Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Twitter, Customer Service and Plastic Dolls

I know what your thinking- where is she going with this....
It seems these days that if you have any kind of customer service problems that you want taken seriously, the best way to resolve them is via Twitter.  Well, I recently had taken issue with a gym I joined, Planet Fitness, and that is exactly what I did.  This is my Twitter story-

A few months after I gave birth to my son, I figured I would join a gym to help ward off the baby blues.  Planet Fitness was having there 'Special' join for $29.99 a month, and bring a friend.  It sounded like a great deal, since I can't drive (because of my epilepsy).  This way whoever drove me, could work out with me as well.  I probably went a total of 6 or 7 times total.  Maybe 14 at the most (and that is pushing it).  I haven't been back since my son was at least 6 months old, and he is almost 2 years old now.
In that period of time, little did I know, they had continue to bill a bank account I thought I had closed.  I do not blame them.  That is my fault.  I should have been keeping tabs on it.  Luckily (and unlucky for me), it had overdraft protection, and I racked up about $500 in gym fees, for a membership I wasn't using.
I received a letter last month letting me know that I owed Planet Fitness money.  You can imagine I was a bit shocked.  In  the past year, I have been dealing with being a new mom, been diagnosed with RSD, and been through so many tests and medications, I couldn't count.  Planet Fitness was the last thing on my mind.
I ask the woman on the phone if I could cancel my membership.  She told me I had to come down to the gym to cancel my membership. I explained to her I couldn't drive, or walk, and she asked me if I could get a cab.  Affened, I politely ended the call.  I had to wait until it was convenient for someone else to take me.
Well, a couple hours turned into another month.  I couldn't be mad at my family, though. They already drive all over God's great creation to get me to the doctors', and the Emergency Room, and help me with ever day tasks we all take for granted.
I finally got to the gym, and was hit with another $59.00 that I owed.  I paid it without complaint.  I just wanted it to be over with it all.
I Twittered about my experience.  I understand there are policies in place for reasons.  I don't want my money back.  Neither Planet Fitness nor I expected the medical complications to become a factor in or 'business relationship', and I did agree to all terms when I signed the paper.
But I wish they would take to heart that not all of their customers fit the mold of the perfect customer.  Not all of us just go on 'vacation for a year', as their representative said to me in a phone call, when I asked why they didn't call members who where inactive for a year.  Some of us encounter unexpected events in our lives that are more important then going to a gym.
And if I understand that when I say their employee didn't tell me that you can 'cancel your membership by mail as addressed in the policy', I know it is here say, but I think it is important that the company be aware of where I am coming from.
I am an individual who is not looking for reimbursement.  I was just trying to give suggestions to prevent further problems like this from happening.  There was no need to be rude. 

So, if I haven't bored you with my long story, I would love to hear your stories of how you haven't fit the plastic doll mold of other companies 'policies', and problems you have encountered.
We aren't all Plastic Dolls.

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