WILSONVILLE, OREGON -- There are so many things to comment on, I'm not sure where to start. I just came from one of the 3 classes I attend regularly, where once again, there was a substitute instructor. Instructors at Bally's have no consistency in their training; one tells you to do an exercise one way, then a substitute comes in and completely contradicts the regular teacher.
I attend a beginning class, simply to stay active, but I watch true beginners struggle to keep up while the instructor decides to do an extremely difficult, confusing and even in some cases dangerous routine for a beginner, just because she wants it to be more interesting for herself. The step equipment is often in poor shape and has tripped a number of people during class. The regulars know not to use it, but beginners don't.
I have had instructors tell the class to "don't wimp out and go get a drink", which for some could be deadly. I have heard them tell classes that they had to do high impact if they are going to get any benefit from the exercise, or "no pain no gain". The staff at the front desk is no more consistent than the instructors. More often than not there is a new, (generally teenager) working the front desk. I have had them be quite rude, if you forget your membership card, or question a schedule, even interrupting a conversation with another employee to say "well the schedule works for everyone else, so that's the way it is".
I have been a member at Bally's for years, but they penalize the patrons who use the gym regularly by raising the yearly fee and the people (including my husband) who seldom use the gym receive annual offers at half the price regular users get charged. The company says it is to entice them back, but as a loyal member for years, it feels more like a penalty for using what you have paid for.
To be fair, there are a few people there that are very friendly, follow the rules and want to make your experience a pleasant one; instructors, customer service and management. I believe it's only a matter of time before someone sues Bally's because of an injury (or worse) that could have been prevented or avoided.
NEW JERSEY -- Bally's is a HUGE scam. I understand those saying that it is the customer's responsibility to read the contract. True. But why are you ignoring the fact that it is also the company's responsibility to represent their policies honestly? I went into Bally's because of the "free" 1-month trial membership which they were offering. I asked the sales rep OVER AND OVER again if I really had no obligation to the gym after one month. He said yes. As long as I cancelled before the 30 days were up, then I owed them nothing. He then put the contract in front of me and said he just needed me to sign this form.
I signed it, because it did not even occur to me that he would outright lie to me about the contract... After all, how on earth would a business continue to legally operate when its employees were purposely lying to customers? Alas, that is what was happening. I called 20 days later to cancel my membership, and was told that it would not be possible, unless I paid the $1800 upfront for the 3-year contract.
BS. So this is what I did. I read the whole contract and saw that right above where I had signed were the details of the "Promise Program." Basically, it states that as long as you schedule and go to the introductory personal training session, as well as go to the gym 16 more times (for a total of 17 visits and you're only allowed to swipe your card once a day) within 60 days of signing the contract, then you have 10 days after your last visit to write to their headquarters and cancel your membership.
I had already gone to the gym 10 times. I was so disgusted with the deceitful, unethical practices that I did not want to even workout there anymore. So, for the next 7 days, I walked in, had my card swiped, and walked right back out. I also ran into the sales rep who lied to me and confronted him calmly about it. He had the decency to blush. I guess they are not used to people confronting them about their blatant lies. After I completed the 17 swipes, I wrote the letter, and my membership was cancelled within 2 weeks. Hope this works for some of you!
ANAHEIM, CALIFORNIA -- As a 27 year member of Bally's I am just plain shocked with what's happening at the Anaheim, CA Bally's. Evidently the manager has decided that there are no longer rule. It's OK to wear jeans and dress clothes while you work out. You also can work out in sandals, thongs or barefoot. You never have to use a workout towel, what's a little sweat between sick members. On the running track, wear whatever you want, jeans, no shoes, sandals, etc, is all OK, plus don't mind the direction indicator, go whatever way you want, collisions that happen every day are just a part of the total package.
Don't expect a clean locker room. It's trashed every day by members who don't clean up after themselves, plus locker attendants have a different view of what Americans consider clean. It would be nice if the steam room and sauna ever worked at the same time!! The showers are horrible. There is mold all over them, holes in the shower stalls, bugs crawling out of them, and most of the time no hot water. If you should be lucky enough to have warm water, well, there's no soap.
As for the restrooms, boy is that another story. I guess it's too much to ask them to fix a door that doesn't stay closed, or how about cleaning all the urine on the floor, and no, you shouldn't be urinating in the showers, but when something is said, well, there's that "no speak English" crap.
I guess you don't have to have a membership or be a guest to use the facilities. Since there is very seldom anyone at the front desk, just walk in and go around instead of passing your card through the turnstile. Even if someone is at the desk, they don't care!!! Well, after all this, I don't want to overload you, so I won't mention all the leaks In the roof, or how flooded things were today. Just one request, get a manager that will MANAGE instead of sleeping in his office, get this place cleaned up!!! PS - Thanks for doubling my rates this year as I'm a premier card holder and they should remain the same.
You know how sometimes people call it "Bally's"..Well, technically it's supposed to be "Bally"... Anyway, I go to a club that is located in Phoenix at 40th St. and Indian School. Not only is this location very seedy with old equipment, clueless employees and shady clientèle, but they MISSPELLED their own SIGN. Out front, above the main entrance, it says "Bally's." Apparently some manager didn't care enough to fix it, and apparently some district manager didn't care to pay attention. Talk about negligence. As a graphic designer/brand manager, I am embarrassed for them.
More: The Bally Total Fitness in Long Beach, CA was routinely disappointing for me. Old "hand-me-down" equipment, gum stuck to the machines, janitors gossiping in the stair well, and nasty, half-naked senior citizens treating the sauna like a singles party (Huntington Beach location, also).
More: I lost my membership card. I got a new one. I lost the new one but FOUND the old one. I tried to get into the Phoenix Indian School location and was DENIED. I said, "I have been a paying customer for 4 years, I have a card RIGHT HERE in my hands, with my picture on it, and you won't let me in because it doesn't have my new number on it and you are going to make me pay for another card?" He said that, "It's to prevent someone else from using your card if they find it."
Well, NEWSFLASH, there are pictures on the cards -- why not check the picture?? It just totally goes against logic in my mind. ** Why don't they offer those keychain membership cards so they aren't as easy to lose?! The manager finally caved in and made a new card for me for free. More: Hours. It really pisses me off that I can't go to the gym on a weekend because my clubs close around 6 or 7 on Saturdays and Sundays. Ridiculous.
LYNWOOD, WASHINGTON -- On Saturday January 29, 2011 about 6 pm in the evening - - I took my brother with me to show him equipments in the fitness center. I am a member, and he isn't so I asked for a guest pass, and one of the front desk employee gave me guest pass. However, the other employee started to make it as if he is doing a favor for us. Business is business and favor is a different thing.
His comments were very judgmental and unprofessional and he refused to let my guest in. His reason was the guest pass can be used after a 1 day wait time. Which is totally new "rule" which is applicable only if they like you. YOU CAN'T COUNT ON WHAT THEY ADVERTISE. UNPROFESSIONAL, UNWELCOMING place. I WOULDN'T RECOMMEND TO ANYONE AND I AM PLANNING TO USE A DIFFERENT FITNESS CENTER.
NORTH HOLLYWOOD, CALIFORNIA -- I have been a member of Bally's Total Fitness, for many years now. It seems that with every year it passes, the gyms get worse. Many of the machines are out-dated or not working at all. The lockerroom area is dirty used paper towels all over the place, the bathrooms are dirty and you can just imagine the smell of rancid urine. Only God knows what goes on in the showers and the steam rooms. I recently visited the North Hollywood gym and it had all of the expectations that I have mention obove. I addition the workout area was out of control the equipment and free weights where not in their respectful place, it was just a big mess
and none of the employees seem to care, most where on their phone. Nobody in the gym seem to follow the rules in the running track, all of the members where just walking around in all different directions and again the employees did nothing to enforce the rules of the gym. It seems that Ballys is just concern on signing up new members and do not really care about keeping their new and specially their old members comfortable and happy. I have written to their Human resouce but have not receive an answer. I am posting this review to warn new members, to be very careful before signing a mew membership with Bally's Toatal Fitness. Their Financial Department, well?, that is another review. God Bless
CHICAGO, ILLINOIS -- I have been a member of Bally's Health & Sport Clubs since 1990 and recently for the past 3 years, I have seen some of the most gross content happening in the Chicago Bally's (Rivercity) and Bally's (Hyde Park Sport Club) along with the Bally's (Riveroaks Club) ever witnessed. Within these clubs at any time of the day and night one will find men's having sex with men within the steamrooms, condoms on the floors of the steamroom and saunas. There are sperm and feces on the steamroom seats and feces on the towel left in the steamrooms. At the Bally's Rivercity club it has become as a known place to go and have sex, married husbands, bi-males, straight mens, gay men etc. Other members along with myself have reported over and over again these complaints to the different mangers that they seem to keep changing and nothing has stop the sex activities within these clubs. The same groups that came from the Bally's Health Club(Washington location) since they had to close the men steamroom because of such activity, has now flock to these other location performing the same conduct at these locations now. There are children from the after school program now seeing and witnessing these activities along with my son witnessing this in the mens shower room.
This conduct has got to stop, I've reported this to the corporate offices, the FBI, the health department, and even the TV station about these location and these acts of conduct. I have filed a lawsuit against these location with the photos of some of the scenes being conducted.
HOUSTON, TEXAS -- Five years ago I stopped going to Bally's because they closed it and I changed to 24 Hour Fitness and I recently found out that these thieves from Bally's have being charging my credit card since I left. People always check your bank statement or you would be rob blind. I wish there was a way that I could get my money back. I tried calling them and they told me that it was sold to somebody else. They gave me another number and I waited to long and hung up, but I'll try again later on when I calm down...
Bally is the worst fitness center. They REPORT CREDIT COLLECTION if you close MEMBERSHIP. They let you write membership paper, but actually it's a CONTRACT. They will say you can close your membership by just writing in paper and send it to headquarters. I did that, and there is no confirmation of closing, and in fitness center they said it is closed. But it is not and 4 months later, they put your credit history into collections with 4 months 2 months and report 4 months late payment--this causes 7 years of your credit history will go away and drops points 150. I am screwed... I called them, they made me pay them but not take the report back. So totally it's screwed my Life.
CANTON, OHIO -- NEVER EVER JOIN BALLYS the company is a scam and thrives on ripping off innocent hard working people. I was a member for 6 years & they closed the 2 locations within 25 miles from my home. I was never notified the places were closing and they won't refund the 8 months membership dues I already paid before they closed. Now the closest Bally's to me is 33 miles away and my contract clearly states I can cancel if there are no locations within a 25 mile radius of my home address. They let me cancel, but won't refund me. WHAT A RIP OFF. I will have to contact the attorney general and start a class action lawsuit to get my refund.
I even told Bally customer service I would leave reviews all over the internet & contact any news media that would listen & Bally's doesn't care. CALL YOUR STATES ATTORNEY GENERAL IF THEY ARE GIVING YOU THE SAME RUN AROUND. CALL 1-866-40-BALLY and make them spend the money on customer service reps they stole from you!!!!!!!!!!