I have to share my World Gym "interested new member" experience. I went over today to see about possibly signing up.
The whole experience was so terrible that as I walked out in disgust, buying absolutely NOTHING! Got a good chuckle out of it, and a story that I"ll tell many times I am sure. Take my word and stay away....or try it out just for a good laugh.
First was the tour. Okay, fine, after the tour, my interest in joining the gym had already plummeted from a "I'd really like to join a gym" to "This better be really cheap or I'm not interested". Crappy equipment, terrible layout, loud thumping music, dark atmosphere. I thought I was in a discotech, not a gym.
Next came the pitch. After filling out a form that was clearly designed to try to figure out how "badly" I wanted to join and how much I'd really be using the gym (in short. where did I fall out on a supply/demand curve), I was asked a serious of the stupidest questions I've ever heard in my life. Now let me preface by saying that I've read and heard about this type of pitch, but that was 15-20 years ago. I joined a Gold's Gym in the US about a year ago and it was the kind of experience you'd expect - clear pricing, no pressure, helpful clear staff. Not as good as going into a Walmart and buying a bunch of exercise stuff, but not too far off. Marked prices, do you want it or not.
So here is how the conversation with this girl goes: (Her questions in Quotes - my responses afterwards)
"So, did you like our gym?" - My answer - Yeah, sure, how much is it to join?
"How much do you think you like our gym?" - It seemed moderately okay, but it is really small, loud and dark compared to the US gyms I'm used to.
"How much do you think you'd be willing to pay to use our gym?" - Huh? Come again, you are asking me how much I"m willing to pay, WTF?
"What price would you be okay paying a month?" - I'm not following, how about just telling me the price and I'll tell you if I want it.
"Okay, will you be using cash or credit card?" - Cash, I'm happy to pay up front for the whole thing (I'm thinking NO WAY are they getting my card after these kinds of questions).
"Aiiiyahhh - cash is more expensive than card, do you have a credit card?" - Sorry, you are telling me that if I pay you all CASH, NOW, that will cost me more than installments over time on a card. (Now I'm really starting to chuckle inside at the ridiculousness of this conversation)
"Other than price, is there anything that will influence your decision to join RIGHT NOW TODAY?" - Okay, I'll play along.....Nope, It's just price, so make it good.
"So if I give you a really good price, you will agree now that you will join RIGHT NOW TODAY?" - Sure, if you give me a really good price, then I'll join RIGHT NOW TODAY.
" So how much would you be willing to pay TODAY, to join RIGHT NOW?" - Now I'm thinking, why the heck won't she just tell me the price, why the game??? So I tell her my gym in the US cost me $30 bucks a month, which is about the most I'd pay because this gym is far inferior.
" Hmmmm, that's not how Taiwan works, it is more expensive here. How long will you be willing to sign up for?" - By now, I'm playing it pretty aloof, so my answer was "not very long initially, if I like it I'll sign up for a longer period". How about six months or so to start with? (She didn't like that answer).
" Hmmmmm. Will you commit RIGHT NOW, that after I give you the price, AND if you want some time to think about it, you will leave me a non-refundable deposit RIGHT NOW TODAY while you decide?"
[color=#FF0000]Okay, now I'm like DID YOU REALLY JUST SAY WHAT I THINK YOU SAID?
" It is kind of like a bike that you really like and want to buy, but you don't have money for it now, so you leave a deposit. Same thing." - I'm thinking YOU HAVE GOT TO BE KIDDING ME...answer is a clear NO.
" Hmmmm. I need to go talk to my manager about prices, so give me a moment" - I wait for a bit, she finally comes back and now FINALLY I see some pricing. She taps out a bunch of numbers, comes out with a number that is like 5x more per month than my US gym, but quickly drops it back to about 3.5x.
" So, you will commit to sign up RIGHT NOW TODAY for this price?" - By now, I'm just irritated by this nonsense, and I'm really thinking the gym kinda sucks, so I tell her I'm at 1X my US gym membership price, not 3.5X.
Now, I'll cut it short here, and just say that she went back into that office no less than five times, and the last three times, she was going to "get a name card so you can call me if you change your mind" because I just said flat out NO to the prices she kept coming back with (each time about 10% lower than the last). Each time, instead of bringing back a card, she'd bring back a new "deal" by changing the price, the number of months, or both. By now, I'm just having fun, there is NO WAY I'm joining this scammy place. So we go back and forth, I get her down to about 1.5x my US gym price and she finally finally finally goes in the office and .....comes back with her business card. I was so glad because after that experience I was gonna tell her NO WAY even if she agreed to my US gym price.
DO THESE WORLD GYM PEOPLE REALIZE WHAT A TURN-OFF THAT WHOLE PROCESS IS? I WANTED TO GO TAKE A SHOWER AFTER DEALING WITH SUCH A SCUMMY PROCESS! Are ALL gyms in Taiwan like that?