Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Squirrel Away Some Mega Winter Savings and Boost Your PAYG Balance For The New System!

Dear Swimmers

We are getting very close now to launch of our brand new payment and wait list management system which I've been busily creating since May. I would like to thank you in advance for your patience whilst we are putting this new system in place which will have a massively positive impact on the way the squad is run and how you access sessions on a day-2-day basis (more on that in a moment).

As a small token of my appreciation for your patience I would like to offer each of you the opportunity to boost your PAYG credit balance by rolling back the clock to 2014 prices! This offer is valid until 5pm on Saturday 25th July only and strictly limited to one session credit "block" per person, i.e. select a 10, 25 or 50 session card based on your typical usage with the 10s being good for 1-2 swims per week, the 25s good for 2-3 swims per week and the big bertha 50s being good for 3-4+ swims per week:

*when released, the new payment system will allow me to load up these credits into your account balance and have them only commence the expiry period when you use the first session from that block. I will start adding these credits into the system for you now, unless you are in immediate need of a new card and I will just issue one as normal for you to start eating into. So by all means, don't be afraid to squirrel a block away for the winter! Go nuts!

New Fees:

To move in sync with Claremont Pool's rate increases each year (1st July) and to account for a recent change in council policy* which sees a significant increase in our overheads this coming year, it will be necessary to raise our squad prices from the time of expiry of the deal offered above. I am hoping the deal above will in part help to offset the fact that our prices were raised on January 1st this year following a prior period of 18 months with no adjustment. Going forth, we will raise our prices in-sync with Claremont on the 1st July each year by the minimal possible amount to cover our costs. Here's how the 2015/2016 prices will break down:

  • 10 Session Credits for $156.00 with a 3 month expiry (an increase of just $0.60 per session on current rates)
  • 25 Session Credits for $343.20 with a 4 month expiry (an increase of just $0.53 per session on current rates)
  • 50 Session Credits for $613.60 with a 5 month expiry (an increase of just $0.47 per session on current rates)

*for your information and consideration, our lane hire arrangement at the pool has changed going into the 2015/16 FTY such that we are no longer billed for only the lanes that we use, but now for all the lanes that we book. In the past, if we happened to have low attendance in a session and didn't require all the lanes, we'd only be charged for the lanes that we used. This took some of the stress out of quieter periods. Now though, I am required to forecast how many lanes we will require for the entire year, based on such things as the Winter Squad List that you all registered for (see here: This of course makes sense and is really only fair to potential other users of the pool. It is therefore imperative that we ensure full use of these lanes in every scheduled session with as consistent attendance as possible year-round. This has prompted me into looking at new ways to manage attendance better and I am hoping that you can openly embrace these new changes to the system as they will really benefit everyone. Equally, if your circumstances have changed since you originally put in your session nominations, please help us by letting us know as soon as possible so that we can maybe allocate your space to someone eagerly waiting in the wings!

The New PAYG (BLUK!) System:

In the past most of you have tried to do the right thing - you've been aware we've had a wait list of over 370 people wanting to swim with the squad (such is it's reputation), so when you know you've had a holiday or work trip coming up you'll kindly email / call / SMS that you will be away in the hope that we can offer your spot to someone else. We of course thank you greatly for this courtesy.

The trouble is, this well intentioned action has caused a mountain of administration work for this admin team of one, but sadly with no way to ever effectively communicate and manage the waiting list to offer these spots away. Instead, as the wait list has become ever bigger, attendance has actually fallen away by an average of 3 people per session from 2014/15 back to 2013/14 for fear of mistakenly booking too many people into a session. Action is needed. Thankfully we have found the solution, but will need your help. 

By setting up a simple online account for each of you that you can access either through your computer using our soon-to-be-released amazing new website, or through a special app if you have an iOS device (iPhone / iPad) or Android device (Samsung Galaxy etc), we request that you now let us know up to 12 hours before your session if you will NOT be attending with the simple click of a "CANCEL" button in your account. Of course, you'll be able to cancel sessions up to 12 months in the future too for those times when you know you will be away. There's no longer a need to call / email / SMS to cancel and feel guilty for doing so, you will just hit "CANCEL" within the app or online portal (very simple!) for that specific session and you're done, knowing that your spot will then be automatically offered to someone on the wait list who will benefit. Sweet.

Book - Pay - Cancel - Re-Schedule, all in one simple app or webpage! Now doesn't that sound neat! But best of all, it's way easier than our current set-up and no more standing around in the cold watching everyone's cards blow away…you might even enjoy it!

We're calling this new system a "PAYG (BLUK!)" system - Pay-As-You-Go (But-Let-Us-Know!) - and hope you really enjoy the experience! More details to follow soon…we hope to be fully ready to roll by the start of August as we're pulling out all the stops to get this working asap in order to make up for what has been a very quiet last six weeks in the squad.

P.S I'll leave you with this fun little session that the 5.30am Wednesday "Red Mist" crew did this morning (as inspired by Le Tour de France!) - it was well loved by everyone…if you can make it to the 9.30am session this Friday you'll get chance to try it out for yourselves, or for you 6.15pm Thursday and 5.30am / 6.30am Friday bods we have another special kind of something in store for you so please come down and get that critical mass vibe buzzing once again - it really is lovely back at Claremont Pool!

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