Downgrading - made difficult on purpose?

Hello there,

after many weeks of hesitating I decided to downgrade my account. A few factors contributed towards this conclusion, but the main reason was that I didn’t like what happened to LingQs of the Day - I mean the change in algorithm which resulted in me having to revise all 7000 lingqs I’ve created up to now (marking them all as ‘revised’ didn’t solve the issue, as they returned again and again, every 90 days or so). Apart from that I had some other reasons to believe that downgrading my account was the only sensible solution now.

However, that’s not that simple, as it seems I have to delete all of my imported lessons. Four hundred ninety-nine of them. One by one. Deleting collections doesn’t help, because it seems I have to delete them from my Archives as well, which is thirty nine pages full of archived lessons. But wait, why on earth should I even delete all of my lessons? I believe not being able to create lingqs and import new lessons is restrictive enough for free users and I can’t believe you require willing-to-downgrade users to get rid of all their lessons! In my case it’s two years of my hard work after all and it discourages me so much that now I’m thinking about cancelling my account and never coming here back again.

Having said that I’m happy to have been part of this language learning project when it was worth it and I’m very grateful for all the great people I got to know. I would like to publicly thank Vera, Maria and Neriman for helping me develop my German, English and Turkish respectively. Brilliant tutors like you make learning languages much easier and much more pleasurable experience. I can’t thank you enough.

Hi customic,

First off, we really appreciate all that you have contributed and all the support you’ve given here at LingQ. It’s great to hear that you’ve learned so much and have made some friends along the way.

As a paying member, one of the benefits that you get is the ability to upload and store an unlimited amount of privately imported lessons. It seems you’ve benefitted greatly from this judging by the 500 lessons that you managed to import. Of course, the recurring monthly fee that is paid then helps store these additional private lessons on our servers. This, too, is a recurring monthly cost. In essence, your monthly membership fee goes towards covering many different expenses, one of them being additional storage costs for all the private lessons on the site.
In looking around at many other sites, what we’ve found is that these sites delete all of your data when you downgrade. However, at LingQ we want to allow users to come back and pick up where they’ve left off, so that’s why we’ve chosen to let users keep all their LingQs, as we recognize that it is a dedicated effort to save all these words and we know that some members would like to return at some point in the future. That being said, LingQs benefit everyone in the community via User Hints, whereas privately imported lessons just sit there in a single user’s account serving no benefit to the community.

We are able to clear all of your privately imported lessons from the backend if you like, just let me know. Eventually we are looking at adding a button to delete all your privately imported lessons, but we’re working hard on some major updates so smaller changes like this have been pushed back to a later date. Of course, we can’t arbitrarily delete all but 5 lessons and that’s why we initially opted to do it this way.

By the way, there’s actually no need to remove any lessons from the My Lessons page, simply from the Imports. They will still appear in the My Lessons page, but upon opening them you will be shown a message saying that the lesson was removed.

I hope this helps to better explain everything related to the issues you brought up. Again, we sincerely appreciate all of your support over the past two years. We have some major changes coming very soon that you might want to stick around for, and we’ll send out an email when everything is ready to go. If you have any additional questions about this please let us know.


Thanks for letting us know about the problems you experienced with our LingQs of the day. We revised the LingQs of the day algorithm some time ago and feel that most users benefited, but I can understand that others may have been inconvenienced. It is certainly possible to improve our LingQs of the day in order to meet the needs of different kinds of users. I can’t promise that we will get on it right away, but it is something we should look at. Your feedback is appreciated.

We have been working on other issues recently, and our members should soon see the results of this work.

We will continue to allocate our resources to improving LingQ in ways that benefit the greatest number of users. Where there are particular problems affecting certain users, such as with Customic, we try to provide personal solutions where possible.

As for Imy’s comments, I am inclined to believe the following article, entitled

Listening to Complainers Is Bad for Your Brain

Imy - Actually take this as an opportunity to learn a bit about yourself. That is if you are concerned at how you are being perceived. Steve is offering his feedback. It is not about opinions actually in this case but about an attitude. You rarely have anything positive to say about the way others do things and I agree that is how you come across.

From the article linked to above by Steve:

"…But if you’re running a company, don’t you need to hear about anything that may have gone wrong? “There’s a big difference between bringing your attention to something that’s awry and a complaint,” Blake says. “Typically, people who are complaining don’t want a solution; they just want you to join in the indignity of the whole thing…”

(The word “thing” is, of course, a rather lame euphemism here for a defective product and/or poor customer service.)

The person quoted in this article, Blake, isn’t being especially original. IMO. This is an attitude of mind which has probably been shared by every small trader since the very dawn of time.

As Ronnie Barker used to say in the classic 1970s sitcom ‘Open All Hours’ : “…take 'em for every penny they’ve got!” lol :smiley:

Steve, that’s indeed a great article; thanks for sharing.

“Typically, people who are complaining don’t want a solution; they just want you to join in the indignity of the whole thing…”

Pretty much says it all. It is basically the aggressive manifestation of the “woe is me” complex.


I try not to get personal and yet I get a strong impression that you are taking things quite personal.

I am surprised when I hear people younger than me harken on about the bad old days (I take it you are not quite in your dotage, yet) - what does it matter that there used to be bugs in the system? We can decide whether to work with what we have now and I am quite convinced it is better than most other LingQ rip-offs. I am not a power user, though a Basic member, but even I have managed to get quite a few things into my brain with the system as it stood when I joined in 2009. Where does this bitterness come from? Is it your business to worry about us, the learners? Or do you have Steve’s best interest at heart and he just doesn’t understand you?

Feel free to continue to be stressed when others won’t do what you want them to do. Your post reads a bit churlish, though, doesn’t it?

Perhaps it would be useful to have a private forum area where members (free and paying) would feel comfortable discussing bugs, and ideas to improve the system.


I believe this “FormerLingQUser” is merely the same person who has been spamming us, and I have deleted his account.

We very much take into account problems that our users have, and try to address them within the limits of our resources. You will soon, hopefully, see the changes that we have been working on to improve LingQ.

There are many users, all using the site in somewhat different ways, on different platforms etc… We cannot satisfy everyone, as much as we would like to.

We do know the difference between people who care about LIngQ (and I incude Imy in this category despite his occasional strong language) and those who do not care about LingQ at all, such as this former user who has now been confirmed in his position as a “former” member. I suspect, unfortunately, that we have not seen the last of him.

IT, people are free to discuss bugs here, if the intent is to improve the site for a large number of users. They can also comment on the Get Satisfaction page ( to see if their concerns or suggestions appeal to a wider group of members.

We are not going to create a private forum. People are, of course, also free to contact LingQ support, or each other privately, via email with specific suggestions.

Please don’t hesitate to come forward with your ideas IT. I note that you are essentially a non-user of our system, and I am sure you would understand that we are more concerned about issues raised by people who actually use the system, unless we feel that an issue is of genuinely wide-spread interest for our members.

Imy, I think most of your concerns with the new system have been addressed. I look forward to hearing from you again when we launch.


Thank-you for your reply. I’ll wait and see what the new update brings. If anyone has any questions about lessons in the English library, please let me know.

@customic: “marking them all as ‘revised’ didn’t solve the issue, as they returned again and again, every 90 days or so)”

Do you know that if you click on “4” again after marking the word as known, you can choose to never have to review it again?
In any case, I hope you will stay at LingQ or I will have to find another Polish tutor…

I know, Michele, thanks for pointing that out, but try clicking on “4” and choosing to never have to review it again 6000 times…

I don’t know whether I’ll stay at LingQ as a free user, since now I can’t create LingQs and import new lessons, so in fact I can’t use the site at all. But obviously I understand what Alex said and it’s nobody’s fault I didn’t like the changes at LingQ. As long as I liked it and enjoyed it, I gladly paid for it. I don’t mind paying for quality. But when I stopped liking it that much, I had to reconsider whether it was still worth for me to invest money in it.

But obviously you can always contact me if you need any help with Polish.