One bungled customer service experience can change your whole outlook of a company. Joseph proves this as he talks about how LA Fitness — a gym he once adored — bought itself two membership cancellations instead of one by screwing up his attempts to cancel his partner’s contract.
My partner and I have been members of our local LA fitness for about a year. We have been generally satisfied with the gym. It’s close, it’s clean, not over crowded, and well staffed.
However, due to job/immigration issues, my partner had to leave the country recently. So trying to save some cash, we decide to cancel his gym membership, as there is no LA fitness in Hong Kong. This is where the fun starts. I go in and politely tell them that we will no longer be needed two accounts, and we would like to cancel my partners membership, as we no longer need it. I was in a hurry to get to work, so I didn’t put up a fight when the front desk clerk handed me a piece of paper and told me to fold it in three and mail it.
When I got home that night, I looked at the paper. There was nothing to sign, no form to fill out. I just had to send this piece of mail to them. However they messed up and printed my name instead of his. I return the next day to correct the issue. Again they print off a piece of paper (this time with the correct name on it) and tell me to mail it. I ask the clerk to just put it in the outgoing mail, as i do not need to fill out anything, nor does it require a signature. He states that he cannot legally do that, as i have a contract. I correct him and state that there is no contract, that it is an at will membership, and that there is no form for me to fill out. That all that has to be done is this form to be mailed. Again, he says that legally I need to put a stamp on it and place it in the mail.
I ask for his supervisor and apparently there is none. So i ask for the customer service hotline, and he politely gets it for me. Unfortunately he gives me a number that reaches “payroll department voicemail.”
All I wanted to do was cancel one membership. But thanks to LA fitness’ (which boasts about how they have the highest member retention rate in the business) horrible customer service, they have now lost two clients.
The only thing tougher than canceling a gym membership is trying to use a free introductory pass.