HOUSTON, TEXAS -- If you want to get promoted or even stay employed, it's vital you partake in the “Leader Led” behaviors promoted by 24 Hour Fitness. My Club Manager (CM) has been recognized on National Newsletters and District Conference calls time and time again for being a prime example of these behaviors. With that being said, I would now like to illustrate what I witnessed since he arrived at my location:
The CM enjoys avoiding responsibility for anything that happens in the club that is negative and taking credit for any success we had in the fitness, membership, and service department. In other words, point the finger at the people who work for you when something goes wrong, but take all the credit if you reach or exceed budget. As the District Manager (DM) stated, “The Power of One”. This demonstrates the Leadership Competency of Set Direction.
The CM did not process PARS, Bio's or do any administrative work when the club didn't have an SM for over 3 weeks. This resulted in employees not getting paid properly, supplies not being ordered, and delayed new employees from getting hired. The CM likes to blame it on a faulty computer error.
The CM made sure to bring his iPad or iPhone into the club to watch “Bad Grandpa” and “Two Guns” during his shift during the week and especially if he had to work on a Saturday. However, the DM was only aware of the CM's good behavior. Therefore, the CM would be praised for ‘working' on a Saturday and be recognized for all of his hard work via conference calls. This would be the Leadership Competency Lead with Passion.
The CM didn't introduce himself to various team members for several months. He made sure to only approach team members when he needed something or wanted to see what they would be selling for the day. Also, and this is vital, he stressed the concept of “Do NOT train and develop your staff because it's a waste of time”. You could be, “Selling a membership”. This demonstrates Building a Great Team.
The CM made sure to sell at least 5-6 Intro 5 Packs to members who were not really interested in training at the beginning of the month. This allowed him to reach the counselor fitness budget very quickly and it helped to decrease the Active Client Count in the Fitness Department. It was at this point that he was able to boast during conference calls about how he hit the CF goal quickly, but would then coast in that area the rest of the month. This is an excellent way to demonstrate the Leadership Competency Innovate.
The CM made sure he was (and still currently is) the DM's “Puppet” by running the play every month even though the play might not be effective for that particular club or the entire district. The CM would rather see the club miss goal, but “run the play”, than hit goal and be innovative. Making sure the play was ran definitely got him recognized. To sum these key tactics up, he made sure to put all administrative work, training, development, and talking to members and staff aside so he could “sell, sell, sell” as the DM would phrase it.
Finally, and most importantly, “Take Decisive Action” was demonstrated by giving out Final Warning CAR's to staff with no prior infractions. He was ready to FIRE his employees if they hit their goals every month, asked any questions, or didn't agree with everything he said because it was, “HIS club, HIS staff, and HIS culture will be implemented in every department”.
I was told in my final two months, the ONLY thing I was allowed to do was walk on the floor and book New Member Sessions (NMS). PERIOD. I was clearly instructed NOT to call our new members, the backlog, the inactive clients, or past clients. My ONLY responsibility was booking NMS off the floor, selling them training, and passing clients off to the staff.
According to our PT Coaches Playbook, there were numerous ways to sell new business, but the CM's “Play” was the only thing that mattered. If I did anything other than what he instructed, I was being "insubordinate". The DM and the CM took away the tools that had made me successful in the past, as evidenced by me winning Regional and District FM Personal Production contests months before this CM came to our club. At this point, my job was nearly impossible to succeed at and I was set up for failure.
In closing, time is more valuable than money. I can never get back the 9 years of hard work I dedicated to 24 Hour Fitness. The only thing that kept me with the company is my team that I deeply cared about. Every action I took was for the best interest of my staff and I hope this is apparent by the letters of recommendation, client testimonials and my club and personal production numbers. The most detrimental aspect of this situation was the mental stress placed on me by my Area Director / District Manager, my District HR Representative and my Club Manager telling me I was not a good leader, I was inadequate, and I should leave.
If they would have been honest and said they were cutting costs and could no longer afford keeping me on the payroll or offered me another position, I would not be writing this review. I've always been transparent and honest with people in my life. I thought it would be beneficial for people to know exactly how this company operates and how disposable I was after I dedicated several years of my life to changing people's lives, helping the company reach their mission, and fulfilling my obligation and duty as a Fitness Manager III, Assistant Fitness Manager, and Master Trainer.
Get out while you still can. I've had close colleagues get fired in a similar fashion to me after spending 10-15 years of their life with the company. Instead of being transparent they will lead you to believe you aren't performing well, find a reason to give you a corrective action, and fire you on the spot. This is to avoid paying you any severance or unemployment benefits. Worst of all it reflects badly on your resume and you can't use them as a reference. I left 24 back in 2010 and they recruited me back in 2013. I had a great job at a private facility making very good money, but they promised me the World when recruiting me, only to fire me less than a year later.
Keep in mind, I hit goal 7 out of my 8 last months there and had the best track record of any FM in that club's history. This was when they were in the process of selling the company and were looking for ways to cut costs. There is a tremendous amount of politics involved and regardless of how hard you work if you're not brown nosing the DM good luck on getting promoted.
CALIFORNIA -- WISH I COULD GIVE IT ZERO STARS!!! This review is about 24-hour Fitness' Customer Service in general. For over a year, I have been trying to get my problem resolved - unsuccessfully. I have been a member since April 22, 1993 when I purchased a "Family Keep Fit" membership. At that time there were 3 of us on that membership: Myself: Contract # **, my husband, John Contract # **, My son, Jonathan Contract # **.
On July 22, 1996, I added my youngest son, Christopher - Contract # **. His contract clearly stated that his contract was related to mine. I paid a monthly VISA charge of $19.00 ($12.67 + 6.33) for the first 3 contracts and when Christopher was added on, an additional $5.00 per month was added on to my VISA. When Christopher tried to use his card at the Club recently, he was denied entry, because, they told him, his account had not been paid since 2010!
When I checked my credit card statements, I saw that everything was fine through 2009, however, beginning in January 2010 the $5.00 charge for Christopher's membership simply dropped off the bill. No notification was given to me at that time and I did not request any kind of a cancellation. When I talked to your Corporate Office's Member Services this afternoon, they said the $5.00 charge in January 2010 was denied. How can this be? The monthly charges of $12.67 and $6.33 went through without any problem and have continued to go through to the present time. Shouldn't I have been notified in 2010 when this was a problem?
I am not sure who to blame for this problem, but I feel their billing department should have noticed that my VISA card was good for the other charges as they are all put through on the same date and all the contract numbers are linked to one another and would have attempted to at least notify me that there was a problem. As I said, Christopher's contract clearly states that it was related to the original contract.
I had asked to have Christopher's membership re-instated. I am, of course, willing to make up the $5.00 monthly payments from the time they stopped being charged to my VISA. Corporate Office's Members Services indicated that since it had been more than 6 months since the account was cancelled, they could not re-instate it. We have been satisfied customers for over 20 years up to this point in time - I would think they would like to keep us. This should never have happened.
HOUSTON -- They lie to you when you sign up. I signed up after I was told I would be able to use the club in the Woodland TX on Lake Woodlands. When I went there I was told I need the "super-sport" membership and would need to upgrade and pay more money. I would not have signed up if I had known this. The staff just want you to sign up and don't care about what you want.
The front desk staff are ignorant of what's included and what's not. They want you to sign on the dotted line so they can get their bonus. This included lying to you and misselling. Don't even bother with customer service as this is a joke. They only threaten you with collection agencies if you don't pay up. A truly nasty unethical business. Stay away from them.
AUSTIN, TEXAS -- Member of 24 since 4 years now, I have seen multiple week end cycle classes now cancelled over excuses as memorial day (which was not a week end day), then mother day and now father day. Well this is not acceptable, attending those week ends I have seen the club had usual attendance and many members coming and surprised of those cancellations.
If this very unfortunate trend continues with always more excuses to cancel classes I will consider switching to the new LA place coming soon on Lamar. I would also like to see the equipment repair more diligent as for instance the current ab chair out for more than 4 weeks, and the multiple issues/malfunctions of steam an Jacuzzi bath, on and off almost permanently since one year now.
Finally, the astounding number of dead or alive running cockroaches since 2 weeks is certainly not a good sign of diligent cleaning. The accumulation of those management deficiencies take your club below average level, probably for very small savings to delay fixes, proper maintenance and reduce a few hours of classes if this the choice you do to run the place I believe it is shortsighted and long term it will be costly loosing to your competition. I will distribute a copy of this email to my fellow cyclers along with your answer I am expecting.
REDLANDS, CALIFORNIA -- I do not understand how a company can charge you an annual fee when you have not had a membership for a year yet. Did I not pay this at the beginning when I signed up? So if I decide to cancel my membership at the year do I get my annual fee back? They said it would be prorated! So the answer is NO! How can you charge me the annual fee? My year for being a member will be short lived when the actual year is here in May. So "Yes," if there is a class action lawsuit I will be involved.
TEMECULA, CALIFORNIA -- Their computer lost my subscription. Despite my fingerprint, passcode, and membership card. After I made a fuss they found it and said it expired 9 years earlier. After a few hours left on their own the local management found my membership and said it had just expired a week before. (My yearly membership had for close to 2 decades expires in December not June.) Claimed they sent renewal notices but to an address in a city far far away which I have never lived close to.
When escalated to corporate they said it was up to me to renew my membership on time but they would be glad to get me back into the system for $500 a year. (Had been paying $99/Yr.) When I looked into it further I discovered I'm just one of thousands that this has happened to. Looking at Consumer Reports "24 Hour Fitness" is boldly upgrading their pay structure. All old members that paid a huge membership fee of close to a thousand and then $99 a year are now being pruned and replaced with $500/yr memberships.
Fortunately "LA Fitness" is far superior and far less expensive. Along with numerous other gyms "24 Hour Fitness" is the slum gym in the fitness world. Check it out in person and then check the other gyms so you don't make this mistake. The only positive about this may be they have a gym close to where you live. Even then it might not be worth it since other gyms are cheaper, better facilities, and a better atmosphere.
SUNNYVALE, CALIFORNIA -- One of the clerks from the front desk cut off my lock during my workout. Another patron claimed that I put my lock on a locker with his belongings. He did not have a lock. After discussing this with the manager on duty (Devin **), she politely declined to replace my lock. Unsatisfied with this decision, I called the club manager to review this situation. After hearing the complaint, he promised to talk to his staff and return my call. He did not call back.
My various experiences with this franchise indicates they do not value the customers from whom they collect dues and don't really care if they lose members. There are constant plumbing problems which they use gym towels to plug leaks. These are the same towels they issue to customers. Broken equipment stay broken for months. The managers are not trained to conduct themselves with good customer service. Do not spend your money on this franchise.
TWIN OAK ST. LOCATION, BEAVERTON, OREGON -- I was a member at 24 Hour Fitness one other time and was not pleased with the customer service. They acted as if they didn't care if you were there or not. The club always looked dirty and I never saw anyone ever cleaning the facility. The equipment was old and who knows if they ever replaced the old equipment with new updated equipment. Recently I went to the club in Beaverton, Or on Twin Oaks street. I was waiting for a class to start so decided to warm up on the treadmill. The first one was out of order so I decided to get on the next one. There was a TV playing and lots of people talking/other machines running as I stepped on the treadmill.
To my surprise, it was running at top speed. I went flying off, landed on the floor in a heap and fractured my shoulder. The woman next to me paid no attention to me and kept on running. I tried to get up but couldn't because I was in so much pain. Thank goodness there was a couple of good Samaritans that came and picked me up. My first thought was, why anyone would leave the machine running? The bigger question is where was the staff and why weren't they walking around and monitoring all of the equipment making sure the people were safe and their equipment was working and shut off properly.
When I reported the accident to the woman down stairs, she showed no concern when I told her what had happened. I tried for weeks to get a hold of the manager. All I could do was to talk to the jock woman assistant manager which showed no concern either and put all the blame on me. She said she would make a report but nothing has come of it if she did make a report. I finally reached the manager and he said he would get back with me but never has, and also showed no concern. Even though it has cost me hundreds of dollars in doctors bills for which they should be at least partially responsible, at the very least an apology.
They need to post signs that say shut off equipment after using. When I talked to the manager, I told him I wanted my membership put on hold, and he wanted to see all my doctor bills to prove the accident. I will take the bills in this week but really doubt that anything will come of it. Stay tuned for a follow up on the bills question.
Twenty4 hour fitness makes plenty of money from the "biggest loser" so, what do they care. I have had the same non-caring attitude at all the 24 hour clubs. I would not recommend them to anyone. In the mean time I am still waiting to hear from the manager who after telling him I want no more to do with this club continues to take money out of my account. I will have to cancel the money from the bank side.
Good luck to anyone having to do with 24hour fitness. I recommend LA Fitness. They keep their club immaculate and actually show concern and are always replacing the old equipment with the most up dated equipment on the market. Please check them out.
24 Hour Fitness Company overall is horrible.-- I repeat- HORRIBLE. I worked for them for 4 years, tried to make it work out, tried to better the management system, and for those efforts, they have betrayed me, lied to me and violated me. I will NEVER forget how they treated me, after I was such a loyal, hard working honest, direct, and dedicated employee, constantly adapting to every "new" manager's demands like every 6 months and pressures and addressing issues as they were. They claim they are "customer-driven". This is absolutely false. Ultimately, they are Not customer driven until they get the money from you.
"Customer Driven" is just a new "Buzz word" to give mediocre managers the excuse to reinforce their sweatshop for their personal trainers, level the playing field for all trainers so that there are no "stars" in the show (the middle line of trainers get jealous if anyone outshines them in any way), and contain all of the problems in the gym that they really don't want to take responsibility for, although their rules that they don't even follow are posted on their walls in the gym.
I brought to the attention of my immediate supervisor in the "chain of command" about a guy not stopping asking me out and wanting to "talk about God" with me after his training sessions, and making continuous creepy comments such as "You make me want to please you" during our workout sessions.
After I had addressed this THREE times to my manager, he never did anything about it. I first called and specifically always ask for him to call me back (duh). He never did. So I approached him at work to warn him about it and connect with him, since he is "never accessible." All he could say was "In what context was it in when he said 'you make me want to please you'."
Nothing was done, again.
So I gave it one more try with him and basically told him that this individual needs to be reassigned. My supervisor told me "he would talk to his club manager about it" and "get back to me about it." He never did. I then wrote a letter about all of this to his manager and at the end of the letter, it said to "please call me ASAP" as usual. This guy never called me!
I finally had to contact HR and only after 10 days of this, the day before I was supposed to train this creepy 55 year old man, HR finally reassigns this guy to someone else. What a horrible experience. But that is not all about how bad this company is and how much they lie to their employees and the public about their empty promises and selected people that they like to be with based on their screwy company ways and office politics, listening to all the B.S. and the wrong people.
When management asks for your side of the story for anything, they really don't listen to it. They also hand it over to HR to do their "dirty work" for them. HR claims they are doing an "investigation", but rather, it is really an INTERROGATION. This is where they basically don't listen to you as they promised they would, berate you, and bully you into saying what they want to hear, not really your true and authentic side of the story.
They really don't want to hear hear your side of the story regarding being ganged up on, they ultimately just do what they want with you depending on the politics at that time and what mediocre trainers and managers and somewhat - good trainers want --the undercurrent.
While you are in the middle of trying to explain things to them, they cut you off, verbally abuse you, spin your words, and treat you like dirt. They violate your rights as an employee, get rid of you with our without wrong reasons. Management did not even have a club meeting for a total of NINE months. And, my manager did not even honor his requirement of having his bimonthly meetings with me and other training staff.
Management wanted for me to sell and service clients like crazy, but when it came to giving me the actual sign in sheets as needed for clients to train with me in a timely manner, so that the system would run smoothly and professionally, they would completely deny their incompetence in not doing it, try to put blame on the trainer, and get angry and defensive for their own incompetence of the root of the problem- there not doing their job and openly communicating with their employees effectively and consistently.
General Rule of Thumb Here: Bottom Line: Don't support a shady business like this one. Don't work for a shady business like this one, where the majority is shady and not trustworthy. Don't give them any of your energy or most of all, your money. That is what they ultimately want under their "customer service mask." For those of you who consider yourselves intelligent and worthy of people who really care, 24 Hour fitness is in no way for you. There is no loyalty at 24 Hour Fitness.
Unfortunately, the majority at 24 Hour Fitness does not manage well, the trainers are mediocre, their caliber is so-so, and their attitudes towards good employees is horrific and betraying. Management loves making 6 figures off of these trainers who get worked to death and are so underpaid for all the b.s. they have to put up with.
SIMI VALLEY, CALIFORNIA -- 24 Hour Fitness - Simi Valley Facility (Sport Type). The local management is slow at resolving membership complaints and/or request to fix, repair, replace, upgrade equipment and/or facility. Shortage of foam work out mats for scheduled daily classes. Require about 100 mats. Simi Valley facility has only about 60 mats. Need about 100 mats for parallel class needs and individual usage. Have requested several times for several months with very little response. Simi Valley facility needs to order about qty 40 more mats as of (06/22/10).
Too expensive at $20+ for each mat... Wow. Call that a rip off by supplier. Or bad 24 Hour Fitness Buyer to not find a cheaper vendor for a multiple facility purchase. They continue on a weekly basis to let the members get the brunt of the inconvenience of lacking mats during the work out classes to Save monies which members have paid for the facility and service monthly. (I for one for 9 years - membership X 4 in family).
This is supposed to be a Sport Facility which is a step up from the standard fitness center. It should be the Flagship of the Ventura County. I rate the facility at C+ compared to the other fitness centers that 24 Hour has locally. The others are better equipped. Granted this Simi Valley fitness center is 11 years old. More so, that it should be upgraded and reviewed for replacement of equipment, repairs required and facility improvements like Cleanliness and Safety conditions.
Work out Bench mats are worn out and have holes in them (6 out of 12 mats). This is a Safety issue. Coin operated lockers are useless. Members do not use them. Clarification - they use them sometimes but do not pay for it... Most of the pay lockers are very dusty, dirty, so most members do not use them. Such a waste of lockers when more are required and needed by the members (lockable ones) during the busy periods after work hours.
Scheduled classroom Bar Bells are 11 years old and are unsafe. The Bars are slippery and some are bent. They need to be replaced with safer ones similar to the other 24 Hour Fitness facilities. More End Locks are required and needed. Not enough on hand when the class is full. The Scheduled classroom Audio system is questionable. Not all 4 Speakers are working. The instructor microphones are intermittent and does not work sometimes which is very annoying and an inconvenience to the members taking the classes especially during full classes. Please replace the not working speakers and microphones.
11 year old fitness facility needs to be renovated. It is starting to show old age and lack of upkeep. 24 Hour Fitness needs to review, repair, replace, upgrade, repaint, renovate this facility. The Simi Valley 24 Hour Fitness facility needs a new work out outfit. The one it is using is 11 years old - Worn, Tattered, Faded, Out of date, and no longer made or sold. In comparison, Golds Gym is very facility conscious, very appealing, very clean, very aware of how it looks for its members.
Bar Weights, Hand weights, exercise balls, are all over the place in the facility. When it is needed by other members, it is not in its proper locations. Exercise balls hidden in the classroom locker area away from major member use. Granted it is the members who used it last and should put it back where found. This happens because there is not enough of these types of equipment. There is a need for another two sets of the hand weights (5 lbs -100 lbs). And two mores sets of the (1 lb - 15 lbs).
Cleanliness (health) and Safety should be the guide to the above listed items. As you can see the list above is not at all very difficult or large in request. It is do-able... It is whether 24 Hour Fitness management will and is Do-able for its members which is large and many in this Simi Valley fitness facility. IF 24 Hour Fitness management would listen to its paying and long term members, they would be on track with product quality and member service. It should not take a VP from 24 Hour Fitness to decide on Health and Safety issues at a fitness facility.