As a rule of thumb, I do not post negative things on my site for several reasons. I will ask a company if they would rather me post a negative review or nothing at all if I dislike their product. It was after lots of deep thinking that I have been compelled to write this article.
A couple weeks ago I walked through the doors of Strength and Beyond Fitness and Tanning on Gull Rd. in Kalamazoo, MI. I had no intention of joining, I simply wished to tour the facility and inquire about a membership.
Little did I know what was in store for me when a big buff man greeted me with a smile. The tour of the facility lasted a mere five minutes and the rest of the time I was there was spent listening to the big buff man try to get me to fall for his spiel with his slick used-car salesmen techniques. He made it seem like I had no other choice but to join the gym if I wanted to get fit and healthy. He was rather rude about it too. Like a fool, I feel for it.
The gentlemen told me a lot of things. One of which he kept repeating was that Planet Fitness was not a gym. What is the purpose of downgrading another gym I wondered? He also told me that if I moved he would void my contract. I wonder if he truly intends to honor this. I signed a three year contract that day.
After talking with my neighbors, my sister, my husband, and doing a little research on the gym itself, I found lots of people with similar stories. I decided I was going to go in the next day and ask him to void my contract. After all, it had been less than three days.
Upon entering the facility for the second time I noticed a girl about 17 years old pleading with the big buff guy. She looked very distraught as she begged him to cancel her personal training contract. She said she could hardly afford to pay her car note. He just kept saying sorry.
When it was my turn, I followed him into his office and politely asked him to cancel my contract. When he said he couldn’t, I told him I was media and if he didn’t want negative publicity he would tear up my contract. He threw up his hands clearly frustrated and said, “have a nice day.”
I walked out with rage. I was ready to tear the place up, but before I could send out a Tweet, or post anything I got a phone call from the person in charge. He was very polite and offered me free personal training sessions and told me he’d waive my annual fee.
All was well again until I saw a FB post my husband’s friend had wrote sharing her negative experience at the gym. Before I could comment his friend deleted the status and erased what negative she had to say. I guess the same guy had called her and apologized and offered her 6 free months. How many people have just brushed away the negative reviews because someone smooth talked them?
I have not walked through the doors of Strength and Beyond since that day. A bitter taste has been left in my mouth and it will forever remain there. I write this post in hopes others will learn from my experience and not step foot in the doors of Strength and Beyond on Gull Rd.
Have you had a bad experience with Strength and Beyond? Leave me a comment below.