Many big gyms offer tiered memberships. The idea is the more you pay, the better the facilities you get to use. So when one 24 Hour Fitness customer heard his gym was moving, he just assumed he would just go to the new facility, but that's not how it really worked out.
Jeff Tang's 24 Hour Fitness Club in Livermore is closing in May, replaced by a new one across town.
"And all I was looking to do was have continued access to the new club, since it was going to replace the old club," said Tang.
He'd started using the old gym on Railroad Avenue back in 2005. It's what the company calls an "active club" -- a gym with basic workout equipment.
The new club on Kittyhawk Road is a "super sport." That's two levels up in cost and comes with more perks, like a basketball court, pool and sauna.
Tang's membership is only good for clubs below the super sport level, but with his gym closing soon and no other options, he approached the managers about using the new club.
"And when I contacted them initially it was, 'Oh well, you don't qualify because of this reason. And when I talked to their manager, they told me it was another reason. And they didn't seem to have their stories straight," said Jeff Tang.
Managers at the old club directed Tang to managers at the new club, but he still got nowhere
"It just seems like 24 Hour Fitness was trying to make certain members pay extra for this new super sport club, which you know, I don't think is fair," said Tang.
So Tang called Seven On Your Side and we contacted 24 Hour Fitness. A company spokesperson admits the staff Tang talked to could have been better informed, but the bottom line is they have a clear policy on who gets grandfathered in to a new club. It's based on usage at the old club and Tang was just shy of the number of visits he needed to qualify. They say these details are in Tang's contract.
"It's like well, I've been using the club since 2005. Doesn't that account for anything?" asked Tang.
It did. After hearing from us, 24 Hour Fitness contacted Tang and gave him access to the new club without any fee increase.
A spokesperson for 24 Hour Fitness did not want to go on camera, but released an email statement saying: "We are committed to providing high quality customer service to all of our members, and make every effort, within reason, to ensure they have the tools they need to achieve their fitness goals."
It gets better. A 24 Hour Fitness spokesperson tells us they're granting all members of the Railroad Avenue club access to the new super sport club on Kittyhawk Road.