Just so you know, I do read all your comments. The one principle that guided me through the 6 year history of VideoBox is to always improve customer value. So listening to you guys is important.
First, to set some expectations: there’s little we can do quickly. Our site – and its relationship with our affiliates and billers – is complicated. Adding premium channels was a six month project, with the UI changes being a very minor part.
So, to answer some questions:
How Much Does the Damn Thing Cost?
We charge the minimum our contracts allow, which is roughly equal to your base VideoBox subscription. We don’t give an explicit price because there are lots of different prices for a base VideoBox subscription, depending on whether you have DVD or non-DVD resolution, and the month duration of your subscription.
But there’s an easy way to see your price: click on the UPGRADE button. You won’t be charged, and you’ll see how much it costs.
You may see something about your first payment being “prorated”. That means you’ll be charged a partial amount between today and when your subscription rebills. So if you’re 10 days away from your next rebill cycle, you’ll be charged 1/3 of your monthly price today.
Can You Make It Cheaper?
I agree that these channels should be cheaper. After all, you don’t pay the same for HBO as you do for basic cable. I’m working on it, but realistically it will take some time to convince Evil Angel and Vivid to change their pricing structure.
VideoBox is a small percentage of Evil Angel and Vivid’s overall content distribution, and they don’t want their other distribution channels to charge less.
Other Billing Issues
We still can’t process upgrades for Epoch. We can’t charge upgrades on multi month memberships at monthly increments.
Overall, this project has exposed severe limitations of Epoch and CCBill. The only way we’re going to have the flexibility we want is to do our own billing (which we’re currently investigating).
Subscriptions vs Tokens vs Just Say No
Several thousand members have upgraded to premium content, so it wouldn’t be fair to remove it entirely.
That said, I agree that the majority of members who have no interest in upgrading shouldn’t have to see it all over the place. You should be able to enjoy VB without feeling like we’re upselling you constantly.
I’m working with the engineering team to hide premium content from the main VideoBox pages. I think we should still display premium content in certain narrow cases, such as if you click on a star name and we happen to have more scenes with her on the premium channels.
But for general browsing, you shouldn’t be exposed to content you have to pay more for.