I’ve Been Red Crossed

Every month there seems to be another update about the American Red Cross fees.  First the Red Cross changes fees, then everyone complains, and then the Red Cross changes fees, then everyone complains … it’s getting pretty old.

I think everyone (and I mean everyone) needs to get over this.  Yes, I can understand that the Red Cross released their new fees in the worst way possible by dumping it onto everyone in the middle of a budget after lesson fees have been posted.  And yes the Red Cross’s responses to this have been pretty poor (and in my opinion not well thought out), but do you really think they can keep offering the same services priced the way they were in the 90’s?  Haven’t you changed your fees in the past … I don’t know 10 years?

A recent survey done by Aquatics International showed that 57% of responders felt that even with the newest changes “the fees are still too high and they are going to look for new alternatives”.  While I agree that the new changes make NO sense for anyone with a large swim program.  I mean 100-150 students, come on!  There are pools out there that do more than 150 lessons in their first session of the year.  Some facilities do 1,000’s of lessons each session and operate year round.  But let’s be honest.  Do you really think that there is really going to be a cheaper option than a non-for-profit organization?  The other providers aren’t going to be cheaper, so let’s just admit it, it’s not the price that you are so upset about, you are just mad that they changed without your permission.

Check out these links to some recent articles about the Red Cross fees in Aquatics International

Pricing Service Still Vex Red Cross Providers http://www.aquaticsintl.com/2012/mar/1203n_fees.html

Red Cross Cuts Swim Fees http://www.aquaticsintl.com/2012/mar/1203n_redcross.html

3 Comments to I’ve Been Red Crossed

  1. April 30, 2012 at 1:07 am | Permalink

    One thing we all need to keep in mind is fiscal sustainability. When we rely on others for financial support we yield our ability to control our own destiny. The Red Cross has likely been in a world of relying on others for their fiscal survival. In turn, many of our aquatic programs have relied on the Red Cross. When the economic environment changes, we are all required to adapt. As leaders of the industry, it is our role to manage change. We all must review our own programs and make a decision on what is best. The answer will not be the same. In the end, those that adapt will have a stronger program that is self-reliant.

  2. May 1, 2012 at 10:29 pm | Permalink

    Very well said! Everyone complained when the Red Cross never changed. Granted the changes have been poorly Implemented but the Red Cross is changing for the better in the long run!

  3. May 2, 2012 at 2:06 pm | Permalink

    I saw this blog post by Tom Lachocki on the NSPF site and thought it was appropiate for our discussion.

    Prices always seem high, until your aged mother’s house floods and the Red Cross is there to provide food, company, and financial support. Prices always seem high until a hurricane or tornado or earthquake hits, your father suffers a heart attack, and the Red Cross is there to provide some funds to help with the funeral and to replace the furnace.
    When there are “lifeguarding” practices that are not based on science placing your kids, neighbors, and family at risk, the Red Cross stepped up and lead a consortium to compile research to understand what practices are based on science and what practices are not.

    When you write a check to the Red Cross or purchase the HomePoolEssentials online course, you help those in need and it could even be someone in your community. The Red Cross does not say, “it’s too expensive to help those that need it the most.”

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