I am not sure what sites you are on of ours, but to address your statement.
Just joined up here a few days ago after lurking for awhile, and now that I find out Vertical Scope has taken over, will be leaving.
Vertical Scope are a blight to internet forums, they have ruined every forum that I used to frequent, and now looks like that has continued with this one.
They will assign a junior lackey to look after this forum, alongside their many other forums to administrate over, meaning there will be no passion behind it. Just another source of ad revenue for them.
We have many forums, this is true, we also have a support team that works across many forums, we set up sections where users and the staff can get a hold of us. We do this because we trust our site staff to keep the community going, they are the ones that built it, we respect there decisions and get involved as much or as little as they request.
The advertising will now increase and the only way to not see them will be to pay for "premium" membership.
I was forced to lodge a PayPal dispute when I was a member on another one of their forums, I made the mistake of paying for premium and then opted to cancel after one year and they took money without permission, and refused to give it back.
Oh well, it was nice while it lasted. Good luck.
The advertising on most sites does not increase, we do pay to run host and maintain these sites, as well as the initial investment we make when purchasing the site. We generally do not have add ads for registered users but for guests. And in the past (5-6years ago) we were a bit aggressive with the ads to put on sites, but have since learned from that mistake and been less intrusive when we put ads on a site for registered members. Some sites request not to see any ads, and request to have it as a feature for paid members. We do not implement this, it is a request.
As for paid memberships those either are already on the site or the staff asks to add them to get a sticker program on a site. Also when you signed up it was clearly stated that it was a pay pal subscription that auto renews. It lets you know that if you want to stop the payments to go to paypal and cancel the subscription. It also send an email around renewal time to let you know it would be auto renewed. If you catch this within 60 days of payment, we have the ability to issue a refund, after that paypal does not have the option. We do not refuse to give money back, but are not able to after the 60days.
Hope that answers that.