You used to be kinda cool. You would help and give hints when your students were lost. Many times those hints were exactly what was needed to get people back on the right path. Sometimes your hints weren’t so helpful, but at least they were there. Since you’ve added your premium service, Codecademy Pro, your service and platform have degraded. It’s like any other company that weakens their service or offerings to push customers to pay for the next level up. And it’s obvious.
You need to make money. People get that. But if I’m going to pay for your site, I’d rather pay for the old version with hints. I’m not interested in the new version that will complete an entire project section when a student gets stuck. You’re robbing people of the opportunity to learn so that you can get your $20.00 per month.
Don’t get me wrong, the ability to chat with counselors about the code is cool. But being able to figure out the code on our own was a lot cooler.
As I am using your service to prepare for Bloc, you’re not my long term goal. You’re a stepping stone. And because of your greed, I won’t be paying for your service. If you had kept the platform the same and offered a new service, I’d be more than happy to pay the money for the upgraded service because I would feel like it was the cost of doing business. But as you’ve weakened the platform, paying the $20 feels more like extortion. I’m not interested.
Heck, if you were to just give me the ability to have the hints that were available on the Ruby course instead of finishing the code for me on the Ruby on Rails course, I would have been willing to pay for that.
Codecademy, you’re a horrible example of freemium. If you had just charged $20 per month originally without the code counselors, I would have paid it. I’ve paid for online education many times. The fact that I’m about to start Bloc tells you that this is true. In this world, you have to pay for just about everything.
Unfortunately the freemium business model sets bad expectations from the beginning. You set it up as free. Then people think it should be free. And as you have obviously noticed, people don’t want to pay for it.
When you realized that, I’m guessing you freaked out. You were going to go broke. So what did you do? You didn’t rise to the occasion and optimize your services to be better, you crippled them to extort money from people.
Thanks but no thanks. I only have 42% left to do on my last course. If I have to bypass the parts that I can’t figure out, I’ll do that. I won’t bow to your extortion, even if it is only $20.00.