When joining a gym, people should be very careful of the choice they're making. Why? Because, in many cases, it's easier to get a divorce than to cancel your gym membership. Reddit user BabstheBeagle demonstrated the hardships of trying to leave a gym by telling the story of the 26 hair-tearing phone calls it took to finally split herself from gym life.
The tale started simply enough, with a manager who seemed to be forever at lunch:
So this saga started on Wednesday. I called at my lunch hour around 1:45PM EST and asked to cancel my membership, the receptionist told me only the Operations Manager can cancel memberships and she is on lunch. I asked when she would be back, and was told 2:30PM. I called back at 2:45PM and was told she was still at her lunch. I called one final time on Wednesday at 4PM and was told by a different receptionist the same line of "Only an Operations Manager can cancel memberships and she is on lunch." I left a message with her and waited for a call.
With a little determination, however, Babs managed to get a manager on the line...only to find the situation was more fraught than she realized.
At 3PM on Thursday I called once again and was told the same line. (Call 4)
Me: "That is fine, I will hold until she gets back."
Receptionist 1 (R1): "Are you sure? It might be a while."
Me: "Yep I will wait." --- 5 Minutes Later---
Operations Manager (N): "Hi this is Naomi, how can I help you?"
Me: "Hi Naomi, I would like to cancel my membership."
N: "We only cancel membership in person between the hours of 10AM and 3PM, Monday through Friday."
Me: "That isn't going to work for me Naomi, I work."
N: "Well you can send in a form, but that can take weeks to process."
Me: "No, you are not charging me for extra time, we are going to cancel this now."
N: "I cannot do that."
Me: "Why not?"
N: "Because we cannot verify who you are over the phone."
Me: "But you can through mail?"
N hangs up.
But BabstheBeagle is not one to be trifled with. She immediately got back on the line and settled in for the long haul.
I immediately call back. (Call 5)
R1: "Hi, this is LA Fitness, how may I help you?"
Me: "Please redirect me to Naomi, thank you."
--- Hold for 10 minutes ---
N: "This is Naomi, how may I help you?"
Me: "Hi Naomi, it seems like our call dropped, this is BabstheBeagle again. I would like to cancel my membership." - Side Note: I know the call didn't drop, I just have worked in customer service before and know that a nice person is more likely to get their way.
N: "As I said, we only do that through person or through the mail, I will not be able to help you today."
Me: "Yes you will Naomi, I will continue calling until you are able to. I know you can."
N: "I was trained in December and that will not be happening."
Me: "Yes it will be, I do not care who you have to call to make this happen."
N: "I will not be canceling this membership over the phone."
Me: "Then we will be.."
Boop, N hangs up again
Me: "speaking a lot today."
She called again...
R1: "Hi this is.."
Me: "Transfer me to Naomi."
Boop, R1 hangs up.
Call 7 – 10
The receptionist never answered my call, they just put me on hold.
I work in an open office space so all my coworkers have heard me trying to cancel this membership at this point. I borrow a coworker's phone and call back. (Call 11)
R1: "Hi, this is LA Fitness, how may I help you?"
Me: "Hi, can I speak to the Operations Manager?"
R1: "Sure! Let me transfer you."
--- Naomi almost immediately answers ---
N: "This is Naomi, how may I help you?"
Me: "Hi Naomi, this is BabstheBeagle again."
Boop, N hangs up.
Because the gym was ignoring Babs' calls, she had to use multiple phones to get to the gym's manager.
This is where I start to have fun. I borrow multiple coworkers phones, calling back and asking for Naomi. After 4 more calls, they eventually get me to Naomi. At this point it is around 4:50PM. (Call 12)
N: "Hi BabstheBeagle, you know I cannot cancel this."
Me: "Naomi, you must know that I will not stop calling until you do. Why again can't you cancel this over the phone?"
N: "Because I cannot verify who you are."
Me: "I will shoot you a text with my fingerprints, face, nostrils, I will even buy you plastic surgery so you cancel this for me."
N: "I cannot."
Me: "Please transfer me to your manager."
N: "I already spoke to him, I am not allowed to cancel this."
Me: "I do not care if you spoke to him, transfer me now."
N: "I will not be doing that. Have a nice day."
Me: "NAOMI DO NOT HANG UP ON ME."
Boop, she is gone again.
When it comes to cancelling memberships, persistence is the name of the game.
Call 13 – 15 they keep on ignoring me.
Call 16 – 5:01PM
Receptionist 2 (R2): "Hi, this is LA Fitness, how may I help you?"
Me: "I am just trying to cancel my membership."
R2: "Well we are unable to do that, only the operations manager can and she just left for the day."
Me: "I do not care, I will continue to call until you find someone that can cancel this membership."
R2: "I am here until 10:30PM, talk to you soon."
Boop, hung up on again.
By the end of the day, the LA Fitness staff knew BabstheBeagle pretty well.
There is a funny thing about LA Fitness call system. When they put you on hold a message pops up saying "Thank you for calling LA Fitness, your call means a lot to us, we will answer you shortly." Every time I heard "Thank you" I hung up and called again. This was purely to make sure that their phone was constantly ringing. This happened for call 17 – 24.
Ross (GM): "Hi BabstheBeagle this is Ross, you have been told that we can't cancel your membership unless the Operations Manager does it. She is no longer here. I am the General Manager and I can't even do it."
Me: "Hi Ross, I have talked to your Operations Manager multiple times, I will continue calling tonight unless you cancel this membership. If you can't do it, find someone who can."
GM: "Give me a minute."
Me: "Sure Ross."
--- Hold for a minute or two ---
GM: "Alright BabstheBeagle, this is the number of another location. The OM named Caleb is expecting your call and he will cancel your membership."
Me: "Thank you Ross, you are clearly the only one there with brain cells."
GM: "Have a good one."
At long last, Babs found someone who could cancel her membership! Fortunately, her reputation preceded her.
Receptionist 3 (R3): "Hi, this is LA Fitness, how may I help you?"
Me: "Hi, I am calling for Caleb, he is expecting my call."
R3: "Yep, he is just with a client right now, please hold for a minute."
--- Hold for a bit ---
Caleb (C): "Hi BabstheBeagle, how can I help you?"
Me: "Hi Caleb, you have to cancel my membership."
C: "Have to?"
Me: "Do you know how I got to you?"
C: "Yes, you wouldn't stop calling."
Me: "What makes you think that will change just cause you tell me no."
--- Long Pause ---
C: "Alright, let me verify some information and I will cancel this for you."
Me: "You are a saint among ding dongs."
Fortunately, the story has a happy ending.
Caleb proceeded to unhappily cancel my membership. This call ended at approximately 5:30PM. I did not curse once, but I think every employee at LA Fitness hates me now and I couldn't care less. Also sorry if this is horrible to read. I am a sucky writer and honestly have no intention of getting better.
Reddit showered BabstheBeagle with congratulations! TheBeneGesseritWitch commented:
What's amusing is they're so eager to sign you up over the phone. I went to an LA fitness with my sister a few weeks ago and they WON'T STOP CALLING. So--good for you. This story made me laugh.
CosmicKemoSabe seconded those kudos!
This was amazing! I applaud your persistence and patience! PS - Did you really tell Caleb 'You are a saint among ding dongs'?
Kindraer was proud of Babs too.
This is the most incredible thing I've read in a long time and your persistence is admirable.
MorkSal has some bad news for Babs though...
I bet you still get billed next cycle.
citricacidx has been in a similar situation.
I was once being harassed by a gym to update my information. They were reaching out to me to ask me to pay some annual membership fee. I told them I hadn't been to the gym in a year and wasn't going to. They said that the fee was still required. I asked them if they had my credit card information. They said no, and I said "Good bye" and hung up.
The situation sadly escalated with twoshoesonesock as well.
Reminds me of the story of the guy trying to cancel his planet fitness membership and they threatened to call the cops if he didn't stop calling. After the cops got on the phone he got his membership cancelled.
QuasarMonsanto summed it up best by saying:
This gave me rage just reading it. There should be a law requiring subscriptions services to allow termination by the same method in which they are enrolled.
Twitter can certainly relate to BabstheBeagle's frustrations:
Somehow cancelling my gym membership was the most productive thing I did all weekend— erin griley (@erin griley)1536552509.0
Just cancelled my gym membership. They sure know how to make you feel bad for cancelling. 🙈— Angel (@Angel)1536624982.0
@kmm16x Everything but cancelling the gym membership will be easy.— Craig McGill (@Craig McGill)1536505573.0
So let this story be a lesson to you: if you're thinking about joining a gym, be ready to stay together until death do you part.