Sep 29, 2010

Rant of the Week: Gym Membership Renewal Time

Rant of the Week: Gym Membership Renewal Time

The picture at the top of your screen is a shot of the gym where I run. I got the membership back in October of 2008 during the early phases of what I call "The Black Period" of my life. I scored a two-year membership for a fucking great deal... $300 cash. There was no way I could pass that up. The place is pretty awesome. One of the problems with it is I really don't go to it a whole bunch when the weather is nice. There is no reason to run around countless circles on a track when I can take the risk of running down the bike path in East Dayton on any given day and pray that someone tries to jump me so I can unleash some hell.

One of the other problems with this gym is...


... the constant thorn in my side this gym has become because my membership is almost over. I'm not going to throw up any disclaimer for what I'm about to say, because I really don't care, but gyms are a cut-throat business that is only concerned about the $$$. I suppose every business is about that as well. But gyms are the annoying person that won't go away. If they have your money, they don't give a shit about you. If you signed that contract, the only way out of it is to die or cancel your credit card and go into hiding. I had a locker rental with this gym that was an extra $20 a month. I decided to cancel it because I never really utilized it in a way that was worthy of an extra $20 out of my pocket. I showed up with my running shit on, unlocked the padlock, threw my keys in it, locked it up, and then went for a run. That did not warrant roughly $1 for something I could have done for free without the luxury of my name being on it. So a few months ago, I decided to cancel my locker. Little did I know, this whole deal would turn into a 3 month fiasco that would cost me an extra $60 for ridiculous bullshit that wasn't even worth my time fighting.

So now it's time to renew my membership. It expires on 10/29. I have a marathon on 12/4. So a one month deal would be what I would aim for. I've had this in mind although I haven't made a special trip to the gym to sit down and discuss this with anyone. But in the past 2 weeks, since 9/16, I have received 6 phone calls from Urban Active giving me a "friendly" reminder that "IT'S TIME TO RENEW!" The calls come in the form of automated announcements to sales reps to clueless 16 year old girls that don't know what planet they are on, let alone the verbal rampage I would have delivered if they were unlucky enough when they called me to solicit my business. I also received some emails, which I am going to show you now. This one came on 9/18 in the middle of the Michigan vs Umass game. If you don't know me, nothing pisses me off more than when someone does anything during a football game that makes my phone light up, ring, or vibrate. I usually turn it off, but since they're 4-0, I keep it on silent. But my phone went off. And it was time for another reminder about my membership.


I just wanted to send you a quick message to remind you that your Urban Active membership is currently up for renewal. You should have received a letter in the mail and some calls about this already and I wanted to send an email as well!

Right now we have our early bird renewal promotion running which gives you a great renewal rate and up to 12 MONTHS FREE!!! All you have to do to cash in on this promotion is to renew by September 23rd which is this Thursday. You will not lose any time on your membership by renewing early because your renewal will begin at the end of your current term.

As an added bonus for renewing your membership early, you will get a 30 day pass for a friend and a complimentary session with a certified personal trainer! Don’t miss out on this opportunity to get FREE months and other incentives with your membership renewal!

For the ultimate convenience, you may RENEW BY PHONE or EMAIL. I can be reached directly at 513-328-9674 or by replying to this email. You may also just stop by the club....It will only take a few minutes.

I look forward to hearing from you. Please let me know if you have any questions or concerns about your membership or our facility in general.

*If you have already renewed please disregard this email* [But what if I haven't, and these emails and phone calls are getting on my fucking nerves? Then what?!]

In Health-

District Customer Service Manager

I shot off an immediate response:

Stop emailing me. If I want to renew, I will call.

Sent from my iPhone

Is there something difficult about a simple request to "stop emailing me" ???

A few seconds later, they email me again. Didn't I just ask them to stop emailing me?

This was the first email I have sent but will make a note not to email you personally. We look forward to your call in the future and sorry about the intital email.

Have a great great day

District Customer Service Manager

The only way to describe the feeling I had after I read that additional unwanted email, as well as the feeling I have now after reflecting on it, would be that of being on life support and saying "fuck it" and ripping the cords out of my arm and flat lining. Yeesh.

So I've got 6 calls in the past two weeks. A couple emails. They didn't give a shit about my locker dilemma. And they don't care about me now. They just want my money. And they won't stop calling until they have it.