Last week, ClassPass made some pretty huge changes to its membership rules in order to address some common complaints from customers. With this new update, ClassPass introduced a credits system that's supposed to help members get into popular classes, and allow unused credits to roll over. Now that the changes have officially rolled out, though, ClassPass users have mixed feelings about the new system — in fact, some of them are pissed.
Users are tweeting screenshots of their ClassPass booking page, saying that the increased prices are "outrageous" and "abominable." One user said that classes they used to schedule regularly are now the equivalent of $60 a pop with credits, and a few took the new changes to mean they can book fewer classes a month. "Are you kidding me!!! A 9 credit class is 20 credits over the weekend? Is this a glitch or are you actually trying to rob me?" a user tweeted. As a result, some angry users said they were going to book directly from the studios' sites instead of through ClassPass, and threatened to cancel their accounts.
The problem is, many of the posters are basing their outrage on a combination of miscalculations and sticker shock for premium classes that weren’t available before. When ClassPass rolled out its new, more complex system on March 1, they explained that users could get the most out of ClassPass if they’re able to "play [their] credits right" using the new sliding scale — but many users were confused and took to Twitter for answers. (In fact, regretfully, in the original version of this story, Refinery29 also misunderstood how the payment system worked — see the correction notice below.) ClassPass CEO Fritz Lanman has even been personally replying to users’ tweets to clear things up.
"ClassPass hasn’t revoked anything from our current members and they still have the ability to save on classes," a ClassPass rep told Refinery29. With the new system, less popular classes should be cheaper, or at least cost fewer credits, which could theoretically allow members to take more classes in a month. But, so far, ClassPass users are having trouble understanding the cost for premium classes.
For example, a few people specifically called out certain Barry's Bootcamp classes, scheduled at "premium" times, like on the weekend or at 7:30 p.m., because they said they were almost triple the amount of credits that they cost during off-peak times. In the past, these class times weren't available to ClassPass members, so technically ClassPass opened up more inventory to customers. If you do the math, a 22-credit class costs $36, about the same cost of purchasing a single Barry's class through the studio. So, in these instances, booking through ClassPass may not be particularly cost effective, but the idea is that you have more flexibility on the app as a whole than if you booked all of your classes through individual studios.
Some users, though, are really into the change. "Love the new @classpass updates! Was able to get into a typically unavailable @BarrysBootcamp class thanks to rollover credits and the new sliding credits scale. Thanks @classpass!" one user tweeted. According to Lanman, over 40% of members have booked these premium spots. "We've seen an overwhelmingly positive response to the many new features we've rolled out, including the ability to book newly added class spots and times," he told Refinery29.
Miscalculations aside, it's not surprising that people are riled up — app users tend to take changes very personally (remember how people felt about the Snapchat redesign last month?). And when ClassPass makes a change, the shake up hits close to home for users who've built their life around a scheduled set of fitness classes. "What you’re seeing reflects some change aversion, which is pretty common when you make big updates to how a customer uses a product," Lanman said.
As a business, ClassPass has always listened to their customers' concerns and adjusted their product accordingly, and users have certainly been appreciative of that. We're only one week into the latest change, so time will tell just how quickly it'll take ClassPass members to figure out the new system (like we said, it's kinda confusing!) — and just how happy they are with the changes.
CORRECTION: A previous version of this story mischaracterized the new ClassPass system as being more expensive than it really is, and said that one Barry's Bootcamp class cost 44 credits or $75. Refinery29 has updated the story and regrets the error.