Many of you have begun to receive the annual January online price increase letters. These letters are informing you about ‘non-contract’ price increases to the underlying retail costs of a particular database or file. These price increases were started in May 2003 by West, and Lexis quickly followed suit. In the past two years, these increases have accelerated. For example, last year Westlaw increased prices three times.
‘Flat-rate contracts’ don’t protect you. These price increases:
• Lower your effective discount while;
• Increasing costs to your clients;
• Causing much higher renewal rates on future contracts, and;
• Creating a perception of higher usage
Additionally, any usage in databases outside of your contract will be much higher today than one year ago.
Vendors are certainly well within their rights to raise prices, as their costs increase just like everyone else. However, law firms have taken little notice of these price increases over the years and the impact. Perhaps its time to take a closer look.