There are two kinds of restaurants: Restaurants where you pay after you eat, and restaurants where you pay before you eat.
In general, fancy restaurants where you sit down at a table and are served your food by a waiter or waitress usually expect you to pay after you've eaten.
Of course, these restaurants take on some risk that their diners will eat their food and then claim to have forgotten their money, have a credit card that is declined, or simply slip out the door when no one is looking ("dine-and-dash").
More casual restaurants expect you to pay for your food before you eat, at the time when you place your order. Then the food is prepared for you and you usually need to pick it up yourself.
FlipScript started as a fancy restaurant, but ran into problems when the number of "dine-and-dash" customers got completely out of control. People were showing up at the site with an all-you-can-eat attitude, creating thousands and thousands of ambigrams, and posting them all on social media (as their own), with no intention whatsoever of ever paying for anything.
At the same time, and for the same reason, we were going broke.
Many people don't realize this, but each ambigram preview that is created at FlipScript.com costs us real, hard-earned money. FlipScript is charged for both compute cycles and for bandwidth by the cloud company who hosts our web site. We pay for the compute cycles and for the bandwidth for every single ambigram preview that we create and deliver.
We had people coming to the site and creating thousands of previews, and then posting screen shots of those previews on their own social media channels to build their audiences of millions of followers, while we paid the bill for it all.
Not only were we not making anything from our years and years of hard work that went into creating the ambigram generator, we were actually paying to have people dine-and-dash on us!
So, we had to change our restaurant style.
We didn't increase any of our prices. However, we are now asking our customers to establish an account balance up-front if they are serious about wanting an ambigram design. Once they have demonstrated that bare minimum level of commitment (and respecting the fact that each ambigram preview costs us real money), then we are more than happy to provide previews of the artwork!
The account balance can then be used toward the purchase of an ambigram. In fact, having the account balance makes the check-out process for an ambigram super fast and easy! The account balance can be used towards the purchase of anything on the site, and all we ask is that the balance be equal to the cost of the lowest priced item that we sell (the ambigram eBook). Once you've taken care of that most basic requirement, we would be proud to show you the amazing artwork that will now be right at your fingertips.
So, we've changed our restaurant style, but everything else is as awesome as ever. Thank you for your understanding.
Jason Moore, Chicago, IL