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Thursday, October 12, 2006

Fee Revisions

This month, the rink is revising its fees. Entry fees, lesson fees, rink booking fees, all of it!

I suppose anyone could have seen it coming. After all, prices have been the same for the past 11 years.

At the same time, the management has also taken the opportunity to restructure the skating school. They will implement different prices for different levels, and different coaches.

So, the new structure admits 3 tiers of coaches. In principle, I think this is an excellent idea. More experienced & more qualified coaches should be able to command a higher price. From a skater's point of view, I don't see why lessons with a junior coach, should cost the same as with a senior coach. At the end of the day, skaters will select coaches based on their level/needs and what they can afford.

In theory, this is all well and good. In practise, however, there is much resistence. Why? Because the lesson fee for the highest level coach is more than double the original fee!

Solution #1: There is no coach in the highest level.
This probably was not what the management intended or expected. However, I hear that none of the coaches wanted to put themselves in the highest level, because it would be "too expensive" for the skaters.

Already, parents and skaters are complaining about the high price. Some will reduce the number of lessons. Some will quit. Some will find other innovative means, like taking group lessons instead.

Solution #2: Will the rink back off and revise the prices down?
We still don't know. Or perhaps we will know soon. I cannot disagree that the new fees are quite high, but it is a business decision on the management's part. Still, it would not make sense to charge so much as to lose business...

I certainly hope that a middle-ground can be found. It would be a shame to lose existing skaters, even more so if potential skaters are being discouraged to even start!

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