Friday 24th August marked the start of another of the regular pushes by LL to encourage people to sign-up to Premium accounts, with the usual banner headline “Save 50% on your membership when you sign-up”. This time the offer runs through until Friday 31st August.
As per usual, the discount comes with strings: it only applies the Quarterly plan and only to the first quarter’s payment. This tends to make a bit of a mockery of the “Save 50%” headline (which should more correctly read, “Save 50% on your first payment” – but that doesn’t really have the same ring to it, does it?).
The promotional page again features the same list of benefits and the same glitzy video, and still carries the same overall question marks around it.
While I’m Premium myself, I admit that there is much about these ads I find objectionable and misleading, particularly the “more” statements, something I touched on when reporting the last Premium offer. But that’s the major problem with Premium; when all is said and done, it actually offers little in the way of tangible benefits outside of Mainland ownership and Customer Services support. Even stipend, it might be argued, is little more than a refund of money already paid to LL.
A Personal Opinion
I re-upped to Premium at the start of November 2011, and went through getting a Linden Home and trying-out the Premium Sandboxes. If you’re considering Premium, you might want to give those articles the once-over. However, before you do so, consider your options carefully.
If you need a decent amount of space in-world (anything over 2048 sq metres and allowing for the 512sq m free tier option), you’re probably not going to get much out of upping to Premium. Similarly, if you’re a builder and have your own space in which to build, you’ll need to weigh-up how often you need to use a public building space and whether or not non-Premium sandboxes are really that bad when you do.
However, if you are downsizing in SL, the Premium may well offer benefits: the Linden Home may not be a state-of-the-art build, but it comes with an available prim allocation / land capacity of 117. This is enough to provide reasonably comfortable living space, particularly if you’re not downsizing with a view to leaving, but simply don’t want the expense of land rental. Even at $22.50 a quarter ($7.50 a month before your refund … er, stipend …), Premium does offer value-for-money if you want to maintain a modest home without the hassle of weekly tier (and $7.50 is an amount you can easily pay out per week elsewhere for a small parcel of land). Just make sure that, as per my item on getting a Linden Home, you have a good look around – and don’t forget that if the first place you get doesn’t suit, it’s easy to abandon and try again.
The end of October marks my first full year since re-upping to Premium. I’ll be offering more thoughts and feedback then.