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.
FORT COLLINS, COLORADO -- 24 Hr continues to bill after closing, now I am up to $1,200 for training not received. I have contacted them several times on their web site per their suggestion as they do not answer the phones. They send you a meaningless email that you can't even reply to. This is fraudulent and I will never go back to a place that treats their clientele this way. It looks as if others are going through the same thing. They should not cut off their nose to spite their face!!! It is time for consumer revolt to this company.
LITTLETON, COLORADO -- I continue to have a horrible experiences at 24 Hour Fitness. I have addressed this with the club with little success. I finally emailed their executive team and wanted to pass on the email addresses so that others could contact them also:
Mark Smith, CEO: firstname.lastname@example.org
John Tovar, Senior VP Club Operations: JTovar@24hourfitness.com
Richard Boyd, Senior VP Business Development: RBoyd@24hourfit.com
Jane Borden, Senior VP Real Estate: JBorden@24hourfit.com
Tom Lapcevic, Executive VP Legal: TLapcevic@24hourfit.com
Lashaun Dale, VP Group X Creative: LDale@24hourfit.com
Mike Carney, VP Marketing: MCarney@24hourfit.com
Frank Napolitano President: FNapolitano@24hourfit.com
Patrick Flanagan, Executive VP and CFO: PFlanagan@24hourfit.com
Beth Taska, Executive VP Human Resources: BTaska@24hourfit.com
Karen Bakula, Communications and Public Relations: email@example.com
AEA Investors (24 Hour Fitness investment company): firstname.lastname@example.org
General Mailbox: email@example.com
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.
ESCONDIDO, CALIFORNIA -- I went to work out like I have for 10 years. There had been some mixup with the expiration date on the credit card used for the account. I was just there 3 days ago, - no problem. This rude kid at the front desk named ** made sure to make a big issue in front of everyone that I was late on payment, and proceed to demand that my daughter MUST appear in person to make it right. I called her and she confirmed that she had given all the updated info to the corporate office. JAVI - and the security guard were laughing their asses off when I got upset at being denied access.
I decided to leave and I have cancelled my membership. I called the manager, and she told me that ** and the security guard had accused me of throwing a towel at them, which I told her was a bold-faced lie. She is planning on checking the security footage to see and I hope she gets rid of those little liars!! I simply set the towel on the desk to return it as I was not planning to work out.
Long story short, I went to LA Fitness and WOW - what a difference. Those creeps at 24 hour did me a favor. I have a BETTER Gym at a CHEAPER price. I hope others follow my lead. It's on El Norte and Center City Parkway = LA Fitness -- no one deserves to be treated the way I was treated today by those two at 24 hour. I will make sure everyone I know hears how rude they are and never goes there.
SANTA CLARITA, CALIFORNIA -- July 2011 Defective exercise machine caused damage to my right hand. After filling out accident report I never heard from 24 Hour Fitness management. It took me 3 months to finally get a phone number where someone would listen. Almost 2 years of back and forth, faxing documents. It was always to what I believed to be their insurance company but Insurance commission informed me that 24 hour is self insured.
I finally went to small claims court in November 2012 and won my case before a judge. Was it over? No sir. As usual never heard from them and finally with some persistence I was contacted by someone who said they needed a release but she would be gone for a week. 24 Hour Fitness has one policy "don't pay anyone even if they win". Their treatment of me is just one of thousands of the same type of cases. Their Risk Management is a joke.
NANUET, NEW YORK -- I've been swimming at a 24 Hour Fitness facility for four years. To kick off the new year they've negotiated a contract with a new pool management company that closes the pool from 1 to 2 PM, the most convenient time for me to swim. This also means that if I swim at another time around midday the pool will be more crowded and I'll have to wait to get a lane.
I've swum in 5 athletic clubs in three states over the past several decades and have never run into a club where the pool was shut down at midday. Company representatives give a lot of unconvincing reasons about why it has to be this way. Basically, the problem seems to be that they don't want to buck the corporate bureaucracy, which is understandable but leaves customers like myself with a problem.
To make matters worse, the pool is unavailable on one day of the week from 11:30 to 12:30 because of an aquacise class, which leaves only 30 minutes for swimming, less than my workout time, before the 1PM shutdown.
Corporate management seems to be a problem for 24 Hour Fitness. I know two former trainers who said they quit the company because of it. Like too many companies, when the chips are down, 24 seems to favor furthering their bottom line by cost cutting and marketing over providing good service.
`BOULDER, COLORADO -- Went on maternity leave in September of this year and my doctor told me in August that I could no longer work out. I called 24 Hour Fitness and requested to have my membership cancelled. Instead, the customer service representative told me I could just freeze it. I thought that would be a good idea and I could come back after my leave if I have time. Well, the guy never froze my account and I was charged through November (and an annual fee of $49 thrown in there too).
I have spoken to FIVE different customer service representatives (2 managers) and have still only been refunded for one month. They told me that I needed to have a doctor's note saying that I had a baby in order to get the rest. My doctor faxed one over to them and still I have seen nothing. The last representative that I spoke to said that the refund was being processed and I should have it in 3-5 business days. It's been 2.5 weeks. This company steals money from good people. I had a baby and they took advantage of my situation.