Subscription FAQ's

Subscription FAQ's

This will be very quick (and free). I've gotten a lot of questions emailed to me and I always think it best to answer many of those questions in public. And to do that, I'll just combine some questions (and make up some questions) so that everyone has every answer.

What am I doing right now? It's 2024. Everyone knows how Frequently Asked Questions work. Here we go.

I'm having trouble logging in/seeing my subscription/etc.

Just email me and we'll get you sorted.

I've had a subscription for several years and I believe it's still active - do I need to do anything?

Not really. You only need to log in once here at the new site to link that subscription to this new (and improved!) website.

To log in, go up to "sign in" in the upper right hand corner. Enter your email address (the one from your original sign-up) there. The system will then send you an email with a link. Click on that link and boom, you're signed in. You can then click on "Account" in the upper right hand corner and a screen will pop up telling you your renewal date, your subscription status, your current payment method, and everything else.

What about the "new tiers" you mentioned - do I need to make changes?

Nope. Everyone on the Orange Tier ($60 per year) and the Seventeen Club tier ($90 per year) will be moved to the new $77 Grange Membership. (And don't worry if your account tab doesn't say "Grange Membership" yet - we have to move everyone one-by-one so it will take a bit.) That membership will then auto-renew on your renewal date at that new level. Which means that if your payment method is current and you've logged in, there's nothing for you to do.

(Unless you want to cancel. If that's your choice, select "Change" on the membership tab and then just click "Cancel" on the next screen.)

What if I want to upgrade?

If you had a Blue Tier membership before and you want to upgrade to Grange Membership or Seventeen Club, select "Change" on your membership and then select the new level. The system then automatically prorates your existing subscription and only charges the difference.

You know, I made that edit to the article after many had already read it, so I need to get everyone's attention so they read this. If they're just skimming the FAQ categories, I'll get them to stop right here with...


You can forget what I said in the original post about "if you recently renewed and would like a refund on that renewal before upgrading now, just let me know." That's because I'm a megalomaniac and want all of your money. JOKE.

I later edited the post because I soon realized that the system automatically handles "what you already paid" when you upgrade. I don't need to refund you because the system is already applying your original payment. I'll give you an example.

If your (former) Seventeen Club subscription renewed on September 17th, then you paid $90 back then. If you want to upgrade to the new $17-per-month Seventeen Club (and, for this example, let's say you chose the "monthly" option), then the system does a little calculation and realizes that you have $58.52 that you didn't use of your $90 subscription on September 17th. Which means that this month's $17 will see a credit of $17 (and a payment of $0.00) as will next month and the following. And then in April you'll use up the last of your credit ($7.52) and only be charged $9.48 that month. After that, you'll be charged the $17 per month. (And this varies based on your original subscription date and how many days are remaining.)

It's the same for all tiers. If you upgrade from your former Blue Tier subscription to the new Grange Membership, it will credit you for the remaining time on your $30 subscription and deduct that from your $77 payment. So if two months from now, and you chose the monthly option, and you're not seeing a monthly charge on your credit card, well, that's because you're still using up the credit applied from your earlier subscription.

Get it? Got it. Good.

What happened to "two free reads per month and then the third one requires a subscription"?

That has been eliminated with this website upgrade. Instead, I will have the option to choose that some articles remain free for all and some articles are behind the paywall. Obviously, if I'm writing about non-sports stuff (like, say, the articles I've written about the Special Spectators tailgates and such), I'll make all of that stuff free. But for the every day Illini articles, there's now a firm paywall. R.I.P. leaky paywall.

For this first week, as everyone figures out their login, I'm making everything free. But starting next week (for the first time in 16 months), people will run into an actual, bona fide paywall. You'll need a subscription to read on.

What about logging in on different devices?

The process outlined above (click sign-in, enter email, go click the link in the email you receive) can be repeated on all devices. And should stay connected like all of your other logins. Yes, just like ESPN (or whatever), sometimes you'll go to log in and you'll find you have to go through the process again because it disconnected. But the process should be super simple now. No more "I don't know my password on your site." Enter your email, click on the email, you're back in.

I won a free subscription back in the day. Is that still active?

Yes. It took us about 24 hours, but we got them all activated yesterday. So if you're one of the students who showed up to that one Northwestern football game ten years ago when I tweeted "thank God you're here - email me a photo of you at the game and I'll give you an IlliniBoard membership for life", those accounts should now be active on the new site. Just log in under that email address. And if you no longer have that email address, send me an email.

What about a tip jar? I preferred the method where I could just toss you a few bucks here and there for your efforts.

Use Venmo I guess? A few people over the years have asked to pay separately (not be attached to the renewal system but set up a one-year gift subscription they could gift someone) so I set up an IlliniBoard Venmo account for that. I guess you could use that?

Or if you're the person who emailed me saying that you didn't like that your renewal was dropping from $90 to $77 and wanted choose your own subscription amount over and above $77, just use @IlliniBoard on Venmo and send your additional payment that way.

There you go. I just made a decision. @IlliniBoard on Venmo is the new tip jar.

I still don't know How/Where/Why/When to do X, Y, or Z.

Just email me.

I think that's it. Any other questions, just email me. (And if you haven't gotten a reply, or you haven't seen your sign-on link, as always, check that spam folder. Spammers are quite proud of the fact that they've ruined the ability for all of us to just communicate directly with each other.)