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Meetup apologizes for ‘confusion,’ but will continue testing paid RSVPs

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Meetup says it has ‘lots to improve’

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Image: Meetup

Meetup’s CEO has apologized for “confusion” after the event organization platform faced backlash for testing a fee to RSVP to events. David Siegel, the company’s CEO, said the $2 per RSVP was a “limited test,” but indicated that the test would continue.

Meetup replaced the page explaining this payment test with Siegel’s apology letter. In it, he says Meetup is not in the process of shifting over to a “massive payment change” and that the limited test only applied to a few hundred groups in two US states. The letter also says Meetup is in the process of “exploring many options” to consider how to make pricing more fair for event organizers, and leaves the door open to making major payment changes so long as it gives the community “advance notice” first.

“While we try to provide a lot of value to our customers,” Seigel writes, “we know that our organizers have frustrations: the subscription cost; the burden of managing food, venue, and more; the challenge of getting members to show up at an event; and of course not innovating fast enough to improve our product.”

While Meetup had said the proposed change would “help more evenly distribute costs between organizers and members,” many in the Meetup community felt it was unfair and favored the company’s bottom line over its users. In the meantime, Meetup plans to continue the paid RSVP test with select users, and says it has “lots to improve, including better communication.”