DOGnzb Lifetime Users Find Themselves Limited

September 2016 update – DOGnzb recently opened registration for new users.  All new members get 10 days of free access to test the site.  From there you are required to donate to keep your account active.  Otherwise the staff will delete the free account and you will need to wait until they offer another open registration period.  Up until last year, DOGnzb users were offered VIP lifetime memberships.  That’s no longer the case and in fact “lifetime” memberships were reduced to one year of VIP and then converted to Lite accounts which limit use.

Here’s a list of the current subscriptions DOGnzb is offering:

  • $15 donation for one year of VIP access
  • $35 donation for three years of VIP access
  • $50 donation for five years of VIP access
  • $10 free for credit card transactions, no added fee is using bitcoin.

Original post – November 2015

In late October DOGnzb decided to step back and close registrations for the year.  They are changing the way memberships are structured.  In years past you could sign up for lifetime access.  Long gone are the days of signing up for a $10 lifetime account.  In fact those who signed up for lifetime access will soon have ‘lite’ accounts which are only good for occasional use.  A DOGpass will give you full access to the site.  Current members will be able to purchase a DOGpass for $15 a year plus a $10 service fee which includes a t-shirt.  They also have longer term plans that cost $35 for 3 years or $50 for 5 years plus the same $10 service fee.

Here’s the message DOGnzb staff posted in their forum:

Ok, so I have some bad news. I’ll get right to the point. Lifetime access as you know it will be changing. This was a hard decision to make, it’s not easy going back on something previously offered, but the fact of the matter is the site is becoming hard to sustain with the current model, and just keeping registrations opened, and letting new users sign-up is not a good idea. The costs of operating, hosting, running and updating 6 servers are significant.

I know probably a large majority of the user base will be alienated right of the bat, but what is the alternative? To close up a site that is unable to sustain itself in 6-12 months.

So better to make the changes now, keep the current user base, and go back to keeping a low profile.

So starting today, registrations are closed. Invites will come back in some form next year. An annual membership needs to be paid to have full access to all our features, and DOGpass subscriptions will be eliminated (all former DOGpass functionality will now be available to every member).

In both cases, please check your profile pages for information on your updated expiration date. When the current subscription expires, any user that decides NOT TO renew their premium subscription will be moved to a LITE tier. Access to the website will still be possible, but daily download quota and API calls will be considerably limited, Watchlists and Custom Searches will be disabled, as well as IMDb and Trakt sync.

You will still have lifetime access to the site, accounts will NOT be purged, but it will be a ‘lite’ account (perfect for occasional use, or for people that use us primarily as a backup).

What does this mean for current users? It basically depends on when you originally registered.

For members that registered after December 1st 2014, your lifetime payment, will be converted to a 1 year subscription, starting on the date of your registration. If you were also a DOGpass member your expiration dates will be increased by an additional year.

If you registered before December 1st 2014, your subscriptions will expire on the same month/day of your registration, so expirations will be staggered during the next 12 months. If you’re were also a DOGpass member, you will retain your current expiration date.

Pricing is the same as DOGpass was: $15 for 1 year, $35 for 3 years, and $50 for 5 years. For now, payment still involves a third party website that manages the transactions for an extra $10 service charge (included with the cost of the T-Shirt). Unfortunately, I’ve been vocal here in the past about the problems we’ve had with PayPal, Coinbase etc. So it’s better to just do a 3 or 5 year extension if you can.

Bitcoin payments are also possible at this moment. We are looking into other payment alternatives.

For users that registered recently (last 60 days), your expiration date has been bumped up manually. Also users that have separately donated in the past, you can contact any staff member for instructions on how to get bumped up also.

These features, previously available only for DOGpass users, are now available for everyone:

  • Exclusive regex rules and deobfuscation algorithms result in additional NZBs available
  • Fine tune your Watchlist delay setting and retention limits.
  • Sync from IMDb and Trakt watchlists every 60 minutes
  • Trigger metadata refresh of any TV show or Movie
  • Push notifications alerts to your mobile phone.
  • iCal feeds of your TV Show Watchlist.
  • Custom Searches and RSS feeds updated hourly.
  • Passthrough and Emulation APIs for mobile phones.
  • Primary and Secondary Push Queues.
  • View NZB contents and perform partial downloads.
  • Mobile Website Interface

I understand this will not be a popular decision, and I expect a lot of complaints. But please try to understand, we are trying to make things work in the long run.

It will be interesting to see if members who were downgraded from lifetime to lite plans decide to pay more for a DOGpass or search for alternatives.  Things are further complicated by the restrictions placed on payments.  DOGnzb requires a third party payment processor which adds $10 to any payment.  While they include a t-shirt for the $10, most people aren’t interested in the site for a shirt.  After being downgraded some users are also likely to be skeptical about signing up for a long term account.

DOGnzb is a quality site.  I disagree with their decision to limit lifetime accounts.  They made a commitment to users who gladly donated for the memberships in the past.  Those users are likely to look elsewhere.  Those who have been waiting for an invite will likely get an opportunity to join the site in the months to come.  You just need to consider the fees involved.  Some will find the site a good value while others will rely on alternatives.

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