YOUFIT: Not A Good Fit
The Selling Point
Initially I was interested in going to this gym because I was told that it was a reasonably priced, and affordable. The person who told me about the gym, stated that and not only was it reasonably priced, but that you could pay cash at the gym; as opposed to having bank withdrawal to pay for this.
That in and of itself, was serious selling point for me, because I do not like having other people's hands in the pot; particularly if that pot is my bank account. I probably would have joined a gym sooner, if not for the fact that most gyms demand bank withdrawals as the only form of payment.
The person who referred me to them, stated that the memberships were only 10 dollars a month, and that it could be paid in cash at the gym without a contract. Despite being unemployed at the time, I was desperate to start doing something to help restore my health. I had been sedentary for far too long now, and my new career path required much more physical fitness and flexibility. I thought $10/month was reasonable.
No Obligation Sales Pitch
I went to the Youfit gym to inquire about their services and prices. One of their staff sat me down and showed me the prices and options. She asked me if I was interested in signing up. I stressed the fact that I did not want anyone going into my bank account to withdraw funds. She stated that their policy was that they had to have your checking account on file for payment; but the payment could be made at the gym prior to the date of the withdrawal, and cash would be accepted.
She assured me that if the payment was made in cash by the due date, then the withdrawal would not happen. I explained to her that this was a deal breaker for me. I would not be interested in joining the gym if cash withdrawals had to be done from my account. I explained that due to being unemployed, I was on a very tight budget. I could not afford to have my bank account tampered with, and my bills adversely affected.
The 10 dollar deal was a no contract deal. Since I want to include my son, I had to sign up for the contract deal. Since I wanted my son included in the membership the price would be 21 dollars per month. Yet, she assured me, that the cash payment still applied. So I signed us up.
As soon as we came in for our first workout at the gym, we were asked to sit at a table, where a trainer/sales rep shortly joined us. He took us out on the gym floor and did what I assume was a workout assessment on us, instructing us to do certain exercises, and the number of them to do. Afterwards, he took me back to his desk. There, he laid out his pitch perfectly, asking me questions like, "Wouldn't you like to maximize your workouts and your investment in the gym?" All his questions were leading, so that your answer could not be anything but a "yes". I knew where he was going with the pitch, so I stopped him.
I explained that I was (at that time) unemployed, and that any additional costs were not affordable, as I could barely afford the membership itself. Despite my telling him this, he continued to come at me, plying me with the same pitch, just re-verbalized and restated from a slightly different angle. After telling him about 3 more times, I put my foot down, telling him that there was no way possible this was going to happen. Finally, he gave up, but with the request that I still "think about it."
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The trouble started after the first month, when one of my unemployment checks was late, and a check I wrote them for the first month did not clear. After coming in and clearing that issue up, I thought everything was fine. Yet, the following month when I came in to make a cash payment; I was told by a different member of the staff that this was not allowed.
Naturally I got very upset. I explained to this individual, that I have been told from the initial sign up that I could make cash payments on the account. After much rebuttal from the staff member, I requested a manager. Once again I had to explain to the manager, what I had been told by the staff member I signed up with. After hearing me out, the manager said she would go ahead and accept cash payment. If I happened to catch this particular manager at the gym, then my payment was accepted with no problems. Unfortunately, she was soon transferred to a different gym.
After that, each time I went to make my cash payment, I had a different staff member who either didn't know how to process the payment, or, who told me that cash payments were not accepted; and once again I would have to request a manager. The majority of the time I was frustrated; because each month, I was being told, by different person; that my cash payment could not be accepted.
A Resolution At Last
By the time I was 4 months in on this contract, I was sick of this gym. I didn't even want to go anymore. At that point I inquired about canceling the contract, as I was pretty fed up with the situation. I was told by the staff that I could not cancel the contract; or if I choose to do so, I would have to pay the balance in full, immediately.
So I was coming in monthly to make the payments; and having to go through the same drama each time about making a cash payment. Finally, I caught 2 of the managers at the same time, when I came in to make a payment. They were both very young girls; snooty, and a quite disrespectful in the manner in which they spoke to me; but by that time, I had had enough. Once again, I got the spiel about how cash payments could not be made. However, at that point, I was so angry and frustrated that I argued with them. I was done with their attitudes and tired of this situation. Again, I explained what I had been told when I initially signed the contract, but this time with a bit of fire, and a I'm-not-taking-this-crap-from-you-people-anymore position.
After witnessing my vehemently display and hearing my explanation; they determined that I was not at fault. They decided that the person who initially signed me up had erred; and they stated that they would put a note on my account so that people would know that I could make cash payments. This happened when I was about 6-8 months into the contract.
By the time this was straightened out, I was already telling the members of the staff that I wanted out of the contract, and that I was only making payments but not going to the gym; yet none of the staff told me that there was an option to get out of the contract.
A friend of mine later told me; that you have to send a letter in writing to the company, 30 days prior to the next payment; in order to get out of the contract. So, was I angry? You bet I was. I had been paying on that account for months without attending the gym, because I was so dissatisfied with the service yet none of the staff ever told me this, despite numerous statements that I made about wanting to get out of the contract.
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So I went on to the Youfit website, and sent an email to the company telling them that I was very dissatisfied with the service, and that I wanted out of the contract. I was so upset by the fact that I had not been told of this option; that I indicated, in my correspondence with the company; that I might write article about this to my online audience.
Of course, that merited an immediate response from the company manager, who contacted me by email to ask what the problem was. I told him that the problem had already been rectified; but that I was upset that it took so long for them to address it. I also told him how many months I had been making payments on the account without attending the gym. I explained the fact that I had been stating to his staff that I was only making payments and didn't want to return; but wanted out of the contract. I told him that none of them ever explain to me exactly what I need to do to get out of it.
Now, what he should have done; was give me back the money that I paid for those extra months; when I had already told his staff I wanted out of the contract. However, that's not what he chose to do. Instead, he came at me like he was doing me a favor. He went into this bogus spiel about how this contract was not up, and that he didn't have to let me out of the contract, but that he was going to do it for me as a courtesy.
Personally, I thought that there was a lot more courtesy that I should have been offered. Good service would have been one; an apology as opposed to arrogance would have been two; and a refund of my money spent after I was so dissatisfied and wanted out, would have been the third. Youfit offers people a bargain on the price of fitness, however, their service leaves much to be desired. I guess the old adage is true. You get what you pay for.
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