No AM Wait List Test Run

In the past few months, a large number of our AM classes have been filling up completely online, yet ending up well short of capacity in real life.

A big part of the problem is our wait list system: someone cancels late at night or early in the morning, and the member upgraded to fill the slot doesn’t find out about it until it’s too late to make the class.

To counter that, we’re trying a one-week experiment: eliminating the wait lists completely on classes before 8am. That way, when someone cancels, a member who can actually attend will be able to grab the slot.

This morning, for example, we ended up with nine spaces unfilled due to late notifications. We think removing the wait list will fix that. So, next week, we’ll be eliminating wait lists on all classes before 8am, as part of a one week trial. If that fixes things, we’ll consider expanding the policy; if not, we’ll try something else.


  • disqus_VT9ukoF130

    So between the auto-reservation and the lack of waitlisting, should newer members just give up any hope of morning classes? At least with a waitlist you have a clue of whether you stand a chance to get into a class.

    • Hari Singh

      We believe it will be the opposite. Instead of upgrading people in the middle of the night and Zen thinking the class is full, when in fact most of the people who are upgraded are asleep and unaware; instead, you can see the open spots for yourself and grab them.

      We are trying this because we think it will increase the number of slots that are actually used. If we’re wrong, we’ll adjust back.

      In addition, with two new AM and PM WOD’s on the UWS, we expect to see demand for spots at 28 Street drop by 30 to 40 per morning and evening, starting in July.

  • Mike

    Just have a couple of thoughts on this idea:
    (1) Is it possible to keep the waitlist and then close it out at a specific time the night before (maybe 10 PM?) instead of completely doing away with it?
    I only suggest this (if the functionality in Zenplanner exists) because the Wednesday CFE classes currently don’t have a waitlist but fill up very far in advance (usually a few days). To get in, I have to repeatedly check for spaces throughout the day, each day, up until the day of the class, hoping to be the first to catch a cancellation. This is a difficult way to sign up for a class and if I had to start adopting this approach for all morning classes, it would be a significant deterrant to remaining a member, as much as I love it.
    I understand the issues you are currently facing with regards to the waitlist system but doing away with it entirely would be painful.
    (2) I don’t believe this approach solves the problem of people who don’t get cleared from the waitlist until it is too late.
    If I don’t get cleared from the waitlist before I go to sleep, I set my alarm to wake up as though I’m going to the class and check to see if I have been cleared when I wake up.
    If there were to be no waitlist but the class is full when I go to sleep, I would still have to set my alarm to wake up as though I’m going to the class, to see if any spaces have opened up.
    It’s the people not adopting this approach that are causing some of the problems you are trying to solve – they are deciding not to wake up early the next morning but are not removing themselves from the waitlist before they go to sleep.
    Therefore, my idea above would seem to be a reasonable middle ground – you don’t have to repeatedly check the site in the days leading up to the class but the waitlist is still closed out the night before the class.

    • Hari Singh

      Your point is well argued, and it is precisely the alternative we are considering. In fact, we are already testing this approach with the 5:40 AM and the 6:40 AM.

    • AndyK

      Agree that eliminating the waitlist will probably not work for many of the early morning classes that are already at capacity. A deadline of sometime the night before is much more reasonable for the early morning classes.

    • Jen Kim

      I also agree that a cancellation policy the night before would be more helpful than cancelling the waitlist (maybe 9PM so people can know if they’re on the list and still get 8 hours of sleep). The issue isn’t the waitlist as much as it is the cancellations after people have fallen asleep. For example, twice this week, I was upgraded from waitlist to reservation at some point in the night after I had fallen asleep but still needed to wake up and discovered that I could take the class. Additionally, given that little notice (in the AM), doesn’t give much time for me to be able to cancel a class an hour before online. Both times I was upgraded in the middle of the night, I had to frantically call the BOX (which no one answers that early in the AM anyway) and try to cancel my reservation so I’m not a No-Show.
      Thanks for all your help in trying to make the box more efficient- I’m sure it’s not easy!! 🙂

  • disqus_dNDHtEUBpE

    Could there be a 9 pm cancelation time the night before for early am classes? sometimes I get on the wait list and get a class a day or two ahead of time, if this is eliminated It means as others have said, that I must constantly check the website to see if the class is available, and as much as I love crossfit and my early am class at 28th street I have many more important things to do durning my day than troll the crossfitnyc site. the whole idea of the wait list is to eliminate the need to be obsessive about one more thing in my life. I’m crazy enough as it is. Crossfit makes me sane, please don’t make it make me insane! the wait list is an auto pilot that I desperately need…oh god, I’m spiraling, ok, toes to bar, toes to bar, toes to bar.
    How about this… I just show up Mon. Wed, Thurs, Friday and you let me take the class. I will be there I promise.
    all joking aside I know the logistics of this are immense, but I think eliminating the wait list all together is a major major mistake that will drive members to other boxes.

    • Hari Singh

      This seems likely to be closer to the solution we may implemet. As of now, we have been testing a number of alternatives, and we are leaning toward not killing the wait list. Updates to follow. (Next Monday’s Wait List still exists.)

      • disqus_dNDHtEUBpE

        Thank You Hari, I know everyone at Crossfit NYC is working to make it the best box, and I really believe it is, listening and responding to your members is just ONE of the many things that makes it so great. So again thank you thank you thank you.