I've been a golds member for two years and didn't want to renew my contract. During my move I lost my contract paperwork. Golds automatically debits my monthly payment. Since i know most places have a 30-60 day period to proccess cancellations I decided to go in early. My contract is up in November, I went into Golds in Mid-September. It was a quiet afternoon so noone was in sight except for the one desk girl. Presumably asian, about 5'8", kind of young. The conversation goes pretty much like this -
Me: Hi, i'd like to know how i can go about cancelling my account.
her: oh you want to cancel now?
me: well no, my contract is up in november, i just don't want to continue it
her: OH ok then, you don't have to do anything
me: (a little skeptical) really? so there's no paperwork to sign, no forms to fill out?
her: yep, it just automatically stops
me: sooo... it's not going to keep charging me when it's up?
her: no, they'll send you something if you want to renew
at that point the phone is on its third ring so she kind of rushes through her sentence and then answers the phone. No "just a second" or "excuse me while i get this call" nothing. i figure the conversation is over, i've got my info, I leave. Get where this is going? Fastfoward to December. I live check to check so I balance my money down to the last penny. My contract was $33.00 a month so as you can imagine, I don't exactly have that much money sitting around, extra. I've just put in my rent check so I know my balance once that clears will be less than $10. of course I check and Golds has taken a december payment. Noooot good. Now my rent check will bounce, causing me a $100 fee, plus I will have to pay every future rent payment in money orders. I go in and explain my sitch, basically saying the employee lied to me. The accounts lady is just uber concerned, "oh no!" with the surprised face, the whole nine. She says that is completely wrong and nowhere near their policy, and the employee was misinformed. To cancel an account you have to put it in writing AND send it certified mail. She then steps two feet to the right (keep in mind I'm at the same desk as I was in september) and grabs a sheet of paper from a stack and asks if the employee had given me one. I said "no, what is it?" and she gives it to me, it's a detailed list of how and under what conditions you can cancel your account. I said "No, she gave me nothing", I repeated our convo. She asked me who this employee was and I described her. Before I was even halfway through she said "i know exactly who you're talking about". Which leads me to believe that either shes' the only asian girl there (entirely possible) or they have an employee that's known for making a lot of mistakes. I said it wasn't a big deal that the girl was not aware of your cancellation policy because if she was new you can't expect them to know everythign right off the bat. But it was unacceptable for her to make up an answer, or to not go and ask a coworker for assistance. So accounts lady talks to the manager and comes back and offers me that they'll cancel my account for me now, but they can't refund my money. Not workin for me, so i asked to see her manager. He basically says the same thing, but much meaner.
During the course of our convo he repeated their policy and says "it's stated in the contract you signed." Nice strongarm tactic. Not workin. He also says "well i wasn't present for your conversation [with the original employee] so i can't be sure of what exactly was said". Way to imply that your customer is lying to you! and then "that's all i can offer for you, we'll be happy to process that right now" No, i'm not done talking actually, nice try at ending the convo. I basically told him he had horrible business practices, it was unethical to allow your employees to lie to your customers and make the customers pay the price for the mistake. It was insane that he would allow this, especially over $33, hardly a large blow to such a large corporation. Needless to say I got no response to that. I asked to speak to his manager.
him:"I am the general manager"
me:(No shit sherlock) Yes, you're the GM of the BIRMINGHAM store. Who is your regional manager?
him: Her name is Sandy *mumble mumble*
me: Sandy who?
him: Sandy King
me: Ok, and how do I reach her?
him: oh you can just call the same number that you called here
me: so sandy is in the store?
him: no she travels
me: So how can I reach her to talk to her
him: You can't just call you have to make an appointment
ok WHO does this motherfucker think he is messing with? You do not try to throw a PMSing woman off the scent of the trail.
me: If sandy is not in the store why would I call here to talk to her? How do I make an appointment?
him: Well if you leave your name and number she will get back to you
me: i'll do that
hmm that doesn't sound like making an appointment to me. But i'll just go with it because he's obviously trying to give me the runaround. I get up and walk away and he calls after me "have a nice day!" yeah right. Notice that at no point in that convo did he offer to take my name and number to pass on to Sandy. So i walk over to the desk where an employee is on the phone and she instinctively offers me a pen. I'm writing sandy's name down and the manager appears behind the desk "is there something else i can help you with?"
me: well yes, it would help if you'd write down my name and number to give to sandy so she can call me
he writes it down on one of those "you have a message" type pads. Note, he doesn't write Sandy's name anywhere on there, or any kind of reason why she woudl need to call me, etc etc. This note is never going to make it to Sandy. I said "i'm giving Sandy two days to call me before I move past her" and walked out.
so hey, not hugely bad service. I wasn't insulted or treated rudely. I just think that if your employee blatantly lies to customers, they should own their mistake. If I hadn't lost my contract then I wouldn't have needed to ask them how to cancel, i would've been able to follow procedures on my own. If there was anything written on their website about how to cancel, i would've followed it. But I had nothing to go on but their word and now it is costing me who knows how much. I know sometimes people say "it's not the money it's the principle", well this is about the money. It's a drop in their bucket, but a splash in mine. Any manager worth their salt would take the company loss on this one and satisfy the customer. It outweighs the bad taste left in my mouth and all the negative publicity i'll be sure to give Golds Gym from here on out.
Of course I went straight to the bank to block Gold's access to my account. He also told me how much I needed to deposit to cover my check clearing and i managed to scrounge up enough couch change to be safe. But i am sooooo beyond irritated. I scoured the website but couldn't find a contact number. I'll write a letter if i absolutely have to, but I'd prefer not to since I can be easily blown off that way. Live people can be the easiest to win over. Any help would be appreciated.