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ClassPass Has Enraged Fitness Lovers By Significantly Raising Its Prices

"It's infuriating to raise the price 25% without even consulting customers," one user told BuzzFeed News. The change will affect the service's New York City customers and according to one BuzzFeed News reader, customers in Dallas.

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ClassPass, the fitness company that offers a variety of classes at multiple studios for a monthly subscription rate, enraged many of its New York-based users on Tuesday by announcing it's raising its price by 25%.

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The company's users pay $79 to $99 a month to use a swath of boutique fitness studios in their area, with prices varying based on the city. But on Tuesday, the company emailed its New York users to announce the rate is going up to $125 plus tax.

The increase is effective immediately for new users who want to sign up. Current ClassPass members will receive their old rate of $99 a month for two more billing cycles, and then be hit with the increase.

The news has caused a ton of outrage among NYC ClassPass members, many of whom told BuzzFeed News they were diehard fans of the service who had recommended it to their friends.

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One of the upset ClassPass fans is NYC resident Megan Powers, who said she used to take "a lot of pride" in recommending her friends to the service.

Megan Powers

Powers, a 26-year-old talent procurement manager, said she did so because she felt like it was "such a great service at an affordable price."

"A lot of their users here in New York are young 20-somethings who are already budgeting the expense of being a NYC resident," she said.

Thomas Palladino, a 23-year-old publicist and ClassPass user, said he is "really disappointed" and unsure if he'll keep his membership. "It's infuriating to raise the price 25% without even consulting customers," he said.

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The price increase also began to blow up on social media, with some ClassPass fans responding with rage.

Just found out Class Pass is raising their NYC rate

thx @classpass for helping me make a decision I was already contemplating. I'll be canceling my membership. Iincreasing costs to $125/mth.

I knew it was inevitable, but still disappointed by the @classpass rate bump. *gets on floor, throws tantrum*

As some ClassPass fans pointed out, the increase comes out to an extra $300 a year, a big chunk of change for many.

NO, @classpass. I DON'T HAVE $300 EXTRA DOLLARS A YEAR!!!!

Some said they plan to cancel after the price increase takes effect in two months.

Wrong move @classpass. Guess this is my two-months notice.

While others were just sad to be priced out of a service they love.

@lexibexi @classpass Makes me so very sad. 10 min before that dreadful email, I was talking about how much I love it.

Especially the customers who were early adopters.

.@classpass -- did you really have to raise the price for your early adopter users? Way to mislead customers who referred all their friends

Another issue, according to users, is the fact that ClassPass charges a $15 fee for canceling a class less than 12 hours in advance, and a $20 fee for not showing up.

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This leads to many who end up having to pay more than $99 a month.

"I have a friend who pays like $80 a month in cancellation fees because sometimes with her job she can't predict if she'll need to cancel before the 12-hour grace period," user Grace Edwards said.

Users said they no longer felt like they were getting a good deal when taking into account both the fees and the price increase.

so @classpass is rad but $125+tax & 12 hour $15 cancelation fees!? Gonna have to lower the extra fees or it's not going to be worth it

Edwards said she is planning to use the money for a gym membership instead. "I love ClassPass and seriously they owe at least five new members to me, but I'm going back to Crunch or maybe Equinox," she said.

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ClassPass told BuzzFeed News in a statement that they plan to provide their customers with a better experience with the higher rate:

After surpassing 6 million reservations in the past two years, we've seen how much ClassPass members love having unlimited selection classes and countless options. And we want to keep giving them more – more studios, more choices, more classes – and even more to come. Adjusting the monthly membership rate allows us to deliver the best, most comprehensive fitness experience there is.

But ClassPass user Nicole D'Andrea said fans should have seen this coming, and said the company recently sent around a survey asking if users would be willing to pay more for their membership.

Nicole D'Andrea

Though D'Andrea, 30, said she has no plans to cancel her membership, but understands why people are mad.

"A 26% increase is a lot for people to stomach, especially with no added perks," D'Andrea said. She added that she works in fundraising at a non-profit, and $125 is definitely a "commitment" on her salary.

Raquel Clubwala, a 27-year-old publicist, agreed the survey should have given users a heads-up, but said it seemed like ClassPass was planning on offering more perks along with the increased membership. "But nothing is changing," she said.

The company has indeed gained millions of fans with its business model, but a New York Times article from March questioned whether the service was good for the fitness studios it works with.

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Author Jenna Wortham spoke with boutique gym owners Ashley Lively and Karla Misjan, who told her they have gotten more clients through ClassPass, but are making less money off of them.

"A full class running at half the cost doesn’t make you money,” Lively told Wortham. “Sometimes, the economics don’t make sense.”

Misjan added that they have lost a "significant" number of their members to ClassPass.

So, what about cities besides NYC? A ClassPass spokeswoman told BuzzFeed News there were no plans to increase prices elsewhere "at this time."

The price increase is also occurring in Dallas, according to a customer.

Rachel Brent, a technology recruiter, shared with BuzzFeed News an email she says she received last Thursday from ClassPass.

The email is similar to the email customers received in New York, but raises the price in Dallas from $79 to $95 a month.

The 28-year-old said she and her friends are "very frustrated" with not only the big price increase, but the fact that they feel they got no warning.

"There would be no way to have (studio) memberships at multiple places so I love the idea of ClassPass, I just can’t justify 95+ a month," Brent said.

BuzzFeed News has contacted ClassPass for comment on the Dallas price increase.

Stephanie McNeal is a social news editor for BuzzFeed News and is based in New York.

Contact Stephanie McNeal at stephanie.mcneal@buzzfeed.com.

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