First off, I would like to apologize to anyone who has been ripped off by this company. I was a previous employee myself. I have read tons of reports and I believe every one of them. LA Fitness is one BIG marketing company disguised as a health club. Every employee except the janitors are eligable to recieve commission. First you have the membership counselors whose only objective is to get people to sign up to the gym. They tell people whatever they want to hear to get them to sign up; even if 90% of what they say is not true. Don't even think about a refund. Then you have the training staff who are even worse. Their job is to walk around and bother people all day while the are exercising and scam them into a free personal training session which is only a setup for a coersive, high pressured sales pitch. Then you have the operations staff (front desk clerks/ receptionists) who check people in. What most people don't know about the front desk staff is that their main job is telemarketer. They call members of LA Fitness from all over the country to "Fix" credit card information. If you give them you credit card number expect to pay within the hour for the month, fees, and any balances that they don't tell you about. These are called "clearups" and the clerk gets $5 commission for every "clearup".
They try to bait people with "Member appriciation day" with food that they don't even buy themselves. Other companies advertise through these events in which LA Fitness gets paid for. SCAM!!!
Now to explain why there are so many complaints with this company. The employees are not to blame. I mean the ones that are working at the club everyday. They get paid virtually nothing and live off of commission. Also the pressure from corporate is unbelievable. The Vice Presidents are the weasels behind these ripoffs. They call the General Managers between 7-15 times per day: scolding, yelling, threatening or coersing them to make sales by any means necessary. They don't care how the General Managers get the sale because LA fitness has an ingenious system of drowning out the customer's voices if the deals are bad.
First; there are three people who run the club: the Membership General Manager, the Training General Manager and the Operations Manager. Each manager manages their own employees and controls their portion of the sales. They all have their own District VPs (Vice Presidents) who hound them all day to make the sales. The VPs love to make surprise visits to the clubs to add additional pressure to the staff for sales. They give no authority to the managers to give refunds, access accounts and nothing set up to take or handle complaints. Even written complaints get trashed. All the managers can do is tell you to call the corporate office where they can keep you on hold for over an hour until you eventually hang up. But that's only if it is a complant. If you tell them you would like to subscribe the answer immediatly. Meanwhile all of the billing is automatic so while you are having these issues; LA fitness is still debiting your account. If you want to cancel your membership to the gym you have to send a letter to the corporate office. Here's something else they "forget" to tell you; if the don't send the letter certified; they throw it in the trash and continue to debit your account you hoping that you wouldn't take notice. If you want to cancel you personal training; forget about it if you don't do it within the 3 day period. You are locked into it. And even if you finish out your contracted term; they still charge you on a month to month basis untill you send corporate another certified letter saying that you wish to cancel. And you have to cancel at least 20 days before your next billing date or they'll charge you yet again. Another thing they "Forget" to tell you. By the way, the service is horrible. The trainers are very inexperianced and unprofessional. They don't care. Can you blame them when LA Fitness only pays trainers $6.00 per session and charges $80-$120 per hour? By the way if you were to get hurt in the club you can't press charges. The contract that you sign clearly states that an employee can basically break every bone in your body and give you a heart attack and there is nothing you can do about it.
The trainers are being ripped off as well. The training salesmen only receive $250 every 15-16 days as a base for two 40 hour work weeks. They need their commission too. The membership counselors get either minimum wage or all of their commissions added up. Which ever number is higher is what they get paid; since by law they have to get at least minimum wage. Even the General Managers don't get paid much. They get a base of $24,000.00 annually for 80 hour work weeks. They live off their commission too.
I bet if you're still reading this; you're probably asking the question of why anyone would countinue to work there? It's simple: It's a giant PYRAMID SCAM. They sell people the dreams that the would be earning a six-figure income within the year if they just stick with it and "push". That is only true if you earn millions of dollars for the company first, which in this recession is impossible. You also have to make yourself replaceable and train someone to take your place so you can move up. Here is the setup:
1.First level: Assistant Manager (only a salesman)
2.Second Level: Weekend General Manager (A better salesman in charge of weekends)
3.Third Level: General Manager (Manages the training staff and club sales)
*This level people usually never get past*
4.Fourth Level: District Vice President (Manages all General Managers of neighboring clubs)
5.Fifth Level: Regional Vice President (Manages the District VPs)
This company sells new people just looking for a job the dream to make a lot of money. The only people who make a lot of money are the Vice Presidents. The District VP makes $200,000.00 per year and the Regional Vice President makes $500,000.00 per year. All of that money is made by ripping off the people and employees.
This entire company is nothing more than a GIANT pyramid scam that has been masterfully engineered and perfected for over a decade. They focus 100% on sales alone...not service and don't care if you have a problem because they have control over your bank account and automatically deduct your account. Once you join LA Fitness you play by their rules and they will win every time. So if you are still reading this; you've probably decided not to join LA Fitness and if you still decide to join; you'll find out rather quickly that I everything stated is true. "So just say no to LA Fitness." There are plently of other gyms that are owned by people who actually care about helping people and fitness. This is NOT on of them. By the way: all of the people who control the business don't even exercise themselves...Hypicrits!!!
They are opening up a new club to do this every 9 days within the country. They need to be stopped.