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Important updates on our subscription terms and new limitations

We have made significant changes to our subscription plans and the restrictions that come with them.
08 May 2023

Dear dotDBers,

You may already know that our PayPal account was permanently suspended not long ago. Fortunately, with the assistance of many of our members, we were able to regain access to it and have now restored it as a payment option on dotDB. However, PayPal informed us that lots of people asked for their money back, argued about payments or asked for a refund from our account. This was the primary reason for our suspension of PayPal usage. If we do not improve the situation, they may suspend us again in the future.

Although our PayPal account has been reinstated, we took the time to examine why dotDB was facing an unusually high rate of refunds, disputes, and chargebacks. After careful consideration, we determined that numerous members were using our paid services without any intention of paying for them.

For instance, we provided a 7-day free trial for the Pro Plan, and some individuals repeatedly subscribing to it to take advantage of the plan's benefits, only to cancel it before the trial period ended. In some cases, these users would forget to cancel the automatic billing, leading to charges by PayPal, and ultimately, demands for refunds or payment disputes. To be frank, we had honored all refund requests in the past 5 years until the recent incident that led to the suspension of our PayPal account.

Therefore, to prevent any future suspension of our payment gateway providers, we have made the decision to discontinue offering free trials permanently and effective immediately.

In addition, dotDB has been facing a significant problem with individuals creating software to extract data from our platform without paying for it. These individuals then either sold the software or charged a subscription fee to access it. This kind of abuse puts a lot of strain on our servers and has caused them to crash on occasion. Unfortunately, most of the service outages we experienced were due to unauthorized crawling on our website. Although we have taken measures to prevent such activities, the responsible individuals always find new ways to bypass our safeguards. This is frustrating and poses a significant threat to our livelihood.

To address this issue and honor our paid members, we have made the decision to restrict unauthorized crawling by imposing a daily search limit and limiting the number of pages per search to 10 for guests and free members. Guests can only conduct 10 keyword searches per day, and if you are a registered free member without an active subscription, you can search for 30 keywords per day after logging in. These changes will take effect on May 20, 2023.

Additionally, in response to these new limitations, we have launched a "Basic Plan" that costs $9.99 per month and provides unlimited searches through our website. You can subscribe to the Basic Plan now and get a discount of $7.99 before the price goes back up on May 20, 2023.