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Dear PoPville – Washington Sports Clubs “rate guarantee fee”!?!?

by Prince Of Petworth January 13, 2012 at 10:30 am 106 Comments


Photo by PoPville flickr user philliefan99

Dear PoPville,

I’m a WSC emmber, strapped to my contractual agreement to the club for fear of being punished with severence fees. On January 3rd I was perusing my bank account and noticed that WSC debited my account for more money than my regular monthly dues. Assuming it was a mistake, I called the club only to be told that it is the annual “rate guarantee fee”. My response “What?!?!” Apparently, to keep your rate at the “low” price that you received when you signed up, they require clients to pay an annual fee. It kind of defeats the purpose of the initial sign up fee and the monthly dues. Who’s ever heard of paying more than your contractual agreement to maintain the terms of your contractual agreement. I asked to speak to someone in corporate. They started to put up the “iron curtain” defense. After literally a week of trying I got impatient, went on LinkedIn, found the CEO’s name, and then figured out the recipe to the corporate email addresses. I emailed him directly about my concerns which are:

1. What is this crazy fee?
2. For all of the money you get from us in dues, it would be nice if your membership consultants spent 30 seconds explaining the fee – can you make that happen?
3. You could AT LEAST have communicated that we should be expecting this fee. Even a sign in the doorway would be nice. An email would’ve been better. You have ALL of my information short of my DNA coding.

Instead of replying back, he had the Director of Administrative services email me and offer to have a club manager get in touch. I explained – again – that the managers have no power over policy and directed me to her to get answers. She never replied, and today I got a call from a regional manager. I expect no success in my mission for answers and demands for better communication from the ivory tower where their CEO looks down on all of us wee members paying out $80/month to sweat on their treadmills, but I want to empower other folks irritated by this with the CEO’s name and email address so they can share their thoughts with him, and also the name and number for reaching the regional manager. I know they got hundreds of calls around the date of the “rate guarantee fee” debit, it would be great if all of those calls went to the corporate office instead of to the managers who really have no power in the situation.

CEO Town Sports International – Robert Giardina [email protected]
Regional Manager – Naveen 703-934-1777 x1555

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