And rightly so….
It’s not been a great year for ClassPass users – in March some of our favourite boutique classes in London threatened to leave ClassPass as they were demanding ridiculous fees. Thankfully they came to an agreement, so the likes of 1Rebel and Core Collective stayed.
But that seems to have made it worse for us, their valued customers – first there was the price hike. In London they went from £79 a month to £110 a month, and I know there were similar price increases in America too.
After much deliberation I stayed – I love ClassPass as I love the variety, and as some of you may know it was a blessing when I went to America at the beginning of the year and used their flexi-pass to go to yoga in LA, barre in NY and Barry’s in San Francisco.
I even wrote about ClassPass for the BBC earlier this year, around how their business model would inspire more of us to try new things and traditional gyms to up their game. But with the news yesterday that Class Pass would again be changing, many people were rightly angry.
If you haven’t seen the news yet then ClassPass’ CEO yesterday announced that the company, which prided itself on giving its clients unlimited access to fitness classes in its cities, have said that due to costs they would have to stop their unlimited packages, and instead replace it for a 10 class package – almost for the same price.
And people weren’t happy….
I think it’s nice that they’ve been honest with us, but at the same time why do we have to pay (literally) for their mistakes? Any new business is going to have its ups and downs, most new businesses don’t make a profit for years and from what I can gather ClassPass has has grown considerably in the last couple of years – so of course there is going to have lots of outgoings.
Sadly, when the changes come into place I’ll probably, like many people, have to leave – I could just about justify paying over £100 a month when it meant that I had free reign of London and the fitness classes it had to offer. Their new 10 classes a month system means I’ll only be able to go to 2 classes a week – so is it worth it?
Before ClassPass boutique gyms seemed like a bit of a class system for many of us. Many high-profile gyms could get away with (and some still do) charging around £20 – 25 a class so many of us that couldn’t afford it didn’t go to them, or splurged on them come pay day, only to be left penniless at the end of the month. The introduction of ClassPass not only meant that we could visit these gyms, but also meant that the boutique gyms, who were struggling to attract new customers, had an influx of them. I could name at least 10 high profile gyms in London that this was the case for, and I’m sure it’s the same in NY and LA too.
So what does the future hold for fitness in London? Hopefully gyms will be wise to this news and start to offer us reasonable packages that we can afford. And with so many new trends hitting the London fitness scene chains gyms have upped their game too – in the last week I’ve tried a new Barre class at Fitness First – Soul Body Barre, which they’re trialing in a few different gyms and Virgin Active have introduced new classes recently like Iron ZUU and swimming classes, along with restorative yoga classes in the New Year.
But I wonder what this will mean for ClassPass? It would be sad to see it go as it really has shaken the fitness industry up, especially here in London, but with so many upset customers I’m worried it may not survive the changes.