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Backlash: Strava Issues Apology for Recent Price Hikes

The activity-tracking platform faced scads of criticism in the early weeks of 2023 after rolling out opaque and confusing price increases.

a hand holding a phone with the Strava appStrava issued an apology after facing backlash for its confusing, opaque price hike earlier this year; (photo/Shutterstock)

If you have a Strava subscription, you may have spent the last few months confused as to what, precisely, you’ll be paying moving forward (and why).

That’s because the activity-tracking platform’s first price hike in 10 years rolled out in a manner best described as “opaque, to say the least.” Now Strava has issued an apology and simultaneously simplified its billing.

“In an effort to roll out pricing updates for our subscription, we made a mistake by not providing enough information directly to our community. We sincerely apologize for the confusion and concern this has caused many of our valued subscribers,” the company wrote in a press release.

“We are moving to consistent pricing by country — this means that all subscribers in a country will pay the same monthly or annual price,” it continued.

A First-Class Brouhaha

Strava initially rolled out its pricing increase in the U.K. during the closing months of 2022. Things came to a head in mid-January 2023 after the company began increasing prices for other markets. Users started reporting 15-70% cost increases — a wide range seemingly based on the user’s date of original signup, country, region, billing type, and other factors. But Strava didn’t make that algorithm easily accessible or understandable to subscribers.

Shortly thereafter, a Reddit user posted an email from Strava noting his price increase, but not the factors that determined it. On top of that, many users on the thread reported never receiving an email notifying them of the price increase.

As outdoor blogger DC Rainmaker observed in a Jan. 13 post, “In a nearly 24-hour long volley of e-mails that ultimately triggered them to publish a statement on their press site, [Strava representatives] still refuse to simply state what the price of Strava actually is. I’m not kidding.”

Amid this backlash, Strava released a statement on Jan. 20 apologizing for its lack of transparency.

“Strava is fully committed to our community. This commitment means not allowing our subscribers to receive an automated email about changing subscription costs, or to read or hear about price change confusion elsewhere as that’s unacceptable. We hear and understand your frustration, and we aim here to make subscription rates clear to our community,” the company stated.

Strava users in the United States will now pay $11.99/month or $79.99/year. The changes will go into effect beginning in Feb. 2023, and users will receive an email notifying them of the change 30 days in advance of their renewal date.

Strava launched in 2009 and now boasts over 100 million users.

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