PARSIPPANY, NEW JERSEY -- My wife and I joined LA fitness in Parsippany recently. I was told by a couple friends that you can negotiate price with the membership staff. This is partially true. We came in for the first time about 4 months ago in October. Originally we met with one of the head sales employees **. He told us that it would be $149 to register for the both of us and the monthly would be 35 with a possibility to go up. What we did not like was that cardio equipment was scarce. We did not join and I told him that I would wait for a better deal down the line. He was very persuasive but I was hoping to get a few more of my friends to join with me in the future to lower the price.
After about a month the ** had called me to explain he had a special if my wife and I were ready to join, and it would be 29.99 a month without racquet ball. Again we did not join. After about 2 more months of persistence and going back and forth into the gym we decided that we would join for the 29.99. We went to the gym to sign up and ** was not there so we tried to sign up with another tall man who was not polite and confusing. He told us that the lowest program was $45 a month. I was very dissatisfied with the situation.
I called ** and he drove in on his day off to give special approval to the program. We were very pleased with how he helped us that we recommended all of our friends. He has promised us that any of our friends that join will join for a discounted program and they have. If you want the lowest price and the best service you must see **. Anyone else will overcharge you.
HARRISBURG, PENNSYLVANIA -- So I have been a member of LA Fitness on and off. I never minded the gym itself and the classes are always great. However, I have always been put off by the sales environment and the pushiness of the sales staff. I found if I just pushed them off and ignored them, I would be okay.
Now I am done completely with them. A few weeks ago I got a "We want you back" email that offered me no initiation and a monthly fee of $29.99 a month. I thought this was a pretty good deal so I signed up with my mom. (also a former member) After I signed up I got a phone call EVERY night "reminding" me of the personal training session that I had scheduled. Finally I answered one of these calls and told them I wasn't interested and to stop calling me.
2 weeks later my mom got the same "We want you back" email and HER rate was $19.99 a month. WHAT? SO I figured this would be an easy fix. I go in with her and her email and tell the guy that I would like our rate to be matched to the one in her email. Cause I can't justify paying $30 a month when I know that there's a $20 a month floating out there. And to boot, it was offered to my MOM who was currently signed up with me at $30 a month.
The guy looked at me like I was nuts and told me that corporate sends those out and there's nothing he could do. So I told him to cancel both of us. Again, looked at me like I was nuts and told me "It's only $10 a month. You can stay around for $10 a month." I said, "I guess I COULD but why would I when I know if I hadn't joined myself I would have joined 2 weeks later for $19.99." And he was rolling his eyes at me. I said "You're rolling your eyes at me!" and he said "Well I just don't' understand why you'd cancel. Where are you going to go?" I said "I would go to Central Penn where my friend works and can get me a decent discount or I can get a corporate one from my job."
He said "Well why did you bother coming here in the first place?" I told him "the location is closest to my house." And with attitude he said, "So you're coming here out of convenience...Right?" So I just snapped for him to just cancel my account and stop asking me dumb questions. He threw the cancellation paperwork at me and told me to "Have fun at Central Penn." What a jerk! I can't even believe that's the kind of customer service I received when clearly I had a valid issue. I will never step foot into that gym again.
APPLE VALLEY, MINNESOTA -- I rejoined LA fitness a few months ago. After being back, I now remember why I left! The women's locker rooms are disgustingly dirty. There is thick layers of dust built up around the air vents. The bathrooms and showers have lime build up on the facets, shower heads, and anything that was metal has a nice red rusty shine. Some of the shower curtains have black colored mold. I just don't get it.
Another issue I have is the male janitor that has to come into the ladies locker room. He has entered on more than one occasion while women are in the middle of changing and in the showers. I have complained as have other women at the club. The last time he had to clean the ladies lockers a woman attendant came through and told the women that were in the locker room that we had to hurry up because it was getting late and the male janitor had to clean. It was 7 pm, the club hours on the weekend are until 8 pm. Another issue that I have is that if they need to clean the ladies locker rooms starting at 7 pm then they should just close the damn club at that time.
Lifetime fitness you will be getting me back. I'm done with the mental mindset of LA Fitness Apple Valley! I'll pay the extra money for peace of mind knowing that I won't be treated rudely and that I can feel safe and comfortable in the ladies locker room without having a male janitor walk in on you and also when I bring up a concern to the management, it will be heard in a respectable manner by the staff at the front desk. And also I know I won't be breathing in dust and moldy air in the locker room, etc.
NORWALK, CONNECTICUT -- The Gym itself is an impressive facility and the hours are better than most gyms that I have experienced in my 13+ years of weight training. They have 2 trainers, ** and **, that really know what they are doing. Most of the other trainers can be seen text messaging and relaxing WHILE training clients. There is even a European female trainer that hordes weights for herself while she is training and she will confront you if you tell her that she doesn't need to take 7 dumbbells off the weight rack for her client.
Mats are left on the stairwell which is a fire-code violation, 6-12 plates can be found on abandoned leg press machines from 7:00am-1030am every week day, dumbbells are left in all areas of the gym for days on end, 20-36 dumbbells are consistently absent from the racks...
I have begged the staff for over 10 months to require that the members and trainers to rack their weights. All to no avail. There is not 1 sign in the facility asking clients to return/rack weights. 2 weeks ago, I posted 4-5 signs throughout the gym asking members to rack the weights. I was confronted by an employee because of this. Instead of him being upset with the staff for it being necessary for a customer to post signs and repeatedly beg for them to follow proper gym etiquette, he decided to give me attitude.
Yesterday I asked ** (the membership card-scanner, girl) for his name because I am considering writing an article regarding the lack of gym etiquette. She responded with "I am going to revoke your membership". I told her that was fine as long as she refunded my $200+ initiation fee. She said she wouldn't because I have been a very uncooperative member...
She revoked my membership because after begging them for 10+ months to put the weights/equipment away (which is an insurance regulation and a fire code violation) I posted some signs asking members to rack their weights. (How dare me.)... It is the only gym I have ever been in that doesn't care about weights, steps, mats, etc strewn all about the floor and fire exit stairs.
I have numerous photos of the conditions I speak of. I am now pursuing a lawsuit. On a side note, I learned yesterday that one of the trainers at this facility tripped over weights that were left on the workout floor and was on crutches for more than 3 weeks.
PENNSYLVANIA -- I was as loyal an employee of this company as there could be until a few months ago. It's strange reading all these horror stories & being able to look at it through a different set of eyes. As a former G.M, I've seen how much pressure is applied to each person unfortunate enough to have to earn a check in order to provide for a family with this company.
Imagine having to hire salespeople & tell them that there is a possibility they'll only take home $7.15 per hour? What quality of an employee do they hope to attract when they're paying minimum wage? All the while baiting these unsuspecting people with the possibility of becoming a G.M or a V.P... If you don't sell then you don't eat! Not at L.A. Fitness!
The best way to describe this company is to call them a "pyramid." At the top they all drive Porsches & wear Rolex's while the people the members (the lifeblood of the company) see each day scrape by to survive! It's disgusting! Someone quits? It's now the G.M.'s fault for not "keeping them motivated?" I've noticed that this company, which oddly enough, is all about "accepting personal accountability" is never wrong for anything! Does it surprise me to read all these stories? Not at all. You could lie to members all you want & look like a superstar but only until the Better Business Bureau gets involved. Then to save face, someone gets fired & misreps are corrected.
My advice is simply to AVOID this company at all costs! If you have been lied to then contact the BBB & watch how fast you get your refund! Yeah, they'll keep your money until you threaten to hit back. They are terrified of the BBB for some reason & I know that all incidents with them are accounted for and handled with great speed and care. They claim to be "monthly" yet they never seem to get your cancellations, do they? It is truly a nightmare & I know that. This is a HORRIBLE company to do business with and an even worse company to work for! Good luck & I hope my advice helps more than a few people out..
BELLEVUE, WASHINGTON -- I signed up for the free training assessment that every club offers through their Body of Change program in August 2007. I talked to the trainer, Michelle, and she told me it was a six-month training, twice a week. I didn't sign up but she called me a couple days later to see what I thought. We talked and her manager (Jeremy?) was talking to her in the background. She said it would be $360, and I said that was too expensive. She then talked to her manager in the background and he said he would throw in 17 free sessions that I could use in the next six months.
Hence, that would be 6 months x 8 times per month plus 17 more sessions, and it would be $160 to sign up and $200 more in two weeks, for a total of $360. So I agreed and the training started the next week. I asked at the first session if there was something to sign and she said no, it was taken care of, so I never saw a contract, never signed a contract, and the $360 was charged, which is what we agreed to.
However, then I got a $211 charge in September, and another $211 charge in October. I tried to call a phone number from the website which told me nothing. I went to the club which referred me to the trainer, and the trainer told me she would email them and they would contact me because that's the only way she knew how to reach them. She had no phone number for them.
When they finally called, they informed me that it was $200/mo in addition to what we agreed on, and didn't I know that? NO, I didn't. I had them fax me the "contract" I never saw, and that's what it said, plus you had 3 days to cancel, although there's NO signature from me because it was never discussed and I never signed anything. I would NOT EVER agree to $200/mo and they knew that in our initial discussions. I told them I want to cancel immediately and they told me to send a registered letter stating this, which I did.
When I called the next week to check on it (888-889-0984), they said I would have to pay half the remaining charges for the months not being used, namely another $300 according to the contract, and I would still have 6 months to use my 17 free sessions. WHAT CONTRACT??? I didn't sign anything. I had a grand total of 12 trainings and it's cost me $760 so far, and they want me to pay $300 more? NO!! This is a bait and switch FRAUD!
Thanks to all those who have publicly expressed concern about the horrors of dealing with the LA Fitness corporation. I have had a very similar experience with both LA Fitness and Body of Change, the gym's personal training service. I foolishly signed up for both a one year gym membership and a personal training program, after being unfairly persuaded with a "free trial" by their greasy and unknowledgeable personal trainers. I attempted to cancel the personal training contract after being promised a "no obligation, cancel at any time" policy.
The crooks at LA Fitness and Body of Change continued to bill my credit card $312 for the past two years, amounting to nearly $5,000 over time. Beyond that, LA Fitness will not stop billing me for my one year gym membership, which expired over a year ago. I've considered closing the credit card, but have been told by the credit card company that I will still be responsible for the payments if I do so.
I have spent at least one day per week over the past two years on the phone with LA Fitness trying to get my money back and to ask that they simply stop billing me. My complaints have fallen upon deaf ears. I have spoken to everyone from LA Fitness corporate offices, local gyms, etc and nothing has changed. Everyone we speak with continues to make false promises of resolutions, but thousands of dollars still remain on my credit card statement after two years.
I've seen many of you say "LA Fitness should be sued." Well... today might be your lucky day. My family is considering having a lawyer file a class action lawsuit against LA Fitness and Body of Change, and we'd love for you to join in the fight. This is more about proving that LA Fitness is doing wrong, rather than just getting money back.
If you've had a similar experience, I'd like to hear your story. You can leave us your contact information or remain completely anonymous. I'd just like to gauge how many people's time, money, and credit has been affected by this horrendous excuse for a company. If we do decide to go forward with the lawsuit, I will email you back to see if you'd like to participate. Please email me your story at **.
HAMDEN, CONNECTICUT -- I recently received a coupon for a free 14 day trial at LA Fitness in Hamden, CT. I went with my brother and his friend, since they belonged to the gym and they wanted me try it out and later to possibly sign up for a membership. It was required on the coupon that I get a sales pitch and a tour of the gym from the salesman to get my trial.
My brother's friend, having had a terrible experience with a different salesman previously, told my salesman that he would prefer to show me around the gym (since I would be working out with him). The salesman didn't quarrel with the idea and said that I just needed to come back after my workout to show me some membership plans.
They showed me around the gym, and I do admit I was impressed with it, we worked out, and I went back for the sales pitch. He showed me the membership info and took my personal information. I explained to him that I was waiting to hear from a job and that I was very interested, but that I couldn't afford it as of yet. He said that was fine and we left.
I went today (my 4th trial day) and they wouldn't let me in because the salesman had changed my trial to a 1 day trial. When I confronted him about this he said that it was because I opted out of the tour of the facility. Not only did he not give me back my coupon, but he gave me a nonsensical runaround about his reasons for changing my trial period and refused to give me a tour then and there to give me back my 14 days. He further said that the only thing he could do was to sign me up for 2 weeks for 60 dollars!
If you want a competent staff that cares about your health or their promises, LA Fitness is NOT the place for you. The salesman, Marcus, may seem like a nice guy, but he screwed me out of my contract and my guess is he'll do the same to someone else. LA Fitness, your gym is nice, but your attitude is unprofessional, even childish! Plus, your prices are the most outrageous things I've ever seen!
TAMPA, FLORIDA -- LA Fitness uses, at best, questionable sales techniques and a tell them what they want to hear sales pitch. I signed up for a training contract after being given a "sample" training session. The problem is the "sample" session I was given was 10x better than any of the sessions I received after signing the contract. They had a master trainer work me out to the point I almost blacked out (which I liked) but then right after sells me a contract telling me I can have him train me. I can have group sessions. I will get an individualized training program which includes a regiment for the week in addition to my booked training session. The trainers will work around my schedule.
I can cancel if I am unsatisfied after a few weeks, but come to find out none of that happens to be available after I sign the contract. I get a sub par trainer. I get shifted around to multiple sub par trainers. I had trainers tell me it's my fault when a session starts late when I was there early. I have trainers try to pawn me off on other trainers because I try to hold them to doing what the master trainer said I was going to get. I complained to both the location and the corporate office multiple times and I get the same run around stall tactics like: "try another trainer", "I'll call the location and make sure your session won't start late, etc."
All so they can keep you past the point where you can cancel (which cancellation time is not disclosed at the time of signing), but even if it was you are mentally and physically exhausted, which is the worst time for you to sign a contract, but the best time for them to sell you one!
HOUSTON, TEXAS -- I joined LA Fitness Marq E II location in Houston because of its proximity to my office, and because it had an apparently gorgeous pool, which went unused by this gym's clientele. A week after joining, the "pump broke," and after a series of attempts to fix the problem, the pool continues to be a swamp where only ignorant swimmers flop around. This is a bromide pool, not a chlorine pool. According to one of the many managers that one could find during one year at the location, the special pump's part is very expensive and the corporation can't justify repairing it given the number of members who use it.
This situation is not made public, though. Swimmers are continuously lied to, arguing that a maintenance company takes care of the pool on a weekly basis yata yata. There has been a succession of operation managers, since they are paid only minimum wage salaries, and understandably, they soon look for better pastures. Therefore, clients at this location do not have an advocate that represents their interests vis a vis the corporation owner. All managers eventually leave before the pool gets fixed, and they don't care to make noise with the big wigs.
I quit yesterday, and so did my husband. Nobody asked us why, and what they could do to make us happy. We rejoined Bally's, which is more affordable than ever. However, having belong at that club as well in the past, I agree with the person who described Bally's as a filthy-shower locker room. I did try their pool again, and the water was the way it should be at LA Fitness Marq E location, Houston. I guess one gets what one pays for. It's a shame we can't get basic good service, though, what we signed initially for.