God love the power of social media. I received a phone call today from our friends at ABC Financial. Perhaps the confluence of Twitter feeds and retweets, blog posts, complaint board commentary, RSS feeds, emails to corporate offices and directors of media relations, coupled with certified letters via USPS actually combined to get me the result I craved: ACTION!
An attentive, polite representative from ABC Financial phoned today to walk me through a few of the pieces of misinformation imbedded in the Anytime Fitness Web site FAQ section, as well as the current steps being taken by ABC Financial — NOT Anytime Fitness — on my behalf to cancel my club membership and discontinue the withdrawal of funds from my checking account. Thank you, ABC Financial.
Apparently each Anytime Fitness franchise owner personally determines the level of involvement and support from ABC Financial with regard to membership cancellations and membership financial dues via a separate contract with ABC Financial. While the club’s Web site clearly directs club members to ABC Financial for assistance with cancellations, unless the franchise owner has opted into an agreement with ABC Financial to handle those issues, ABC Financial is not directly empowered to help the member. Crazy, right? How many irate phone calls and emails must ABC Financial endure from angry, frustrated club members like me? Unlike Anytime Fitness, ABC Financial picks actually makes itself accessible to those utilizing its services via phone and email. Anytime Fitness? You’ll be hard-pressed to even find a human anywhere, much less gain access to a human who actually cares about you after you’ve signed a contract! Once you have that 24-hour access fob, you receive 24-hour inaccess to the club management. I imagine ABC Financial is doing everything it can to quietly distance itself from the multiple Anytime Fitness business faux pas constantly committed by the fitness corporation, as well as the individual franchise owners, such as — in this case — quietly calling me directly to offer assistance. Again, thank you, ABC Financial.
ABC Financial has taken the initiative to work directly on my behalf and reached out today to let me know that the cancellation of my Anytime Fitness club membership is in progress. I will no longer be charged for membership fees for a Minneapolis club while living in Manhattan. Resolution achieved.
As for Anytime Fitness? No response. No reaction. No remorse. I suggest that this company, which prides itself on 24-hour accessibility and fitness excellence, introduce a new fitness regimen among its owners entitled: “An Excercise in Futility.” It’ll be a hit! They’ve already got a corner on that market, so may as well make use of it. And if you don’t want to take my word for it? Click here for a Google search that lists more than 31,000 hits for Anytime Fitness complaints in 2009 alone…