|I realized too late that I had been suckered into a gym that cares little about its clients, and uses lies and sales tactics and guilt trips to suck in clients. As was also stated in the mentioned piece, I am kicking myself and hoping I do not get screwed by this gym again (seeing as how they apparently tend to extend contracts without notifying their customers). |
Gym child cares, like any child care, has to follow state standards. Some states require 1 provider to 6 children (2 and up), 1 to 3 (2 and under), or 1 to 12 (2 and up), 4-6 (2 and under). Every state is different, and the rules of play equipment and activities is specified in the law. Any child care facility in any state has to follow the guidelines in the law, and require state inspections (sometimes on a monthly basis).
Now, it is important for parents to realize that gym day cares are not like actual day cares. There are things that the providers (mainly because they do not have to be licensed) just do not do. One being, diaper changes. Another, feeding. Honestly, that is small stuff, and totally understandable that since the parent is there, the parent should be able to do it (even if the parent is paying 50+ a month for a stinkin membership in a facility that looks like Ben Stiller's gym from "Dodge ball" and has the same awful music and videos).
One thing that stuck out right away upon entering the area was the massive play gym with a slide, and the one worker climbing up it trying to get the smaller kids down. As far as toys for the 1 to 3 crowd, not much was there. There was a kitchen set, and again, the one worker trying to block every 1-3 year old from climbing on the forbidden climbing equipment (even though it was safe enough for some coordinated 2 and up's to climb).
Within 10 minutes of working out, I get pulled into child care (PERFECT!). I was thinking, just wonderful. I bet my oldest has hurt someone or taken something, but no. I got called in because my 2 year old was climbing the giant slide, and the workers with there passive voices kept trying to talk him down. He's 2. I raised my voice as only a military wife knows how, and he looked at me. The stare down began, and after a second saying of his name, he came down.
I pointed to the object and said no! Bad! Took him over to another object and said, "good. yes. yes" All that stupid crap that child psychologist say works but not really. So, I left yet again. Then it happened again, and they had to put him in a time out. Then again.
As I was leaving having been kicked out because my child was playing on equipment he was more than able to play on, and that is meant to be played on, I thought, "what a load of ####." Then I thought, ok it's day 1. Do not get upset, it will just take a few days.
After a month of my child getting in trouble for playing on equipment that should not even be in a room with children who cannot use it, I talked with management because they wanted to talk to me about my son's behavior. He has a listening probably. First of all, he is two. Second of all, the facility kept saying it was state law he could not play on it which is bull! State law is two and up, it was the manufacturers suggestion. Then she proceeded to tell me I would have to stop bringing him if this behavior continued, and I needed to talk to him at home.
As my blood pressure rose higher than my heart rate, I told her how wrong and ridiculous this was, and how unfair it is that I have to pay every month and not use the facility just because my son was playing. However, I said it with more umph and gruffness, but nicely, and noticed she started shaking and was intimidated. Then I said, I don't understand why something as simple as this would get me kicked out of the child care except for the fact that you all messed up by placing this unnecessary equipment in your facility, and not having a staff in place to supervise properly supervise it.I then said, "the solution is simple, get rid of the equipment. My son is not hurting anyone nor himself. The thing is very well padded (much, much, much safer than any fast food or outside playground-I mean extremely safe), and to get kicked out because he's likes to go down the slide is asinine."Not only do the complaints get ignored (because the facility will not refund any money or cancel the membership for any reason without a hefty fee), the ones that have to resolve the complaint won't even talk over the phone. They have to be contacted by email. Talk about a big business that does not care about their members, and it makes me wonder if they care about their employees.
I sent state rules and laws, valid reasons on why and how to resolve the issue. Even ones that did not require getting rid of the equipment, and the head obviously did not read or even think twice about it.
I really wanted to expand on my story and also mention the stories of others who have had problems with "The Rush." I entered to win a "free" workout trial at this facility over the summer. I received a phone call to meet with a trainer and get started a few weeks later.
At first everything seemed to go well, but I had my doubts (which I should have trusted). By the end of the tour and talk of how I needed the gym in order to shape up (because after three kids I'm a hefty 128lbs and obviously don't exercise or stay in shape according to the trainer), I was willing to sign up for my free trial.
After all, I had gained 7 lbs from vacation, and I wanted to workout on some weights (which are cheaper to buy than this stupid membership). To my astonishment, the manager said, so to get you started you need to pay 200+ dollars in fees, and then it will be 60 something (can't remember if it was 64 or up) a month for 24 months. WHAT? So, I talked him down to $24 after a few minutes of negotiating, and he agreed. I thought I had talked him down to $130 for the sign up, but found out after 2-3 payments, the gym still charged the full start up fee (which I was told would be less).
The only reason I went forward was because he told me I had a month to decide if I wanted to remain a member, with no strings attached. And because child care and classes are included in the cost. So, I tried it for three weeks and went to cancel, and learned I did not have a month. I had three days. I then asked to see if I could at least change to a different gym location upon that I learned it would cost me more money. I decided, no problem, good price for everything. I will just deal with it for 2 years.
After all, if I move more than 30 miles away I can cancel right? Wrong. Something this gym does not tell you is, you have to move over 30 miles away from another "Rush" facility. If you are within 30 miles of another facility, then you have to pay the extra to join that location or just take a hit on the money for two years and not use any facility.
Also, after joining and being told the contract would end in two years, it seems as if that is not the case. In fact, there have been many incidents where the gym renews contracts without the members permission.
Dealing With "The Rush" Staff
Not all the staff is ruthless, but the mangament and customer relations and corporate are. Every time I've had a complaint, the gym will not deal with it. They give me a number to call corporate. So, I do. Just to find out it is a call center (real shocker there), and the only way to communicate with corporate is by email.
When corporate emails members, they always have an excuse as to why they cannot help. Do not even bother going to gym management because they will not help either. They sale the product, and from there they just gloat in the fact they have suckered in another consumer. In all, they are nothing more than unethical sale people who will tell any lie and use any guilt trip to get people to join.
Do Not Sign A Gym Contract
Upon continuously getting screwed by this facility, I checked out BBB. I found that the gym I go to has over 29 complaints, but is not even rated (I rate it an "F" for false information). Another Rush facility has over 60 complaints, and there are huge numbers of complaints across the board.
On ripoff.com and complaints.com, there are many similar stories. My lesson was learned to late, and I truly hope they end my contract when I tell them. Also, they take your card info and will take money from your account directly. They will not accept monthly payments any other way. This should be a huge red flag, and one that should not be ignored.
No gym should do this. This is why many people may not even realize the gym has extended a contract, and still debit money from their account. It's a gym, not an insurance agency.
Over all, read my other post about the other problem I had with child care and how I was lied to in that reguard. Research a facility before joining, and also realize working out at home is much cheaper than giving money to an uncaring big business gym facility. If your gut says no, say no. Do not think you need that gym because they guilt you into it.