares about, without understanding why we are even here.

    The end is nigh.

    We will never charge users for access.

    I believe the same was said about never charging providers too from past owners. Seems like your greed is showing a bit there. I’m just thinking this through objectively for a moment…

    You need users like me to buy shit from the @dustinc of the world - or your new paywall won’t fly. I don’t want the @jbiloh of the world to keep providing special treatment to his best Colo clients while profiting off the fact people like me buy stuff. Especially when it creates small financial barriers intended to target low profit (new) providers and only benefits the favourite well off few.

    Separately, if this is turning into WHT, why not go to WHT where the bigger user base is?

    I think we don’t have wait out your decisions. We just have to wait out you… if ~50 of us stop using LET, it will be dead within a week. And maybe the new buyer will think about what the users on this site want - not their own personal profit.

  • edited March 12

    For reference, no public notice was posted before, and it was only discovered by the community and the prior discussion is here: https://lowendtalk.com/discussion/177690/is-this-legit-lmao

  • cybertechcybertech Member
    edited March 12

    came here from redirect, but would have preferred the original topic instead

    lmao

    Thanked by 1noisycode
  • kdhkdh Member
    edited March 12

    So this is basically WHT season 2. Bravo!

  • I find it funny that colocrossing for as large as they are need to penny pinch for this.

    This is just the cost of doing business.

  • stefemanstefeman Member
    edited March 12

    @stevewatson301 said:
    For reference, no public notice was posted before, and it was only discovered by the community and the prior discussion is here: https://lowendtalk.com/discussion/177690/is-this-legit-lmao

    Thats pretty savage considering the motivation behind moving the discussion here and locking the old thread xD

    Were all shitposters but lets try to give constructive feedback for once..

    Though I cannot think of anything lol.

  • jbilohjbiloh Administrator

    @jrheiland said:
    I find it funny that colocrossing for as large as they are need to penny pinch for this.

    This is just the cost of doing business.

    LowEndBox and LowEndTalk has no affiliation with ColoCrossing. It was purchased from the prior owner in January 2020.

  • jbilohjbiloh Administrator

    @kdh said:
    So this is basically WHT season 2. Bravo!

    Definitely not my friend.

  • typicalGtaTGtypicalGtaTG Member, Host Rep

    @KermEd said: I think you bought this platform to turn it into something we don’t want, to spend money on stuff no one cares about, without understanding why we are even here. This post literally only exists because people complained about it not being shared publicly.

    169% agree with you on that one, I think there are a lot of things behind the scenes that us users won't appreciate but aren't being disclosed to us but it doesn't mean that it's not happening.

    LET was all about supporting small low end providers and potential clients in a way where it benefited both parties. Although I understand the need to keep the lights on, There are so many things wrong (and not wrong) with this. For example, What about providers who only post offers every few months or so? Spending $100 for just one or two offers isn't practical unless they're making lots of money (but at that point, are you really a low end provider?) this isn't even mentioning the fact that offers are strictly where providers are discounting their products/lowering margins, that's how promos work afaik. So my question stands, Where is being reasonable to small providers?

    I know for a fact that there has been a MASSIVE inflation worldwide, be it electricity costs, colo costs, hardware or even IPs... These don't come for free & seeing how you can't be a Provider on LET unless you provide vms, It means that you must be either renting servers or colocation and you also have IP costs.

    I might be the dumb one here but I have no clue where LET is going anymore...

  • @jbiloh said:

    @kdh said:
    So this is basically WHT season 2. Bravo!

    Definitely not my friend.

    No, WHT doesn't charge you to post offers. WHT is technically better than LET is gonna be at this rate.

  • jbilohjbiloh Administrator

    @typicalGtaTG said: LET was all about supporting small low end providers and potential clients in a way where it benefited both parties. Although I understand the need to keep the lights on, There are so many things wrong (and not wrong) with this. For example, What about providers who only post offers every few months or so? Spending $100 for just one or two offers isn't practical unless they're making lots of money (but at that point, are you really a low end provider?) this isn't even mentioning the fact that offers are strictly where providers are discounting their products/lowering margins, that's how promos work afaik. So my question stands, Where is being reasonable to small providers?

    Reaching a common, sustainable, ground is important for the long term success and growth of the community.

    I know change can be startling but this will end up being a net positive.

  • tester4tester4 Member
    edited March 12

    @jbiloh said:

    @typicalGtaTG said: LET was all about supporting small low end providers and potential clients in a way where it benefited both parties. Although I understand the need to keep the lights on, There are so many things wrong (and not wrong) with this. For example, What about providers who only post offers every few months or so? Spending $100 for just one or two offers isn't practical unless they're making lots of money (but at that point, are you really a low end provider?) this isn't even mentioning the fact that offers are strictly where providers are discounting their products/lowering margins, that's how promos work afaik. So my question stands, Where is being reasonable to small providers?

    Reaching a common, sustainable, ground is important for the long term success and growth of the community.

    I know change can be startling but this will end up being a net positive.

    Yeah, a net positive to the Biloh bank account. It should be possible for you to recuperate your costs by actually using a smart setup, rather than spending $22k a year to do something you could likely do with 1/3rd of that.

  • alentoalento Member, Host Rep

    Well, I guess I will not worry about getting a provider tag here ...

    I think I'll just see myself out the door. Good luck @jbiloh I think you're gonna need it.

    Thanked by 1lifehost360_com
  • jbilohjbiloh Administrator

    @alento said: Well, I guess I will not worry about getting a provider tag here ...

    Do you run a hosting provider?

  • I have a forum running on a $18/m vps secured behind cloudflare with 8 - 10 x more activity than this forum, i fail to see how its expensive to run when one banner advert is charged $70. You have like 10 or more.

  • nyamenknyamenk Member

    I came here for low-end and offers.

    Thanked by 3ariq01 Ganonk dedicados
  • edited March 12

    @stefeman said:

    @stevewatson301 said:
    For reference, no public notice was posted before, and it was only discovered by the community and the prior discussion is here: https://lowendtalk.com/discussion/177690/is-this-legit-lmao

    Thats pretty savage considering the motivation behind moving the discussion here and locking the old thread xD

    Were all shitposters but lets try to give constructive feedback for once..

    Though I cannot think of anything lol.

    What is savage is that he edited the latter part of my post containing Adblock rules for LET that aren't there in Easylist, as well as a link to OGF.

    Biloh is free to give me a red-colored profile picture. I spend too much time here anyway and it's the least he can do to make me more productive IRL.

  • JasonMJasonM Member

    $16/mo sounds better than $100/6 months or $200/yr in marketing terms!

  • @stevewatson301 said:
    What is savage is that he edited the latter part of my post containing Adblock rules that aren't there in Easylist, as well as a link to OGF.

    Biloh is free to give me a red-colored profile picture.

    Can confirm there were adblock rules for LET/LEB, and...

    Welp.

  • LTnigerLTniger Member

    Hey, there is always that alternative forum. I officially resign from LET. I will not endure to see how LET becomes graveyard just like WHT, full of zombies.

    It was a great run, hf.

  • KermEdKermEd Member

    He completely doesn’t understand how LET works.

    Users run this forum. Providers do their best to make us happy. @jbiloh only job is to keep the system up and pocket the ad revenue.

    His inventing a $200USD/yr paywall - completely out of the blue - is not only not OK. It quite literally is not his place to do so.

    This isn’t his community, it never will be, and no one is here because of him. I think most of us stayed in-spite of him even though we worried deep down this would become some paid service Colo takeover. Aaaassnd here we are.

  • jbilohjbiloh Administrator

    @LTniger said:
    Hey, there is always that alternative forum. I officially resign from LET. I will not endure to see how LET becomes graveyard just like WHT, full of zombies.

    It was a great run, hf.

    Hope you reconsider. The door is always open here.

  • kdhkdh Member

    I get that this doesn't affect companies larger than some point, but this is "Low End" we are talking about. Making customers pay even a dollar more (obviously on a small startup) shouldn't be done by a community forum striving for "Low End" deals.

    Thanked by 2zzh007 afn
  • jbilohjbiloh Administrator

    @kdh said: I get that this doesn't affect companies larger than some point, but this is "Low End" we are talking about. Making customers pay even a dollar more (obviously on a small startup) shouldn't be done by a community forum striving for "Low End" deals.

    I get that. I think you'll find that there will still be plenty of very inexpensive low end deals to be had.

    Thanked by 1zzh007
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