I was excited when I was living with roommates and we all decided to join a gym together. Strength in numbers, you know.
We went in to a Gold's Gym and told the man (let's call him "Brady") that we were thinking about joining. He got excited. You know they get paid for commission. Almost like a cartoon, his pupils turned to green dollar bill signs... $^$
There were so many papers and he rushed them by all of us. We were reluctant to join because to get the deal we wanted, we had to join for 2 years.
Us: Well we are just roommates and won't be living together for that long. Perhaps we shouldn't join.
Brady: That will be fine. I'll sign this paper saying that upon termination, your cancellation fee will be $0 when one of you ladies decides to move out.
Well, as predicted, our rental lease ended, and we all headed our different ways. I had forgotten about the gym membership until the auto-withdrawal hit my bank account.
I called to cancel.
Golds Gym: Well we are sorry, but you can't just cancel like that. In the contract it states (*in very fine writing I might add*) that you have to move at least 25 miles away from the nearest Golds Gym.
Me: You're kidding. Brady never told us anything about us. In fact, the opposite. He told us that for sure once we left we could cancel.
Golds Gym: Well I'm sorry if someone told you something. I wasn't there. You signed the contract.
My old roommate and I decided that she would make a "rental agreement" for her parents house (at least 25 miles away from the nearest Gold's!) to cancel the membership.
So today I called Gold's Gym just to get an update on the situation...
Me: My old roommate is working on faxing me her new lease agreement to void out the contract.
Golds Lady: "Well that doesn't matter. The only one that can cancel the contract is you, since you are the one that the contract is under. You have to be the one that moves over 25 miles away from the nearest gold's gym."
Me: "Well that's not what I was told when I signed it. In fact, I was told the opposite. Brady understood that we were all going to be staying around, just not living together in the future, and proceeded to sign us up for this contract."
Lady: "Well, I can't do anything about what anybody TOLD you. You signed the contract, and that's what it says. You're obligated to abide by it".
Me: "You know what. Just forget it. How much does it cost to just cancel the membership all together?"
Lady: "You can't".
Me: Pardon? I believe I can. How much does it cost?
Lady: No. You cannot cancel a contract. You may only transfer it to someone else's name. But there is no cancelling. Period.
Me: You've got to be kidding me.
Me: Well I can't accept this. There's got to be something we can do.
Me: I don't believe you. I need to be transferred to someone else.
Proceeds to transfer me to someone else that doesn't answer, and I have to leave a voicemail.
No one called back.
I call again 6 hours later and talk to a different girl (surprise, surprise). I tell her I've looked over the contract I sign, and I see where it says that a member has to move 25 miles away for the contract to be void. However, it doesn’t say ANYWHERE that it has to be the "Primary" member. Just member.
More arguing continues.
ME: Does this seem like good customer service to you? I mean, do you think I'm going to come away feeling treated with respect? Do you think I for one second would recommend this gym to ANYONE?
Lady: (no answer)
Me: I mean, honestly, how many argumentative conversations like this do you have a day?
Lady: I'm not sure.
Me: Ok. Never mind. So if I'm going to stay with my sister in Oregon this summer for a few days, can I have her write up a lease agreement for me to sign, and cancel the membership?
Lady: If it's 25 miles away, and if it's official-looking.
It doesn't have to be official. Just official-looking. From the mouth of a Golds Gym Employee.
Bottom-line: After having the time to read the contract OVER and OVER, it says in at least 2 different places that "No oral promises or statements are part of this contract".
Translation: We will tell you whatever we feel like to get you to join and don't have to honour it.
Last night I was watching an SVU episode where a bad cop told a Mentally Retarded man that if he just signed the paper (admission of guilt to several murders), that he could go home to his mother. Obviously the man didn't get to see his mother again. Not for 18 years.
At any rate, if you ever... EVER think about joining Gold's Gym, please don't.
Apple Fitness, Planet Fitness, 24-Hour Fitness... whatever. Join them. I am 100% positive that they will treat you with more respect and service than Gold's.