***UPDATE – 05/28/2010***
Note the comment from a 24 Hour Fitness staff member at the bottom of this post. I called her back and she was very nice to me.
Later in the day the regional manager called me back and told me that one club in my area was not renting out the gym . . . yet. This was a bit strange as someone from that club had already given me a schedule for when the gym was going to be unavailable. Something obviously changed since that schedule was first given to me.
That gym will begin renting the basketball gym to the same group soon, but the manager assured me he was going to make every effort to stagger the schedules. E.g., if one basketball gym was unavailable from 2 to 6, then he’d try to schedule the other one to be unavailable from 8 to noon (something like that).
So, I have mostly unlimited access to that basketball gym – for the time being.
I must say I’m appreciative of 24 Hour Fitness’s willingness to work with me on this issue. I’m surprised they actually care what I think.
The verdict’s still out as I wait to see what the new schedule will look like. But, for now, I have a basketball court I can use. Additionally, I have to say that 24 Hour Fitness is making what appears to be a sincere effort to provide the services they promised me when I signed up.
Original Post – 05/21/2010
I’m not usually one to complain, but check this out. I’m going to complain. And here’s my complaint.
I paid a bunch of money, up front, to be a member of this wonderful club – that is, 24 Hour Fitness. Yes, I’m going to complain about that.
This wonderful club, 24 Hour Fitness, has decided that I no longer matter. I guess it’s because I paid my big money up front and my yearly fees are now pretty low. So, I’m no longer an income producer for them. I thought that this wonderful club (you know who I’m talking about now – 24 Hour Fitness) had given me a great deal, but now I’m finding out how they really operate.
Before I explain it to you (and definitely before you decide to purchase a membership), let me suggest that you read the fine print in their contract that says (to the best of my memory), “We at 24 Hour Fitness may revoke your privileges at any time. We can take away the pool, basketball or any of your other privileges at any time for no reason whatsoever.” Really, it says that. Check it out for yourself. That stupid language is reason for a complaint in itself. So, yes, that’s why (well, one of the reasons) I’m complaining about 24 Hour Fitness.
So, here’s what the wonderful folks at 24 Hour Fitness have done. They’ve rented out a portion of their facilities, that is, the basketball court, to some group – for an indefinite amount of time. Every single day (except Monday) this group is now using the basketball gym. In my home club, they’re in the basketball gym from 2 to 6 (approximately). On the weekends I think it’s from noon to 6 or something like that. I may have the times a bit messed up, but they’re close. The fact that the basketball gym is being used when I want to use it is a great reason for a complaint against 24 Hour Fitness, especially since I already paid to use the facilities.
“So what’s the big deal?” some may ask. Well, I’m a teacher. I get off work at 2:50. I head home, change clothes and go to the gym to . . . you guessed it . . . play basketball. I purchased by membership based on the fact that I can go to the gym and play basketball. I don’t like to swim. I don’t really care for lifting. I do those things once in a while because I know it’s good for me, but 95% of the time, my time at 24 Hour Fitness is for playing basketball. So, that’s the big deal. Do you still think I’m complaining about nothing? Well, keep listening.
Now, if I want to play basketball, I have to go in the evenings. That means I can’t put my daughter to bed, I can’t have dinner with my family and I can’t relax with my wife. The evening is my family time. I’m going to complain about this – for sure.
I talked to the manager at my wonderful club, you know the one I’m talking about – 24 Hour Fitness – and he said, “We set this up to affect the least number of members possible.” The manager wouldn’t do anything else for me. Nothing. That’s worth a complaint, don’t you think? I’m not usually one to complain, but come on. How poorly can you treat a paying customer?
I have a friend in the same boat as me. He went there and asked for a rate reduction, since, as he says, “The folks at 24 Hour Fitness are telling me that they’re renting out the facilities to another party, collecting money from them, but I’m already paying them for the same services, and now they’re telling me I don’t have access to those services.” The manager refused to offer him a rate reduction and even told him that he didn’t have to be a member there. O.K. I’m going to complain about that comment and I hope my friend complains about it too. The folks at 24 Hour Fitness tried really hard (in the beginning) to sell us this membership. They (the 24 Hour Fitness folks) convinced us that buying this membership was the best thing for us to do. Now that they’re treating us badly and we’re complaining about it, they tell us we don’t have to be members. How two-faced is that?
What these people at the wonderful club called 24 Hour Fitness don’t seem to realize is that many of their members pre-paid for services. This is the best deal – especially over time. So, we people who like to save money jump on such deals. But sometimes, obviously, such deals can turn sour. The fact that I was suckered into this membership gives me excellent reason to complain. So complain I will.
I, for one, will not be a fan of this club (yes, 24 Hour Fitness) until they compensate me for the services they’ve taken from me. I can no longer work out unless I do something other than what I want to do or unless I radically change my schedule. I won’t change my schedule as it will interfere with my family life. And I won’t lift and swim every time I go there because I don’t particularly enjoy these activities. So, the folks at 24 Hour Fitness might think I’ll go quietly in the night, but they’re wrong because when I pay for something I expect to get it. I’m going to complain and I’m going to do my complaining from the rooftops.
So, 24 Hour Fitness. Are you listening? How can you take services from paying members without compensating them in some way? Hey, 24 Hour Fitness! Can you hear me? Stop treating your members like garbage. We’re your lifeblood.
If you want to complain about the way 24 Hour Fitness has treated you, then please . . . leave a comment. If you’ve had a negative experience with 24 Hour Fitness, let’s hear about it. 24 Hour Fitness, we know you’re a big company and we know that we pre-paid members really mean nothing to you, but I’m making it my personal mission to tell everyone how 24 Hour Fitness has treated me. And until you change your tune, I’m going to be spreading the word around my school district and my community (yes, I’m a teacher and a respected member of my community) and I’m going to be spreading the word online, through my blog, through twitter, through review sites . . . until you do something about this. In other words, I’m going to keep complaining until the cows come home.
I’m also going to be going to my club and finding members who feel like they’ve been hosed by 24 Hour Fitness. I’m going to get them to sign a petition saying how it’s unfair that 24 Hour Fitness has unilaterally decided that the basketball gym will be unavailable to members except at certain times.
24 Hour Fitness – if you’re listening – please, do the right thing.