Bally Total Fitness Complaint - You Can Get Your Exercise Running The Opposite Direction Of Bally's
SAN JOSE, CALIFORNIA -- Beware...Long rant to follow...
Ok. It started last week when I was searching for a gym that was close to my house. Turns out Bally's was less than a mile away. I really wish I had did research before stepping foot in the Bally's, but alas, hindsight is always 20/20.
I saw they were advertising a special that ended soon where it was no enrollment fee, and $29.99 a month and in small letters it stated "no long term contract necessary".
I thought "Hey! Great! what a deal" and called to set up a time I could come take a tour and check the place out.
I get there, and one of the Managers gave me a quick tour of the place, then also gave me a quick workout to give the illusion that Bally's was a fun, supportive and friendly place, before sitting me down to talk about membership plans.
I mentioned I was interested in the deal they had going, and he states that is only for the 3 year membership. (I guess 3 years isn't considered a long term membership to them.)
I told them no, that wouldn't suit my needs because I don't plan on living here for more than a year, and I cannot guarantee where we end up moving next will be close to a Bally's. So I ended up doing their Month to Month contract and also got talked into paying extra for 4 sessions with a personal trainer. This is where the nightmare REALLY begins...
So, for the first session, the personal trainer that was assigned to me spends about 30 minutes having me work out. Then took me into the office, and for the second half hour of my training session, began giving me this high pressure sales pitch spiel about how incredibly out of shape I am in and how I need more than 4 sessions to do any good. He shows me his prices which come to about $1000 a month to have him train me 3 times a week. No matter what I seem to say, he just won't take no for an answer, and after listening to him go on and on, I start getting a headache and tell him "I have to talk it over with my husband".
I thought it over for a few days, and realize I just don't have that kind of money to spend on a personal trainer, and what I really want is just someone to spend a few sessions teaching me the correct way to work out and use the weight and cardio machines...just the basics.
So for my second session with the personal trainer, I came in and he started me on the cardio machines to warm up, and after 10 minutes, he asked if I thought about what he had said the last session about purchasing his services for 3 times a week. I told him I thought about it, and that I just don't have the money right now.
He hit the pause button on my machine and demanded I come into his office to talk. So I stupidly follow him. He then spends two hours talking non-stop at a fast pace that honestly, I found hard to keep up with. Going on and on about how I need a personal trainer and it isn't even an option, and there is nothing more important in my life than having him help me get in shape and lose weight and basically if I didn't fork over the cash, I would most certainly die of an obesity related illness.
I look back now and I can't believe I sat there and listened to him ramble on so long, but basically at the end he summed it up by saying,
"If you don't want to hire me as a personal trainer, than I suggest you quit and get your money back and don't bother coming back here".
And that I was destined to be obese for the rest of my incredibly short life if I don't pay him to help me now.
I left the gym feeling bitter and angry. All I wanted was a place I could go work out at. I didn't want all this guilt trip sales pitches. The more I thought about all he said to me, the angrier I got, until once I got home I was nearly crying.
I got on the phone and called up Bally's and asked to talk to the manager. I felt at this point I just didn't want to ever go back there. The fact that I had their personal trainer tell me if I don't spend all this extra money, I shouldn't bother coming back there was just too much, and knowing if I didn't hire this guy, I would still have to see him every time I went to workout would be very uncomfortable for me, and I just didn't want to deal with their crap.
Of course trying to cancel a membership there has proven to be almost impossible. I at first tried calling to talk to a manager, but all of a sudden, No managers were available to take my call.
I plan on sending a certified letter as specified in the directions on cancellation, but I feel since I only got pretty much half of a workout session with the trainer, I would feel it fair that they credit me the money I spent to hire him for 4 sessions, but somehow I doubt THAT is going to happen!