October 3, 2022
Dear Toastmasters members and leaders,
Greetings from the team at World Headquarters (WHQ). The technology systems transition has been painful and fraught with difficulty for members, leaders, and the WHQ team. This is unacceptable, and I personally apologize for our failure to provide the service that each member and leader deserves. We can and will do better.
We continue to work with members and leaders to support and confirm membership, education, and recognition transactions. We will work with each member, as needed, to ensure that credit for the various recognition and education programs is awarded appropriately. Our member service teams are currently overwhelmed; the volume of inquiries is exceeding our ability to respond in a timely manner. We are working through each inquiry as quickly as we can and working with each member to resolve any issues.
October 2022 Renewals
During October 2022 renewal processing, there have been several system issues that have impacted club leaders’ ability to submit renewal dues. For the past several weeks, approximately 2.9% of renewal transactions have failed in the new system, compared to 2% for the same period one year ago.
The issue that has affected the most clubs is a delay in the recording and appearance of paid members after their dues have been submitted online. In some cases, paid members have not appeared as paid members for several hours after the dues had been paid. The cause of the issue has been identified and the solution Microsoft has provided us was implemented on Sunday, October 2. If you have any renewal issues, please contact our Club and Member Support Team via email@example.com.
Another issue has been that some members who paid April 2022 dues were not appearing on the club roster on Club Central as being eligible to pay October 2022 dues. This issue was resolved last week.
There is also a problem with credit card charges being declined at a rate that exceeds the rate for previous years. We have confirmed that the Toastmasters web system is successfully capturing and transmitting credit card information to our bank. The bank then transmits the data to the bank that issued the member’s credit card; the issuing bank either processes or declines the charge. Each day, thousands of transactions with banks around the world are successfully completed. Unfortunately, some transactions are denied. We suggest that when this happens the user contact the issuing bank for details. We will continue to evaluate the data received relating to credit card declines to determine if system enhancements will help. If you receive information you believe would be helpful, please submit it to our Club and Member Support Team via firstname.lastname@example.org.
Supplies and Shipments
Relating to Toastmasters items that are shipped by (or on behalf of) Toastmasters, we are pleased to let you know that new club Charter Kits, new club and charter member certificates, and Distinguished Toastmaster plaques have begun shipping.
The Toastmasters Online Store, through which club officers, District leaders, and individual members order supplies, is anticipated to be open for all transactions the third week of October. Inventories have been stocked and we anticipate that there will be a significant amount of demand when the store opens. Speechcraft will be available when the online store re-opens.
A 15% discount will be provided to all members for a full month after the store re-opens to recognize the significant inconvenience of the store being closed for so long.
Again, we apologize for the delays and degradation of service, and look forward to working together with you in the weeks and months to come.
Chief Executive Officer