World Gym Joining Experience - What a Scam


#1

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?
[/color]

" 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?


#2

Same thing happened to me. I need to hit the gym everyday. But than I found Formosa Fitness. Unlike World Gym and True Fitness, it’s not a dance club. Have really enjoyed my time there. Love the people too. Look it up. $1000nt a month. Its a 5 minute walk from the Guting MRT.


#3

Ah yes, the gym scam … still continuing

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#4

I went into one of them many years ago and it was like what you said. Dark, poor layout, crazy music but I got a reasonable good looking guy to tour me around. Measured my BMI or something. He touched me like he thought I’d like it and therefore I’d pay to work out there. Okay, he’s not ugly, but I could get a nicer guy for free, minus the bad music. I wonder what makes them think customers would fall for it. They must be stupid among many other things.


#5

[quote=“tayster”]
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?[/quote]

So, did you get her number? Was she hot?

C’mon man, she was chatting you up.


#6

Yes, because they’re all operated by World Gym. They are a bunch of amateurs who only stay in business because the competition (there was some) were unable to run a pissup in a brewery … and were unable or unwilling to pay for quality 黑道. Allegedly.

I only use them because There Is No Alternative.


#7

Another reason to go hiking in the mountains.


#8

I work out at World Gym in Taichung by Sogo. I have not had any major issues. My experience was pretty smooth. I walked in and said I wanted to talk to the manager. He came out, I told him that I am now living in Taiwan and WILL be joining a gym, but I was formerly on Team USA, so I have standards, and if he tries to give me a sales pitch, doesn’t have the basic equipment I need, or if the price is too high, I am walking out, end of story. He said he understood, he let me walk around the gym and followed me. I told him that the majority of the equipment was shit, and everything I didn’t like about the gym, including the shitty bars. I said that since they have free weight, and some basic machines I might use, it was good enough, and I would consider if the price was right.
He told me straight up “it’s going to be about NT$1,200 a month”.
I replied "Well, that’s about $40 American. I am only going to pay that if it’s month to month and I don’t have to sign a contract"
He said “ok, deal” and we did the paperwork.

The music sucks, but I can tune it out or just listen to my iPod.
The Bars suck, but the hold weight just fine.
The Equipment is not top notch, but it’s not the worst I have seen, it works.
Most importantly, they have free weight and the gravity seems to work just fine in the gym.

All the trainers are nice to me, too, and people leave me alone to train in the “dark” gym, so that’s a plus.


#9

That’s what I pay. But they’re still a bit shit. They seem to think it’s OK to have machines with fraying cables, knackered bearings, and missing weight pins. A good fraction of the CV machines, at least a couple of the weight machines, and several of the shower stalls are broken on any given day. The trainers are pleasant enough, but I wish they’d tell the people who come in just to sit on the machines/benches and play with their smartphones to either fuck off or do some exercise. Sure, the free weights work … if you can find them. Apparently, some of the clientele think it’s OK to leave them scattered all over the floor or in the wrong racks.

I know, I’m a grumpy old git. But I still haven’t got used to businesses that use “ChaBuDuo” as their unofficial slogan.


#10

Oh I agree they are not great. I noticed just the other day they there is a hole forming in the floor by the dumbbells. If it’s not bad enough that they ignore the wear and tear on the equipment, I also noticed that they frequently wipe the bars down with WD-40 to keep them shiny, which is ridiculous because now the weights and collars want to slide off the bar, and the already crappy grip no longer works at all.
I just try to make the best of it. The gym I trained at back in Indiana was owned by my buddy. Very hardcore atmosphere. We opened a huge garage door in the back and let the sun and wind come in, overhead lights turned off. Anyone could plug their iPod in and blast their music of choice as loud as they wanted. There was a chalk bowl welded to a upright bar which was welded to 100lb plate. Texas Power Bars, Competition deadlift bars, Competition Squat bars, Mono-lifts, chains, bands, boards, ammonia caps on hand, etc.
We would lift in any clothes, or shirtless, shoeless, etc. It was a invitation only private gym, everyone was a record holder or champion in some sport. Very hardcore.
I will never find anything like that in Taiwan. Most of the gyms I saw didn’t even have free weights.
So, I am not impressed with World Gym, but I feel like it’s a better option in a bad situation.


#11

I went into World Gym a few years ago in Kaohsiung, and while my memory is fuzzy, I remember the price being almost double the rate in Canada, about $60 or so Canadian a month and they wanted me to sign a contract. When I said I would think about it, they did not offer me any better deal, just tried to call me in a week to see if I still wanted to join. The price was a turnoff so I didn’t but I guess being as though there is no competition, they can charge whatever they want, take it or leave it.


#12

When talking about gyms in Taiwan there are really only 3 choices:

  1. True - Definitely the best gym if you’re looking for that 24 hour fitness style we are used to back home. I’m not sure how it compares on price, but I know on quality it’s miles ahead of anything else in Taiwan.

  2. Formosa Fitness or places like it - If you know what your doing and your needs are quite specific, you can get a great workout at smaller places like that. You’ll also meet more people because it’s sort of built around the community atmosphere.

  3. Community centers - For 50 NT an hour, they will do the job just fine.


#13

[quote=“biggyweiting”] It was a invitation only private gym, everyone was a record holder or champion in some sport. Very hardcore.
[/quote]
No disrespect but that sounds like a big load of wank…

Meanwhile back in the real world.


#14

Thanks for the mention! I just want to clarify that we go out of our way, more than any gym I’ve ever heard of, to educate folks that don’t know on how to exercise. We run monthly seminars for beginners for about NT500 a pop that are open to anyone in Taiwan, we have personal training sessions for people that need to be helped (currently only NT750 per half hour), and we run group classes for people needing coaching in a group format.

We also have a workout plan I personally wrote telling you every set and every rep you should do up to five days a week and we’re the only gym where I’ve seen that.

So even if you don’t know what you’re doing, we invite folks to come learn. But yes, we do try to cultivate a community atmosphere. We’re a tribe and we welcome people that can appreciate what we do to join. :slight_smile:


#15

[quote=“the bear”][quote=“biggyweiting”] It was a invitation only private gym, everyone was a record holder or champion in some sport. Very hardcore.
[/quote]
No disrespect but that sounds like a big load of wank…

Meanwhile back in the real world.[/quote]

“No disrespect, but allow me to say something incredibly disrespectful”

Gym: M.E.A.T.H.E.D.S. which was an acronym for "Mean Extreme Advanced Training Heeds Extreme Demanding Strength"
Owner: Joshua Bruner AKA "Bruno"
Members:
Rocky Tilson - Multiple World Champion in Powerlifting, several federations, been competing for 35 years now - Team USA competitor
RJ - Rocky’s main training partner, World Champion Powerlifter in the 165 and 181 pound classes - Team USA competitor
Brad AKA Bad Brad - State Record Holder in Bench Press and Total, National Contender, Also competes in Strongman
Jamie Ford : Doesn’t even like to compete, but just for fun showed up to a Bench Press meet and set National Record
Andrew Orwig - Took Overall title at the NPC Mr. Indianapolis bodybuilding show
Bob - 62 year old guy who acts like Mr. Rogers, yet competes in deadlift only and has both State and National Titles in deadlift, World Record coming soon
Big Deezy - Ex con, current bouncer, lifts for obvious reasons, competes for fun once a year, State Record Holder, ranked 2nd in Nation
Ron Palmer - WPO World Champion, all time historic record holder, now in prison - Team USA (previous)
Jeremy Hartman - IPF Champion, National Record Holder, very good friends with Ed Coan, etc - Team USA
Myself - Set my first State Record in Bench Press at age 18, National Champion, World Class - Team USA 2011

Would you like me to provide pictures or video of the gym or the members?


#16

Bruno, the owner, dropped his bodyweight down to 235, and still pulled 725

And a quick tour of the gym showing everything I stated it has, you can even catch a glimpse of the bottom of the sign that says “private lifting club”. You can also see framed pictures on the wall of many of the members holding their trophies :slight_smile:


#17

The amount of steroids floating around that gym is staggering. :laughing:


#18

Hahaha, yeah. Only a couple of the guys are natural. The other ones not only use, but use A LOT. I don’t deny that.
I am all natural. Jeremy Hartman is also natural. RJ is natural. Bob is natural. That may be it.


#19

[quote=“biggyweiting”]Oh I agree they are not great. I noticed just the other day they there is a hole forming in the floor by the dumbbells. If it’s not bad enough that they ignore the wear and tear on the equipment, I also noticed that they frequently wipe the bars down with WD-40 to keep them shiny, which is ridiculous because now the weights and collars want to slide off the bar, and the already crappy grip no longer works at all.
I just try to make the best of it. The gym I trained at back in Indiana was owned by my buddy. Very hardcore atmosphere. We opened a huge garage door in the back and let the sun and wind come in, overhead lights turned off. Anyone could plug their iPod in and blast their music of choice as loud as they wanted. There was a chalk bowl welded to a upright bar which was welded to 100lb plate. Texas Power Bars, Competition deadlift bars, Competition Squat bars, Mono-lifts, chains, bands, boards, ammonia caps on hand, etc.
We would lift in any clothes, or shirtless, shoeless, etc. It was a invitation only private gym, everyone was a record holder or champion in some sport. Very hardcore.
I will never find anything like that in Taiwan. Most of the gyms I saw didn’t even have free weights.
So, I am not impressed with World Gym, but I feel like it’s a better option in a bad situation.[/quote]

Sounds great if you’re hardcore … but I don’t think it appeals to city dwellers that assume joining a gym is a fashion thing …

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#20

[quote=“biggyweiting”]Bruno, the owner, dropped his bodyweight down to 235, and still pulled 725

[/quote]

And no problem with hemorrhoids?

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