Gold's Gym offers a lot, but the cost is too great. I'm not talking about money, the financial cost alone isn't all that much. I'm talking about supporting a company that doesn't care about people. Let me clarify here that I'm talking about the corporate offices, not the employees you meet at the gym. Unfortunately, it's the corporate offices that represent the company to me, and that's why I must do my civic duty and encourage anyone I can not to join Gold's Gym. I'll tell a little story, my story, to elaborate.
About 2 1/2 years ago, Julie and I decided I should try Gold's Gym. It seemed a good idea. Our relationship had evolved to it's happiest point ever, Julie was expecting our fourth child, James. Things seemed to be going well for her future career, and I seemed to be doing pretty well at my work. I'd been working in a cube, or as a student, sitting most of the day for years. It was time to get in shape. We agreed that I should join and after a few months we though we might sign Julie up as well. That's when my life changed. Before James was born, we found out about Julie's tumor. One week I was going to the gym 2 or 3 times a week, and the next, my life went up-side-down. I never went back to the gym. I had signed a 2 year contract, and I was stuck with it.
I would have let it go at that, but that's nowhere near the end of my problems with Gold's Gym. I knew I'd signed this 2 year contract, and would have tried to cancel it, but I was used to Julie taking care of those things in my life, and suddenly she was not able to. I had many other things I was suddenly responsible for as well. I figured I'd wait and just let the 2 years expire. We moved after a little over a year, but they want to charge you $100 to cancel the contract for a move. Furthermore, when I called about canceling, they told me I had to physically go to their office and sign paperwork. They could not cancel my account at the closest branch, they could not do it over the phone, like any normal company. Again, I decided to just let it go the 2 years because it didn't seem worth two hours of my time to drive to Holiday or Orem and back.
Still I might have let it go, but the problems continued. My 2 years ended, but then without notice, it went month-to-month automatically. I did not remember that the contract would automatically go month-to-month, and they sent no notice. I was then taking care of Julie full time, and I was unemployed. I checked back at the local office again to see if the 2 years had finally ended, and to try again to cancel the account at the nearest gym if they were able to yet. I found out that I still had an account, that it was 'delinquent', and that I owed $60. Again, they told me they can't cancel my account there, even though people can sign up there, and they told me the only way to cancel was to go physically to the corporate office and sign paperwork, wasting 2 hours of my day when I'm taking care of my wife 24 x 7.
Again, I might have considered not reporting it, but for even more problems. At that point, I was so busy taking care of Julie, I decided I could wait until she passed away, and take care of things after that. After all, since it was delinquent, so I couldn't use the gym anyway, and I shouldn't be billed when I can't even use their gym. I figured I could pay the $60 a few months later if they weren't willing to give some leniency for my situation. However, as the months went by, they continued to bill, for zero services possible. That was the final straw. I can't use my account, yet they still bill for it? Granted, it's disabled because they wont make their services available unless I'm paying for it and I'm overdue, but that's not the point. Even with my account locked, they continue to bill. That's just downright un-American and wrong.
Yet still, I might have said nothing but for the way the corporate office representatives have been taught to handle this. I showed up in person at the Holiday corporate office and called two other representatives. None of them care about any circumstances. I asked one of them what they care more about, customers or contracts. I was told that people don't matter as much as contracts. They don't care if your account goes delinquent. They don't care if everyone around you dies. They just care about your contract regardless of circumstances. In the end, I had to drive to Holiday to sign paperwork to end my account, and I had to pay over $120. I paid approximately $750 over 2 1/2 years for services not rendered. I can't endorse any company that behaves like this.
In my blog, I do not wish to be negative. I'm just not a negative person. Here, I risk sounding more negative than I am because I feel obligated to speak out my one small voice against their outrageous attitude toward people - people who are their customers. Again, I'm not talking about personal trainers or other normal staff, I'm talking about the official representatives of their company - the people in the corporate offices, who have been trained to respond by corporate policy. In signing a contract with Gold's Gym, you sign a contract with the coldest management for any company I know of. You don't know what circumstances will happen after you sign, but it doesn't matter because they don't care about you, they just care about getting your money. Companies, although in business to make money, should put people first. People know when a company puts people first, and they give their business. There are thousands of companies out there that you can call and cancel your membership. Gold's Gym makes it as hard as possible to cancel your membership, again, because they care more about keeping your contract than they care about people. If you are even thinking about Gold's Gym, I urge you to look anywhere else.
Let me close with an example given in one of the Rocky movies. I believe it was Rocky 4. While Rocky 4 was not the best of the Rocky films, it had one point I really liked. Apollo was beaten, and even killed by a Russian at the beginning of the movie. Rocky then challenged him, and went to Russia to fight the new super star. The Russian trained on the latest and greatest equipment. Rocky trained in an old run-down barn - he did sit ups off a ledge in the barn, picked up rocks instead of barbells, and he lunged with a stick over his shoulder with buckets of water if I remember that part right. The Russian ran on a treadmill. Rocky ran outside in the ice and snow. Rocky won, naturally. You don't need the latest and greatest equipment. You can walk or run around the neighborhood instead of a treadmill. Everything you need is right around you. Don't give your money to the cold heartless corporation that cares nothing for any of you.