Thursday 26 September 2013

Ancestry's price testing may mean big increases in 2014

Alerted by the recent Lost Cousins Newsletter, I've checked out the reason new (higher) subscription rates are/were showing up at Ancestry UK/Ireland.

Ancestry say they are currently 'price testing'. This means that when you visit the Ancestry Home Page and click the Subscribe button (rather than 'your account') you may, temporarily, find the following prices quoted for these packages:
  • Premium subscription: Monthly £14.99; 6-monthly £79
  • Worldwide subscription: Monthly £19.99; 6-monthly £99
There was also a price for the Essentials package, but I didn't note it and the 'test' price list no longer shows up when I visit the page.

Ancestry tells me that price testing is a regular feature of their business strategy and any test price doesn't affect existing members. I've checked on my current Ancestry account details and, sure enough, I can still renew my subscription at the lower existing rates of:
  • Essentials subscription: Monthly £10.95; 12-monthly £83.40
  • Premium subscription: Monthly £12.95; 12 monthly £107.40
  • Worldwide subscription: Monthly £18.95; 12-monthly £155.40
Ancestry has confirmed the following: 'The price you’re seeing on the home page of the site is part of a current test that will not affect our existing members, and we would not change prices without letting our members know first. Any changes will not take place until 2014. After a change, new customers visiting the site will see the new pricing immediately and existing Ancestry customers would then see a pricing change the next time their subscription renews.'

So it seems some rate increases may be on the way. And they are significant increases, too – more than 27% – if they go ahead. But then again, the current test might reveal that such a hike is more than customers are prepared to pay.

Moving on from the always unwelcome issue of price increases, you might like to check out a new collection that's been added to the Ancestry database yesterday: UK, Foreign and Overseas Registers of British Subjects, 1627-1965. I haven't had a chance to check this one out (because I haven't yet renewed my sub!), but it's described as a diverse collection of 160,370 birth, baptism, marriage, death, and burial records from more than 30 countries and territories around the world, so if you've got any globe-trotting Irish ancestors, it's possible they'll turn up in this record set.