Easy Digital Downloads Substantially Reduces Prices for Extension Passes

Pippin Williamson, founder of Easy Digital Downloads, published an apology on the company’s blog today admitting that it made a mistake in its pricing model for extension passes.

In mid-June, the company introduced a new set of pricing options or passes. The passes come with a single license that provide access to a group of extensions. The prices for each pass were as follows:

  • Personal Pass: $199
  • Extended Pass: $399
  • Professional Pass: $699
  • All Access Pass: $899

After six weeks, Williamson noticed that customers were continuing to purchase individual extensions instead of the passes.

“Our expectation and intent in creating the passes was for store owners to be able to purchase access to multiple individual extensions in a more economical way, but that’s not what happened,” he said.

“Instead, store owners continued to purchase only the individual extensions they needed because the price tags of the passes were still too high. It is clear that we made a mistake in our pass pricing, and so today we’d like to apologize for that and announce new, lower prices.”

After two weeks of testing, the prices of each pass have been significantly reduced to the following amounts:

  • Personal Pass: $99
  • Extended Pass: $199
  • Professional Pass: $299
  • All Access Pass: $499

In addition to the pricing changes, customers who purchased a pass between June 1st and August 1st are eligible for a refund. The refund is equal to the difference of the purchased price and the new price. Customers have until August 15th, to request a refund.

Customers who purchased passes before the reduction will have their renewal amounts automatically changed to the lower price.

Pricing WordPress products and services is tough and requires experimentation. There are numerous WordCamp sessions, articles, and in-depth guides on the subject but there’s not one answer that’s best for every business.

Publicly admitting to a pricing mistake is one thing, but offering refunds to try to get customers on equal footing is going the extra mile.

The company could have handled things in a way that’s not as beneficial to customers, but they chose what I think is a commendable way. Williamson’s closing statement speaks about the way he leads his company and how he makes these types of decisions.

While we are far from perfect, as this pricing mistake clearly indicates, we are dedicated to doing right by our customers. To each of you, we would like to extend our most sincere thanks for sticking with us as we work through these changes

Pippin Williamson

It’s a luxury to have business owners like Williamson in the WordPress economy.


12 responses to “Easy Digital Downloads Substantially Reduces Prices for Extension Passes”

  1. The obsession with Pippin Williamson on this blog is bizarre, as if nothing else is happening in the world of OSS — minor happenings in the world of EDD are breaking news? Every time?

    “It’s a luxury to have business owners like Williamson in the WordPress economy.” … lol, get a room, Tav!

    In more useful EDD news this week, we found out that their plugin relies on the login “salts” in wp-config to generate links, meaning that downloads will break if you cycle these salts for security.

    A few of our hosting clients have lost *all* EDD download functions after cycling their salts. Not a “luxury”… /s <3

      • I’m afraid that I’m with Jesse.

        EDD has to be the worst plugin I know for releasing updates with a ton of bugs, which then have to be squashed by subsequent updates. It’s got to the point where I deliberately stay several updates behind and wait for the updates-to-cure-the-updates. (All these newly-introduced bugs also mean that the rate of updates has become quite ridiculous.)

        But that’s not all. EDD doubled the price of extensions not so long ago, so the original prices for these passes came across as just plain greedy. I heard some call it extortionate. Which is particularly ironic, since I’ve seen Pippin accuse a reviewer on wordpress.org of engaging in “blackmail” and “extortion” simply for promising to come back and change his or her review if the problems s/he reported were rectified!

        So, no, Pippin is no luxury: far from it. And the two things that keep EDD going are barely connected to anything new that it has provided over the last couple of years.

        One is that, like WordPress itself, EDD’s success has been based on a core that makes it relatively easy for others to create add-ons (particularly for payment gateways).

        The other is that EDD currently faces little direct competition. (WooCommerce is about the closest to a competitor around, but the two products aren’t really doing the same thing.) I can’t help feeling that, if EDD were a forms plugin, it would be really struggling. It certainly needs to up its game, irrespective of the prices it currently charges.

      • Tim,

        You’re absolutely right. We have not done nearly well enough at pushing out reliable updates. That’s a failure on us and one we’re working to rectify.

        For anyone that has been affected by an update that wasn’t smooth, I’m sorry. We’re trying to improve that.

    • Hey Jesse,

      I understand you don’t like me. That’s okay, my goal isn’t to try and please everyone, but I do try my best to make my customers happy.

      One of the positive side effects of the announcement we made was more than $80,000 worth of renewal fees being wiped out for our customers as a result of the reduced prices. Perhaps $80,000 doesn’t matter to your customers, but it sure does mine and I think it’s worth broadcasting when that happens. I know that Jeff feels the same way and is why he wrote about such “insignificant” news.

      I’m sorry to hear that our use of salts has caused problems for some of your customers. That was an unintended side effect of a choice we made years ago that we’ve been dealing with since. We will be moving away from using the WP salts for download links.

      By the way, you can reach me directly anytime. My email is pippin@easydigitaldownloads.com. Seriously, if your customers are having problems caused by EDD, I do care and am more than happy to help resolve them.

      • ^^^ WP Tavern headline next week:

        “Pippin Williamson apologizes for his previous apology after EDD revealed to have irreversible single point of failure.”

        You wiped out $80,000 worth of fees never paid? We wiped out over $50 million of those this year, too! ;)

        I don’t “not like you” as I’ve never known you. I just happen to think humble-brag marketing is sooo 2013… nothin’ personal.

        And, I wish WP Pravda would diversify a bit.

        That said, godspeed to EDD giving Woo a run for their money…

    • I agree, Pippin could have just quietly changed the prices or email customers who purchased within that period. But instead, he apologized publically and offers a refund to qualifying customers.

      I guess Jeff is doing the right thing by spreading the message to even a wide audience that might qualify for a refund :)

  2. Thanks, I will check this out. We use a LOT of EDD extensions on our site, yet the previous price was still more expensive than all our extensions combined (partly because we bought most of our extensions years ago before they increased prices a while back, so the annual cost is very reasonable). I will re-do the math to see if it works out now!

  3. First, it’s good to see Pippin own up to the serious mistep and what is being done to rectify it with refunds, so you have to give him credit for that.

    However, I still feel that the Pass concept is not the right way of doing things because people are forced to pay for plugin addons that they don’t and/or won’t use. The best solution was the (now removed) Starter Package where you basically build your own package of addons with a 30% discount for buying bulk. Even if it was 20%, it would still be a good option.

    The benefit of build-your-own package gives you an idea of what plugin addons are popular, used, and what ones are not worth keeping (maintaining, updates, support, etc). But most of all, the user chooses what they need for their specific website. Every site will be different.

    I think even with the change in Pass pricing, you may find it’s still not as popular. One specific addon is the Software Licensing, but this is only available on the “Professional” and above. So it means purchasing it separately. It also means that if most of the included addons with the Pass’s are not usable, the person has to purchase the ones they want separately as well, adding up the costs without discount for bulk. This has the potential of turning away some people.

    I think the option to purchase individually and to offer the build-your-own package is the way to go.


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