• Report: #827116
Complaint Review:

Planet Fitness

  • Submitted: Mon, January 23, 2012
  • Updated: Mon, January 23, 2012

  • Reported By: L.B. — Hummelstown Pennsylvania United States of America
Planet Fitness
6041 Allentown Blvd. Harrisburg, Pennsylvania United States of America

Planet Fitness Discriminatory policies, dirty facilities, rude staff Harrisburg, Pennsylvania

*Consumer Suggestion: In Regards to Planet Fitness Do-Rag / Bandana Dress Code Policy

*Consumer Comment: Molehill meet Mountain

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Planet Fitness engages in false advertising. The gym calls itself a "Judgement Free Zone." We found out the hard way that the staff/management of Planet Fitness are apparently free to do as much judging and discriminating as they please. Their "dress code" is clearly discriminatory and was not made clear when signing the contract. At Planet Fitness, the goal seems to be to get you sign the contract and let you find out on your own later what you supposedly agreed to.

My fiance joined the Planet Fitness location on Allentown Blvd. in Harrisburg, PA. At no time was he informed of a dress code policy - especially one that prohibited him from wearing a bandana on his head, which he wears often.

On several occasions, he wore the bandana without incident. Just last week, he was yelled at by one of the goon employees/managers for wearing it, informing him it was against their policy. When my fiance was understandably confused and informed him that he had worn it before without any problem and wasn't aware of any policy prohibiting it, he was told to remove it immediately or get thrown out. He removed it and finished his workout since I had already started, although I'm sure he would have rather just walked out.

After doing some simple research online, I have since come to find out that Planet Fitness does have a "dress code" that is apparently posted somewhere in the facility, although we never saw it. We were also never informed about the dress code when we signed up, and according to many other complaints I've read online, it isn't stated in the contract.

I don't feel that we were discriminated against for being forced to remove the bandana. If it is their policy that du-rags, bandanas and skull caps are prohibited, it should be enforced universally.  However, I have a big problem with the existence of the policy itself. It is a clear attempt to discriminate against certain types of people that Planet Fitness has decided are undesirable - and I'm not just talking about the "lunkheads" they lampoon in their commercials. Clearly, Planet Fitness feels that racial, ethnic and religious minorities are not welcome.

Since putting up a sign that says "white people only" would generally be frowned upon, I suppose they had to come up with a slightly less obvious way to tell black people that their kind was unwelcome. Unlike other dress code no-no's, such as sandals, the prohibited head gear poses no safety hazard, which leads me to the conclusion that the only reason for the ban is that they don't want the kind of people who wear those items (black people) to be there.  Or if black people still have the nerve to join, they'll be subjected to constant supervision to make sure they don't act too black around all the white suburbanites by wearing those scary things on their heads.

For the record, my fiance is white and wears a bandana to keep his shoulder-length hair from getting in his way. He looks more like a hippie tree-hugger than a gang member. In no way does his wearing a bandana make him appear intimidating or pose any threat to himself or others. Clearly, people like my fiance (white people with a preference for bandanas over baseball caps) did not inspire the dress code. It makes no sense. Only when you think about the "other" types of people who like to wear things other than baseball caps on their head does the intent of the dress code become clear. In the gym's defense, at least they enforced their stupid policy on my fiance even though he doesn't fit the profile of the type of person it was surely meant for.

I am truly surprised that this dress code is still standing. I don't understand how Planet Fitness can defend it. But from what I've read of other complaints, Planet Fitness isn't exactly responsive to their customers. In fact, they make every effort to keep their corporate office contact information secret. Hey, if you don't even let customers complain about a policy, I guess you don't have to defend it!

We will be canceling our Planet Fitness membership. However, from many of the other Planet Fitness complaints I've read, that may prove to be the source of my next complaint about them.

This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 01/23/2012 11:42 AM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/reports/planet-fitness/harrisburg-pennsylvania-17112/planet-fitness-discriminatory-policies-dirty-facilities-rude-staff-harrisburg-pennsylv-827116. The posting time indicated is Arizona local time. Arizona does not observe daylight savings so the post time may be Mountain or Pacific depending on the time of year.

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#1 Consumer Suggestion

In Regards to Planet Fitness Do-Rag / Bandana Dress Code Policy

AUTHOR: Bella - (USA)


While I do not work for Planet Fitness (I just found your review while looking up something totally unrelated), I previously worked for a MAJOR fitness equipment manufacturer, and wanted to comment about the policy against bandanas.

More and more gyms seem to be adopting this policy. I believe one of the main reasons is due to equipment failure. When I was working for the manufacturer (who's equipment is at almost every major gym in the US), I can't tell you how many service calls and issues we had because of bandanas slipping off, and getting caught in machinery. Treadmills were generally the main culprits, and it can easily cost thousands of dollars to have it shipped back to the company, repaired, and sent back. The gym technically loses money every day a machine is off the floor as well.

While I don't know if that's one of the reasons behind PF's ban, I do know that many of the smaller gyms ended up adopting this same policy after the first or second time they had to send a piece of equipment back to us for service. It really surprised me just how often it occurred.

I'd be extremely annoyed if I was your fiance'- if there is a rule, they should have stuck to it, not treated him rudely about it, and explained the reasoning (as well as a CLEARLY posted sign). That's not good customer service at all.

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#2 Consumer Comment

Molehill meet Mountain

AUTHOR: Robert - (U.S.A.)

So because your fiancee was asked to REMOVE his bandana all of the sudden they don't want Black people to be members...Wow.

the prohibited head gear poses no safety hazard,
- Actually it could.  Because that is considered "Gang Attire" they really don't want Gang Members fighting over "turf" in the middle of their gym.  I am NOT saying that your fiancee is a member of any gang.  But even if he isn't one,  if he wore the wrong "color" in that gym and a true "gang banger" saw him, the odds of him making it to the wedding would not be good.

A lot of places ban that type of head gear.  Just go to your local mall, theater, bar, or really any place where a lot of people may gather.  If you ask about their dress code you may be surprised that a lot will ban anything they determine to be "gang attire".   Do those places "say no to blacks" as well?

As for it being applied equally.  That I would agree with you on, but the only thing in your report about it not being applied equally is that he did it several times before he was stopped.  So there goes any claim of "discrimination", because just like they may have missed the other people..they missed your fiancee a few times.

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