Anyone else less than enthused about the changes to a subscription model?

subscription

#108

Personally I don’t mind a subscription per se. It’s tough to run a sustainable business without a regular income stream. I’d be willing to pay for one if I thought it were reasonably priced.

From my point of view the issues are (1) that the ‘value’ largely comes from products that I have no use for, and (2) that they’re removing benefits from people who have paid for them, and in fact still advertising those benefits to new customers in the knowledge that they won’t be offering them for long.

I too would prefer Curve to focus on improving their unique proposition, possibly charging for new features, rather than trying to sell the same benefits that every other bank/credit card sells, and which will be included with many of the underlying cards that Curve is designed to work with.

As @Graham says, hopefully they’ll see the feedback here and make some changes to their plans.


#109

100%

If the subscription model is such a great idea - let people CHOOSE to upgrade to it, not attempt to force them to either upgrade or downgrade!

My £50 was offset via the wallet and IIRC there was some kind of refund/rebate done when the initial drama with AMEX happened?

It still clearly needs to be revisited, especially for people that have only joined recently.

Surely they can call the ‘new’ Curve Black something else. Then you have Curve Blue, Curve Black (closed to new customers) and Curve XXXXX. Curve Black users decide which of those three they want.

I agree with the user who said the average jo-public will see it as a scam.

I feel the FOS and ASA would be interested in this. FOS investigations cost the company £550… I hope Curve are making provisions…!!!


How does curve make money?
#110

It’s £550 per complaint!

I was going to upgrade recently, but opted not to once I heard about the upcoming change (which I would have no benefit from…).

I’ve just had a browse through the T&C… I don’t see anything in them which allows Curve to downgrade a user from Curve Black to Curve Blue without their expressed consent.

They do, however, state they can introduce changes with 2 months notice, meaning any migration to the new subscription service, must be done with two months notice - as it stands, no notice has been given as per the T&C:

“1.10.1. We may at any time unilaterally amend, delete or add to this Agreement, including the Fees and other amounts which apply to your Account (as set out in Schedule 1) (a “Change”) by giving you at least 2 months’ notice of such Change by posting a revised version of this Agreement on the Curve website(s).”

They cannot migrate customers over without the 2 month grace period.

I would expect that there would be a flurry of refund requests, especially from new users… and they would be right to request it. I can’t see Curve digging their heels in though as it would effectively be false advertising and FOS wouldn’t take too kindly to it.


#111

What about anyone who doesn’t live in the countries covered by the insurance? I live in the Netherlands and would be happy to pay the black subscription if it included the travel insurance and gadget insurance for me, but it doesn’t. You’re expecting your European customers living outside the small number of countries included the insurance to pay the same fee for substantialy reduced benefits.


#112

I’ve read most of the comments in this post and have to say I agree in large part with what’s being said. I was lucky enough to receive a free upgrade to black because of a data breech somewhere where I had used my card.

Recieving the black only made more more wax lyrical about the product refering friends and family and encouraging them to upgrade to black ASAP. I think it’s an issue of trust more than anything. We upload all of our card information from other banks to what is a new startup with no track record and for them to go back on their promises just seems like betrayal. It’s more about the spirit of the product than the wording of the T&C’s. I still love curve as a product and hope the nature and the volume of these comments have an impact.

This is my first comment on any companies community becuase I’m just not the type to get so enthusiastic about a product but the direction of these changes and how they are being done genuinely make me feel very turned off. I accept companies need to grow and make money at the end of the day as consumers we want a sustainable reliable product and happy curve employees coming up with brilliant ideas. I understand that curve are heavily invested in the changes they are delivering & I’ll inevitably weigh up my options and subscribe to a plan or pay fees for Amex use but I just don’t want curve to go in a direction of a fintech that does things that customers don’t really want. I’ve signed up to the new beta programme and will try and express my views but I’m feeling less and less enthused. :pensive:


#113

Your first post - but a good one - right on the money :+1:


#114

Although you’re right, those terms exist - it doesn’t give them the right to do anything perceived (at least in a court of law) as unfair.

Advertising a product with a one-off £50 fee and then changing the terms to a subscription model that reverses this could very likely be seen as unfair (although Curve could just turn around and offer to refund everyone the £50 they paid).

I said it in my first post and it’s been echoed by many since: if Curve need to alter their business model to make it more sustainable, they need to close off the existing Curve Black to new applicants, allow existing members to retain the service they paid for, and offer new products that users are free to move to (IF those users feel it’s right for them).

Forcing users in the manner proposed is going to be incredibly damaging to the brand, which in reality would cost Curve more than any potential legal challenge (as likely or unlikely as this may be).


#115

As a recently upgraded Curve Premium Black, the terms announced in https://www.curve.app/terms-compare are extremely disappointing, as already stated by many other unhappy Curve users in the same situation.
Curve started as a genuine original innovation, but the recent announcements such as the Amex support to be delivered in November 2018 (UK Beta program is not Amex support…) and these new subscription models (the six months grace period is extremely irritating…) are seriously affecting the value of the product itself.
For what it matters, I will not subscribe to the 9.99 per month model, just to have what I was supposed to get from the £50 one-off plan.


#116

If Curve aren’t going to listen and just push ahead with the same old premium bank account extras then we as customers need to do one thing and walk away and hope another fintech comes along.

The current product is great and with the correct extras they could justify a subscription model which would make it even better.

If you care about Amex on the Curve it clearly means that you care about collecting points in places that Amex can’t be used. On the basis that the fee paying cards at Amex virtually all have travel insurance, travel inconvienience insurance etc then Curve paying for these perks is pretty pointless as they will rarely be used and hold zero value to the customer so are a waste of time. So maybe Curve needs to rethink these but before I add some thoughts on new perks I have two ways of looking at the proposal that Curve are putting forward:

  1. The cost of the subscription is the fee you pay to get unlimited Amex spend and therefore more miles. The more miles you get make each month for the subscription price make it worthwhile and the guys at Head For Points always talk about how much miles should cost so it might be worth checking their blog out to work out what you need to spend each month to make the card worthwhile.

  2. The second way is that you actually really love what Curve does and while yes you did pay £50 to be Black and thought this would be a one off payment but you realise that if the service was no longer available you would really miss it so paying the monthly sub to keep it going is the cost of having the convienience of Curve.

The final point on here are some ideas for Curve to think about as the perks for the premium cards instead of worthless insurance add ons that all premium accounts are doing so you probably have them with your primary cards. So here are my ideas on this:

  1. More Airline Miles. Partner up with major airline point schemes and offer miles.

  2. Check out CPP for their add ons that you can white label. https://uk.cppgroup.com

  3. Things like card protection.

  4. Online fraud protection

  5. Flight Rescue

  6. A monthly Curve Card online statement so you can check that all the payments have been put in the right place. I know these are on the app but it would easier if it there was a desktop app and you could print them.

  7. The final idea is doing Flash VIP offers to be send via notifications to your phone. These are arranged by the Curve concierge.

Those are my points and sorry for rambling on but sort of hoping that Curve do read this forum.

Thanks

Commercial Black Card user since May 2016.


#117

Exactly, very well said, I am in the same situation of you, with black card activated on the last 8th of January and living in Denmark, so no insurance cover in sight…


#118

Curve’s response to me when asking for my £50 Black refund…

Thanks for your reply.

We’re sorry to hear that you are disappointed with our decision to change our funding model. We believe that it is an important change we need to make as to keep growing and offering innovative new features to our existing customers.

In order to ensure a stable proposition for us to continue to deliver valuable innovations to our customers, we have moved our premium product tiers to a subscription model. Whilst doing so, we’ve given our premium offerings a complete overhaul, with added benefits:

  • Travel and gadget insurance (in UK, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Spain and Portugal)
  • A substantial Amex fee-free allowance (only in UK)
  • Unlimited fee-free rate when spending abroad

As well as this, we’re giving existing Curve Black holders a 6 month grace period where they can enjoy the new and improved experience of Curve Black free of charge.

As your Curve Black order was processed more than 14 working days ago, we are unable to refund you of £50 for the Curve Black card.

Please let me know if there’s anything else we can help you with.

Best wishes,


#119

This is getting ridiculous …

I only paid for the “one-off” fee for the black card a couple of months ago. My existing bank account covers all the insurance I need, why would I subscribe this with Curve again?

Ive hardly used any of the “Black” features” so I feel like I’ve just paid £50 for nothing (since it will take more than a couple years for me to break even with the legacy cash back programme). Also I upgraded during the time you said Amex support is coming, but I’m not even part of the beta test.

If this is what you “curve” are planning to do, then please could you refund the existing customers? Since you should give the existing customer the option to subscribe to the new service… instead of just force the customer to subscribe something that they don’t want, it is just not fair at all!

Or you’ll see your loyal customer base disappearing … The whole thing would just be like a scam … and I’ll certainly raise a complain and hopefully open a case with an external handler. I know £50 is not the end of the world, but it’s just principle, that you didn’t honour your offer.


#120

I’m just comparing the offers with other cards. And if i’m paying a subscription, i would need to find the best card that suits me. i would rather pay for revolut’s premium vs curve’s metal. Its cheaper and it provides cash back incentives. Don’t really see whats special with curve’s offering other than amex…but amex is accepted 90% of the major brands anyways. So i’m paying subscription to use amex for 10% of the shops? And the annual limit is low too on curve Not sure if the math works out . But just doesnt seem like it would.

For what its worth. Lets try for a refund, and if that aint happening. I’ll just use up the 6 months and cancel at the end.

Still think curve have an innovative idea though. Just not sure if it was costed right.


#121

One comment is why should I have paid a one off fee which was confirmed by you guys to get higher limits abroad (which i have not used yet) only to now get kicked off it. I might as well just have gone for a free one with that info. I kinda want the £50 returned in rewards then.

Are you doing a yearly fee cheaper like Revolut?

Is there Cashback? Mine has finished now

If you do 1% cashback on everything i can probably spend enough to get the fee back like revolut. However their’s drops to .1% in europe so it’s useless.

I just can’t see why we’re not allowed to stay on its not the fees its the fact i’ve been mislead. Would have gone for the blue card if i knew this was going to happen.


#122

And it’s funny that you can’t keep your black as is, but the original cashback program, not available since February 2018 is being carried over to the new subscriptions for people who had it


#123

Very well said Lyndon.


#124

This black thing has me seething. I would not have purchased it if i knew it would turn in to a subscription model.

I paid the £50 for the higher abroad spending/atm limits. I haven’t even been abroad yet. But as it said for life. They say go back to blue but that means I’ve spent £50 for 3 months worth of higher limits. I think i’m going to do chargeback/small claims. This is misleading people and the ones who have made them money. What did blue holders put in? Nothing but they stay the same. Old card holders should be able to keep what they paid for.

The higher limits abroad is all i wanted. If that had been £5 a month I would not have paid for it.

I call on curve to refund black customers their £50 and let them decide if they want the subscription model.

And as someone pointed out just upgrade for black for one month when you actually go abroad for the insurance and higher foreign atm limits.

Another company that doesn’t listen to its members


Poll: Your actions now Curve has introduced the Subscription model
#125

Where was the reference to a benefit for life please?


#126

This entire thing reminds me of this: https://blog.imaginecurve.com/introduction-of-new-technology-for-transaction-processing/
when Curve changed from same MCC for all transactions to dynamic MCC, everyone was going nuts and Curve said they learnt a lesson about including users more and that they received a big ****storm.

I think Curve has gone the wrong path with a subscription model.
First it was introduced on Thursday/Friday??, so most employees were on weekend leave while users were going nuts in the forum over the weekend.
Never announce such a big change at the end of the weekend, no matter if its in a closed beta group (there are always leaks) or by putting it on your website for everyone to see: https://www.curve.app/terms-compare

Instead of asking to charge for a few GBP and get users furious, Curve should chose a different path:

  • Allow current users to stay on the same pricing model or offer something that actually everyone can benefit, and not an insurance that most people already have for a cheaper price / a different card / or an insurance that actually covers all countries of residence and no deductible (again, here in Germany you get 1 for 7.40€ a year with 0€ deductible, so no reason to get any worse insurance for a higher cost,…)

  • offer high spending customers a free premium card
    MANY banks do that, even AmEx Gold waives the annual fee when you spend more than 10k€ /year
    Number 1 income for credit card issuers are transactions, the more there are and the higher the transaction, the more money Curve (or any bank) makes with a customer
    So it wouldn’t make sense to ask someone who puts 100k€ on his card / year to pay a 120GBP fee, you need to value your very good customers where you get the most money from

  • offer premium cards for commercial users
    With commercial cards the interbank fee limit does not apply (or its much higher) (in contrast to private cards) so Curve makes much more money with users having Commercial cards
    Therefore, Curve should give out more benefits to commercial users than private ones.

All in all, asking for a few GBP gets everyone very angry as you can see with that many replies in this topic. Instead Curve should explore more ways like I mentioned above to generate more money for high spenders and commercial users.
You need to value your best customers with free upgrades etc. instead of making them pay the same as everyone

So what does Curve get out of this in the end? So many users will change after free 6month period to blue, Curve will make 0GBP money with them for subscription fees, and even less money on transactions cause people will use again more their underlying cards.
Same with me, I have a 0% fx fee card that is fully for free, why should I not use that card then for all international transaction? If I spend more than 500GBP with Curve blue, I’d have to pay 2%.
With the free card I don’t get any miles, but paying 2% with Curve Blue, which equals to 2CPM (cents per mile) for each 1 earningmile is way too high.
I value miles at 1CPM, so anything that costs more than a 1% fee wouldnt make no sense to use Curve blue for international transactions.
What does that mean for Curve? Majority will move to free Blue, again no monthly fee income for Curve and WAY less transactions, so Curve will actually lose more money and many users.


#127

When they advertise a “one-off” fee, it’s reasonable to expect at least a few years out of it, it’s it?