Seems like there’s one person every year that wants special pricing for some reason or another. Unfortunately, engaging in flea-market-style pricing is a slippery slope, and ultimately it’s unfair to other members. These requests might even sound reasonable at first, for example, here’s one made to our club…
“I am debating on whether or not I will renew since the girls rarely went to the pool the last few years. Do you have a rate option for teenager only vs. a family rate?”
Let’s go ahead and assume your club does not have a teenager option. It might seem reasonable at first to offer them some discount or maybe even a Singles membership. But this is where enforcing a clearly defined membership policy comes into play. One way or another word will get out that your pool is willing to cut deals, and then year after year you’ll hear more of this…
“Well, my husband doesn’t usually come, so can I just sign up as a couple with my daughter?”
“My wife is pregnant, so she won’t be there, can I just drop down to a Singles membership?”
So what’s the solution?
Politely send them to your website’s Membership Policy Page where you define what’s a Family, what’s a Couple, what’s a Single, and simply remind them that this is the pool’s policy to be fair to every member. Does a gym charge less monthly if you don’t go? Does Six Flags charge more for your season pass if you go every day? No, and the same rules should apply to your club. At the bottom of this page, we will post an example pool’s Membership Policy that you can copy and paste to your own website.
This policy can also encourage members to make the most of their membership. Members need to choose to use the pool. If they go 4 times a summer, well, that’s a pretty steep per-visit cost, but that’s on them.
To go back to our example with the family with a teenager, they are almost empty nesters. They should have weekly dinners at the pool since this is possibly the last summer with their teen living at the house. And maybe paying full price is what inspires that.
Your Membership Policy could clearly state that if your children are college age, you can then join as a Couple, and you’re welcome to bring your children as guests if they aren’t living at home full time.
Example Member Enrollment Policy
Family Membership – Regardless of marital status, if you have children at or under the age of 18, living full or part-time in your home, you should join as a family.
Couples Membership – If your spouse or significant other will not be bringing children at or under the age of 18 to the pool, you can join as a Couple.
Single Membership – If you are purchasing a membership only for yourself, this is the membership for you.
Please understand that we do not ask for more money based on above average usage of our facilities, nor do we discount if you use it less than other members. We encourage members to make the most of their membership, and if there is anything we can do to encourage that more, please let us know.
To be fair to all members, please do not ask for special pricing exceptions. Any exceptions would need to go before a board vote and can not be decided upon solely by our Treasurer or Membership team.
May 23, 2018