Tuesday, July 6, 2010

37 degrees gym - don't join!

Sent: 02/07/2010. Why you shouldn't join 37 Degrees gym!


Thank you for sending that through, though, I have no idea why you did – it appears 37 degrees consistently does not listen.

As it appears you are unable to deal with this I would appreciate it if you could pass this to your superior at 37 degrees, copying me in so I know you have acted on this and it is not necessary to waste further time chasing this up with you.

To whom it may concern,

We are, initially, pursuing a refund for being overcharged (£85 vs £49) in our first month of membership at 37 degrees gym back in October. I will reluctantly relay the whole situation to you in as short a space as possible.

To qualify for the reduced corporate rate we needed to provide proof of our employment. We provided our contracts for your staff, not once, but twice due to the fact your staff lost the copies they took of our original employment contracts. We were then subsequently contacted and asked to provide it after we had already made the journey specifically to 37 degrees gym to hand in our contracts.

You have lost copies of our employment contract. This is a breach of the Data Protection Act 1998. Not only did this include names and addresses, but salaries. Moreover, this information is highly sensitive for our employer.

Due to this we request you provide us with the copy you currently have of our contracts for safe keeping unless you can prove they are being kept adequately safe.

Another example of your consistently poor service and inability to keep your word is, after conducting your usual hard-sell for us to sign up for a membership, you asked us for a number of names, emails and phone numbers in order that we could spread the word about the gym and provide free passes to come and try it out. Although at that point I wanted to tell my friends about 37 Degrees gym, I had no desire to give you their emails or personal numbers because I did not want you to cold call or hassle them in any way. Xxxxl, the sales representative signing us up said that we had to provide numbers and e-mail addresses in order to receive the passes but agreed that these individuals would not be contacted. Obviously (in hindsight), you then went on to contact all the individuals numerous times, despite the fact they did not want to receive these calls.

We have been pursuing this matter with you for 9 months and the way you have dealt with this issue throughout this period is unacceptable. We have been told we will be rung back countless times, that individuals are away, on holiday, taking a bath, etc. We have spoken to your front of house staff at the gym in person on countless occasions with the same verdict. We have been given a business card to contact a member of your 37 degrees staff with the wrong number and out of date e-mail address. We have therefore, again, had to come back and have another number scrawled across the card to try. As you can guess – that didn’t work either.

This has culminated in, due to us now having the ability to come in between 9 – 5, a direct conversation with your accounts team member. (You may find it surprising that some of the demographic your gym serves are unable to come in between 9 – 5 to talk with your accounts team.) We then explained the situation to Yyyyy and were told that although a refund would take some time she would be able to action a credit against our continuing membership fees to make up the debt you owe us.

Needless to say, instead of this happening another member of your team called us to say Xxxxl would be in touch, we then spoke with him last week and he informed us that it would not be possible to pay back the money you have taken off us without our permission, as we hadn’t provided the contract within 7 days of the joining date when in actual fact we provided it twice. It is a disgrace – you should be ashamed that your organisation deals with its customers in the way you have. You have been stalling and stalling and stalling with this issue and have wasted so much of our time.

Our final complaint is that, in writing this letter and checking the amounts we paid we have noticed that for some reason you have put our direct debit up from the agreed £49 to £64. Why on earth has this happened and why have we not been informed by you of this change? Why have you not sought our consent to alter our direct debit payments before proceeding? At no point have we agreed to pay more than £49 for this service – well, for this hassle.

This is an open letter that will be posted on Twitter, facebook and a blog as it appears you just don’t care no matter how many times we relay the situation to you. We will of course update these with your response in fairness.

We will not have the time to do this tonight so you may the chance to respond first, but please do so in writing, via e-mail, as we can not trust your spoken word.

We look forward to hearing from you within 14 days with how you plan to make reparations – sooner if your internal processes allow, avoiding this taking over a year to be dealt with by your team.

Please ensure you respond to all our points.

Yours faithfully,

James Poulter, Abigail Mohan

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