Follow-up to Bally’s Sales Rep’s Slimy Tactic

In what may be the fastest response from a company ever, someone from Bally’s Total Fitness saw my tweet about the Bally’s sales rep blog post just hours after I put it up, and in a comment on that post, asked me to have Dee e-mail him with details about the situation. She did so, and later that day was on the phone with customer service explaining what had happened — that originally, a previous sales rep at our local Bally’s had told her she would be eligible for a free year of membership at the end of her multiyear contract, since she’d gotten a fellow co-worker to also sign up. When she went to collect that freebie year, the current Bally’s Total Fitness staff members told her there had been no such promotion, and that the original rep had (allegedly) lied to her about it.

While Dee had gotten 3 free months as “compensation” for what the staff told her was misinformation, after talking to customer service, she was told that it WAS a valid promotion at the time. And they awarded her the year she was entitled to — giving her a full 15 months of Bally’s membership, free of charge!

In the end, it seems that no one knew what the hell they were talking about.

I love it when companies rectify their mistakes. Too bad it takes a public forum (thank you, Internet) to get their full attention.

Bally’s Total Fitness Rep Lies About ‘Free Year’ of Membership

Today, a co-worker of mine, who I’ll call “Dee,” told me a crappy story about her experience at our local Bally’s Total Fitness gym, to which we both belong. Both of us had been members of the gym before getting pregnant, and now that we’ve had our little bundles of joy, we still go because it’s located very close to our office building.

About two years ago, Dee got another of our co-workers to sign up for a gym contract — and the sales guy told her she qualified for a ‘free year’ of gym membership once her current three-year contract was up. This perk stemmed from Dee bringing the Bally’s some new business. She asked how the gym would award the freebie, and the sales rep said it was automatically given at the end of her current contract. Sounds like a great deal, right?

Wrong. Turns out, it was a very shady tactic.

Now that Dee’s three-year Bally’s Total Fitness gym membership is up, she wanted to know when her free year would kick in. The current employees just looked at each other and flat-out told her that the sales guy lied — there was never such an offer at Bally’s. They claimed that the guy lied to a number of Bally’s gym members and say he was fired for his disturbing lack of ethics.

Unfortunately, she got nothing in writing from this slimeball. At least she wasn’t scammed out of money, although she thought she’d be saving a full year’s worth of membership dues (money she really could use now that Baby No. 3 has arrived).

A quick Google search finds a few other alleged instances of this happening at other Bally’s locations (check out this similar Bally’s complaint).

My advice: If you’re promised something by a company — especially if we’re talking about free stuff! — GET IT IN WRITING!

My Adventure at the Gym

Now that I’m just days away from the end of my first trimester, I decided it was time to use the gym membership I’ve been paying for the past few months. Initially, I was scared of ‘jostling’ the baby too much during the crucial early development period, but once I realized 6 weeks of nausea equaled 8 pounds of weight gain (and almost no clothes for me to fit into anymore), I felt the need to do something about it. While I obviously do not want to lose weight, I’m now eating healthier and trying to get a bit more exercise.

Food-wise, I had to stop the ridiculous snacking all day long. Plus, all the ginger ale was drinking added unnecessary calories. I had even given in to a craving for McDonald’s, something I hadn’t eaten in years. I’m trying to eat more fruit, and I’m getting some veggies through the low-sodium V8 I picked up. Otherwise, I hate vegetables and won’t get any of that nutrition any other way.

During my lunch hour on Wednesday, I headed to the gym down the street, workout bag in hand, ready to walk slowly on the treadmill for a half-hour (you’re supposed to keep your heart rate below 140 while you’re pregnant; another fun tidbit I’ve learned). It’s been warm here in New Jersey this week, with temperatures in the mid-90s, and the gym was slightly warm. With a bottle of cold water at the ready, I stepped onto the treadmill.

I didn’t even break a sweat, which isn’t unusual for me and my slow metabolism. I kept a pace of 2.9 mph and was feeling good up until minute 28 or so, when I suddenly felt weak and lightheaded. I stopped the treadmill and my hands were shaking, too. It was the same feeling I get when my blood sugar is low, but I had eaten breakfast about 2 hours prior and had some pretzel sticks not 15 minutes before I left. So I thought I was covered.

Needless to say, I won’t be going back to the gym until I discuss this exercise thing with my ob-gyn on Tuesday. I’m hoping it was just a fluke, since I’d planned to keep my gym membership until December or so. It “only” costs $21 a month, and there’s no enrollment or cancellation fee.

See what happens when I try to do something healthy?