Please let me begin by stating that I have been a member of LA Fitness since 2005, and have been very satisfied with the gym, in all regards. I regret to inform you of an incident involving my mother-in-law and me (both LA Fitness members), that occurred this week in the gym located at: 7620 Katy Freeway, Ste. 200 Houston, TX 77024 (Marqe).
I was in the gym located at: 7620 Katy Freeway, Ste. 200 Houston, TX on June 20, 2011 with my mother-in-law who asked me to join her in order to explain several of the machines. She joined another LA Fitness gym located at: 6386 North Eldridge Parkway, Houston, TX and went through the initial consultation with a trainer, but was not completely comfortable with the machines and was not impressed with the trainer's prowess (apparently he was texting on his mobile phone the majority of their session). I agreed to show her around the gym at the location that I attend (Katy Freeway) and give her some tips.
Mid-way through our workout together, a member of the training staff approached me and told me that he was "going to have to shut me down", as they "do not allow personal trainers in their gym, unless you are an LA Fitness employee." I politely explained to him that it was my mother-in-law and that I was simply helping her with the machines and that I was not being compensated or working with a "client." (I have a job in a different industry and will not be pursuing a career as a personal trainer.) He told me that it didn't matter, that I was training her because she was taking notes on a note pad, and that I needed to leave the gym. I asked him who ordered me to leave the gym and that I would like to speak to the manager. He explained that it was the gym manager that "made him" come talk to me, and that he personally didn't care if I left or not, but was "just relaying the message." I asked him to point out the individual who was the manager. He pointed me to an individual who was working at the front desk.
At this point, my mother-in-law was successfully embarrassed so she left the gym, and I grabbed my clothing from the locker room and approached the manager. I asked him why I was being told to leave the gym. He said that it was due to the fact that I was "training" in "his gym" and that I was conducting "illegal activity and not following the rules." I again explained, politely, that it was my mother-in-law and that I was helping her out and was in no way receiving compensation, and was not attempting to disrupt the activity of his trainers. He said, "I don't care, it is against the rules." I pointed out that many other members were working out together and chatting/using the same machines and he told me that it was different because they weren't "training each other." He then asked me if I would like to speak to the head trainer, who was not on sight, and I said don't bother, because I did not want to wait for him to show up. I then left the gym.
Not only was this action useless, unprofessional, and unfound, but it was extremely embarrassing and uncomfortable for my mother-in-law who was already timid about joining and working out in a large gym. I can promise that this incident did not add to her comfort level with the gym, and especially not its trainers.
I realize that the measly $25 per month that I spend on a membership is minutia for the gym (I do not pay for/use training services), and that they have no incentive in keeping me a member. However, they are running a business and their employees are disrespecting the gym's clients. I have no intentions of keeping my membership with LA Fitness; I too, have no more incentive to be a member.
In a complaint to the corporate headquarters, I wished nothing in return for myself, only an apology to my mother-in-law so as to make her understand that not all gyms and their trainers are sophomoric in nature. I have yet to receive this request.
Product or Service Mentioned: La Fitness Personal Trainer.