Membership fees, services and billing policies

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

Yearly and Monthly Memberships

At $150 per year or $15 per month, Membership includes:

  • Participation in our vibrant conferences (forums), using either your browser or an ssh application.
  • 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 at (IMAP, POP3 and web mail)

You may change from the annual to monthly billing cycle or vice versa at any time at our secure Billing Information Center.

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

Special offers: We sometimes offer introductory rates. Discounted introductory plans are not eligible for adding ExtraMail addresses. If you wish to add an ExtraMail address while on a special offer or coupon, first contact Helpdesk to convert from an introductory-priced Membership to a regular monthly or annual Membership.

Note on older offerings:

  • Do you have an Essential Plan membership? This older membership type has been retired, but remaining accounts are grandfathered in at $100/$10 at this time. Contact Helpdesk (at the address shown at the footer of this page) to upgrade to our contemporary Membership offering.
  • Did you sign up for the older Complete Plan? Complete is now simply Membership. Your services have not changed.
  • 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 then come on over to The WELL.

Participation at The WELL is contingent on the terms in our Member Agreement and Privacy Policy. See the links in the footer of this page.

Payment methods

The WELL accepts payment by credit, debit and credit-card branded 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 credit-card branded cards may be handy for Members who do not wish to use 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 personal 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 secure Billing Information Center yourself, rather than relaying it to us by phone.


All accounts are billed in advance, with the exception of surcharges for excess storage. Invoiced accounts must be paid in full upon receipt. The WELL reserves the right to cancel accounts for non-payment.

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 the address shown at the footer of this page, or call us at (415) 343-5731. Be sure to retain your cancellation number as your receipt.

You may suspend a Membership for six months for a payment equal to one month's subscription, and then resume as a monthly Membership afterwards. You may then shift back into annual payment if you prefer.

Billing questions and policies

Review your contact and account information at our Billing Information Center. If you have questions about your bill or about our billing policies, please contact us. (See the information in the footer of this page). Disputed charges must be reported to The WELL within 60 days. Be sure to review your charges on your credit card statement.

ExtraMail: additional email addresses

ExtraMail logins - additional email addresses - may be set up by Members via the Billing Information Center, 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 access to the conferences.

Disk space quota for email

Members' email addresses and any ExtraMail addresses each have up to 500MB for email kept 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

Excess file storage and throughput surcharges

Surcharges are calculated according to your usage and are therefore billed monthly in arrears. (Memberships are always billed in advance of service.)

Personal web page and home directory file storage

Personal web page file storage and home directory file 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 is 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.)

Heavy Web traffic

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.

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 Memberships.

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