At the outset, I will say I have seen membership plans actually alienate clients, so I don't have a high opinion of them. In the past, I have worked at Spas that use membership plans so I have seen this first-hand. For some folks, a spa membership can be a good choice but for others, not so much.
The Membership Plan
I think it's important to understand what these membership plans are about in order to make an informed choice. Not all membership plans are created equal but here is the most common way they are formatted in the big Spa franchises. It is above all a case of, 'Let the buyer beware.'
Most Spa franchises have a high-pressure approach to selling memberships. This should be a 'red flag' to anyone. Read everything carefully and better to sleep on any commitment before signing the contract.
Most Spa plans have a one-time low introductory rate plus a member's discount off of their base price. Plans include an automatic monthly billing on your credit card for a fixed number of months, usually 12. Note that this is a binding contract, whether you use it or not. After your initial introductory massage or facial (this is a one-time-only deal), you are billed monthly and even though you can cancel at any time, your contract is for a whole year. There is usually a clause that you can 'freeze' your membership for up to six months but still, the contract is for an 'active' year regardless. If you cancel you have usually 60 days after your contract date to use up any unused 'points.' Covid lockdowns forced many Spas to adjust this policy but as the pandemic winds down (October 2021) and culture open up don't expect flexibility in the future. The goal is maximum profitability if you catch my meaning.
The membership sounds like a good deal because the Spa Salesperson compares the introductory new member price compared to their over inflated non-member price. A typical comparison is a 60 minute intro rate is $70 to the non-member $120. [If you check the going rate in most areas for a one hour massage is in this ballpark, $60 to $80. Now at a high end resort/spa you will easily pay $120 for a massage, but a day spa is not that.]
The Salesperson then explains that you can rollover any missed massages to the next month. Now you can have two massages next month or you can take that missed session and add a half-hour to two other massages, making them 1 1/2 hours long. Extra massages or 'points' can be given to a family member or friend for a $10 upcharge.
All sounds pretty great, huh?
I should mention that the Spa Salesperson gets a monetary incentive for your signed membership.
Pros of a Spa membership:
I will be honest, for some folks, a spa membership can be a good thing if:
Cons of a Spa Membership:
Warm and calm images combined with a pressured sales approach is a common pitch.
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