Hmmm... let's see here, no required registration with unrestricted internet browsing to 90% of the site (all tech, all discussion, all general BS).
Not good enough... have questions? Basic memberships for free with no hassle sign-ups and no intrusive abuse of your email or other registration information.
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"We" are complaining about a free service that generally helps the majority of us save thousands of dollars over the course of a few years.
It also helps to keep the rigs we love going strong, both on and off the road. The company that hosts this awesome forum only wants to pimp a few ads in return.
The same hosting company allows the members to keep their own volunteer staff, made of up the forums own members.
The same hosting company allows the members of the forum to use the forum name and other intellectual property posted here, to brand items of paraphernalia or "schwag", for promotional sales, as long as no body is making a considerable profit off the forum and properties that they own.
The same hosting company allows the members to have 2 upgraded membership options, both of which greatly restrict the ads visible, off which they make their real bread and butter.
The same hosting company allows the members to have a 3rd membership upgrade option. Member Vendor... that eventually (after 75 posts) allows them direct access to the membership to sell custom made products and/or used vehicles and vehicle parts for a considerably low, yearly fee. They even allow some companies selling specialty items to work under this reduced vendor fee even though they really aren't active members of the forum but do offer custom or hard to find items specific to the vehicle of the sites main focus.
Say what you want, bitch as you will... but in my opinion it's a pretty damn good deal.
Yea... they/we have some issues here and there. Name something else you can get for free that doesn't have some problems and has 1/2 as many benefits.
I'm not trying to stick up for AutoGuide / Vertical Scope. I guarantee they've pissed me off easily as much as any of our regular members.
They didn't make this place, they can't recreate what we have built here over the last decade +. Without the membership... this place wouldn't be worth the click it takes to find it. BUT... all things considered and pulling back and looking at the big picture, seriously... is any of this really that big a deal?
Hell... I can't even find a decent, honest mechanic to fix my rig when I have the money to get ripped off.
There's a reason I've been a member here since the second day Joe / DSOTMOON made this place for us to share and enjoy together, around 13 years ago.
There's a reason I've stuck around after Joe sold the place to AutoGuide / Vertical Scope and moved on. I hope to god there's still a reason... in another 10 years that I'll still be here, hangin' around, laughing, reading, sharing and generally enjoying the comradery of my fellow Bronco lovers.
I'm just saying... bitch all you like but underneath all that, I hope we all can keep it in perspective and have a little appreciation for what we do get... mostly, FOR FREE.
Thank you all and Have a Nice Day!