As you may have heard, TrueAchievements has recently raised the price of a TA Pro subscription. For those unfamiliar with TA Pro, it provides a host of benefits. The most useful benefit is the ability to force unlimited scans of your profile so that achievements are added quickly. You can check the full list of benefits here: TrueAchievements Pro Account. While it's not unreasonable for a company to increase the price of a service, the way that this change went about doesn't sit well with me. Let me tell you a few reasons why.
My first beef is with the amount of the increase. In the US, the price went from $15 per year to $25 per year, or a 67% increase. Personally, I bought TA Pro for myself and a friend each year. With the new price increase, I can get a single subscription for slightly less than I paid for two. That's a pretty steep hike. You can now get 2 years for $45, but that's the same price of 4 years with the buy three, get one free promotion. While I understand that costs increase with inflation, the cost of the subscription should gradually rise over time and not nearly double all at once. Granted, $25 is a negligible amount of money, but it's the principle of the matter.
My second beef is with how this change went down. Instead of being forthright with TA members and giving them a heads up, TA quietly changed the prices. About a week after the fact, there was a message sent out with an explanation and a one time use coupon (that was expired in a week) that allowed current Pro subscribers to get one more year at the $15 price. That didn't have to be done and was a kind, if feeble, gesture. Personally, I don't know if I'm going to take advantage of that offer. I still have a few days to decide, but the way this all went down doesn't sit well with me. That actually brings me to my next and biggest beef.
The biggest beef of all for me is fact that the burden of carrying the site is placed squarely on the shoulders of those who are already supporting it. One of the reasons cited for the price hike was the fact that 33% of the people browsing the site use AdBlock, which cuts into revenue. That makes total sense. What doesn't make sense to me is why the first solution to that problem is to bleed more money from people who are already paying. The TA community is a very reasonable and involved community, for the most part. Why not reach out to those who are causing the issue to try to resolve it? Some people using AdBlock may not know that you can set exceptions for certain sites. Why wasn't there a step taken to write a site news article explaining how using AdBlock was directly impacting the site and providing directions to make TA an exception? Why isn't there a donate button on the front page so that people who don't want to pony up for a subscription still have a way to contribute to the site? Furthermore, why isn't the TA Pro subscription not prominently featured on the front page? You can't say that revenue is an issue and not take steps to proudly display the ways people can support the site on the front page. Instead, the choice was made to basically penalize those who are already supporting the site.
While some people are avid supporters of this site and would probably pay almost any amount to be able to scan to their heart's content, I think there are a large number of people who aren't too keen about this new pricing and the way it was brought about. I know that for me, TA has probably gone from me buying 2 subscriptions per year to me buying zero. How many others out there feel the same way? As I said before $25 isn't much money. I could easily drop $50 on the two subscriptions and go along my merry way. For me, it's the principle of the matter. I don't like the fact that this price hike was just ushered in with no warning and was most likely addressed after the fact so that people couldn't load up on subscription time before the price changed. Realistically, that may have been a better financial move, as there would have been a huge influx of money from people buying multiple years in order to beat the price hike. Then that capital could have been invested into something to turn a profit, be it a new feature for TA or a new business venture in general.
All in all, this whole thing doesn't sit well with me. Had this been handled differently, I would continue to support the site. I can't say for sure that I will never have pro again or that I won't at least take one more year at $15, but I definitely can't say with any certainty that I'll do either. What do you think about the price increase? What course of action are you going to take as a result? I'd love to know, so please drop a comment and let me know how you feel.
I appreciate you taking the time to read my blog. Until next time, stay frosty and game on!