I purchased a black card membership in the Boston area about a year ago and moved to Central Florida. While looking for a place to live I worked out at the Orange City location. At first it seemed pleasant enough, though there is no doubt PF is not made for a person who truly is looking to get into shape as they are missing a number of things found in most well-prepared gyms. No exercise balls (they claim because of lawsuits), no foam rollers, and a real lack of equipment meaning any time you're there at rush hour you are going to wait in line a number of times.
As an ACSM trainer, I give advice to people at no charge. I don't give them cards or advertise any business, just trying to correct any number of mistakes. There is a no-neck psuedo-trainer at Orange City named Rick. This is one of those muscle-heads who will give you a big smile, a handshake, and make sure everyone knows he's supposed to be the alpha dog in the room. In other words, someone looking to impress you.
I was told by a number of clients there Rick was talking about me to others indicating how ticked he was that I was "giving out advice and stealing my customers". No biggie, I thought nothing of it.
PF has this "rule" where they demand you clean off your machines after every use. Cleanliness sure, but half the people don't do it. Also the liquid they use to clean off machines is chemically treated and has an ill effect on some people if breathed in.
I sometimes forget to clean off my machines, I admit. The manager there, Kristine, will smile and be your friend as they all will. Let me point out that unlike places such as Gold's Gym, very few of them have any idea what they're doing. I asked one girl if they had a bosu (very popular in training for even those beginning) and she had no idea what I was talking about.
After hearing about Rick's complaint, I found myself being harrassed on almost a daily basis by the staff about cleaning machines after use. Doing my work in a circuit, it means I go between 3 machines one at a time. Sometimes I forget to wipe the machines.
On August 11 I went there to work out. I used a row machine for 3 sets, and a young man asked if he could work in. I was done, told him yes and let him have the machine.
I was approached by Rick who snapped "what's your card number?" I told him I didn't know it by heart, to which he said "OK, wait here". He went to the front desk. I moved on to another machine.
I was then interrupted right in the middle of a set by Kevin, another psuedo-manager who really has no idea of what goes on in a gym. He then began to chastise me for not cleaning off my equipment.
I won't lie, I was angry. You talk to someone in the middle of a workout and see what happens. I never raised my voice, but used the "F" word a few times about being interrupted, constantly harrassed about this, and being chastised in front of other customers. He walked away.
When I was leaving Kevin said "maybe you shouldn't come here anymore" and threatened me with termination. He also said Rick told him I called Rick an "a--hole" and I shouldn't come there anymore. I wasn't happy. He said "talk to Kristine the next time you're here and work it out". I said OK and left.
AFter that and after 3 tries on the Internet seeking to have my membership transferred to Lake Mary, I started working out at LM. They knew my name as I told them each time in the door, they checked me against their computer and never said a worOn 8/27 I went into Lake Mary, my transfer finally done, gave them my number, to which I was stopped and told I had been terminated. Again, not happy but knew where this came from.
I contacted the PF home office in New Hampshire, and you have to do some digging to get their number. I was given to Bill at 603-750-0001 X 106. I told him the tale, he said someone would get back to me from the Orlando office.
I received a call from Joe Landau, who said he was the District Manager. There is NO WAY you will ever get the name of the corporation or their office number because they won't give it out to consumers, which should be a first warning sign. So here you go. The Central Florida Planet Fitness's are owned by Marobe Inc., called a "consultant referral service", and their number is 407-290-8883. Use it.
Joe listened and had already made up his mind. I indicated to him that I have been slandered, and I work in regional and national TV/radio and don't need someone telling lies about me to anyone, period. He didn't care. Said he was backing his people, I swore at his employee, and they were well within their rights to terminate me. In other words, they don't want to hear ANYTHING a consumer says, they can blow you out whenever they want. No warning, nothing.
Rick lied about what was going on, Kevin knew that stopping me in the middle of a workout wouldn't be taken well, and I was harassed over a couple of months by the so-called staff.
Let me now tell you about Lake Mary. I have NEVER worked out in a bigger pigsty. The machines are falling apart, ripped pads, dirty equipment, broken plumbing, you name it. Offensive.
By they way, my termination notice was dated 8/11/08. I worked out at Lake Mary 3 times between then and the date I was told I was terminated. Joe's excuse was a flimsy one at best about "I guess your name didn't make it into the computer". Sorry, won't work. They knew my name every time I walked in the door, and well before my last visit there one of the Lake Mary kids said he had talked to Kristine and received her side of the story. Had I really been terminated on 8/11 they would have known it. Obviously the termination was post-dated to fit their needs. There is no doubt they decided to terminate me after I complained the main office in New Hampshire.
Planet Fitness is a fraud. Their price is low but their equipment is lacking, their employees have almost no knowledge of working out (which is dangerous for the novice working out), and they WILL find a way to terminate you if they want to. You will get NO assistance or consumer assistance from them at all.
I went to Gold's Gym and for $10 more a month got a beautiful place to work out in Altamonte Springs. DO NOT join Planet Fitness. DO NOT be taken in by their "It's all about you" slogan. They are a farm churning out business and will take your money and run.
They are a ripoff. Go to Gold's and get a real gym with people who know what they're doing. You won't be disappointed.
I will be following up with possible legal action regarding slander and breach of contract. Oh, and MAKE SURE if you have a complaint you call that MAIN OFFICE NUMBER and ask for Joe Landau, District Manager. Make them act like every other reputable business and answer the complaints of their clients.
Orange City, Florida