It’s a sad day for ClassPass addicts. In an Open Letter that went live today, CEO Payal Kadakia announced that the company is discontinuing its popular Unlimited plan, which but cost upwards of $175 per month (based on location) and allowed users to take as many classes as they wanted, with the caveat of not going to a single studio more than three times in those 30 days. It was a generous option, and one that could save you a shit ton of money if you committed to working out often enough. In my neighborhood, an average class costs around $30, so an Unlimited plan was worth it if you took a mere six classes a month.
Kadakia explained why, in spite of ClassPass’s staggering success, the Unlimited plan didn’t work for their business model: “Many of you began to work out every other day—some of you even every single day! I applauded you for that… Yet, we realized the impact this had on our business was unsustainable. For every class taken, we paid our studio partners. The more classes that were taken, the more we paid. As you can imagine, our business costs increased rapidly… The truth is there is a fundamental problem with the Unlimited plan. It can’t be a long-term membership option because it doesn’t align our business with our promise. What kind of business would we be if we wanted our members to work out less to reduce costs? We’d be sabotaging the vision at the very heart of this company.”
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It’s a nice thought that Kadakia doesn’t want her business to prioritize money over the well-being of its members, but of course, by eliminating the Unlimited plan, that’s exactly what ClassPass did. It removed the one plan that motivated us to work out as much as possible to get our money’s worth. With ClassPass’s new plan, the biggest plan you can buy is Core, a 10-class plan that gives you the option to buy “add-on packs” when you need them.
I don’t blame Kadakia or ClassPass for the change. Having launched in 2014, ClassPass is still a pretty young company, so changes were bound to happen, and at the end of the day, it’s a business and will always be about the bottom line. And even if paying for each individual class can be demotivating, hopefully the option to take lots of different kinds of classes at a variety of studios will be impetus enough to keep ClassPass users as active as they’ve been until now.