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Membership renewal with Browniz: $109 or $148 ?
Thread poster: writeaway

writeaway  Identity Verified

Local time: 09:06
Partial member (2003)
French to English
+ ...
Jul 23, 2008

I am again in the annual throes of debating whether or not to renew my (full) membership.
Imagine my horror at discovering that the €94 charged to Euro zone members (with Browniz reduction) amounts to $148, which is nearly 50% more than the fee charged to (US) dollar zone members!!!
How is this possible? I can make purchases and pay in US$ with my credit card. Why can't we have a choice of currency, given the drastic difference?



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Claudia Alvis  Identity Verified
Peru
Local time: 02:06
Partial member
Spanish
+ ...
Blame it on the weak dollar Jul 23, 2008

That's one of the (few) disadvantages of living in a country where the economy and currency are not free falling.

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writeaway  Identity Verified

Local time: 09:06
Partial member (2003)
French to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Our prices are skyrocketting and our general cost of living is much higher than in the US Jul 23, 2008

Claudia Alvis wrote:

That's one of the (few) disadvantages of living in a country where the economy and currency are not free falling.


My point is this: Since European firms (some are corporate members) are allowed to offer jobs with US$ rates, meaning that European translators who accept such jobs will be earning dollars, why can't we European members also have an option to pay for membership at the US$ rate, especially since Proz is a US/Argentina-based firm. Or at least for as long as there is such a huge gap between the US$ and the €?

[Edited at 2008-07-23 14:52]


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Jared Tabor
Local time: 04:06
SITE STAFF
Some considerations Jul 23, 2008

Hello writeaway,

I hope you don't mind if I copy here the below FAQ from the Membership and Payment FAQ:



Although ProZ.com is based in the US, only 25% of paying members live there. Twice as many live in the EU. As a result, 30% of ProZ.com expenses are euro-based. (Euro expenses include payroll, VAT tax, CAT tools, event sponsorships, etc.)

Adding to this fact, in June of 2003, ProZ.com became obligated by EU directive to remit VAT tax (in euros). In light of the high percentage of euro expenses, and associated currency risk, it became necessary in June to adopt a pricing policy that involves both euros and dollars. Without this policy, ProZ.com would have to absorb currency fluctuations of 25% or more and still pay VAT taxes of up to 25% on membership sales. The company is not in a position to do that. It was determined that the fairest policy would be to charge members fixed rates in their own currencies. So rather than paying a different amount each year due to currency fluctuations, members both in the Euro Zone and the US will pay a fixed amount, regardless of currency fluctuations. (The 1/4th of members who are neither in the US nor the EU are asked to pay in USD; however, if significant expenses are incurred in a third currency, a similar policy will be adopted for yen, GBP, etc.)

Only ProZ.com members in EU member states that have adopted the Euro (the Euro Zone) are charged in Euros. Currently, the countries in the Euro Zone are Austria, Belgium, Germany, Spain, Finland, France, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, and Portugal.

Though this policy means that there may be discrepancies in the absolute amounts paid by EU and non-EU members from year to year, ProZ.com has promised to apply the policy consistently going forward. Over time it is thought that amounts paid will balance out (and if they do not, adjustment will be made). By paying in your own currency, you enjoy stability, and help to give stability to ProZ.com.


I think it is also worth noting that while due to currency fluctuations the USD-zone price is a very good deal at the moment, the EUR renewal price is still a good deal, especially if you consider the return benefits on an investment in membership.

Best regards,

Jared


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xxxwonita
China
Local time: 03:06
The wealthier, the stingier, Jul 23, 2008

And the stingier, the richer!

Only a joke!


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Williamson  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 08:06
Flemish to English
+ ...
VAT-0-operation. Jul 23, 2008

Proz.com does not pay VAT-taxes, its members do!.
After all, VAT is paid to a company or (German) subsidiary and this company pays the amount paid by the member to Germany (country of choice).
For VAT-registered freelancers and companies in principle, VAT is a 0-operation. They only function as tax-collectors.



[Edited at 2008-07-23 16:41]


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Gerard de Noord  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 09:06
Member (2003)
German to Dutch
+ ...
Eurozone and VAT Jul 23, 2008

The Eurozone now consists of:

Austria, Belgium, Cyprus, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Portugal, Slovenia and Spain.

European members without a VIES VAT number pay their own VAT taxes for their membership.

Regards,
Gerard


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Ivana Friis Wilson  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 08:06
Member (2008)
English to Danish
+ ...
Just about the stupidest thing I have ever come across Jul 23, 2008

That thing quoted from the FAQ is ridiculous! I have never heard of a company fixing a currency.

Proz charge Euro-members more than their US-members and any reason behind it is ridiculous and unprofessional!

Charge in one currency only, why have 2 in the first place? Credit cards can be used internationally - that's kind of the point, the currency transfers are managed by the banks.


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writeaway  Identity Verified

Local time: 09:06
Partial member (2003)
French to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Oh well. Jul 23, 2008

Thanks Jared. I understand parts of what you say, but other parts I don't.
What people on the payroll and what CAT tools would justify charging Euro zone members 50% more than non-Euro zone? Why not make us pay in Euros, but charge the equivalent (or thereabouts) of the current US$ membership fee? That way you'd have the Euros to pay VAT.
I'm sure you would hear screams from the US$ zone members if the situation were reversed. Most of the world does pay you in dollars and it's just the geo-politically trapped members over here who are being forced to pay a hefty surcharge. I'd prefer a rate that is less 'stable' but more equitable.

[Edited at 2008-07-23 18:52]


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Henry Dotterer
Local time: 03:06
SITE FOUNDER
I hope you find it worthwhile to renew at €94! Jul 23, 2008

writeaway wrote:
Imagine my horror at discovering that the €94 charged to Euro zone members (with Browniz reduction) amounts to $148, which is nearly 50% more than the fee charged to (US) dollar zone members!!!

Doesn't sound fair, I know. The best way to understand the reasoning may be to experience it. When the euro first started strengthening, and pricing was dollar-based, it became difficult to ensure that we would be able to pay all of our bills in the future. That is when we adopted the current policy.

I could go on, but I have noticed the conversation doesn't go anywhere. At the end of the day, we charge what we hope will be a fair price for the value offered. We kept the cost of renewal constant at €100 for seven years, before reducing it to €94 last year. I hope you decide it is worth it again at the current price. (Because if all of our European members insisted on a reduction to €68, it would be tough to say the least. The site team page might start to show a few frowns!)

In any case, thanks for your participation and long-standing support of the site so far.


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Membership renewal with Browniz: $109 or $148 ?

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