[OpenID board] Getting Membership Management Under Control

David Recordon david at sixapart.com
Tue Jun 2 17:44:35 UTC 2009

If you haven't read Carsten's post this morning, you should.  It looks  
like Carsten's membership now ends on July 1 and that we still owe him  

I've left a comment on Carsten's blog and emailed Don, John and Marisa  
asking that we sort this out today.  Is Carsten's membership different  
than others or do we have a larger membership management problem on  
our hands?



In February 2008 I happily joined the OpenID Foundation (OIDF). For
the first time it was possible for individuals to join the OIDF and I
was certainly among the first to join. While the annual membership fee
of $100 was a little high, I thought it was only natural for me to
join the foundation and support something that I believe in. This blog
and Spread OpenID are document of that.

By the end of last year the membership fee for individuals was lowered
to $25/year. So I was surprised when I got notified by PayPal in
February 2009 that $100 were transferred to the OIDF for another year
of membership, starting April 1 2009. I was a little confused since I
wasn’t aware that it was a subscription model, that was probably my
fault, and that I was charged $100 instead of $25.

So first I cancelled the subscription - the $100 for period April 2009
to March 2010 were paid, though - and got in touch with David Recordon
and Scott Kveton who are both board members of the OIDF. Obviously,
something was wrong with the subscription model and I wanted to make
sure this didn’t happen to other members as well. Also I wanted to
work out a way that I only paid $25 as well. Both forwarded my email
to Don Thibeau, who was appointed the executive director of the OIDF
in February.

Until March 21 I didn’t hear from Don so I got back in touch with him
and asked about the matter. I got only a short reply, two short
sentences without salutation or complimentary close (hey, he’s
probably busy or that’s some cultural difference), that he was working
on the issue with Marisa Kihlthau (of Inventures). Marisa got a copy
of his reply as well.

Since I didn’t get another information until May 2 I emailed Don
again. Well, something happened in between: the end of my membership
status changed from April 1 to July 1. Don’t ask me why, though. As
you can guess, I was rather frustrated by the time and I wrote to Don
that I didn’t care about the OIDFanymore and that he should keep the
$100 for whatever period of time my membership was good for.

Once again he replied that he was sorry and copied the email to
Marisa. He wrote another email and asked if he could do anything else
for me. I negated. Marisa also got in touch, explaining that the OIDF
was under new management (wow, that’s news in May 2009  ) and that
they were sorting the membership database, hoping things to be solved
by the end of May. I should get in touch with her if I had any more

Until today nothing happened. No way will I get back in touch with
anyone about the matter. I don’t care anymore. However I want to make
the story public because I think it is a bad example of customer
service. I will no longer support theOIDF as it is unprofessional and
won’t accomplish much if all issues are dealt with the same way.

I tried to support OpenID in many ways in the past and still think it
is a great concept. But why should I waste more time, energy, and

Annoyed, frustrated, disappointed!

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