I used to be a huge ClassPass fan. So much so that I wrote articles applauding the company for letting me work out at various fitness studios and gyms around New York City at a bargain price. ClassPass provides access to yoga, strength training, barre, martial arts, pilates, boxing and indoor cycling classes via a flat-rate, monthly subscription. Basically, ClassPass helps fitness studios fill classes at awkward times, so it’s a win-win for everyone involved.
But then, a few months ago, ClassPass introduced a new credit-based system.
At first I noticed that I wouldn’t be getting as many classes for my usual monthly fee, and that many of my favorite classes now had crazy-high credit amounts. Then, only a few days ago, ClassPass upped the number of credits associated with my usual classes yet again. For $135, I would now only get eight classes, if that. And for someone who only uses ClassPass, that means working out twice per week. Adding more credits would cost me an additional $85, which would bring my monthly spend to $225 plus tax. No, thank you.
And I’m not the only one who is pissed.
After I tweeted about the price change, others who were incensed came out of the woodwork. “My exact thought process. Especially given how completely shady the @classpass business model has become, I don’t want to continue giving them my money,” said one pissed-off ClassPass user. “It’s sad, I used to rave to friends about how much I loved using their services. Now I tell them how evil they are.”
Another active ClassPass subscriber named Leah Gay, who has been using the service in New York for nearly a year, is also not happy. She says, “The new ClassPass credit prices in NYC are absurd. Remember when you rolled out credits saying, ‘Oh no, don’t worry, you’ll still get at least 5 classes with 45 credits.’ NOT ANYMORE! Please explain yourselves.”
“I looked into it and realized that every class in the system costs more, even though no announcement was made on ClassPass’s end,” Gay told Business Insider. “This means that users can no longer guarantee they’ll get the same number of classes as they used to only a few months ago for the same price.”
“As a broke New Yorker, I will probably keep ClassPass for a while unless they change their model again soon,” Gay says. “Unfortunately, even though I don’t love the company and their shifty business practices, getting classes through them is still cheaper than going through studios directly.”
ClassPass did respond to my first tweet expressing concern over their business model shift, telling me, “Yes, some credit rates did change, but we’re still the best option when it comes to multi-studio fitness memberships. We make it easy to work out at tons of different studios, in multiple different locations in your city or around the world.”
Now, maybe fitness is something that doesn’t need to be taken this seriously. But at this point it isn’t just about yoga classes but about the way a company treats its customers. Since launching, ClassPass has changed its billing practices multiple times, and each time the customer pays more for roughly the same thing they were getting before.
I canceled my membership yesterday. Thanks, ClassPass, for the memories. You were good to me … until you weren’t anymore.