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An Open Letter to LA Fitness

An Open Letter to LA Fitness

Lisa Eirene

About Lisa Eirene Lisa lost 110 pounds through calorie counting and exercise. She swims, bikes, runs, hikes and is enjoying life in Portland, Oregon. Her weight loss story has been featured in First Magazine, Yahoo Health, Woman's Day and Glamour.com.

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  1. Leah @ L4L

    Big chain gyms like that can be such asshats. I hate their holier than though attitude. We recently switched to the YMCA and I love love love the no-pressure we got, tours whenever we wanted, and free trial days. And we scored by signing up on a no-joining-fee day. MONEY. I couldn’t be happier. Its a brand spanking new facility loaded with amenities that I will happily make full use of.

    1. Lisa Eirene

      GOOD FOR YOU!! Glad you chose something local and more community based. I had such a negative experience at LA Fitness it really turned me off to the big box gyms. Even though 24 Hour Fitness is more expensive than I’d like, I never had a negative experience there with the staff (except for that one personal training session).

      I used to go to Mt. Scott Community Center here in Portland. I loved it. It was near my house, it was cheaper than the Big Gyms. The pool was nice, they had a gym, there were other activities I could do and everyone was really nice there. The problem I have with Mt. Scott NOW is that I don’t live near it at all and the hours suck for my schedule. That’s not really saying anything bad about them though.

  2. deb

    Was it LA Fitness that makes news for kicking out members who have to audacity to grunt or make any “bodybuilder-like” noise while in the gym? The gym that actually has a noise meter in their free weight section to warn the members that they are being to aggressive? No great loss if that’s the case.

    1. Lisa Eirene

      Are you serious?? I hadn’t heard that. Nice that they can kick out their customers. 😛

      1. Lisa Eirene

        That is too funny! Thanks Andy!

  3. Lisa

    Your letter is very well written! We’ve never lived near a 24 hour Fitness, so it’s never been an option for us.
    I’ve managed to avoid big box fitness places. I refuse to sign up for auto-draft, and am leery of places closing so I usually end up at a Y, community fitness center or my most recent gym was owned by the local hospital. All of these places have been generous with visitors passes, and I usually get a discount for paying for membership a year at a time (I don’t have tons of money, but plan for this when I’m looking to join).

    1. Lisa Eirene

      I’m glad you found a good place that treats you right and doesn’t break the bank. It’s important.

      Over a decade ago when I lived in Seattle I belonged to 24 Hour Fitness. I moved to Portland and wanted to cancel my membership but it took MONTHS for them to do it and they kept charging my account each month. I was a broke student and it was so frustrating to me. After that experience I will NEVER ever join a gym where I pay month to month. I don’t want anyone to have access to my bank accounts and I will pay up front no matter what.

  4. Tina @ Faith Fitness Fun

    I used to workout at an LA Fitness and never liked it. unfortunately that is one of the only gym options in our area. I was SO thankful when a new gym (my current one) opened closer to me so I could leave that chain!

    1. Lisa Eirene

      I know a few people that go to LA Fitness and they like the gym. I hope it came across that I didn’t have a problem with the facilities…it was the gym and employees there. It was such a turn off.

      Glad you found something that fit you better!

  5. Jill

    Very well written, honest note. I think it is great that you let the company know how you were treated. So often letters like that need to be written- but we don’t take the time in our busy lives. We need to do this so is stops. Thank you for being a role model on so many different levels!!!

    1. Lisa Eirene

      Thanks Jill. It’s not my intention to make anyone feel bad if they do have a membership there. I have a few friends that do have a membership and they like the facilities.

      But yes, I was treated poorly and I felt like I HAD to say something to their Corporate HQ and on my blog. People should be aware.

  6. Roz@weightingfor50

    Woo Hoo!!!! Atta girl Lisa. No question, losing a client like you is a true loss! And good for you for writing this letter. It’s too easy to just let things like this slip!!! Have a good day!!!

    1. Lisa Eirene

      Thanks Roz. Honestly, it’s less about ME…I am going to have a gym membership no matter what and I wouldn’t let something like this discourage me from finding a gym. But what about someone else who is just starting out in their journey? What if they were more timid and unsure of themselves and went into LA Fitness? If they had a super negative experience like I did, they might give up on the whole gym idea. And that’s not what I want people to do. Find a BETTER gym! Keep looking!

  7. Jenn @ Cooking Aweigh the Pounds

    Like you, I’ve had a bad experience with LA Fitness’s employees that left me a bad taste in my mouth. Nothing wrong with the facilities. Very nice and state of the art and one of the few in my area with a swimming pool, but not worth the extremely aggressive sales pitch that I endured. I got several follow up sales calls after my initial visit with the facilities. So weird that they took back their promise of a 7 day guest pass. Our LA Fitness offers a 10 day guest pass every 6 months. Provided if you can deal with pushy sales people that often!

    1. Lisa Eirene

      That’s the hard part–I loved the gym. Everything was nice and new, the pool was salt water, the locker rooms were spotless, it wasn’t crowded. I would have given them a pretty good review based on those things. I don’t get why there is such elitism in this “guest pass” drama.

  8. Ember

    You know, this really bothered me. When I knew you were gym shopping I was really hopefully you would choose LA Fitness so we could work out together from time to time. Admittedly, I was especially excited in the possibility of working with you in the pool and maybe, just maybe, finally being able to swim.

    When I heard what they did by refusing to give you a 7 day pass I even went so far as to still try and convince you by giving you one I had got at my gym. Yet by then it was too late, they had already burned their bridge with you.

    I only joined LA Fitness for the non-chlorinated pool. Yet, since I swim so poorly I never really went. Sure, during my triathlon training in spring I went twice a week and flailed about in the pool. Yet, after that I was just holding onto the membership with the ideal that eventually I would have a reason to swim there.

    The moment I knew you would never join I however began to try and figure out if I ever would swim there and the answer was a resounding “no.” Until I actually know how to swim and feel confident doing it I am never going to get in the pool on a regular basis and try and swim. LA Fitness does NOT offer any swim classes or coaches and I knew no one who could or would come to LA Fitness and teach me to swim. Yet LA Fitness still had on thing I really appreciated, the non-chlorinated pool.

    I made the decision that I would unjoin LA Fitness and use the money to take an adult beginners swimming class and I made it my goal to be able to swim comfortably by April when triathlon training begins again. Once April came, and with my new swimming ability, I would rejoin LA Fitness and utilize their non-chlorinated pool. This time I would pay for two years in advance in full and be done with it.

    I called LA Fitness to unjoin yesterday and that is when I learned what a mobster-ish run racket the club really is!

    In order to unjoin LA Fitness you HAVE to print out a cancellation form, fill it out COMPLETELY, mail it certified and return receipt mail to California headquarters and WAIT 5-10 days for them to process your request. Seriously, this company that has a fully computerized system and can sign you up and charge your credit card in a matter of seconds to join wanted me to believe they cannot cancel my membership just as quickly.

    This prompted me to try and find their headquarter phone number and research more about cancelling membership. I was taken to horror story after horror story about trying to cancel membership to the gym.

    That was it, I was unjoining and never coming back, whatever it took to cancel my membership I was going to do! I went into the LA Fitness location that I had signed up at and told them I wanted to cancel my membership. I remained very calm when they said, “do you know the cancellation policy?”

    “Yes,” I said and then I let the lie poor out, “but I need this done immediately so I researched online how to do that with you folks and found that I need your help with a few things. You see I am going to be moving out of country to Belize this Friday. It is very sudden but I need all of this stuff taken care of before I go out of country. So, what I read is that you need to not in my account immediately that I am canceling. Also, I contacted my credit card company and told them to block any charges from your company so you need to note that the card on file is no longer authorized to use.”

    “Wow! I hope this change is for all good reasons. Im going to just go ahead and cancel your membership right now. Im the only one in the gym with this kind of access so it’s a good thing you caught me.”

    She then proceeded to push a button, cancel my membership, print me out a receipt with a confirmation number and that was that. Just further proof this company is a horridly run, deceptive and dishonest corporation that is in business for all the reasons.

    Good for you for writing this letter. I cannot say it to enough people at this point but STAY FAR AWAY FROM LA FITNESS!


    1. Lisa Eirene

      Thank you for sharing your experience here for my readers to see. I think it’s a very important thing to be aware of when signing up for these gyms. They get you roped into monthly automatic withdrawals and it’s near IMPOSSIBLE to cancel! I had that experience with a gym a long time ago and vowed to never be in that situation again. Now I pay upfront and they do not have access to my accounts.

      I’m really sorry you had such a horrible experience there. But I am so glad you took the initiative to get out! it’s funny, when I was looking for the mailing address to the LA Fitness HQ I came across a forum that was complaining about the horrible customer service, how it was impossible to cancel, etc etc. How do they stay in business doing this??

      I was under the impression that you went to LA Fitness when you worked out. Every time I saw you post on FB about working out I assumed it was there and that almost made want to sign up with LA Fitness so we could work out together! Boo!

      Thank you so much for posting this!

      1. Sally

        Wow thank you both for posting about your experiences. I recently moved to a new city and was looking up some gyms to join. I will STAY AWAY from LA Fitness! this is unacceptable! Thank you both for your post!

        1. Lisa Eirene

          Glad I could help, Sally! My goal was just to inform people of my experience. You should give it a try yourself but keep your guard up.

  9. Jane Cartelli

    This isn’t exactly what I meant about using your status as a work out blogger to help you get a membership deal – lol – but I think your letter is well written and exactly what corporate needs to see. You should print out a paper copy of the post and send it to the corporate headquarters of LA FItness. Include all your information, blog address, etc. Trust me, you really do get a better response with a paper trail. This really isn’t over yet.


    1. Lisa Eirene

      Ha! No, I wasn’t doing this for a free membership. In fact, I bought a new membership yesterday NOT at LA Fitness!

      And yes, I already sent out real letters last week. 🙂

        1. Lisa Eirene

          I also included a copy of the Glamour.com article about me. 😉 Slightly petty but who cares?

          1. Jane Cartelli

            But it is a healthy petty. It is not something that caused anyone else harm and it will not cause you to have regret later. That is healthy petty. 🙂


          2. Lisa Eirene

            I like that– “healthy petty”. 🙂

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