Monday, September 10, 2007

An exercise in research

I was a member of a gym in Connecticut. When I first joined I was working two jobs so I mainly worked out on the weekends. Once I settled into a fulltime job working nights on a newspaper sports desk, I became a gym regular, working out 5-6 times a week.

Then NYC intervened. At my first NYC job I religiously left at 5 PM so I could still make it to the gym with my roommate, who was an awesome workout partner. But when I joined my current job that all went out the window. I love my job and I don't mind working long hours but it killed any opportunity to make the gym. My body (and a bit of my self-esteem) have suffered.

Quitting my gym in CT was a royal pain in the how-can-this-be-legal ass. I had signed up for automatic withdrawals from my bank account because, well, that was the only way to pay at Fitness Edge. So to quit I had to send a registered letter to ABC financial asking them to please pretty please cancel my membership, followed by a 30-day waiting period. I think it's easier to get a passport. Funny how signing up was incredibly easy, but quitting not so much. But I'm a glutton for punishment, so I want to join a gym again! And get my membership automatically withdrawn again! Since there will be no other choice.

I left work at 6 so I could see the post-work crowd. First stop: Equinox. I went to the 63rd/Lex club. I would not be able to walk there, but it was the closest branch. I was immediately intimidated. Everyone I saw was already in great shape and I found myself looking at the ground. But then I told myself that it would help motivate me and I was back! The membership rep gave me a tour of the facility, which was very nice. Then we talked fees - $150 to join, $110/month...(I stopped listening at that point. It was way out of my budget).

I made a hasty exit and booked it to Crunch at 59th and 2nd. Even further from my apartment. This gym was also crowded but the crowd seemed a little less...haughty. Actually, it seemed a bit dirty. I think it was the wall color. Anyway, their membership rep also showed me around and then we talked fees. $150 to join (sensing a pattern?) but only $65/month. Hmm. After some negotiation, I got the rep down to $60/month. $45 'processing fee' too. They also offer a free personal training session which every gym should have. I took a card and left.

Last stop - NYSC. One block from my apartment. Their gym was the most crowded - there were people waiting to use the cardio machines. I spoke with their membership rep, who did not walk me around. He took me straight to his office, where we talked fees first. I kind of liked that - cut the b.s. and get straight to the meat. They were running a promotion, instead of $150 to join it was only $33, with a monthly fee of $80. Unfortunately, there was also a $59 'processing fee' to get me set up. Ugh. I tried negotiating but the best the guy offered was a second personal training session (first one is gratis). So I took a card and left. But I'll most likely end up joining there anyway since it is so close to me. It's the only way I know I will work out.

1 comment:

RealEstatebyKevin said...

I'm having the same experience w/ Fitness Edge in Norwalk,, Certified letter to Arkansas...
I'll never rejoin, was a member for 5 years, just can't endorse awful business practice.