LA Fitness shamed by twitter campaign – cancels jobless pregnant woman’s contract
LA Fitness has backed down. It took a twitter campaign and the Guardian article to shame the gym into doing the decent thing and cancel a woman’s £360 contract.
The December 2011 letter from an Essex gym rat named Hannah went:
My husband and I have been loyal customers of gym chain LA Fitness for six years. I am seven months pregnant, we are moving 12 miles away from the gym and don’t drive. My husband has lost his job and we are now on benefits. We can barely feed our children right now and can’t afford the two-year contract.
Despite us sending LA Fitness a letter proving my husband has been let go from his job, his employer didn’t use the word “redundant” in the letter, so LA Fitness will not accept it as a valid reason to terminate the contract. I have been told that being pregnant entitles me only to temporarily freeze my membership. Moving away does not apply, as we need to be 20 miles from the nearest gym to cancel. We just cannot pay. HB, Billericay, Essex
She and her husband had been members of the gym for seven years. They wanted the two-year verbal cancelled. But LA Fitness wanted £780 for the privilege. The couple ddi not want to use the 15 months left of the contract, but LA Fitness still wanted them to pay for it.
To make matters worse for the couple, the house they were due to move into then fell through, leaving them facing homelessness.
Six weeks of negotiation ensued. The fee was reduced. But LA Fitness still wanted £360 .
And then the story hit twitter. LA Fitness customers vowed to cancel the membership. LA Fitness read the tweets. La Fitness realised it looked like utter bastards. LA Fitness issued a statement:
“Having reviewed the case in question, we appreciate that this is a unique situation and that the couple are undoubtedly going through a very difficult and distressing time. We appreciate that their circumstances have changed dramatically since they first signed with us, and on this occasion we will waiver any further membership fees with immediate effect.”
It’s a triumph for twitter. Vote with your feet – vote with your tweet. And if you must keep fit, walk to the gym, turn around and walk home…