Who knew joining a gym could be so damn hard?
I have been researching various gyms in my area and near my office because I want to join one. My elliptical machine works fine, but the electronic calorie counter is broken, and I really like to watch the calorie counter. The final push I needed to get my butt in a gym is that my awesome new company pays for half of my gym membership.
So, anyway, one of the perks of the new job is the gym membership. After lots of research, I determined that Gold’s Gym would be my best fit since there is a location near my house, and also a location halfway between my office and the house my husband and I are looking to purchase. It seemed like a great idea.
It SEEMED like a great idea. There is only one problem. Gold’s Gym is making it nearly impossible to sign up!
First, I got up at my normal morning workout time, packed my gym bag, and headed to Gold’s for a 5AM workout. Yes, I admit 5AM is early, but that is the time I need to go to the gym because I work 7AM-4PM at my daytime gig, and 5PM-9PM I am either working on my freelance projects, grandparent-sitting or playing rec league basketball. (Despite not having kids, I lead a pretty busy life.) My point is, 5AM is really the only time I could get to the gym, at least these days.
Showing up was my first mistake.
I asked about the 7-day trial period I had heard about somewhere.
Gold’s Guy: “You have to have a coupon printed out to do a 7-day trial.”
Ok, I thought. No problem, I already know I want to join anyway. So I said instead, I would like to just join right on the spot.
Gold’s Guy: “You can’t join until you meet with a Membership Advisor, and they only work 7-8.”
I responded with, “Well, my company has a corporate account. Can’t I just sign up?”
Gold’s Guy: “No, but you could purchase a 24 hour membership for $16.”
Me: “Ok, well, could I at least take a look around?”
Gold’s Guy: “No. I’m not allowed to give tours. Only the Membership Advisors can give tours.”
Me: “Ok, thanks.”
That was my first interaction with Gold’s Gym. I learned that there was a Membership Advisor who was the only one who could help me and apparently was the only one skilled enough to show me the facility. The way they spoke about this mysterious Membership Advisor was as though he was some kind of gym guru who could change my life with the right membership plan and a fabulous tour. In my mind, I knew he was probably some juiced up weightlifter who, like a glorified used car salesman, would try to sell me on a gym membership. (Instead of a plaid sportcoat and a polyester tie, this guy wears a spandex singlet and tube socks…at least, in my mind he does.) I really didn’t feel this step was necessary since, again, I ALREADY KNEW I wanted to join.
Today, I was privileged enough to speak to this Membership Advisor on the phone. I called them and asked specifically for a Membership Advisor. Here’s how the conversation went:
Me: “Hi, I’d like to go ahead and sign up for your gym with my company’s corporate account, and since I can’t make it in there in person during the day when you are there, I was hoping we could do it over the phone.”
Membership Advisor/Gold’s Guru: “Well, you really need to come in so we can discuss all of your options for membership plans and pricing. And, your company will not let me do that over the phone.”
Now, my HR department had told me, since Gold’s is one of their preferred corporate gyms, all I have to do is tell them where I’m from, and Gold’s will bill the company along with all the other employees who have memberships. Besides, I hadn’t even told him the name of my company yet, so how he knew they didn’t want me to talk to him over the phone must have been some sort of magical Membership Advisor Guru intuition.
Me: “Really, I know what plan I want. My HR rep told me we have a corporate membership and they told me the pricing already. She even gave me the sheets with the pricing info and informed me to tell you I wanted the corporate membership. I just want to sign up.”
Guru: “Well, then you will have to come in person so we can meet to discuss the membership rates.” (Again, with the rates, this guy.)
Me: “Ok, well, I guess I will have to figure something out since I can’t come in when you are there. Thanks.”
What I can’t understand is why they would make it so difficult for someone who obviously wants to join. They want to give me the hard sell, but I’m already sold. I just want to work out!
This afternoon I sent an email to Gold’s corporate to ask them if I have any other options. I guess I will wait to see what they say. I really do want to join this gym. I just wish they would let me. I have a brand new spandex singlet and set of tube socks I am dying to try out…