Bally Total Fitness

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Bally Total Fitness, Middlebury, CT

Jul 1, 2005
Review by  
Rated a Very Helpful Review

Pros:The place is at least clean.

Cons:Obviously they lie. They have co-ed saunas (Stratford has separate for men/women).

The Bottom Line: Avoid Middlebury Bally's, I can't stress that enough. Their sales tactics are horrible, they make promises and don't keep their word. You are just a number in a quota.


I would not recommend this club to my worst enemy. I was initially treated well during the sales process, but once the sale was closed the gloves were off and I was met with indifference and unkept promises. I wanted a club that would teach me a basic routine to follow for weight loss, and this was one of the concerns I stressed to the salesperson. He assured me that the trainer would give me a basic workout plan during the one session I was allowed per my membership. I also inquired about there RMR test and was told it was included.

Then came the personal trainer workout. He had me warming up on a treadmill, and I asked if we were going to do the RMR test. He said, "no, that isn't a part of your package". When I told him I was told it was, I was met with the typical "hey I just train people you need to speak with the salesperson" attitude. And guess what? The salesperson was away on vacation! Then I mentioned about planning a basic workout for me, and the trainer said "no, we only do that if you buy additional sessions" at this point I was ticked off. I immediately asked to speak with the manager. Initially she said that she was sorry if I misunderstood the terms of my membership and said if I wanted to break the contract all I had to do was show up 12 more times and just swipe my card and leave over the next 30 days and I could then break the contract. I argued with her that I joined the gym to lose weight and become fit, I didn't think I should quit and I didn't understand why they couldn't have the trainer plan me a basic routine at this point I am in tears b/c I thought this was the gym for me. She then offered me the RMR and an extra training session as a consession.

I later spoke with my sister who told me she used to workout in the Hamden, CT club and that she would pay for some training sessions as a birthday present for me. She told me to interview the trainers over the phone and find one you like and think you could work well with. I call Hamden, the trainer offered to meet me and demonstrate what he could do for me in a single session free of charge. Then if I liked him I could sign up. Well, during our workout he left to go to Western Union, came back and kept trying to sell me on a 4 pack session offering to add in an extra one just b/c he "does that". When I started to ask for prices on the 16 pack of session and others, he didn't answer me. I could never get a straight answer. So I wrote that club off. Not only for the trainer, but for the unsanitary conditions. The women's locker room was nasty. None of the toilets were flushed, garbage was overflowing, and on the workout floor the man cleaning the machines was in a wheelchair and did seem able to reach the tops of the machines to clean them.

My next call was Stratford, CT. I met a wonderful trainer there. He was upfront, straight forward and I appreciated it. I did a telephone interview with him, but just like Hamden he asked me to come to club and do a sample workout with him. After we finished, I was sold. And so I signed up to work with him. I thought everything would be fine now. I had the one session left with the trainer in Middlebury b/c I still haven't learned all their equipment, and I wasn't really starting with the trainer in Stratford to the following week. I figured I'd go to Middlebury (the closest gym to me) for my cardio workout days and then make the trek out to the Stratford gym (which is out of my way) to work with the trainer I liked.

When I ran into the salesperson at the Middlebury club he said hello to me and I just wanted to punch him so badly for all the crap he put me through. So I ignored him and went to workout on the cardio. When I finished and let off some steam, I decided that in order to feel comfortable there I wanted to have it out with him. So I asked to speak with him in his office and told him my story. He seemed to care and want to make things right. But he also said that the trainers have been "hard selling upfront" to clients and he keeps trying to tell them that isn't the best approach but they don't listen, etc. etc. So he says he would talk to them b/c as a result of their actions they lost a contract for training.

So on Thursday late evening I got a call from the trainer in Middlebury that was supposed to workout with me the next day (Friday) at 10am. He said, "my boss said I can't work out with you b/c you went ahead and hired someone else at a different Bally's so I have to cancel tomorrow's session." I was angry b/c this was promised to me to make up for the lies I was told. He told me he'd hold my time slot until I spoke with the manager. I called her, and she was rude. She claimed that the reason they gave me that extra session was b/c I mentioned there was no way I could afford training b/c I had just been laid off from work, and that means I lied to her b/c I bought sessions in Stratford so she was taking the session away. She was rude and abrupt on the phone. I kept repeating that is not what we agreed on, etc. I told her that my sister was paying for the sessions that I am in fact in financial trouble right now, but she didn't care. She ended our conversation with "Listen, there is NO WAY you are working out w/ our trainer tomorrow HONEY" and then she hung up on me!

How does a company justify giving you something to make up for a wrong they have done to you and then taking it back? I have never delt with such unprofessional people in my life. I hate Bally's, with the exception of my Stratford trainer. He explained it as the Middlebury club was probably angry that the Stratford club got my business for training so they were using the tactic of taking away my session to punish me for the fact that they lost money on the deal. I complained to the hire up on the food chain, but she wouldn't give me back the session I was promised. When I asked to speak to the person above her, she said they aren't allowed to let customers speak directly to him!

The moral of this is STAY AWAY FROM BALLY TOTAL FITNESS in MIDDLEBURY.


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