Two weeks ago RapidShare announced a change in the pricing scheme for their premium members. Starting this month, account holders would’ve been required to pay an amount based on their daily usage volume along with a requirement to skip between various packages to avoid overpayment. This planned change resulted in a revolt among RapidShare users which forced the company to revisit its plans.
RapidShare has made several drastic changes to its service in the last months. They began in March when it became apparent that the company was trying to get copyright holders on board in an attempt to convert pirates into paying customers.
A month later RapidShare ditched its CEO Bobby Chang on claims he was no longer the right person to successfully lead the company. And in a continued effort to avoid the pirate site stigma, RapidShare killed its reward program and went after sites that infringed their trademark to facilitate illicit downloading.
Two weeks ago premium users of the file-hosting site were informed about another upcoming change that was set to go into effect this month. RapidShare announced that it would stop the existing payment plans to introduce 5 new packages. These new packages would have daily usage limits and users would have to switch between them according to their daily download demands.
The result was that most users would be worse off than with their current plans, or would be forced to switch back and forth between the various packages on a day-to-day basis. Unsurprisingly, many premium users complained to RapidShare, urging the company to reconsider their offer.
“As a result of the recent adjustments to our product and pricing model we have received a lot of feedback from our users,” RapidShare communicated to its users yesterday. “There was also positive response but we want to be honest with you: most answers were negative.”
“With our adjustments we have alienated many users. As a matter of course, that was not our intention. Instead, it is our goal to introduce a system that gives our users more flexibility. However, we are happy about every single user response that we have received as this is the only way we can learn what our users really want,” the company added.
To accommodate the complaints of the revolting users, RapidShare changed its payment scheme to a simpler and much cheaper offer. For less than 5 euros users can now buy 4 months of premium access with 10 GB storage and a 30 GB monthly data limit. Heavy users can buy additional traffic and storage space if required.
The main benefit of the revised scheme, besides the fact that nearly every user will be better off, is the change from a daily limit to a monthly one. Under the old scheme, users with the cheapest account had a 1 GB download limit that they would have to upgrade even though they might never go over the 30 GB a month.
With these changes RapidShare thinks that there wont be any future revolts from users over the new pricing scheme. “We are convinced that we will meet our users’ needs with the new and simple model,” the company said.