Concern about GitLab asking for credit card

I recommended GitLab to someone to share some small free/libre/open resources (Lilypond music notation files it happened to be). They told me about being asked for their credit card and “something about pipeline” and “something about identity verification” and all of this turns them off quite a bit.

Why is GitLab opaquely and unexpectedly asking for credit card? This is very poor UX that could make projects lose contributors.

Seems User validation required? answers this somewhat. But why is the credit card request happening when users aren’t using pipelines? Why not just have pipelines as a feature turned off, and make it so that the credit card prompt is triggered specifically by someone setting up a pipeline? Just say “we require credit card verification in order to use the pipeline feature”. That would be much more straightforward.

The fact that the credit card request came up for someone who doesn’t want to use pipelines at all and doesn’t even know what they are is really awkward.

This was in a response to industry-wide abuse from crypto miners who abuse and monetize free CI minutes for their own personal financial gain.

New accounts and trial users will need to provide a valid debit/credit card for verification before they can run CI jobs using shared runners.

A user impacted by this change has the following options:


This is the fundamental detail that seems to be a missed UX consideration.

I’m talking about a person who did not know what pipelines and CI even are and has no plans to ever use them at all. That sort of user shouldn’t even be presented with the credit-card verification.

It should be made totally clear that the credit-card verification is specifically to unlock access to CI and shared-runners. You shouldn’t show it to people who don’t choose to set up that feature. And if they accidentally click that, hitting “cancel” on that feature should be straightforward and obvious. And they should just understand that the specific feature is locked behind this verification wall. They shouldn’t worry that GitLab is trying to invade privacy or sell them on stuff otherwise.

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I guess this is another (more basic) example of GitLab not understanding users’ needs. We also have examples of that in the licensing discussions, where GitLab seems to assume that evry user of an instance will be a developer (at least the seem reluctant to implement some sort of “guest” user, that can only do very little, but doesn’t cost money) - and a developer who will use all the features available (making them see a value in us getting more expensive licenses put down our throats).

Your users just wanting to share what is essentially data being seen as potential developers is IMHO another example.