Fancy Gym Fail

Dear Columbia Fitness,

I am so not happy with you.

Right now, I pay something on the order of $56 (after tax) per month to use your Sammamish branch. It’s nice, it has a decent set of equipment, and the people are awesome. It does, however, lack a pool, and if I am to be training for tris I need a pool.

I have until now been driving to Mercer Island to use their pool (at $5.25/pop, plus $0.25 for the lockers, plus roughly $4 in gas roundtrip) and the Spreadsheet tells me that if I pay for your fancy Pine Lake Club membership (which includes use of a pool) that I can break even at a mere two swims a week.

I talked with your people via email, got pool schedules, and arrived at 5pm today to fork over an additional $60/month and have you watch my kid and swim.

Not only were your membership people too busy (which surprises me, I don’t really need a membership person, because I’m already a member I should just be able to have the front desk person upgrade me, right?) but the kids club was closed. This surprised me, because kids club is supposed to be open on Fridays until 8. It says so on the website.

The unhelpful person behind the counter pointed out that on Fridays they close if they don’t have a reservation. Well, your site indicates this phenomena on Sundays, but not on Fridays.

I left your club, and left an email for the membership person I had been talking to, expressing my discontent.

Then I decided to call, spoke to her, and am to arrive tomorrow at 9am to swim and upgrade membership, assured that someone will be there to watch the boychild. Then it occurred to me: kids club opens at 8, so why don’t I just show up at 8 and swim and then sign? I mean, I never got an answer to whether or not a front desk flunky can upgrade my membership for me, right?

So I called. And got ahold of the same unhelpful (if not, vacuous) person as before. Yes, I can totally talk to anyone and even call to upgrade my membership. I said great, can we do that now? No, no I can’t do that because I need to wait until 9am tomorrow: when the membership person is in.

Am I crazy for thinking this is stupid? That Joe Clueless should have been able to figure out that by asking if I could get this out of the way, and by asking if I could come swim at 8am, that I was asking if I could get to talk to ANYONE that would get the damn thing upgraded? Only one of the four lanes is open at 9am and I have no idea how busy it will be or what I will have to deal with. And I’m not altogether confident things will go smoothly.

The axiom of gym memberships is that you’re happy to take money and assume people won’t show up. I want to give you money and show up, you don’t seem to want to let me.

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