LA Fitness — pro results personal training
I am not happy at all with the aggressive and high-pressure sales tactics employed by LA Fitness for their Pro Results personal training program! I'm sure there are success stories out there, but certainly LA Fitness has a lot to learn about customer service. I just had a truly awful experience with LA Fitness and their Pro Results program and sales staff. The personal trainer who introduced me to the program was really great and they actually gave me two sessions instead of the typical 1. I'm a reasonable person and knows that there is no free lunch, I was patiently waiting for the sales pitch and was actually ready to sign on. That came at the end of the second session. I was given the typical hoopla about the wonderful benefits of the program and how much better I would feel (Which, of course, was very true. All of us can benefit from a good personal trainer). I went along with the pitch, but I was really interested in the bottom line and the details. I was already sold on the "Why I wanted this."
The personal trainer/sales rep finally brought out the pricing guide (if you could call it that). It reminded me of the silly four box car sales sheet you get at the dealership. It consisted of three headings with the length of contract and a number. Bellow each heading was a series of 4 numbers: 2, 4, 8, 12. There were no explanations anywhere on this sheet. Even the trainer/sales rep was confused (he was fairly new). He had to call his boss to have it explained. What the numbers were was the number of sessions per month, and the number in the heading was the cost per session. So, for a 3 month contract, you paid roughly $60 per session. What's more, you are billed monthly based on the number of sessions you selected. the problems didn't start until I asked for details about how the sessions would be scheduled, what the cancellation policy was, what would happen if I was called out of town (I'm an engineer who is called out to customer sites on a regular basis).
This is when things got ugly. the trainer/rep was really nice about it and took my questions and asked his boss (who was on the phone) about the details. the boss (Eddy) refused to provide any. I persisted in my questions and the phone was handed to me. Rather than answer my questions, I was thrown into a high-pressure sales pitch with the typical "ignore my question", followed by the "how much are you willing to pay?" type dialog. I then asked for a printed copy of the contract so that I could look it over before signing anything. The boss outright refused, stating that company policy was not to provide this until the contract was signed. Excuse me!!? You must sign the contract before you can see it??? The boss also refused to provide any other details about cancellation or exact details about missed sessions since I would be paying on a monthly basis and not a per session basis. The boss asked to talk with the trainer again. I guess the boss lit a fire because the trainer redoubled his efforts to get me to sign the contract right then and there. I refused and told them that I never sign contracts on the day I am presented with one. I always stop to think. They were not happy with this at all and I nearly had to just get up and walk away. I politely told the trainer that I was not going to sign anything that day and that I would think it over and crunch the numbers on the program I wanted and see if I could afford it. (Hello, we are in an economic crisis here. What happens if I'm unemployed? (A big possibility))
I crunched the numbers and the price did not make sense for me, all things considered. Not wanting to take the cowardly way out (although I dreaded having a repeat of the day before) I came in the next day for my daily workout and stopped by the trainer's desk to give him my decision. Well, when I went over to his desk, there was another gentleman there. The gentleman turned out to be the trainer's boss whom I had spoken to over the phone the day before. I introduced myself and told the trainer I was very sorry, that I really enjoyed the training sessions and working with him, but that I had to decline given my current job situation and the economy. The program was just too pricey. The boss immediately injects himself into the conversation and starts asking for what I can afford. I curtly tell him that they are just too pricey. He starts arguing with me over how much my health is worth and that I need to give him a number. I made the mistake of answering him. He jumps on this number and first berates me for giving him a ridiculous number and then somehow finds a program at that cost. I was actually happy at first. But then, he still refused to answer my questions about the terms of the contract and providing any solid details about how I made schedules and what happens if I'm out of town. This boss refused to give up, and tried humiliating me into signing by telling me that I just like to waste peoples time and I never had any intention of signing up. I just wanted to abuse their hospitality and waste the trainer's valuable time. I'm now getting angry (yet trying to stay cool, because getting into a shouting match never helps anything). I'm still refusing to budge and the boss resorts to accusing me of BSing them and that he knew I was BSing when he talked to me the day before. I took my leave right then and walked away, telling them that I would come back when things had changed.
You know, that really stunk because I go to that gym regularly and now I have to put up with this jerk who runs the place and wouldn't take no for an answer.
LA Fitness, are you listening????!
All I wanted was:
The terms of contract, clearly stated, on paper.
The pricing terms, clearly stated.
The scheduling terms and how I set up appointments, clearly stated.
What happens when I am not able to attend a session (since this is billed monthly), clearly stated.
The cancellation policy and restrictions, clearly stated.
Not only could the sales staff not provide these details, the management refused!!? Not only that, but I'm openly insulted to boot. Accused of wasting their time! Wait a minute, who's paying the bills here? Wait again, who was approached, unsolicited, by the trainer/sales rep?
You are lucky you have good facilities. I am really leaning on canceling my membership, but the LA Fitness has the nearest gym to where I work. This has left a very sour taste in my mouth regarding LA Fitness.
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