I suppose the credit system means you can’t just put your work on there without giving something back. The critique queue lasts for a week, so I suppose if there was no incentive it could be hard to get feedback. However, you get 2 credits automatically for joining and your first story costs 3 credits. Then it moves on to 7 credits for your next story, which means a lot of time spent critiquing (1 credit per critique)! No idea what story 3 might cost! Interesting to read other people’s work as you say, but not sure I’d pay for premium. The critiques I’ve had so far seem polite and fair (from all over e.g. S. Africa, USA, UK, Germany). Some are new and some have had work published, which is useful to know. The freebie option is worth a try, but don’t part with anything until you’re happy! I certainly won’t! Hope that helps.