Membership plans, pricing and billing policies

The WELL has been supported directly by its members since 1985.

Monthly or yearly rates

We offer monthly and yearly versions of two membership plans:
Essential Membership: $10/month or $100/year
Complete Membership: $15/month or $150/year (plus surcharges if any)
(Introductory rates may be available. Check our registration page.)

Membership plan descriptions

The $10/month or $100/year Essential Membership Plan includes just our essential benefit:

  • Participation in our vibrant conferences (forums) (Using your Web browser only)

The $15/month or $150/year Complete Membership Plan includes:

  • Participation in our vibrant conferences (forums) (Using your Web browser and/or ssh application)
  • Access to our original text-only forum interface with its powerful search and other UNIX tools, including some features created by members of The WELL
  • Ability to create independent conferences open to all members, and unlisted private conferences (where you control which members you put on the guest list)
  • Your email address (IMAP, POP3 and web mail powered by Zimbra)
  • Space to create web pages at your personal URL

For information about the additional surcharges which may be incurred for heavy file storage or excessive web page file throughput on Complete memberships, please see the surcharge section below.

NOTE: The WELL is a destination on the Internet and the Web. The WELL has not offered Internet access services for many years. No matter how you get online, whether you are using your ISP, workplace, library, mobile device or Internet cafe, connect and come on over to The WELL.

Special introductory offers: We often offer specials, typically introductory offers or gift certificate deals. Check our JOIN page. Discounted introductory plans are not eligible for ExtraMail addresses. If you wish to add an ExtraMail address, first contact Helpdesk to convert from an introductory-priced plan to either a full-priced monthly Complete plan or an annual Complete plan.

Annual offers: The annual versions of our two membership plans provide a discounted rate. You may change from the monthly to the annual rate or vice versa at any time.

Payment methods

The WELL accepts payment by credit, debit and gift cards:

  • Major credit cards (Visa, MasterCard, American Express, and Discover) or debit cards with the insignias of those services
  • Gift cards available at drug and department stores. Refillable gift cards are handy for payment by members without bank or credit cards

Updating your payment information

The WELL offers a secure connection for submitting credit card or personal contact information updates. Log in to our secure Billing Information Center to review or update your online billing data.

You may make updates to your contact information by phone at (415) 343-5731 but best practice payment industry standards require that you input your credit card account number directly into the Billing Information Center as suggested above, rather than relaying it to us by phone for us to input over the web.


All accounts are billed in advance, with the exception of surcharges for excess storage by Complete plan members. Invoiced accounts must be paid in full upon receipt. A 1% per month surcharge will be applied to any outstanding balances more than 30 days old. The WELL reserves the right to cancel accounts for non-payment during the collections process.

Great effort is made to keep any collection actions personal and responsible. Customized repayment plans are available when subscribers contact The WELL Billing directly about catching up.

Cancelling or suspending your membership

You may cancel any membership at any time. Please note that until you do so, your account will remain open and that all accounts are automatically re-billed. Annual accounts renew at the annual rate. If you cancel your membership, you are responsible for paying the appropriate subscription fees through the last day of your current billing cycle, as well as any surcharges you may have incurred through the date of cancellation. If you cancel a discounted annual membership early, you are responsible for the months used at the standard monthly subscription rate through the last day of your current one-month billing cycle, as well as any surcharges for system use you have incurred through the date of cancellation. You may be entitled to a rebate for your unused time; however, the bonus months are taken at the end of the annual subscription, so there can be no rebates after the start of the tenth month.

To cancel your account at any time, simply email us at helpdesk at or call us at (415) 343-5731. Be sure to retain your cancellation number as your receipt.

You may suspend a Complete Plan style account for six months for a payment equal to one month's service for your plan. If you wish, you can set up your email on The WELL to be forwarded elsewhere during that time.

Billing questions

You may review your contact and account information at our Billing Information Center. If you have questions about your bill or our billing policies, please contact us at or (415) 343-5731. Disputed charges must be reported to The WELL within 60 days. Be sure to review your charges on your credit card statement, or on your invoice if you are a "bill me" customer.

Complete Membership ExtraMail: additional email addresses

ExtraMail logins - additional addresses for those with a Complete Membership - may be set up as desired, and cost $1.95 per month or $19.50 per year. These email addresses provide a login to email services only, and do not provide additional access to the conferences.

Complete Membership disk space quota for email

Memberships have up to 500MB for email on the server, powered by Zimbra. After 500MB, unless you delete or download some mail, incoming email will bounce. You may bump up your quota to set yourself a a higher limit one year at a time. Enhanced disk quota rates:

  • $30 raises disk quota for email to 2GB for a year
  • $66 raises disk quota for email to 3GB for a year
  • $102 raises disk quota for email to 4GB for a year
  • $138 raises disk quota for email to 5GB for a year
  • $160 raises disk quota for email to 10GB for a year
  • $200 raises disk quota for email to 15GB for a year
  • $250 raises disk quota for email to 20GB for a year

Complete Membership excess storage and throughput surcharges

Surcharges will be calculated according to your usage, and are therefore billed in arrears. (Membership fees are always billed in advance of service.)

Personal web page and home directory storage

Personal web page and home directory storage, referred to as "system storage" in earlier documentation, is the amount of hard disk space the personal files in your account take up on our servers, with the exception of, our quota-limited email server. Personal web page and home directory files that you save to and directories are included in your membership at no additional charge up to 100 megabytes. Additional storage on those servers will be surcharged at $0.50/month per megabyte (1024K) in excess of your 100 MB allotment. (There is also a cap to personal web page and home directory storage set at 3 gigabytes, to protect the system from run-away file processes that could create overly large single files.)

Charges for storage beyond 100 MB are computed on a daily basis at a rate of 1/30th the monthly rate. Storage charges apply to excess files in your home directory and any of its subdirectories (including legacy email stored there and any Squirrelmail files) plus any Web pages you publish. (There are never any storage charges for your posts in the conferences.)

Web traffic

Exceptionally heavy traffic to personal Web pages on The WELL will be surcharged at the rate of $.20 per megabyte in excess of 10 GB per month.

Questions about our billing policies may be directed to billing at or (415) 343-5731.

Billing Information Center

* Log in here for personalized billing and services

  • Securely update your credit card and contact information.
  • Invite a friend for a free look around The WELL.
  • Upgrade from monthly to annual membership plans.

   Join Us
Home | Learn About | Conferences | Member Pages | Mail | Store | Services & Help | Password | Join Us

Twitter G+ Facebook