In the past, if you had a bad experience with a company, you had to basically keep it with yourself. Sure, you could tell your friends and neighbors to avoid it, but unless you felt like organizing a massive boycott, your influence was limited.
But with the spread of social media, it's getting easier and easier to complain when a business screws you over -- a sad lesson gym chain Premier Fitness is learning this morning. A few hours ago, Reddit user Peripheryy shared his experience with Premier on the popular message board site:
The Premier Fitness down the road from my work has ALL kinds of boxes for people to sign up to win gift cards to different stores around the mall, the movies, etc. I signed up for one for a $50 gift card to Pac Sun, and received a call saying I'd won, and to meet them the next day to pick it up.
When I got there, he began showing me around, and told me I'd won a free month at the gym. I signed a small form for my membership, and asked about the gift card. Of course, he tells me that it's a different drawing for the gift card that I had to sign up for. I said no and left.
About 2 weeks later, I receive a bill for $1300. I immediately call the company, and they say I signed up for a non-cancelable 3 year contract with the gym. I told them, no. I didn't. So the man I was speaking to began screaming at me, calling me a dickf**k (among other things), and hung up on me.
The next night, I went there to get a copy of the contract. Long story short, I politely asked for the contract and the manager (huge, bodybuilder type) got in my face, threatened me, and told me to get out or he was calling the cops. I immediately left, called the cops, and they accompanied me there while I got a copy of the contract. Here's where it gets interesting.
The man that signed me up had signed me up for 3 years on the contract, AFTER I LEFT THE GYM. I was furious. I called the local news, reported them to the attorney general, and reported them to the Better Business Bureau.
Thankfully, after a few weeks, I got a response from the attorney general saying he'd taken care of it, and had a fax from Premier's office manager saying she'd cancel the contract.
Before the story could be dismissed this as the work of one disgruntled troll, other users began commenting, sharing their tales of similarly unpleasant experiences with Premier, and linking to news coverage calling Premier one of the worst gyms out there.
We don't consider ourselves consumer reporters. But if you're looking to get thin, you might want to avoid Premier -- there, the only thing that shrinks will be your wallet.