24 Hour Fitness / bad management - no preventing of abuse between members
Regarding the Sun Valley Mall 24 Hour Fitness facility, I spoke with a manager named Damon today...and Damon is a nice man, but, he and his co-manager Carlos are upholding company policies which are abusive to customers.
My major peeve is that the 24 Hour Fitness policy is for staff to do no policing of member behavior with respects to being civil to other members, and to share equipment rather than monopolizing equipment once a member is using a particular piece of equipment.
Last night, 8/6/08, I waited until 8PM or so to go to the gym so I was not there at peak use hours. During this work out, I had 2 unpleasant experiences, one of which resulted in me suffering through one of the clubs meat head customers using a lot of vulgar, threatening language on me, directly in front of one of the club employees (Mike - 50 year old, seasoned trainer types). I had asked the other member to allow me to work in with him on a particular weight lifting machine...he had just completed one set, and he told me that I could not use the machine until he was completed with two more sets...accordingly, the other member refused to share the equipment and as I walked away, he offered me a pleasant "### you."
I promptly went to get Mike the trainer...& Mike came back with me (which took about 2 minutes) and Mike asked the member why he would not share the equipment...and the other member said he only needed the equipment for 60 seconds...which is nonsense...no one does 3 sets of the same lifting excercise in 60 seconds...Mike accepted the other members story, and when I pointed out the folly of the discussion, the other member let out a string of threatening vulgarities...lots of ### yous, and you are an ###...etc etc etc...and Mike refused to require the member to stop with the verbal attack...and instead, Mike became animated with me and using a loud tone of voice expressing that I was not letting him do his job.
My view is that it was Mike's job to require the sharing of equipment amongst members, and to require all members to behave civilly...but this is not what occurred. Instead, the situation was escalated, and the possibility of having a true physical confrontation was very real.
The sad thing is that I have had other, previous protracted discussions with the club's manager, Carlos, as well as another manager named Damon...as well as their District Manager...and they felt no need to police the behavior of their members, or to require a pleasant sharing of equipment amongst members. I addressed the issue thoroughly with them, and they "blew me off" and said that this was a non issue, and 24 Hour Fitness felt no need to do a better job of policing their facilities.
My thoughts with readers of this "letter" is to simply be aware that when you buy into 24 Hour Fitness facilities, that it is an inexpensive facitily with lots of access hours, but the management and safety are minimal...the clubs I have seen, including the Concord Sun Valley Mall facility are not particularly clean (particularly the showers and bathrooms)...towel and cleanliness requirements of the members is almost non existant (anyone read about the staph viruses/infections that have come to exist in recent years?)...and one has to be prepared to have conflict with other club members if you want to have access to the equipment because club employees are told to leave this kind of conflict up to the members to work things out.
Club Employees and managers like Carlos and Damon fear the possibility of losing their jobs, so they do not bring these issues up to their superiors...and if members ask to talk to upper management customer service phone lines, they will find that the customer service clerks offer to let you write letters or to talk to the local managers like Carlos and Damon, who do nothing and fear talking to superiors about policies that serve customers.
I have asked to have my initition fees refunded and my contract cancelled so I can join a new club that I prefer to be a part of without having these costs for a second time, but Damon has said that it is unlikely that I will be refunded money or to be released. What a sham...everyone knows that these excercise clubs end up dispappointing customers...this is just another example. 24 Hour Fitness is just another club looking to get your fees, then provide the absolute least amount of services possible. I suppose one gets what one pays for...you pay cheap, you get cheap and low class.
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