At some point on November 21, founding subscribers received an email from Stripe about their Deborah Carver/Content Technologist subscription renewal. This automated email was sent in error – I had no clue that it would be sent!
Please rest assured: If you wish to continue reading, your Content Technologist subscription will remain free forever, as was always the intent. You're a founding subscriber, and I value your time and commitment.
I was not hacked, and your personal information is safe.
Also, we technically don't even have a card on file for any complimentary account, so Ghost couldn't re-charge you if it tried.
Why did this happen?
Ghost is my email service provider and manages subscriptions. Stripe handles the payment processing for Ghost. In Stripe, I've set up reminders so that paid subscribers aren't surprised when their subscription re-ups annually. I want to be courteous and as opt-in as possible.
Technically founding subscribers are filed in Stripe as paid, thus why you received the email. I'm working today to figure out whether there's a setting I can toggle so you won't receive a similar email in the future.
If you know, you know, but multipart online subscription payment processing is challenging. There's a reason that online subscriptions for independent creators didn't become a thing until about 2018—it was a pain to set up!
Stripe has worked wonders for the subscription payment processing business, but it is a complex, robust tool, built for developers. There are lots of toggles, settings and classifications, and with the automated renewal email, one was triggered that I did not intend.
Figuring out how Stripe interacts with Ghost is a peculiar challenge for both me as the newsletter writer and the Ghost team itself. For example, most of you joined in 2020, and I don't know why you received this renewal email in 2022 and not 2021. I'm checking in with both Ghost and Stripe on that front.
In any case: my intent is to be as user-friendly and open with communication as possible so that, if you were a paid annual subscriber, you'd feel like you were in charge of your account. You wouldn't feel the annoyance that I feel each year as my Wired subscription reups and recharges my account without previous notification.
But I don't have a card on file and I wouldn't be charging it anyway. Your subscription remains complimentary.
Thank you for reading and for sticking with me this long. If you still wish to unsubscribe, I understand! I will work through the pile of emails you've sent in response to last night's automated email.
All best, and apologies for the miscommunication!