Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Lady of America (NOT a 4th of July Post)

Ok, yesterday I got on my soap box about going green. I was all prepared to give you a light-hearted, fun post today, but I'm afraid I can't. I'm so frustrated, that all I can do is bitch, bitch, bitch right now. I apologize for the boring, angry posts so far this week, but if you'll just let me rant for one more day, I will be back tomorrow with love and kindness. K? Thanks, here goes:

LADY OF AMERICA CORPORATE SUCKS. Ah, that felt good. Lady of America has been my regular gym for the past year. Of course, you have to sign a three-year contract, so it wasn't like I had any other options for a while anyway, but I actually enjoyed it. It's all women and I liked all of the instructors and the owners. It was a bit disorganized at times, but it was small and personal and I liked it. They had some trouble keeping help in the childcare room, but that's to be expected. All in all, it was a good place to be. I recommended it to my friends and even used my "Bring a Friend" coupons a few times in the hopes that they would join with me.
Then, about three weeks ago, my friend told me to watch the news that night. I watched, and saw that Lady of America in my town had closed without notice. They showed people standing around the doors, wondering why they couldn't get in. There was a note on the door stating that they were closed and would not be re-opening. Weird, huh?
I hadn't been in a while because I had started the boot camp, so frankly, I wasn't terribly disappointed and figured this was an easy way out of the contract. I called LOA Corporate, and was immediately put on hold after pressing two. I was on hold for 12 minutes. One of the more hilarious things about being on hold with LOA is their says "Today is a high volume call back either between the hours of 3:30 and 5:30 p.m. or Thursday or Friday for a shorter wait time. This call was on a Thursday at 4:00. Finally, I was able to talk to an operator about the situation. Unfortunately, she was unable to cancel my membership at that time because "corporate still hadn't been alerted to the situation and they can't cancel without that information" but I was welcome to send a letter in the meantime and then wait for a call back to confirm my cancellation.
Fast forward to today, three weeks later. Aaron emailed me to say that LOA Corporate had authorized payment on my card for July. I called Corporate. The first lady I spoke with said that there was no record of me ever having been a member. I said "Well, then what do I do about being charged for membership to a club I'm not a member of?" She said, "Hmmm...well, there's really nothing I can do because I don't have any information on you, but just hold on." Six minutes later, another lady came on. She had found my membership information, but that was the only bit of good news in the entire call. Here's the conversation to the best of my recollection. Sadly, I am unable to portray, in writing, just how ridiculous this woman sounded, but I'll do my best.

Me: Hi. I was just calling to say that, even though my gym has closed and I have tried to cancel, I'm still being charged for my membership.

Her: Hmmm....what branch were you? (I tell her) Hmmmm. Well, we don't have any information about that branch closing, so I'm afraid I can't help you.

Me: Well, um, what do you think I should do? I mean, I can't be expected to pay to go to a gym that no longer exists, can I?

Her: Well, see, when a gym closes, there is a lot of legal stuff that happens and so you just have to, unfortunately, keep paying your dues until we resolve the situation.

Me: Seriously? I mean, how long could this take? Could I be expected to pay for the entire three years until you figure it out?

Her: Ma'am, I'm being very helpful and it seems that you are getting upset.

Me: Well, I apologize for being upset with you, but yes, this situation is very frustrating. No one seems to know how to help.

Her: Sorry I can't help you. How about this? Give me like, a week, to figure all of this out and then call me back.

Me: Ok, well, what do I do about not paying for my membership in the meantime?

Her: Oh, sorry I can't help you with that. We're just the billing office here, so we have to have that branch send us information before we can do any cancellations. There's a LOT of legalities that go along with a branch closing.

Me: So, if you are a billing office, you can't help me with billing? Like, suspend my payments until you get it figured out?

Her: Just give me a week and call me back, ok?

Me: How do you know you will know something in a week?

Her: Because I have all the information right here, it's just not in the system yet.

Me: What? You just said you don't have any information about that branch closing.

Her: I never said that.

Me: What? Seriously?

Her: I think I'm going to have to discontinue this conversation because you seem to be insistent on not listening to me.

Me: Yeah, I think that's for the best because I'm starting to feel like I might be in the Twilight Zone here. We'll just go through our credit card company to dispute the charges until you guys get it figured out.

So I hang up and I replay the conversation over and over in my head. Am I crazy? I know I am frustrated but does frustration cause you to black out, forget words, and replace those words with other words?
Maybe I need to go lie on the couch with a cool rag on my head for a while. Actually, I probably ought to go work out to blow off some steam. Oh that's right. I can't. My gym is closed. So what am I paying for again?

1 comment:

Tricia said...

You're not crazy, but they apparently have an archaic, crazy membership and billing system. I'd be hot, hot, hot over this too!