Action 9: New gym has three complaints, according to BBB

by: Jason Stoogenke Updated:


Some people are upset with a local gym. The Quest Fitness has two locations: one in University, the other in southeast Charlotte (called "Energy").  It's only been in business a few months, but already has three complaints against it.

Sybil Hayes joined The Quest recently, but left after just one month. She said there was no toilet paper, were no paper towels, and weights were everywhere.

"It's just trashed.  I mean the equipment's gross, everything's just falling apart and nobody's fixing anything," she said.

One person even says the club left the "cleaning lady" in charge of children.

Better Business Bureau president Tom Bartholomy said, "Somebody shows up, brings their child while they're working out, and there's nobody to watch them except for the cleaning lady.  That's not very comforting."

Action 9 asked The Quest GM Luke Blackwelder if the "cleaning lady" was really watching the children. 

"No.  It was. She did cleaning in the past for us.  And, then, when she showed interest in child care for me, I told her to go and get certified," he said.

He said she did.  Action 9 asked to see the paperwork.  Blackwelder said he'd get it from the corporate office.  Then, he said he tried, but was unsuccessful.  He also said the "cleaning lady" is going back to her janitorial duties, but didn't say why.   

As for the other complaints, Blackwelder says the new owners are trying to turn the place around.  He says the club has all new: pads, dumbbells, staff, child care, and a tanning bed.  He even let Action 9 inside to see firsthand.  

Still, the BBB gives Quest an "F" rating.  It stated The Quest is ignoring customers' concerns. 

"I do plan to respond to those.  I just been kind of hectic lately, but I have been working on a letter to send back to them," Blackwelder said.

He said he feels bad about customers who left, that he's "trying to draw people in, not push them out."

If you're thinking of joining a gym, the BBB says:

1.    Check with the BBB. Find out what kind of track record fitness clubs in your area have at BBB.  

2.    Consider your budget and monthly cash flow. Most facilities charge an up-front membership fee to join and a monthly fee that is usually paid by automatic withdrawal from your checking account.

3.    Check out the facilities. Visit several different clubs on days and at times that you plan to exercise to see how crowded they are.

4.    Do not give in to sales pressure. Many clubs will be offering "New Year's Specials" - walk away from clubs that pressure you to sign a contract on the spot. In fact, take a sample contract home to read it thoroughly.

5.    Read the entire contract. Does it list all services and facilities and the hours of operation? Is everything that the salesperson promised in the contract? What is included in the monthly fee, and what will cost you extra? What is the total cost and payment schedule, including enrollment fees and finance charges?

6.    Know the membership details. How long is the membership term and is there an automatic renewal? Can you go month-to-month? What are your cancellation rights if you move to another area, are injured, the club closes or is taken over by new management? Get the cancellation policy and the refund policy in writing.