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Membership

Discussion in 'Heritage railways & Centres in the Uk' started by myford, Nov 11, 2017.

  1. myford

    myford New Member

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    Just curious how many societies have the facility to join / renew membership on line with a card.
    I find it jaw dropping how many still have writing out a form and putting it in the post with a cheque an acceptable method.
    I'm a member of several niche classic bike clubs, several with a membership of well under 200 and they manage to have online payment.
    Terry
     
  2. AndyY

    AndyY Member

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    I must admit that there are a number of railway societies which I have thought to join, gone to their website where I'm told to download and print a form to put in the post with a cheque, and moved on, too much trouble.

    Andy
     
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  3. The Dainton Banker

    The Dainton Banker Member

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    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    No I do not currently volunteer
    As an ex-treasurer of an organisation with several hundred members I couldn't agree more. Not only does it save the sender postage, stationery, and bank fees but it saves the receipients time writing up the cheques, travel to and from the bank, which may not be nearby, their bank charges, the nuisance of "bounced" cheques, and best of all, the money is in the account right away !
    The biggest "Plus" of course is, as Andy Y observes, that potential supporters are not put off by having to faff around with paper work or mailings.
    Basically : if you want my money make it as easy as possible for me to give it to you ! :D That really shouldn't need spelling out :rolleyes:.
     
    Last edited: Nov 11, 2017
    nine elms fan, 30854, jnc and 3 others like this.
  4. myford

    myford New Member

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    My thoughts exactly. The railway i have an interest in, i did join once, but then renewal time came and if i'm brutally honest i just couldn't be bothered. If it was just a click of a button....... I guess i'm not alone. They must be missing out on a not insignificant income.
    Terry
     
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  5. 5944

    5944 Part of the furniture

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    The local railway society I'm a member of has 130 members, but means online banking is pretty easy for the treasurer to manage. A lot of the membership renewals are done online now, even though most of the membership are well over retirement age.
     
  6. OldChap

    OldChap Member

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    Also imagine if you reside overseas and the payment by cheque is required in Sterling, and you don't have a active UK bank account any longer, but do have a perfectly good credit card.

    Several occasions I have not continued as the hassle factor comes into play.
     
  7. Hirn

    Hirn New Member

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    I am quite unable to make to make any online payment and the inability to send a cheque simply means nothing
    can be received unless a credit card can be taken in writing or over the telephone.
    But I can quite appreciate the advantages and the appeal for all sorts of reasons of on line payment.

    My own view that any valid means of payment should be cheerfully accepted and that any preserved railway, loco fund
    or what ever should take:

    on line PayPal and credit cards,
    over the telephone credit cards,
    have a form to print off for anyone who wants to send fill in and sign to pay by credit card or send a cheque.

    And, if a charity, have a Gift Aid form to complete and return.

    There should also be the opportunity to make payments by direct debit and donations by standing orders.
    Again both online or on a form.

    Every thing should be easily accessible, clear and as user friendly as possible.
    I would suggest that large donations - say 0ver several hundred pounds but maybe thousands -
    might be likelier to be by cheque.
     
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  8. Reading General

    Reading General Part of the furniture

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    do people still use cheque books? I haven't had one for many years.
     
  9. DismalChips

    DismalChips New Member

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    Location:
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    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    No I do not currently volunteer
    I had to write one for an estate agent recently. Took me an hour to find my cheque book and, on looking, the last time I used it was 2011.
     
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  10. RalphW

    RalphW Nat Pres stalwart Staff Member Administrator Friend

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    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    No I do not currently volunteer
    Yes, my local coal merchant and the log supplier both accept cheques, can't see a card reader surviving for very long in the cab of a coal lorry....
     
  11. 30854

    30854 Well-Known Member

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    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    No I do not currently volunteer
    Still got a cheque book, in mint condition as a "just in case", but honestly can't remember when I last actually wrote a cheque.

    Never mind cheques, what about cash? Even most taxis and market traders here take plastic now, though I draw the line at flashing my mobile phone at point of sale machines and probably will until someone crosses a mobile with a drone to create the "homing phone" ..... it'll come!
     
  12. AndyY

    AndyY Member

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    I'm not sure when I last saw a coal lorry...............
    Andy
     
  13. 35B

    35B Part of the furniture

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    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    No I do not currently volunteer
    I use cheques and online payments, quite happily - horses for courses.

    In a voluntary capacity, I am involved with an organisation (non railway) that takes electronic payments (BACS), relying on users to enter correct details - it works quite well supported by face to face contact.

    We have looked into card payments, but the costs of a merchant agreement with a card service far outweigh the benefits we'd get from it. However, we have signed up for an ecash service called "iZettle", which is economical and gives us the facility to raise invoices for payment by card. There's a cost - the reader, plus a percentage fee - but it works well for us for the type of transactions we do.
     
  14. Hirn

    Hirn New Member

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    I can remember a shoe shop who had a book of blank cheques, where you had to fill in the name of your the bank and the
    address of the branch as well as the usual details, for the convenience of anyone who was prepared to pay them and
    might not have their own cheque book with them. And in fact once paid this way.

    This would have been before the late 1970s. I found out where you could buy these - apparently sold for the benefit of
    solicitors - brought one and have it but no one has completed a cheque from it yet.
    ( For amusement see The Negotiable Cow in "Uncommon Law" by A P Herbert. NB Now there is no longer any duty on cheques,
    you no longer need to put a postage stamp on in lieu of prepayment)
     
  15. Forestpines

    Forestpines Member

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    Location:
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    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    Yes I am an active volunteer
    I've noticed iZettle becoming rather popular with small independent traders in my neighbourhood in the past few months, as it happens, particularly cafés, pubs etc.

    To answer the original question: the SVR takes online payment for membership, through the same system as ticket bookings; it's only been introduced within the past year or so.
     
  16. michaelh

    michaelh Well-Known Member

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    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    Yes I am an active volunteer

    It has been possible to ring up and pay by card for many years, though.
     
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  17. 35B

    35B Part of the furniture

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    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    No I do not currently volunteer
    It's a damn good deal, and makes taking card payments affordable. The Merchant Agreement we were offered was completely unaffordable.
     
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  18. mikechant

    mikechant New Member

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    I think a lot of younger people have accounts with no chequebook, or if they do, they may never have used it, lost it, just not know how to write a cheque etc. (we were actually taught how to write a cheque at school back in the early 1980's!). So if the only option you offer is cheque by post, you are almost literally throwing money away!
     
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  19. GWR4707

    GWR4707 Resident of Nat Pres

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    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    No I do not currently volunteer
    I changed banks recently and had to specifically request a cheque book when I set the new account up, haven't used it yet but will probably have to when certain memberships become due. Also found certain groups are crap at telling you when you need to renew and if you don't remember they just let it lapse.
     
  20. Hampshire Unit

    Hampshire Unit Active Member

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    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    Yes I am an active volunteer
    I regularly use a cheque book, most photo charter payments are by cheque for instance.
     

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