In the wake of the announced price-doubling for educators and non-profits, the reaction has been … well, just about as strong as I expected. A very significant chunk of those markets have been reconsidering Second Life as an option since Linden Lab gave them a wake-up call one year ago, and eyeing alternatives.

According to reports Linden Lab’s now sent around an email which smacks more of salesmanship than factual correctness, offering education and non-profit concerns short-term discount if they’ll take a fixed-term contract for their Second Life holdings before 31 December.

Dear Educators and Not-for-profits,

By now many of you have likely read the blog regarding our recent decision to discontinue the educational/not-for-profit discount on January 1, 2011 when we will move to a consistent pricing approach for all in Second Life. We recognize that this increase in cost may pose a hardship especially with the timing of budgets and funding, which is why we’re offering an early renewal option to extend the amount of time you can continue at the current rates in exchange for a longer term commitment.

An educational or not-for-profit institution that is currently under contract with us will be able to renew early (or purchase additional regions) and continue to receive the current 50% discount on land maintenance provided that the renewal takes place prior to the December 31, 2010. You will be able to select contract renewal options of 6, 12, 18 or 24 months under these terms. If your organization renews and enters into a contract no later than December 31, 2010, it can lock in the current discounted rate for up to 24 additional months.

Please note that any new purchases or renewals occurring after December 31, 2010 will be at our standard prices without the previous discount.

We hope that this clarifies the policy regarding both early and standard renewals. If you are interested in early renewal of your regions, please email us at slinvoice@lindenlab.com with “Early Renewal” in the subject line and provide the following information:

  1. Name of Institution or Organization
  2. Contact Name
  3. Contact Email
  4. SL Avatar Name to which the regions to be renewed are associated
  5. Name of Region(s) to be Renewed
  6. Renewal Time Period (6, 12, 18, 24 months)

You will receive confirmation of receipt of your request within 1 business day.

Upon review of your request, an invoice for renewal will be sent to the contact email address.

Thank you for understanding, and I hope to continue seeing many of you inworld.

Best Regards,
The Linden Lab Land Team

One part that raised my eyebrows was in the first paragraph where it says “on January 1, 2011 when we will move to a consistent pricing approach for all in Second Life.” Pretty much because it doesn’t appear to actually be true. A Lab spokesperson told me this week – in response to my enquiries – that the Lab’s other custom, whacky discount programmes would not be terminated in the short-term.

Ah, but presumably they’re already locked into fixed-term contracts. Still, that’s technically not quite the same thing.

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