Subscription FAQs

Below are some answers to Frequently Asked Questions (“FAQs”). They represent, in part, the “plain English” version of our Terms of Sale. To the extent that any provision of the Terms of Sale and these FAQs are in conflict, the Terms of Sale shall control.

  • What subscription plans are available?

    We now offer a choice between three subscription plans: a monthly plan, a yearly plan, and a 3-year plan. Each of these plans are sold on a recurring basis. We also offer institutions and organizational subscriptions; please use the quote request form to inquire.

    What is a recurring subscription? When do I get billed?

    A recurring subscription automatically renews at the end of its term, thus simplifying the annual or monthly renewal process. By placing an order for a subscription, you authorize us to charge you the subscription fee then in effect at the beginning of each Billing Period, plus applicable taxes, to your Payment Method unless and until you cancel your subscription or we terminate it. You can view the date of your next scheduled payment by visiting our website and clicking on the “Subscription Status” link.

    Your credit card information is safely stored by a leading third-party credit card processor called Authorize.net (The Cornell Lab does not store nor have access to your credit account information). You can cancel at any time.

    Why do I have to create a Cornell Lab account before buying my subscription?

    By first creating a Cornell Lab account, we are able to give you access to the BOW content as soon as you buy your subscription. This allows us to attach your subscription plan to the correct user account — many people have inadvertently created multiple usernames but logging in first minimizes that action.

    How do I manage my subscription?

    You can manage your subscription in the “Your Subscription” section of your Cornell Lab account. Login to your account from the BOW home page, hover over the silhouette profile in the upper right portion of the screen, and click on “Your Subscription.” This will open a new window that shows your Subscription Plan, Start Date, and Next Billing Date. This is also where you can upgrade your plan, buy a one-year gift subscription, or cancel your subscription. If you ever need to update your personal and credit account details, this is the place. Be sure to have a current credit card account on file at all times if you wish to have continuous access to BOW.

    How do I renew my subscription? Will I be notified?

    Five days before your subscription is due to expire, you will receive an auto-generated reminder that your renewal is about to be processed and your credit card charged. As long as we have a current credit card on file, you need to do nothing. Please note you will only receive a single email reminder so if you intend to cancel, cancel prior to the renewal date.

    How do I cancel my subscription?

    You can cancel your subscription at any time by signing into BOW and clicking “Your Subscription” under the silhouette in the upper right portion of the screen. Click “Cancel Subscription” under your current subscription plan.

    You must cancel your subscription before it renews each Billing Period to avoid billing of the next Billing Period’s subscription fees to your Payment Method. Accordingly, when you cancel, you cancel only future charges associated with your subscription, and you will not receive a refund for the current Billing Period. Your cancellation will become effective at the end of your current Billing Period, and you will continue to have access to your subscription for the balance of the Billing Period.

    How do I redeem a coupon/promotional code?

    Click “Subscribe” on the BOW home page, select a subscription plan, then create a Cornell Lab account (or sign in if you already have one). Once you reach the shopping cart window, retrieve your discount by clicking the link called “Apply Coupon”. This will open a box where you can enter your coupon code.

    The Cornell Lab may offer a number of types of promotions and coupon opportunities each with its own unique terms, such as the number of times it can be used or when it expires. We reserve the right to change or terminate any offered subscriptions or promotions at any time.

    How do I activate a subscription sponsored by my employer?

    First, create a Cornell Lab account (or sign in to your existing account). Navigate to the BOW home page to sign in. Once you are at the “Your subscription” screen, look for a link called “Have a Subscription Activation Code?” below the “Your Cornell Lab Account” box on the left part of the screen (desktop). On mobile, look for it at the bottom of the screen. Enter your activation code for access.

    How do I activate a complimentary subscription with an activation code?

    First, create a Cornell Lab account (or sign in to your existing account). Go to the BOW home page and sign in. Once you are at the “Your subscription” screen, look for a link called “Have a Subscription Activation Code?” below the “Your Cornell Lab Account” box on the left part of the screen (desktop). On mobile, look for it at the bottom of the screen. Enter your activation code for access.

    Why was I charged Sales Tax?

    The Cornell Lab of Ornithology is bound by federal law to charge all applicable sales taxes. Digital products are taxable in some states and provinces, and at varying rates in each county or district. By placing an order for a subscription, you authorize us to charge you the subscription fee then in effect at the beginning of each Billing Period, plus applicable taxes, to your Payment Method.

    What is your refund policy?

    We do not offer full or partial refunds on digital content for partially used Billing Periods. Refer to our Terms of Sale.

    How do I update my payment information?

    Be sure to have a current Payment Method (e.g., credit card) account on file at all times if you wish to have continuous access to BOW. Simply login to manage your account and enter your new payment details.

    How do I update my email or physical address?

    See “What is my Subscription Status?”, above, for details on how to manage and update your personal profile and credit account details.

    Why am I getting a “Cannot be left blank” error when I try to purchase a subscription?

    If you get this error, please uncheck the “Use my billing address as card address” box and try again.

    If you have any other questions or concerns, contact us.