Monday, December 20, 2010

Planet Fitness, you suck and I want my money back!

My gym membership at Anytime Fitness ran out last week.  At the same time, I was struck by a feeling that I am spending too much money on gym memberships, gear, etc.  So I decided to give the local Planet Fitness a try.  $10 a month doesn't sound too bad on the wallet and I spend most of my gym time on the treadmill when it is too nasty to run outside.

First lets just say that Planet Fitness has done some unique branding moves.  For instance they market themselves as a "no judgement zone".  Let me clarify this for you...

That means that when at the gym I am supposed to not grunt or make noises while I work out.  I am not supposed to lift heavy weights that would make other people uncomfortable.  As a matter of fact they don't even have any heavy weights, their dumbbells only go to 50 pounds.  Normal gyms have dumbbells that go up to 130 to 150 pounds. 
Now this particular location is also located in the basement of a building and is not very large at all.  As you can see in the picture above they have crammed about as much crap into this room as possible.  Also please take note of the slouchy caveman dragging his feet, this is exactly who I'm not supposed to judge.

In another twist of marketing genious, Planet Fitness offers the Black Card which they say is to give you "status".  Wait a minute, but if we aren't judging each other then why do I need "status" and is that something you can buy at Planet Fitness.  I thought status in the gym was determined by hard work and sweat and having  a road map of veins on your forearms.
But hang on! The Black Card provides you with unlimited TANNING!  You have got to be $hi++ing me!  We aren't judging each other but now the color of my skin is important? 

So now we get beyond the marketing retardation (can I say that?) and we get into my personal experience.

Day #1 - signing up for a membership
Approach the counter, be greeted by teenage bubblegum chewing ditz #1 and #2 who offer me a tour.  Ok sounds good.  The tour takes 1.5 seconds because the place is the size of my closet.  It includes a briefing on not judging people.  Sign me up!  I promise I won't judge! (fingers crossed)

Day #2 - first workout
Enter the gym to find the windows fogged with humidity and the temperature at 80 degrees.  When I approach the neanderthal at the desk, he tells me it's hot outside and the gym is busy so it got hot and humid inside.  I scratch my head and make a counter argument that it is 35 degrees outside and the gym is supposed to be busy.  35 is warm for December, what is going to happen in July?  This was countered by a stupid look on his face and a odd guppy type jaw motion.

Day#3 - second workout
Enter the gym, it's only 74 degrees inside today.  Same dip$hit at the counter "hey buddy why's it so hot today?  It's 15 degrees outside and the place is empty.  This is greeted by some drool from his mouth and an excuse that the air conditioner is not working properly but someone will fix it.  Great no problem.  How about you give me the # of the owner or manager so I can find out when it will be fixed.   "Ummmmmm I cant give you that info".  Ok, when will they be in?  "8 AM weekdays"

Day #4 - 8AM monday morning
Enter the gym and dip$hit is at the counter again.  He greets me with an Oh Crap What Do I Do Now face.  He tells me the manager already left.  I reply with about 47 second of silence.  Then tell him to give me her phone number, which he can't do.  So I give him mine and tell him to call her and have her call me.  Complicated instructions, but I'm sure he can get it done. 

Phone call from Kim the "Regional Manager" - without going into too much detail, they can't give me a refund and there is nothing wrong with the heat.....  Excellent, I guess I have a couple weeks left to enjoy the gym.  (update: Kim called me back later in the day to say that she had reconsidered the situation and decided to give me a full refund.)

Day #5 - hasn't happened yet but when it does! (day 5 cancelled, thank goodness)
Enter the gym singing "We Will Rock You" by Queen.  Proceed to the front desk to check in with the inept staff member of the day.  Reveal my home made "Planet Fitness Sucks" t-shirt.  Begin to lift and slam every weight in the gym while grunting and posing in the mirrors.  Proceed to do an interval workout on the treatmill while sweating all over everything around me.  I will congratulate myself after every interval because I am a beast!  Then I will do my stretching in the middle of the floor because there is no other place to do it.  When people have to step over me I'll tell them to get the hell out of my way!  Finally I'll do some poses in the mirror while grunting and growling at myself.