Putting a fair price on Urban treatments

From 13th September we’ll be increasing the price of certain massage treatments on Urban. It’s a decision we’ve made collaboratively with our partner therapists to help them continue to earn a good living on our app. 

Urban treatments shouldn’t come at a human cost

It’s an all-too familiar scene in the gig economy; to grow their business, companies drop their prices so low that people working on their app struggle to make ends meet. We don’t think that’s the right approach.

With this update, our partner pros are set to earn the highest payout-per-treatment on the market. It’s a solution we’ve arrived at after taking a close look at the mounting costs therapists face day-to-day, impacted by Covid among other things. 

Close up of an happy Urban therapist, she is looking off camera and laughing

To help explain in a little more depth, here’s a quick breakdown of where your booking fee goes:

Depending on the treatment or time you book, between 70% and 80% of what you pay goes straight to your therapist.

But since massage pros are self-employed on Urban, they’re in charge of the cost of running their own businesses. Their day-to-day expenses include:

  • Travel
    These are on the rise. In the last year and a half, parking times in central London have gotten shorter and congestion charge has increased. New Ultra-Low Emission Zone provisions are set to take effect on 25th October, too.
  • Equipment and consumables
    All the equipment pros bring over to you is their own, including their table. Expendables like massage oils and balms also need to be regularly topped up as part of delivering a high-quality service. 
  • PPE
    New hygiene measures adopted across the industry mean pros have a whole host of new equipment they need to stock up on, including masks, visors, hand sanitiser and disinfectant wipes. 
  • Taxes
    Anything pros make on Urban is subject to tax and other admin expenses.

On average, we estimate it costs therapists roughly £12 of their own earnings per booking to keep all of the above covered. 

A smiling urban therapist is holding up the phone for a video call. She is standing with her back to a mirror in a gym.

The remaining 20-30% of what you pay we use to keep Urban running. It goes on a few different things: 

  • Marketing and advertising
    Just under half what we make goes on making sure pros always have a steady stream of customers like you, and that there are enough highly qualified pros to go round. 
  • Transactional card fees
    This takes up a small fraction of every booking fee
  • Paying Urban’s 60-strong team
    Between us, we’re always working to make Urban better for customers and therapists alike:
    • For customers like you, we’re:
      • Improving our service to make sure Urban lives up to its promise of super-convenient booking
      • Putting real people on customer support, there whenever you need
      • Adding new features and fine-tuning our app so it’s as easy to use as possible
    • And for our partner therapists, we’re:
      • Working to make sure they have a dependable stream of customers
      • Making the Urban app as helpful as possible, so they can manage their business with plenty of insight and minimal hassle
      • Supporting them while they’re out taking bookings
      • Giving personalised help, so pros can make sure they’re getting the most out of working on Urban
      • Running a practitioner community, where pros can chat and share tips with other like-minded professionals

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