My current gym membership is due to end in the next few months, so I thought it would be good to do a price check on other gyms around the area. Sadly, I made the big mistake of heading into the gym I had happily quit over a year ago. They are just down the road from me and I had heard that they were turning into a 24-7 gym. I like the idea of 24-7 gyms as there’s no added pressure in keeping track of staffed hours and holiday timetables. My only intention was to find out their membership prices.
I met with the sales guy who showed me around the gym for me to point out to him the upgrades that had happened since I was last there. His excuse was that he had only been here two months, so he couldn’t tell me what was new (red flag number 1).
As we walked around I noticed a particular PT I actively avoided during my time there. I had provided feedback to managers previously about his unprofessional conduct. He was still there, up to his same habits (red flag number 2).
After my “tour” I told the sales guy I just wanted to know prices and I would go home and have a think about it. Instead, he pushed harder with extra deals to get me to sign up on the spot (red flag number 3).
Then he referred me to the sales manager when he couldn’t close the deal (red flag number 4).
Eventually they pinned me down with the “we’ll throw in three months + two weeks free membership while you finish up with your old gym” that would be off the table if I had left to think about it.
I would’ve liked more time to think about it, but I did the paperwork as I was in a rush to head to work.
I walked away feeling extremely uneasy and unsettled. Playing back that entire process, I realised that I wouldn’t feel comfortable working out at such a big gym. I love the gym I go to now. It’s small, clean, friendly and I feel comfortable working out there. It’s become my place of sanctuary. And Mr Happy-Man goes there, so what more do I need? Just because logically it makes sense to go to the larger gym for a cheaper price, doesn’t always mean it’s the best option for me.
After work, I marched back to that gym and canceled my contract.
Lesson learned: always be aware of the red flags, stick to your guns and don’t let anyone bully you into doing something you don’t feel comfortable doing.