Crunch Time

So I was peacefully sitting upstairs this morning, reading the morning news, when a strangled cry of rage floated up the stairs.

Being a technologically advanced household, I instant messaged Puff.

“What’s up,” I said.

And a tale of woe unfolded.

You see, Puff, unlike me, actually works out sometimes. When she moved to the City, she got a membership with Pinnacle to use their gyms, and was forced into a kind of stupid contract but agreed to it because the cancellation fee was only $50. She figured if she wasn’t using the membership, she would just cancel it, and everything would be all good.

Pinnacle, however, was taken over by Crunch. San Francisco residents probably know Crunch…the gym with the stupid ads all over the MUNI stations? Yeah. Them.

So, Pinnacle just kind of…passed her membership on. Didn’t tell her they were, just did it.

Here’s where things start to get weird, though.

First, she was told that her contract ended in December…but her membership didn’t. Which is a little strange.

Yesterday, she called them to try and cancel her membership, because they got rid of the pool at the gym she uses, and the only gym facility that she needs is a pool. The person on the phone told her that her membership had already been canceled, and everything was golden. Excellent, she thought.

But no.

This morning, she got a phone call from Crunch, saying that they were having trouble billing her bank account. She asked them why they were billing her account if she had no membership…and they said they didn’t know what she was talking about. She said that she had talked to a representative yesterday, and the rep told her that she had no membership, no contract, no nothin’. So what was going on?

“Oh, that conversation was not recorded,” the rep said.

“Well, I don’t want a membership.”

“To cancel your membership is $200.”

That was when the cry of rage erupted.

To me, the whole thing seems insane. She didn’t ask to continue with Crunch…technically, she is not a Crunch member, because she never signed any paperwork. Pinnacle was irresponsible by not giving her a choice, and the people at Crunch are being…well…dicks, actually. They are giving her mixed information, which isn’t cool. And even if the second phone call was right and she does have a membership, Crunch should honor the terms of her previous contract with Pinnacle, including the $50 cancel fee.

It sounds like Crunch doesn’t really care, and is totally not interested in providing good customer service and building customer loyalty. Their bad, I think. San Francisco is a lot smaller than you think…and getting a lot of people pissed off is a great way to screw yourself. From what it sounds like, she’s not the only one that Crunch has treated poorly, and I am curious to see what happens here.

I suggested that she go into Crunch and throw a hissy, preferably when it is super busy so that a ton of customers overhear her freaking out.

What do you think? Or has anyone experienced this problem with Crunch and successfully resolved it? As it stands, the situation is pretty darn lame…