X-Message-Number: 13942
Date: Tue, 13 Jun 2000 19:00:01 -0600
From: Fred Chamberlain <>
Subject: Pricing of Cryostasis Arrangements

Date:     6/13/2000
From:     Fred and Linda Chamberlain ( & )
Subj:     Pricing of Cryostasis Arrangements

As stated below, an argument for lower prices will soon be posted on CryoNet. 
As both of us are departing tomorrow for the Alcor Conference at Asilomar (see
http://www.alcor.org/conf.htm), this reply is provided.

[At 04:44 PM 06/13/2000 -0500, david pizer wrote:]

>I think this should give some degree of proof that the pricing plan Alcor
>adopted in 1993 is the cause of the halt in growth. 


Interestingly, 1993 was the year of the Alcor/CryoCare split.  After that,
membership growth fell off largely due to uncertainty as to which would be the
better choice.  The bitterness and acromony on CryoNet are easily verified, in
its archives.  Further, you might consider that the difficulty of choices were
not related to price.  Both Alcor and CryoCare had very similar pricing.  The
main tradeoff was the perceived higher quality of care which might be obtained
through CryoCare, vs. Alcor's longer track record and larger size.  Price, of
all things, was *not* an issue in the falloff of growth at that point.

>In addition I will add, that if Alcor had *lowered* the costs in 1993
>instead of adopting this plan, perhaps we would be well on the way to the
>projected 4,000 members and 400 patients in just a few years that the board
>felt we were on track to hit back in 1993.


As discussed below, this would have made no sense, and it almost surely would
have made no difference.  More detail is provided below.

>It is not too late to recover.  All  Alcor has to do is adopt a more
>reasonable price plan and the business will follow.  This will make Alcor
>more net money in two proven ways: (1) The increased volume (even at much
>lower prices) will help to generate more net money at the end of each year;
>(2) The increased volume of members and suspensions will create an economy
>of scales that will lower Alcor's present costs.


As discussed below, Alcor will have to soon *increase* its prices to provide
for better quality suspensions.  The opposite direction is not an option. 
There are already far lower cost, far lower technology programs available for
those who cannot afford something else.

>In addition to posting this on CryoNet for discussion, I will copy the
>Alcor Board so that they may consider this.  

>Dave  Pizer



From Fred & Linda Chamberlain:

This suggestion reflects a lack of understanding of (1) the costs of current
cryostasis procedures and long term care, as well as (2) the developing
technologies and the higher costs that will be associated with them, and (3)
the fact that textbook marketing concepts do not yet apply to Alcor, as our
product is still far being mainstream.

Alcor's pricing has barely enough margin to make ordinary liquid nitrogen
storage feasible, and no margins for reanimation whatever.  For some time, our
existing price structure makes it infeasible to store neuros at vitrification
temperatures, and will require increases to financing or conversion from whole
body arrangements to neuros, for that.

As things stand, "whole body" members will soon have to choose between (1)
having a second rate cryoprotection as a whole body patient, or (2) becoming a
neuro with provisions for high-tech cryoprotection and rapid cooldown, or (3)
having to increase their funding in order to have the "dual-neuro-WB" option
which is currently under study.

The suggestion to cut prices also neglects the two primary concerns which
existing Alcor members and potential new members have: (1) Can you get to
me in
time? and (2) Will Alcor be strong enough not to go under like so many other
organzations?  Remaining strong and having a high-tech capability cost money. 
As long as Alcor chooses to serve the high-tech end of the market, it is not
possible to just lower our prices without lowering our capabilities and

The generalized argument that cutting costs will lead to a greater market
only works if you have a very large marketplace.  Cryonics still does not
this benefit.  Instead, cutting our prices would amount to "we lose a little
bit on every suspension, but we make it up on volume".  

In the face of this, how could we possibly consider *cutting* the prices? 
There is already a provider of low-tech, low cost cryonics services.  If low
cost were the real answer to membership growth, why doesn't this competitor
already have the 4000 members which are projected as the reward for low
pricing?  The answer is multifaceted, and to focus on a single aspect such as
cost without looking at all the other reasons (feasibility, religious
objections, psychological depressions rampant in our culture, etc.) is an
oversimplification which is not useful.

Linda Chamberlain, Exeutive Director and Membership Administrator
Fred Chamberlain, President/CEO () 
Alcor Life Extension Foundation 
Non-profit cryotransport services since 1972. 
7895 E. Acoma Dr., Suite 110, Scottsdale AZ 85260-6916 
Membership Information: (877) GO-ALCOR (462-5267) 
Phone (602) 905-1906 FAX (602) 922-9027
 for general requests

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