LifeTime Fitness / money scam
I joined Lifetime Fitness is Dublin, Ohio after my gym (Sawmill Athletic Club) closed for over a year for renovations. Lifetime seems to be a comprehensive gym that offers cardio, weight training machines and free weights, personal training, group classes, 2 pools, sauna, showers, a spa, a decent cafe, and various other features.
I'd been a member here for 3 years. The facility is very nice and large, but after a while I realized that no updates ever take place. They have the same hodgepodge of equipment that they've had since they opened. There is plenty of quality cardio equipment but the weight training machines are breaking down and there aren't enough of them. The free weights areas are way too small and crowded, and are frequently filled with personal trainers.
Immediately upon joining you are given a free "fitness evaluation" which amounts to a high pressure sales tactic to try to enlist you in personal training. This is an area where they make more money, so it's a priority to them to have as many trainers and clients being actively trained as they can. The trainers, of which they are way too many hanging around, are unfriendly, unhelpful, surly, and generally unprofessional. They engage their clients in programs that are "trendy" rather than beneficial, and appear to be too difficult for their clients to keep up with. The clients usually look pretty silly and frustrated trying to do the "latest and greatest" exercises. They also will cordon off an area to work with their clients, and hog 2-3 machines at a time. Some nights it takes 2-3 times as long as it should just waiting on and avoiding the trainers. I do not understand their unfriendly and unhelpful demeanors. If they're trying to enlist clients, shouldn't they try to be approachable? In particular, a tall skinny older trainer there named "John" will definitely give you an annoyed attitude if you interrupt one of his conversations or web surfing when he isn't working with a client. You can't expect help from them at all unless you're paying them.
Overall the place, from reception right on up to general manager, has become rather cocky, as if they feel as if you should be honored to be present in their club. A quality service organization should always make you feel as if THEY are honored to serve you, not the other way around.
My kids really enjoyed the outdoor pool at first, but it's nearly impossible to find a place to sit on the weekends during the summer. They need to double or even triple the patio space around the pool. They have the room, it's just concrete, right?
Although fairly new, the club is not really adequately cleaned. The steam room is pretty revolting, as are the showers, especially on the weekends. The cleaning seems to be mostly concerned with cosmetics, rather than thoroughness.
The overall impression that I have is that they will do anything to sign up new members, no matter how crowded the place is already, but do just enough to keep them. That seems naive and short-sighted to me, as any quality organization will tell you that it's more expensive to attract new clients than to retain existing ones. The gym is too crowded, which is causing dedicated members to leave and be replaced by those who only seek nominal participation in a fitness club. Eventually the casual members leave too because they aren't using it enough, which will lead to membership churn and more overcrowding as the sales team tries furiously to replace those that leave.
I have canceled my membership, as have many of my acquaintances there recently. Many of the members that I speak to there are becoming fed up with many of the things I list here, but mainly the overcrowding, lack of updates to the facility, and the overall churlish and apathetic attitudes of most of their staff.
I may rejoin some day after they have fired their GM and get their trainers out of the way.
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