ClassPass Ticks Off NYC Customers By Raising Unlimited Membership Prices

For folks who want to jump, dance, spin, cycle, and otherwise get their workout on in an exercise class, it’s not always affordable to buy a monthly membership at a gym or studio. That’s where a startup fitness company called ClassPass comes in: it offers monthly memberships that give customers unlimited access to as many exercise classes at different studios in their city as they want. But with prices going up for New York City ClassPass memberships, many irked customers say they’re better off paying a gym or studio directly for their workouts.

ClassPass customers in the Big Apple received an email this morning alerting them to the change in membership rates: existing customers will now pay $190 per month for unlimited access to classes, up from $125, while new customers will fork over $200 for that membership tier.

The company is reconfiguring its membership plans as follows:
Base (5 classes): $75
Core (10 classes): $125 existing members/$135 new members
Unlimited: $190 existing members/$200 new members

Unless current unlimited customers opt in to pay more, they won’t have to — but will instead be limited to 10 classes per month at the old rate.

“Your current plan and rate are valid through the end of your May cycle,” ClassPass wrote in its email. “To transition to the Core membership (10 classes for $125/mo.+tax), there’s nothing you need to do. We’ll automatically enroll you beginning with your June cycle.”

ClassPass blames the change on rising rates for studio classes in New York City, noting that many charge $35 for drop-in customers, saying that the company “can no longer sustain a one-size-fits-all Unlimited membership at our current rates.”

The company has “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,” CEO Payal Kadia says in a statement provided by a ClassPass spokeswoman. “We wanted an easier entry point for new users who have an appetite for boutique fitness as well as the ability to keep offering an exceptional experience to those who love our unlimited product.”

Predictably, customers aren’t exactly over the moon at thew news: a gym membership is often less than $200, customers point out, with free classes included as well as access to exercise equipment and other amenities. This is the second time the company has raised prices in NYC, customers point out, after raising rates from the original $99 for unlimited access to workout classes to the current $125.

Thus far, the change only affects New York City customers. When we asked if the company has plans to raise rates elsewhere in the country, a ClassPass spokeswoman said there are no “specific cities or timelines to share at this point, but we will continue to monitor and analyze to determine what’s best for each city given the varied dynamics of each market.”

Earlier this month, however, ClassPass also raised rates in Boston: a typical unlimited membership went from $119 to $180 for new members, and $150 for existing. A five-class bundle costs $65 and a 10-pack is $120, as Business Insider reported.

*Thanks to Consumerist reader Liz for the tip!