Monday, July 20, 2009

A true story

I decided to end my membership at Fitness First since I wasn’t exercising there anymore. So I called the gym, and was informed that I couldn’t quit on the phone. I have to make a trip to the gym to sign the papers. It seemed a fair enough request to me, and so we agreed that I would go down to the gym on Friday, 8.30pm. Then this was what happened when I arrived at the appointed time:

ME – masterofboots
FF – F First reception staff

ME: Hi, I would like to end my membership
FF: Our manager has left for the day. Can I make you an appointment to meet him?
ME: I have an appointment. It is now. I called yesterday.
FF: But our manager has left for the day. He is the only one who can process this.
ME: Then why arrange to let me come now?
FF: We don’t accept appointments by phone.
ME: Why do I have to make an appointment just to quit?
FF: Our manager would like to talk to you
ME: I don’t want to talk to anyone!

It transpired that to quit the gym, I have to:

1. Go to the gym personally to make an appointment with the manager
2. Go and see the manager
3. Give one month’s notice and pay one more month’s fees.

I didn’t lose my temper. I deliberately threw it away. I refused to sit down, and stood by the reception, scowling and with folded arms. I decided that I would stand there until the next morning if I had to. Sure enough, in a little while, the ‘departure form’ emerged, I was allowed to sign it, though there is no getting away from the extra month's fees.

I would like to say on the record that these terms and behavior are unreasonable, and greatly lowers my opinion of the company. Of course I can’t fight the bullying behavior of Big Business, but I would hesitate to put myself under such a yoke again.

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