Virgin Active South Africa — unethical behaviour
I just want to express my concern about the way your Virgin Active club at Maerua Mall, Windhoek Namibia is operating.
Unfortunately it is not the first time I had a problem with that club and it’s manager. Last year when their system was off a few times during the year as well, one had to write all details on an attendance register, for our medical aid’s gym rebates. Not once was mine corrected on the system, and according to Mr Du Preez at the time I laid a complaint with his club I had been told that it is my own problem, which I already found pathetic to blame the client who contributes to his salary if the club was in the wrong due to old IT equipment; not to even mention the state the gym equipment was in at that club.
Over school - and university holidays the place was a gathering place for the youth to have their daily get together, occupying most of the equipment and no gym personnel in site to instruct them to get off the equipment if they are not training, loose weight occupying the whole gym floor, and no one to pick it up, some members always had to go and complain before someone came and removed the weights from the floor for members to not fall over the stuff. Gym personnel rather spent time chatting with their buddies, instead of doing their jobs to instruct guilty members to put away weights and to use sweat towels.
Now the club moved premises and it is not even half the size the previous club was, and not near enough equipment for all members to train with, although the monthly membership fee stayed exactly the same.
Mirrors were installed to give the impression of size, but seems to me if it never got to anyone’s mind that if you use mirrors to give the impression of a larger floor area, for each person you move into the building it would give the impression of two people in the gym.
Now all of a sudden we get targeted that we may not keep our gym bag with us, even though we gym in off peak hours, and the gym bag was under the working bench.
Your manager at that club, Mr Andre Du Preez and his staff are more concerned about a bag under a training bench which is in nobody’s way, than members who leave equipment on the floor, and who do not even using sweat towels when they are using the equipment. The place also smells like drain pipes.
As he told Doctor WasserfallWednesday, we should rather keep the bag in the car if we do not want to lock it in one of the lockers. It was not a very polite statement from one of your group’s managers to say at all.
Doctor Wasserfall explained to him that in two occasions his bag was stolen from 2 of your gyms in South Africa from a locked locker in your locker rooms, after locks had been cut, once in Johannesburg and once in Pretoria, and he is not prepared to take that risk again; every time VA clubs just said it is not their problem. Mr Du Preez told him if something of that nature will happen in his gym he will investigate, how will he investigate with no cameras in the locker rooms???
Doctor Wasserfall said that if Mr Du Preez could supply him with a letter that he will take full responsibility for the bag if this would happen in his gym, then we will put the gym bag in a locker; where upon Mr Du Preez replied, he can’t do that but he can give him a letter that his gym bag may not be on the gym floor, another unwise thing to say.
I find that Mr Du Preez does not have the skill to be in the position as a manager of Virgin Active; as he does not even know that the first polite thing to do as fully trainer manager if you want to sort out a problem is to ask the member to join you to your office for a quick chat and you do not confront a member in front of other members in the gym, it was most unprofessional indeed. In one’s office you start by asking who the member is and then start talking about the problem; not just come to a member and start harassing him about the bag under the bench. You first find out who the member is and his title, before you treat him like a child.
We decided to rather cancel our membership, due to the unprofessional way we were treated in. When we canceled our memberships the lady at the counter said that we would be billed by another N$108 next month for cancelation, as we have to give a months notice? So members get penalized if your management incompetences?