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Revision 42 as of 2010-12-17 23:29:02

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MemberManual / GettingStarted / NewMember

OK, so it looks like you'll be joining us! In the descriptions below, we'll assume you've already been approved to join. If you haven't yet received an explicit e-mail saying that your application has been approved, then "you've been approved to join" does not apply to you!

Here's what you need to know about the process from here in. It will definitely make life easier for our volunteer administrators if you read all of this document before doing anything else with your new account, including sending a payment.

To complete the joining process...

Terms of Service

When you applied for an account, you were asked to review and agree to HCoop's Terms of Service. If you have not done so already, please read and familiarize yourself with them.

Payment

Each HCoop member has a balance, keeping track of unspent money that member has sent to the co-op. Most members prepay about a year's worth of estimated charges at a time and send new payments when they see their balances going low. Our policy is that every member must keep a refundable deposit of $21 with us. Your balance will be debited $7 on the last day of each month as a dues payment.

Before we give you an account on our servers, we need an initial payment from you. This should include the deposit amount and some additional amount, as determined by you. Like we said, prepaying an estimated year's costs is popular. If your balance goes negative (meaning the difference between the amount of money you've sent us and the amount you've been charged is below $21) for too long a period, we'll be forced to cancel your membership, unless there are very extenuating circumstances. This means that paying the minimum amount will require that you remember to make frequent payments.

We have one exception: if you send us $10 as your initial payment, then we won't freeze your account until you've had a month to test-drive HCoop. You may still receive automated e-mails during that time period warning you that your balance is negative, though. Once the month is up, we will feel free to terminate your membership if you haven't yet made another payment to bring your balance up to the usual requirements.

You can pay electronically using PayPal or Google Checkout on the new member payment page. If you use PayPal, you can make things easier for us by, in the comment field, writing that the payment is for "Initial payment for yournamehere," where "yournamehere" is the UNIX username you asked for when you applied. Google Checkout doesn't support comments, but hopefully you included your Checkout account e-mail address in your application so that we can match you up with your payment. If you decide to use Checkout, but you didn't include a Checkout address in your application, then please e-mail payment@hcoop.net after you make your payment to let us know which account it should be matched with.

You can use any other reasonable payment method you want, as long as it involves United States dollars reaching our treasurer. However, please e-mail payment@hcoop.net about any method of payment not found on the payment page before using it, and wait for approval before going ahead.

Keep in mind the service fees associated with each method. We consider service fees to be your expense, not ours. For example, PayPal's fees are such that you save money by sending as much money at once as possible. Google Checkout has had such fees since their no-fees promotion ended in January 2008.

You have the option of arranging with a current member to have your dues debited from his balance. If you want to do this, then, instead of sending a payment now, ask this member to open a Bugzilla "bug" asking to have your new account linked to his balance.

Your account will not be created automatically when you make a payment. You will be unable to log into any HCoop service until your first payment has been processed manually, and you'll be notified by e-mail when that happens.

The MemberManual/PayingDues page contains more information on payment policies.

And for all the rest...

After your payment is processed and your account is created, you'll receive another e-mail with further instructions. If you're impatient or curious and want to learn more about HCoop before then, the right place to start is our MemberManual.