I've long ago accepted that people will try and take advantage and as with life you have to take the rough with the smooth, but I always hoped I had the support of the company I used to accept payments, PayPal. Sadly it didn't work out that way, and over Chrismas I suffered a loss due to someone reversing subscrition payments. I'm not in this work to become a millionare, I value my time and my research more than profit as most will tell you. If it was about the money I'd work at GloboGym, sell a preprinted diet sheet, or work in the NHS.
The idea behind the subscription service was to allow users to access myself at a reduced rate for brief interactions by email (giving you priority in my email box), and to give you access to the members section which was password protected. My blog has 300+ free posts but the members area was targeted towards the needs of those subscribed. It also contained my database of 6000+ research articles catorgorised into differing health issues that made it easy to search for relevent material. It is also the only area I made video and audio content avaiable (TV and radio shows I've been part of, plus my own recordings) as I'm not too keen on this type of media and prefered it kept away from open viewing. The members area started from what was initially a "school" area, in which I trained numerous individual who worked in a variety of health releated jobs. Three years ago I opened it up to subscribers well aware that people would make copies and share my work. Yet I didn't expect to be quite this exposed.
PayPal state their terms to be;
11.10 What are examples of items/transactions/cases that are not eligible for PayPal seller protection?
- Intangible items, licenses for digital content, and services.
- Items that you deliver (or are picked up) in person (except for items for which you received payment through the PayPal Location Based Payments Functionality).
- Transactions made through Zong, Website Payment Pro (PayPal Direct Payment and Virtual Terminal).
- Claims, Chargebacks and Reversals for Significantly Not as Described; and/ or claims filed directly with eBay.
- PayPal Business Payments.
So despite having spent a few days over Christmas attempting to protect my work, I have no option other than to suck it up and wait for PayPal to unblock my account. I've always viewed my independent research as an artistic outlet, so to have someone potentially use it, copy it, distribute it, then be able to gain a refund doesn't feel great.
As of today my site will run via stripe rather than PayPal which hopefully won't cause you any difficulties. I have also shut down the members area, stopped taking subcriptions and refunded those that were current members. My plan is to gradually transfer some of the work to Patreon, but as I'm sure you will appreciate this will mean reformatting and editing content to make it suitable.
Thank you to all my supporters, I'm sorry to make these changes but hopefully Patreon will work out and I'll get more time to dedicate to my research/book. As ever, I'm available for consults via my store.