Last summer, on irlando, desperate to work out, I got rooked into signing a contract with ballys. this ended up being the worst gym experience of my lifetime. here are a few reasons why:
1) it was a brand new facility, their flagship center, and they had (1) squat rack, and (1) flat bench
2) not that they were useful anyway, but they had about 40 personal trainers on hand at any given time, none of which were every personally training anyone.
2a) their breakroom was in front of the entrance, with a glass wall so the people walking in could see the 40 personal trainers on perennial break. as you were waiting for someone to man the entrance desk, they would look you in the eye, through the glass wall, and turn away.
3) it was two stories, with all weight equipment tucked waaaaaaay in the back of the upstairs. There was no continuity to the equipment arrangement. The flat bench was surrounded by ab machine benches and leg curl machine. The fly machine, a logical choice to be located near the flat bench, was clear across the gym upstairs area.
4) they sold me the idea that it was only crowded at 7 pm, when I happened to wlak in there looking for membership. BULLSHIT. I tried going in there every concievable hour they were open. The fire marshall would have shut them down.
5) The people that did go there would wear spandex unisuits, and camp on the one available piece of equipment talking for thrity minutes without movin any weight. this was not the exception, but rather the rule there.
6) I tried to get my girlfriend a 'week pass' as was advertised. Instead, they kidennapped us into a room, with no glass walls. gave us an inane, rambiling fumbling sales pitch about saving money in the long run by signing a 10 year contract, even though the monthly payment would be $54 a month, and I was paying $30 a month. and then started talking about turning his pants into a frisbee. . . He gave us a tour of the gym, even though he knew I was a member, he gave us a tour, on which he proceeded to perform exercises incorrectly. I dont think this dude had ever worked out.
AND then when we said fuck it we just want to go, because it had been two hours and were trying to get some morning cardio in on an empty stomach, he 'went to go see what he could do' for a half an hour. . . probably went to the glass room to show off how little he could do and still get paid for it. comes back, and wont let us leave without either paying for a membership, or required my girlfriend to 'Leave your driver's license, so I know tha tyou will come back'. HOLY FUCK.
7) Then one magical day, even though I was a paying fucking member, they slapped a sticker on my card saying NO ENTRANCE, and told me to call this 1-800 number to get it straightened out. The 1-800 number was open, no shit, from 9 am to 30 pm, plus they went ot lunch. while working at Imagineering, you can imagine I was busy during my working hours. but I tried several times to get through, but somehow, I never did. they wouldnt let me into the gym I was paying for. I stopped payment, and started the appeal process. My appeal was denied and now some fucking credit agency is after me for $800.
there are countless others, but if I go on, Ill become irregular.
any other bally's members needing to vent?