Frequently Asked Questions

From our transition out of media to the nitty-gritty on how to use our new subscription service, we’ve got the answers to all your burning questions right here.


COVID-19 updates

What’s the current plan?
What if I have an annual membership and want to pause?
What if I’m in my free trial period?
If my membership is paused, will it automatically get turned “back on” when you’re up and running again?
Will you automatically charge me when you’re back?
If I cancel, will I have to join the waitlist to get back in? 
What if my account is already paused? 
What’s with the new Offer restrictions?

New member essentials

Psst: we’ve got a blog post that goes over the basics, just for you.

Where’s my newsletter?
When can I use my Offer?
How do I redeem my Offer?
How do events work?
Why is there a lottery?

How do lottery entries work?
How does Instagram tracking for lottery entries work?
What’s the event policy?
Why don’t I have the same Offers as my friend?


Your Offline subscription

How does the subscription work?
What does my membership include?

I’m out of town this weekend, can my bff just use my offers?
How long do I have to use my Offer(s)?

Can I use my Offer for takeout?
How much is it?
When will I get my perks?

What is your Event Policy?
How does billing work?
Can I buy a Raleigh AND Durham membership?
Can I use Offline with my non-Offline friends?

What’s the deal with groups?
What’s the Code of Conduct?
Can I skip the waitlist?
How do I get in touch?
How do I cancel?

Can I pause my membership?
What happens if I try to use my offers while paused?

Extensions and Rollover
What’s up with Offer extensions?
What is the difference between a “rollover” offer and an offer extension?
What’s the deal with rollover Offers?

Can I ask you guys something else?

Everything you ever wanted to know about Offline’s transition to full-time subscription service

Aloha. If you’re reading this, you already know the news: Offline is going all-in on our subscription service and will no longer be supporting our media arm. No need to rehash the deets on why or how here since you’ve probably gotten that info before (but if you need a refresher, click here, here or here). This is the place where we’ll answer all your questions about this change, what it means for you, and what’s next. 

What does “shutting down media” mean?
Are you just asking me to pay for content now?
Why not just let me pay for content?
How can I help?

Did we miss something you’re dying to know? Hit us up and leave some feedback here. We’ll read and reply ASAP.


OUR TRANSITION

What does “shutting down media” mean?

In short, it means that we’ve put a fresh coat of paint on our brand and that we’re no longer delivering content across our various channels. 

We no longer send our bi-weekly newsletters (The Monday Email + The Weekender), update our calendar with events around town, breaking news on social or write guides such as “The 10 Best Bang-For-Your-Buck Brunches” or “15 Unique Date Ideas in the Triangle.”

Our current iPhone app will be removed from the App Store and eventually replaced with an app for our subscribers only. While you’ll still be able to open the existing app on your phone for a little while, it will be full of out-of-date info. 

As of today, our website get-offline.com will no longer be supported. It now redirects to the website letsgetoffline.com, which houses our brand-spankin’ new brand.

Our Facebook page and Instagram account will also look a little different as we continue fleshing out our new ‘do and begin to roll out a new social strategy.

Both our new app and new website may bring back some of the content that you know and love from Offline, but we can promise that if they do, they’ll be rethought from the ground up and built off member feedback. 

Are you just asking me to pay for content now?

Nope! We’re not asking you to pay for content at all (and not just because we’re not producing any). When we said we’re “shutting down the media arm” of our company, we meant it. We no longer produce an events calendar, weekly emails, roundup guides or anything like that. Our hope was that that type of content inspired you to get offline, but more often than not, it really just kept you glued to your screen, adding experiences to an ever-growing “to-do” list. Now we know better. 

Now, we’re focused on actually creating and facilitating real-life experiences. That’s what the “new” Offline is all about.

I love Offline’s content and I don’t want the subscription! I would pay a few bucks to keep the content, so why not just let me pay?

Aw, shucks, thank you. It’s truly moving to hear you love our content just as much as we do. It is tempting to keep the awesome content we’ve got and simply throw up a paywall, but the truth is that it’s the wrong move for both of us in the long run. 

It’s nearly impossible for small teams to pursue multiple business models if they want to grow quickly. In order to keep our “old world” alive, we’d continuously be forced to make trade-off decisions between building features that make the core subscription better and features that make paid content better. Ultimately, the paths would diverge.


That said, we’re not ruling out some element of content within the subscription. We are going to listen to the feedback that we get from our members when we make this decision. If content does come back then we’ll think through what it would be from scratch vs just using what we already have. Rolling the content that we have today behind a paywall and charging you for it might make both of us happy in the short-term, but it won’t work in the long run.

Ok, ok, ok. I got it. Now how can I help?

In one word, subscribe. If you’ve grown to love our brand, trust us, and want to see us succeed, give us a few months to prove to you that we are building something compelling and valuable. You’ll try 12–24 new places (at least!) in your city, save some money along the way, help the local economy thrive, and I promise you’ll enjoy it.

Once you subscribe, email us frequently with ideas, questions, improvements, and concerns. We will listen.


NEW MEMBERS ESSENTIALS

Where’s my newsletter?

Your Offline newsletter (that wonderful Christmas morning email with all your Offers + Perks) will always be delivered bright and early on the first of the month. Since you signed up mid-month, the current month’s newsletter should already be in your inbox.

If you’re ever having trouble finding it, search “Offline Durham: [Current Month] Edition” or “Offline Raleigh: [Current Month] Edition.” Still no luck? Let us know.

When can I use my Offers?

As soon as you get your newsletter on the first, the clock starts ticking. You get one month to use your Offer(s) before they expire at the end of the month and we hit you with new ones.

How do I redeem my Offer?

It’s super easy. Head over to the restaurant, order, eat, and enjoy as you normally would. When it comes time to pay, simply tell your server/cashier that you’re an Offline member; they’ll ask for your Offline ID and then adjust your bill accordingly. Just don’t forget to tip on the pre-discounted total!

How do events work?

Look out for emails from us throughout the month, because you never know when we’re going to announce a Sneak Peek Party or special event. Keep in mind these events are always in high-demand and often have limited capacity. Combine that with the last-minute nature of new business openings, and you’ll get why the second we get confirmation on a Sneak Peek, we drop everything and email you an invite.

In that invite, you’ll find all the event details along with a link to enter the lottery for tickets (you’ll also always be able to request a plus one ticket unless otherwise stated). We’ll also always note what time the lottery ends and that’s when winners will be notified. If you win, you’re in, and we can’t wait to see you. And don’t fret if you miss out on one—there’s always plenty more coming down the pike.

If you do score a ticket(s), you’ll show up to the event and check in with the good-looking Offline rep up front. They should be easy to find, and they’ll tell you if there’s anything you need to know. Be sure to check in with them or else you’ll get charged a $5 no-show fee. 

Why is there a lottery?

While we’d love to get all members in the door at every event, the reality is there are always spatial capacities. In the past, we gave tickets out on a  first-come, first-served basis, and tickets would sell out in literal seconds. That system often proved unfair to folks who weren’t available to get online that instant to try and nab a ticket.

The lottery system gives everyone a fair window of time to express their interest in the event and lets us randomly assign tickets. It’s not perfect (we’re always working on improvements!), but it’s proved the fairest so far.

How do lottery entires work?

Everyone gets one lottery entry when they sign up and can accumulate additional lottery entries by taking actions that benefit the Offline community. When you enter the lottery, all of your entries go “in the hat” and winners are selected randomly. Once we select winners, we’ll notify the winners by email.

Here’s how to earn more lottery entries:

REFERRALS (10 additional entries per referral). We want to reward referrals in a way that recognizes their huge impact on the community. For every person who uses your personal referral code, you will receive 10 additional lottery entries. There is no limit on the number of people you can refer.

LENGTH OF MEMBERSHIP (10 additional entries per active year). This means that on your one-year anniversary of joining Offline you’ll receive 10 additional lottery entries, on your second anniversary you’ll receive 20, and so forth. Your membership is an investment in a relationship with us, and we want to show that we recognize that value.

INSTAGRAM (1 additional entry per post or story). First, tell us your Instagram handle so that we know it’s you. Then, you’ll start accumulating extra entries for every post/story where you a.) tag @offlineraleighdurham b.) tag the parter business you’re visiting c.) use #offlineraleigh or #offlinedurham, depending on which city you’re in. Reminder: your account has to be public for this to work.

OFFER REVIEWS (1 additional entry per review). When we see that you’ve redeemed an Offer, we email you a survey to collect feedback. That feedback is incredibly helpful to us and our partners, so for every completed review, we’ll say thank you with an additional lottery entry.

How does Instagram tracking for lottery entries work?

Pretty simple. First, hit us with your public Insta handle here. Then, do these 3 things when you post/story:

That’s it! If you did it right, you’ll get a confirmation email from us in a day or two.

How does pausing/canceling affect my lottery entries?

Pausing won’t affect your lottery entries at all, and you’ll still be able to accumulate additional entries while paused.

Canceling, however, will reset your entries to zero. Even if you sign back up, you’ll start your new account with one entry just like a brand new member would.

Why don’t I have the same Offers as my friend?

To avoid overwhelming local businesses (can you imagine if 3,500 additional people showed up one month?!), we break members into groups and we rotate all the Offers through them. We creatively call this your “Rotation” ?. If you’ve got different Offers than your friend, it just means you were randomly put into a different Rotation—but we can easily change that if you want us to! If you’d like to get the same Offers as your friend, let us know and we’ll switch you into their Rotation ASAP.


ALL ABOUT THE SUBSCRIPTION

How does a subscription work?

On the 1st of every month, you’ll get your Offline newsletter, which will introduce you to the 1-2 local restaurants you’ll try, along with $25+ to go check ‘em out.

To redeem your Offer, simply tell your server/cashier what your Offline ID when it’s time to pay. They’ll adjust your bill accordingly.  Easy as pie. 

Beyond your primary offers, your newsletter also includes info on upcoming events, special perks, community updates. 

And be sure to keep an eye on your inbox throughout the month. There are always surprises in tow.

What does my membership include?

As an Offline member, each month you’ll get:

  • $25+ to spend at 1-2 local restaurants
  • Invitations to be the first in the door at new biz openings. (AKA Sneak Peek Parties)
  • Exclusive perks (everything from concert tix to fitness classes)
  • Access to complimentary neighborhood happy hours, special events, exhibits, and more

…plus anything else we can throw your way. We’re always experimenting with new ways to help our members explore their city. Learn more about all the member benefits here.

I’m out of town this weekend, can my bff just use my offers?

Nope – you are the only one who can redeem your offers.

How long do I have to use my Offers?

You get one month to use your Offer(s) and perks before they expire and we hit you with new ones.

Can I use my Offer for takeout?

It depends. We’re all about helping you have authentic experiences so it all hinges on what our partner’s style is. Some are fast-casual, meaning take-out is their jam and they’re A-OK with you doing grabbing food to go. On the other hand, we’ve got a bunch of equally fab partners who are all about the dining experience, so takeout really isn’t the norm. Because—let’s be honest—how many times have you actually gotten take-out at a white-tablecloth spot? 

But this isn’t just the restaurants call: when we set up partnerships, we determine which percentage of meals are had in-house vs. taken to go, and that’s how we figure out the fine print. Got it? Good. Now go out to dinner and enjoy yourself.

How much is it?

In Raleigh, it’s $12.99/month or $10.99/mo when you buy an annual membership.

For Durham, a monthly membership is $9.99/mo, or $7.99/mo when you opt for the annual plan. 

You’re free to cancel either membership anytime (but we doubt you’ll want to).

When will I get my perks?

Within 1-2 business days of signing up, you’ll receive your very first Offline newsletter(!). From then on, the Offline newsletter (that wonderful Christmas morning email with all your Offers + perks) will be delivered bright and early on the first of every month.

What is your Event Policy?

We like to think it’s pretty simple:

  • If you win, you’re in. Stand us up or cancel a ticket after you’ve won and event and we’ll automatically charge your card $5 (which we’ll donate to NC’s Food Bank). You’re also responsible for your guest’s ticket if you get one; if you cancel a guest ticket or your guest doesn’t show up, you will also be charged $5.
  • Only enter the lottery once, and only for yourself.
  • +1s are welcome unless otherwise noted.
  • There may be a photographer roaming around to help us capture events, and Offline reserves the right to use these assets without express written permission of those included in the images. Unless you explicitly tell us otherwise, we may use these photos on our site, social media, private shrine to you (kidding!), etc.
  • Tickets cannot be sold, resold, bartered, auctioned, or transferred in any way.

How does billing work?

If you sign up for the annual plan (a smart move if you want to save some coin), you’ll make a one-time payment of $132 for Raleigh or $96 for Durham. Your payment will auto-renew each year. 

If you’re not sure you’re in it for the long-haul, opt for the monthly plan. You’ll be charged when you sign up and then subsequently on the first of each month. 

Can I buy a Raleigh AND Durham membership?

For sure. (We like your style.) Just email support@letsgetoffline.com and they’ll get you all set up. 

Can I use Offline with my non-Offline friends?

Yep! The more the merrier. Now, there may be a few things (like extra-exclusive events or specific perks) that are only open to members, but we’ll let you know when that’s the case. Otherwise, feel free to bring a buddy to check out that new restaurant offer you got this month.

Also know that if you want your bud to get in on the same Offers as you, you can send them your personal referral code (which you’ll find at the top of your newsletter). That code will let them skip the waitlist and get their first month free. We’ll also hook you up with a $5 membership credit as a thank you for spreading the love.

What are groups, and how do I know if I’m in the same one as my friends?

To make sure members have the best experience possible at our restaurant partners, we rotate the partners among smaller groups of members. (Groups are automatically assigned.) Not sure if you have the same group as your friends? All members of a group get the same Offers at the beginning of the month; if your offers don’t match, you are not in the same group.

How do I change groups?

Super easy! Click here or email support. All we’ll need is your friend’s first and last name, and their email.

One thing to keep in mind: you may get duplicate Offers if you move. Remember those rotating groups we mentioned? This is where it comes into play. Since offers are pre-assigned to specific groups, jumping ahead in your group number means you will likely see the same offers. But don’t worry; since we’ve handpicked each partner, it’s an opportunity to fall in love with a restaurant again. 

I already used an Offer this month, can I still change groups?

While we can’t change your group right away if you’ve redeemed an offer, we can schedule it for the beginning of the next month! Just open up your newsletter on the first and start making dinner plans with your friends.

My friend just signed up, can you just go ahead and put them in my group?

We can’t move members without their permission. Just have your friend email support and we’ll move them over ASAP.

What’s the Code of Conduct?

It’s our very own community contract that everyone opts into to help keep the love flowing during thousands of monthly interactions between our members, our partner businesses, and our team. If you have a very long attention span (or you’re just curious), you can read more about how the Code of Conduct came to be here.

How can I skip the waitlist?

Ask one of your existing Offline friends to send you their personal referral link (remind them it’s at the top of their monthly newsletter). Not only will you fast-track the waitlist, but we’ll also give you your first month free and toss your BFF a $5 credit. 

Don’t know any Offline members? Sit tight. We promise it’ll be worth the wait. 

How can I get in touch?

Click here. Looking forward to hearing from you. 

How do I cancel?

You can’t—this is a lifetime commitment. 

JK. 

You can cancel any time by emailing support@letsgetoffline.com.

Can I pause my membership?

We do have the option to pause your membership for between 1-3 months one time in case you’re traveling or need to put your membership on hold. You will still receive your newsletter but you will not be able to redeem any Offers, Perks, or attend events. You will not be charged during the time of your pause. You can unpause any time during your pause and you will be charged for the full month that you have decided to unpause in.

If you were on an annual plan, we have moved your renewal date forward by the number of months you were paused.

What happens if I try to use my offers while paused?

If you use an offer while paused, don’t worry, we’ll do all the work for you! Your account will be reactivated and we’ll charge your default card for the current month.

**Extended or Rollover offers from previous months will work, and you will not be unpaused.

Can the value of an Offer change over time?

Yes. The current value of an offer may change over time. It may go up or down. Your latest newsletter will give you the fine print rules and value you are able to redeem. The latest version of an offer amount is the official amount that can be used.

EXTENSIONS AND ROLLOVER

What’s the deal with Offer extensions?

In your newsletter, you’ll see if an Offer is available for extension. Simply click on the extension link in that email before the end of the month to extend your Offer for the next two weeks. Each Offer extension costs $2.

When can I extend my Offer?

You can opt to extend your Offer anytime during the month that it’s originally featured in your newsletter. All Offer extensions must be submitted before the end of the month that the Offer expires. For example, you can’t extend a March Offer on April 1, or anytime after that. 

Can I choose which two weeks I can apply my extension to?

Nope. All extensions are valid exclusively during the first two weeks of the following month. After that, they expire forever. 

Can I extend my Offer more than once?

Negative. Offer extensions are available one-time only.

How am I billed for extensions?

If you extend an Offer, you’ll be billed $2 (per extended Offer) on the first of the following month. 

  • Monthly members will see those additional charges alongside their regular membership subscription receipt. 
  • Annual members will get a single invoice that contains their Offer extension(s) on the first of the month.

Sometimes it says my Offer can’t be extended. Why not? 

Partner contracts don’t run indefinitely (we wish!). If an Offer isn’t eligible for extension it simply means that business won’t be an active Offline partner next month. 

Where do I find my extended Offers?

Your extended Offers will always appear in your next newsletter, alongside its expiration date. For example, if you extend an Offer in July, you’ll see that Offer in August’s newsletter with a clearly labeled “extended until August 14” tag. 

Can I extend more than one Offer in a month? 

By all means. Each individual Offer extension costs $2. Make sure you click on the link for each individual offer in your newsletter in order to extend more than one.
 

How do I redeem my extended Offer? 

The same way you’d redeem any other Offer—you just have less time to do so! Click here if you need a refresher. 

What is the difference between a “rollover” offer and an offer extension?

An extension gives you two (2) extra weeks from the end of the month you were assigned the offer. You can buy extensions for $2/offer.

A “rollover” offer is an offer we gave to members during April + May of 2020 to deal with COVID. We do not do rollover offers anymore but if you have one, you have it forever, or until our partnership with the business ends.

What’s the deal with Rollover Offers?

A “Rollover Offer” is an Offer that we gave to members during March + April of 2020. Due to COVID, we paused these Offers and gave them an indefinite expiration date. But as things have progressed and restaurants have continued to struggle, we realized that “forever” just isn’t sustainable. Turns out hindsight is literally 2020. Who knew?

So, the clock has to officially start ticking again. Members with unused Rollover Offers now have until October 31 to use them (if possible—we know some restaurants remain closed). 

And TBH, we love a time crunch. Common sense shows it’s the only way we’ll actually get stuff done. 

If you can’t or don’t use your Rollover Offer(s) by October 31, you can email us and we’d be happy to credit your account. 

Times continue to be the weirdest but you know we’ll make it up to you with something new and shiny.

What happens to my rollovers if I pause my account?

Any rollover Offers that you have accrued before the pause will still be available when you unpause your account. You will not be able to accrue any rollovers during your pause.

Can I use my rolled over offers while paused?

You can use extended and rollover offers when you are paused. If you use an offer from the current month, you will be automatically unpaused and charged for the full month regardless of what day it is in the month.

What happens to my rollovers if I cancel my account?

Once you cancel your account, all of your rollover Offers are removed from your account. If you sign up again, they will not be available to you anymore.


COVID-19 UPDATES

What’s the current plan?

Like so many other small businesses, we’ve deeply felt the effects of COVID-19. Starting on July 1st, we’re restarting our service in a limited capacity. Here’s what you can expect from Offline for the foreseeable future:

#1 A slow, steady, and safe return to normal
We will always defer to legal guidance and stay within the boundaries of what has been explicitly approved by North Carolina.

#2 All Offers will be dually approved
Turning service back on is a double opt-in deal, meaning both members and restaurant partners need to turn their keys and give us the go-ahead. We’ve checked in with all of our partners and will only be sending Offers to restaurants that have explicitly told us that they want members through their doors. (Both to help them recover and because, duh, you’re awesome.)

#3 Using Offers helps restaurants
Even if you’re comfortable going out right now, you may be wondering whether using Offers could somehow be a negative for restaurants right now. It’s not. In fact, it’s the opposite. Using Offers helps our partners.

Partners are overwhelmingly excited about the additional traffic and revenue that you will help bring. Frankly, they need it and the city needs it.

On the off chance that a restaurant loses ANY money from their partnership with Offline, we’ve committed to covering 100% of any costs. So, if you’re ready, go out and enjoy your city and your Offers (responsibly, of course).

#4 Newsletters will look different for a little while
Our service will look a bit less robust than usual since there are significant capacity restrictions and many restaurants remain closed for dine-in.

You’ll definitely get at least one new Offer to use each month, a perk (or two!), and if you’re an existing member you can expect to see any Rollover Offers you accrued during quarantine in March and/or April. If you get your newsletter and you really feel it’s not up to par, let us know and we’re happy to issue you a full refund.

What if I have an annual membership and want to pause?

For each month you are paused, we will move your renewal and next billing date forward by one month.

What if I’m in my free trial period?

Your account has already been paused automatically through COVID. We’ll continue to extend your free trial period until we’re able to get back to normal and let you have the real Offline experience. That’s when your free trial period will resume.

If I’m paused, will my membership be automatically turned “back on” when you’re up and running again?

Yes, but we’ll give you enough notice before we do so along with some info on how our partners have told us they are going to be different when re-opening. A lot is unknown right now, so we’ll do our best to make sure we’re providing you the best information when the time comes to take advantage of your membership while supporting the local partners you already love. 

Will you automatically charge me when you’re back?

Yes. If you don’t pause your account, you’ll still be charged. If you pause, we’ll give you notice before we unpause you and you can decide if you want to stay paused or not. 

If I cancel, will I have to join the waitlist to get back in? 

If you cancel your account, you will not have to join the waitlist to get back in. However, any rollover offers you’ve accumulated will not be available to you anymore. We do recommend you pause your account in order to keep those rollover offers. Our support team will be able to help you with any questions you may have at any time. 

What if my account is already paused? 

If your account is already paused, it will remain paused regardless of the number of months you previously told us. We will send you an email when we plan to unpause accounts when we get back to normal. If you redeem an offer when you are paused, that’s ok! We’ll just unpause your account and charge you for the current month.

What’s with the new Offer restrictions?

The tl;dr is this: restaurants have a legal capacity cap due to COVID (at the time of this writing, it’s 50%) and it’s essential for their success that Offline members avoid times when they hit that 50% capacity cap.

Here’s a bit longer explanation for the curious.

To say we’re not fans of restrictions is an understatement. When we first started Offline, every Offer could be used at any time. The only restrictions that we allowed were the legal ones (N.C. does not allow discounts on alcohol unless they apply to everyone) and ones that protected the integrity of our program (allowing dine-in restaurants to restrict to-go orders because the purpose of Offline is for you to experience a place in its entirety).

But the world was different back then: restaurants were opening left and right, the economy was growing at an unbelievable pace, and there was no global pandemic. Now, restaurants are closing left and right, the economy is contracting, and (as of right now) there is no end in sight.

Sure, most Offline members join because they want great Offers, but the most common reason that members give for joining is actually supporting local businesses. Well, day/time restrictions during COVID help support local businesses. Period.

When Offline members are visiting a restaurant that isn’t full, they are bringing that restaurant needed traffic and exposure (at no cost to the restaurant) and getting a great experience in return. However, when restaurants are at capacity (which is only 50% of pre-COVID capacity as of this writing), Offline can actually cost a restaurant a significant amount of money. When all is well, restaurants are willing to exchange this money for new customers and growth. But when things are bad and cash is tight, they just can’t afford it.

If you’re bothering to read this, you probably care about the health of our partners and the local economy. I hope this is a helpful 101 about why we added restrictions! If you have any other questions, feel free to email me. — David

Can I ask you guys something else?

Go right ahead.