My story is one that I am sure plenty of members or ex-members of the fitness community can relate to. I had been a member of 24 Hr. Fitness for about awhile Back in the year of 2003, I had signed up for the "promotion" of prepaying 3 years up-front to get a lifetime renewal of $99 per year afterwards which was and is a very good deal. I had been using the membership for about a 12 months to 18 months until I got married, had a kid, and started my new franchise business. With my busy and hectic life, I unfortunately put my fitness and gym membership on hold.
After getting settled in with my new life and business, and gaining 25 pounds of extra weight, I was ready to hit the gym again. However, I had forgotten about my 24 hour membership since I had not worked out to close to 2 years due to my hectic life at that time and assumed my membership had expired.
In October of 2006, I had called the 24 Hour fitness in Pasadena, and talked to a salesman(forgot his name) about signing up. I had explained to him that I was not able to get to 24 Hour fitness before 9 pm due to my work(restaurant). So we worked it out where he sent the contract by fax and I signed it with payment for another 3 year prepay. However, within a day (I had 3 days to cancel contract) I canceled the contract due to the inconvenience of driving nearly 15 miles to the nearest 24 Hour Fitness from where I live and work (Tujunga/Sunland).
This past March 2007, I was ready to again sign up for 24 Hr. Fitness in person because I had sold my businesss, bought a new house in a different city. So I went in person to a 24 Hr. Fitness in Puente Hills and spoke with a lady saleswoman, Adrianna (I believe that was her name). I had brought the cash to prepay and had actually filled out the contract after dealing with Adrianna because "today would be the last day for this promotion"(24 Hr.'s sales pitch). However, while she was getting up to "talk" to the sales manager about getting better deals, I had looked over the desk to look at her computer. This is when I had realized a shocker and immediately got upset. I saw two identical names with same birthdates on the screen. They were both my information regarding my past membership with 24 Hr. Fitness. One referred to siging up in Oct. 2006 and canceling within 3 days of the contract terms, which I had known but the other referred to my membership expiring in November of 2006.
So I realized then the whole picture. While I was trying to sign up in Oct. of 2006 with Pasadena, the salesman ignored the fact that I was still a member and could/should of told me that I am eligible to renew my membership to $99 a year when my membership expires in a month. Instead he withheld this information, because I assume he would rather get he's "$100" comission bonus for new accounts then to do things in the benefit of 24 Hr.'s customers.
I brought this fact up to Adrianna, my saleswoman at 24Hr. Fitness, and she simply said, "she cannot answer for another person." This is when I told her I cannot sign up and pay $700 right now when I should had paid only $99.
This is when she said she will "talk" to the manager to see what he can do. Of course, 24 Hr. Fitness Corporate trains there employees to pretend to care but to do nothing to help the customers that pay there bills. So, Adrianna gets up and goes around the corner for about 5 minutes or so, comes back and tells me to call the corporate office.
Later that day, I call the Calabasa Office and explain the whole situation, and the "service" representative tells me he "totally understands" but tells me he cannot do nothing because he's only a service representative. I get "transferred" over to the service manager who "listens" and puts me on hold to "see what he can do." 3 minutes go by and of course he tells me cannot do nothing. My best bet he tells me is to call 24 Hour Fitness and talk to the sales manager of Pasadena.
I call and talk to "Buddy", sales manager of Pasadena. He listens and totally understands my situation because he pulls up the information on his computer and sees 2 identical information about me. Of course, he "listens and understands" but says he is sorry because he is only a "sales manager" and cannot do anything regarding expired memberships. I told Buddy, I was not asking for getting the $99 renewal fee but I should not have to pay $700 for a new membership.
To make a longer story short, 24 Hr. Fitness or its employees did nothing to help me, compromise or even contact me. But I did confirm one of the things I had known about retail and business, "you get what you pay for."
After all this is said and done, I still believe 24 Hr. Fitness's 3 year pre-payment is a great deal and the facilities are decent and convenient due to its hours and many locations, but it needs help addressing its HR department from the top to bottom. They need to realize that many of its members, ex-members, or potential members hold more than a high school degree or junior college degree unlike there salespeople or manager, so they should stop with all the obvious patronizing to the point of sarcasm.
Do away with the "talking with the sales manager about better deals or see what he can do about it" when obviously tell do nothing about it.
Thanks for reading this and be prepared if you plan to join 24 Hr. Fitness.
William XXXXX (LAST NAME REDACTED)
P.S. "Today nor tomorrow is the last day of the promotion," so you can leave and come back next month if they are too pushy.
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