Tuesday, May 8, 2012

23andMe Eliminates Subscription Model and Announces New Price

23andMe has listened to its customers and decided to eliminate the subscription model beginning on Thursday ("end of day"), announcing the new price going forward will be $299. Existing customers who have already completed their subscription commitment of 12 months will not be required to pay the ongoing subscription fee in order to remain part of the 23andMe community. The rest of us who purchased at $99 in the last year will only be required to finish out the remaining portion of our initial 12 month subscription. This eliminates the concerns of genetic genealogists who were worried about the impact of losing Relative Finder matches with subscription lapses and defaults. In the future, participation in some new features may require an additional payment in the future, but as of now, those are undefined. Customers who purchased a Lifetime 23andMe Subscription for $399 since January 1, 2012 will receive a coupon for 50% off another test or will receive a refund of $100. In addition, those who have recently paid the $99 upgrade to a Lifetime Subscription after completing their 12 month subscription will receive refunds. Those who have defaulted on their subscription will be offered the opportunity to pay what is owed and finish off their subscription in order to be included under the new policy.

The post from Anne Wojcicki to the 23andMe community reads:

Dear 23andMe Community,

Effective by the end of day this Thursday, we are eliminating subscriptions and will have a single $299 price. We listened to your feedback and now understand that subscriptions were not good for you and thus, not good for 23andMe. We want you as our partner in this genetic journey. Together we will learn about ourselves and make discoveries that will hopefully benefit all of mankind. We thank you for your feedback, your advice and your suggestions. As partners in this journey, we thank you for your trust.


Here are some additional details:


- We will discontinue billing customers who have fulfilled their subscription commitment.


- Customers who have yet to complete their subscription commitment will continue to be billed each month until their initial contract commitment has been met. Once this commitment is met, no further subscription will be charged and you can enjoy your Personal Genome Service® on an ongoing basis.


- Customers will continue to enjoy access to all of 23andMe’s current features. In the future, 23andMe may launch premium, additive features. We want to emphasize that existing customers will not lose any product functionality with the new pricing structure.


- 23andMe does not have any immediate plans to introduce new premium fee-based features, but we expect to do so in the future.


- Through the end of May, customers interested in upgrading from v2 to v3 can do so for $199. After that it will be $249.


To upgrade, visit this page:
https://www.23andme.com/user/upgrade/.

Customers impacted by these changes will be receiving emails directly from us with additional information within the next week.


If you have any questions, contact our Customer Care team:
https://customercare.23andme.com/anonymous_requests/new?reference=pricechange.

Warm wishes,

Anne
23andMe CEO


So, if you are one of the minority who prefer the subscription model and/or only have $99 and have been waiting to buy, now (until "end of day" Thursday PST) is the time to order! ($207 total now versus $299)

16 comments:

  1. Hated the subscription. Thanks for the news.

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  2. I stopped buying 23and Me kits as a result of the subscription. But, the threat to add "premium" features available to an unspecified overcharged group does not sit well with me, either.

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    Replies
    1. Pupsenok - I knew that some people would feel uneasy about that part. 23andMe tells me they have no current plans to do so, but want to leave the option open for the future.

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  3. This news should be very helpful to increase the sale of Ancestry.com's New Autosomal test and its database!
    23andMe.com will now be playing the FTDNA.com game when people wait for the next sale to join.

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    Replies
    1. If they don't care about the specific matching info and raw data downloads, then $99 is a deal. I'll bet AncestryDNA's price won't stay that low though.

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  4. Was this change motivated by reaction from the genetic genealogy community alone or did the health community also object to the subscription model?
    23andMe's price is now $10 more than FTDNA's, plus shipping which is substantial outside the US. Looked at another way, you get the health information for only $10 more.

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    Replies
    1. The subscription model has been widely unpopular and has drawn criticism across the Internet from many outside the genetic genealogy community.

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  5. Let the price wars heat up! I hope they don't bankrupt any of the major players.

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  6. So, what about those of us who paid $499.00 years ago and tested with the V2 chip, and then decided not to upgrade to V3 because of the subscription requirement?

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  7. Judy--- Through the end of May, customers interested in upgrading from v2 to v3 can do so for $199. After that it will be $249.

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  8. This is disingenous larceny by 23andMe. I was sold a lifetime test package for 3 times the annual rate and within 1 year they have defaulted on it. Then they're going to try to sell me upgrades. Probably "In the future, 23andMe may launch premium, additive features." means the 366th day after their last lifetime purchase. I am furious.

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    Replies
    1. @BTL, what do you mean they "defaulted on it"?

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  9. I wanted to take the test and also buy a test for my brother. Now there is a 200.oo increase in price i cannot even get one for myself at the moment lol....

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  10. Me, too, Gracious Mama Africa. I purchased the $99 plus subscription in April for myself and wanted to buy 3 at Christmas (for my son, his wife, and child), but I won't be able to afford it now.

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  11. I didn't mind the $99 plus subscription because I don't have much disposable income. That allowed me to purchase without paying as much up front. I think I saw that you could pay all up front and a lifetime upfront, too, without subscription. If so, I don't know what people are complaining about.
    I will be interested in purchasing new tests as they become available. I do hope there will be a huge discount for those of us who are already members. If future new tests and features were included in paying the monthly low subscription cost indefinitely, I sure wouldn't mind it.

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  12. Wow just learned about this now. I had purchased 3 out of the 4 tests for my family on the special $99 price. It made economic sense to me, it was easier on the wallet that way. I did not mind the subscription plan at all. It made it more affordable for anyone to get the test and then just pay $9/mo. for 12 months - easy! Now at $300 each test well thankfully I got all of my main family members tested because at that price I can't afford to buy any more unless they give a really good discount (like sometimes they have done around Christmastime). Disappointing.

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