ClassPass, the increasingly popular fitness class subscription service, has slowly but surely been jacking up prices in cities. And the company’s loyal members are less than thrilled.
Members in half a dozen cities — Atlanta, Toronto, Austin, Dallas, Boston, and, as of today, New York — received emails alerting them to the changes over the last few weeks. The price hikes vary by city and by type of membership. For the most part, the changes will sting new users looking to sign up for an unlimited monthly subscription. Existing unlimited subscribers will get burned as well but to a slightly lesser degree.
For example, in New York City, an unlimited membership will now set new users back $200 a month, up from $125. Existing unlimited will now be charged $190, a 52% spike.
Atlanta was among the first of the company’s more than 30 locations to get hit with the price increase in late March. New subscribers now pay $160 a month, up from $99, a 60% hike. Existing unlimited members in Atlanta will see a smaller increase, from $99 to $120. In an email sent to Atlanta users in March, ClassPass CEO Payal Kadakia said they could expect to see more features and more available classes to make up for the added cost. ClassPass is popular with users because it gives them the ability to take as many different classes as they like from a variety of genres — spin one day, barre or yoga the next. These classes can cost upwards of $30 a pop in cities like New York, and ClassPass bills itself as an easy way to get more bang for your buck.
The story was similar in Boston, Dallas, Toronto and Austin, where prices jumped at least 50% for unlimited memberships. Ashley Hennings, a company spokesperson, said she could not confirm whether members in any of the other 30-plus cities where they operate can expect to see similar price hikes.
The good news is that unlimited ClassPass members will have to opt in to the new price, which means they won’t get automatically slapped with a higher bill. If they don’t opt in, ClassPass will bump them down to a 10-class membership (that’s 10 classes a month), said Hennings. “The majority of our members never exceed 10 classes in a month, so we wanted to provide an option more in line with their needs,” she said. To help soften the blow, the company introduced a new offering, a 5-class membership. Prices vary from $40 to $75 a month. It’s also running a 50% off promotion for new base memberships.
That hasn’t stopped users from flocking to Twitter to voice their fury over the changes. In many of the impacted cities, ClassPass members had already endured price hikes over the previous year.
Second price hike from @classpass in 6 months! Figure out your business model guys because your customers have had it. Time for a new gym.— Sara Hagen (@sfhagen16) March 30, 2016
my jeans are so tight but classpass unlimited just doubled their prices pic.twitter.com/GPSpFGAeh7— diana (@hidianachan) April 27, 2016
In a statement to Yahoo Finance, Kadakia said the changes were all part of a young company’s evolution. The MIT graduate co-founded ClassPass in 2012. The company, based in New York, has since raised $84 million in several fundraising rounds and generated a reported $60 million in revenue last year.
“We have to evolve our business model and adjust prices in order to create long-term sustainability with both our members and the market,” Kadakia said. “We've also realized that a one-size-fits-all membership is not diverse enough to serve all of our members’ unique needs, which is why we have decided to roll out new plans.”