[theforum] Treasurer's Report

David Kaufman david at gigawatt.org
Thu Nov 2 15:57:35 UTC 2017

Greetings evolters and evoltites!

I decided to surprise you all with a Treasurer's report:

Current Assets:

  PNC Bank       $398.58
  PayPal          303.30
*  Total          $701.88*

2017 Revenue to-date:

  Donations      $340.00
  Ads             102.32
*  Total          $442.32*

2017 Expenses to-date:

  PayPal Fees      $19.96
  Bank Fees         30.00
  Domain Renewals   40.54
  Hosting           25.00
*  Total           $115.50*

As you can see our new hosting provider Digital Ocean, has been giving us
free service most of the year, which was great since hosting has always
been our main expense.  We expect that free service will "run out" in a few
more months as it was the result of a "promotional credit" that DO just
*gave* us for (iirc) few hundred dollars.  So we saved up a little money
this year!

Just letting you know that I'm transferring $100 from PayPal into our PNC
bank account because, after 13 years, the bank finally decided that our
Free Non-Profit Business Checking account would no longer be free, unless
we maintain a minimum balance of $500.

I don't login to the bank account often, so I just noticed yesterday that
they've started merrily stealing $5.00 per month out of our account!  I
looked back over the year's statements to find that this new monthly fee
began being deducted back in May, and after reviewing the March, April and
May statements (PDF's downloaded off their site -- I don't have them
snail-mailed) I saw no notice informing us in advance of this new fee.  So
I called them up to complain loudly since:

 • firstly, as we only deposit around a $100 a year in (Google Adsense)
revenue into that account, paying $60 a year for the privilege would make
absolutely no sense at all,

 • and, more importantly! had we been informed of this fee we could have
closed the account and not been charged $30 of the $100 we deposited this

The customer service teenager on the phone was apologetic and assured me
that they had "sent out notices".  I explained that our account is set to
"paperless" and although they HAVE our mailing address, I was certain I'd
received no such notices in the mail, adding that they also have my correct
telephone number and email address and that I was equally certain they had
not contacted me through either of those channels either, to inform me that
they were increasing the cost of our free checking account by infinity

He reiterated that "notices were sent out", adding that they "should have
been printed on the back" of my statements.  I reiterated that I'd reviewed
both my March, April and May statements and couldn't resist the urge to
then ask him (with all the seriousness i could muster) how one goes about
"looking at the back" of a PDF.  He stammered a bit there :-)

So I asked him to refund the $30 they have charged us so far, and he said
that he would have to have a manager call me back.  I am still waiting for
a manager to call me back.

But then I looked back farther and found that they did include a notice on
a couple of our statements, starting back in Oct, Nov, Dec of 2016 and a
reminder in Feb of 2017 -- d'oh! that as of April 2017 we'd have to
maintain a $500 minimum balance in order to avoid the new account
maintenance fee of $5/month.

Oddly, the notices weren't printed on "the back" of the PDF -- that would
have been a neat trick! -- they were right there at the top, lol.

So, we'd had about $433.58 in there after Google's last deposit of 102.32
in January.  Now its down to $398.58 after their underhanded $5 recurring
thefts, these last seven months.

But since they DID technically notify us -- I just didn't pay close enough
attention to the statements -- I figured we have two options:

Option #1. close the account and keep all our money in Paypal instead.

Plan B. transfer $102 from PayPal to PNC bank to avoid further fees

The indignant angry consumer side of me argues for option #1.  But then
google will have to start mailing checks made out to evolt, which I'd have
to endorse, deposit into my personal bank account, and then transfer to
Evolt's PayPal account, which is a pain in the drain.

So I chose plan B, because the lazy me beats the indignant me every time.

Last Year:

2016 was a very different year!

Assets as of 2016-12-31:

  PNC Bank       $331.26
  PayPal           75.76
*  Total          $407.02*

2016 Revenue:

  Donations      $470.00
  Ads               0.00 (had just rec'd $101 in Oct 2015)
*  Total          $470.00*

2016 Expenses:

  PayPal Fees      $27.73
  Bank Fees          0.00
  Domain Renewals   31.35
  Hosting          538.08
*  Total           $597.16*

So, as you can see Neuro's initiative in migrating the site away from our
old creeky $45/month dedicated server at SoftLayer, to a free GitHub site
plus a couple virtual "droplet" instances at Digital Ocean has been a great
success -- Thanks Neuro!

Even after our free promotion honeymoon is over at DO, hosting costs there
will be significantly less than half what we were paying SoftLayer.  And
Digital Ocean is a far coller vendor, especially since IBM bought SoftLayer
and started making all the sysadmins there wear suits and garters on their

See you next year! ...or three!



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