that is a bit steep for a technology based enterprise that has low overhead
Please keep in mind that there are nine people (including myself) working full time behind the scenes, all of whom have worked with me for 10 or more years (with the exception of our developer, who has been with us for 8 years). So as far as "low overhead", wages alone are no where near "low", we all make a decent living (and deserve to, because we work our little tushies off!).
One of the things we are known for, and strive towards, is providing excellent customer service. If you need to speak to someone, we are EASY to reach, via telephone, LiveChat or email. If you are book an appointment through P411 and then have a problem, we are there for you... whether it be to lend an ear, mediate a dispute, or to take more serious steps if the situation warrants it. The site is continually upgraded and features added, to make your hobbying experience more enjoyable.
Unfortunately, costs are rising and the value of the US dollar has dropped by about 20% since the inception of P411 (we are in Canada, and the dollar is converted). So some decisions have had to be made, and we will continue to be there and do our jobs as we have for all of these years, which means that the rate is going to increase.
Laying people off and/or doing a lesser job is not an option for me, although from a financial standpoint that would be the smart way to go. However, I am very proud of Preferred411 and the job we do, and it would break my heart to become just another "technology based enterprise" that takes your dollars and doesn't offer any real support.
I don't like raising rates, and we have been inching it up every couple of years, which isn't fun (each time there is a bit of an uproar). So this time, it's going up enough that we no longer have to increase the rate every couple of years and we can focus on improving the site and our service, instead of staying awake worrying about finances.
I hope we don't lose a single member due to the rate increase, although I know that might not be possible. Most of you know I'm a big softie though, so if the increase really presents a hardship to you, let me know when the time comes and perhaps we can figure out a way to keep you as a member without putting you in the poorhouse.