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December 13, 2006

Washington Sports Clubs sux donkey dick

Last night I had the worst time in a fitness club ever. I could have saved my bitching for Friday's "Goddammit, people!" rant, but it was so bad it couldn't wait. Plus, when you fill out comment cards for their clubs, call thier corporate offices, or file complaints through their website you get no response. So here's a big "You suck!" to this shitty business, and I hope they implode due to shitty management and bad customer service.

It was 6pm and already crowded at the 1211 Connecticut Ave., NW Washington Sports Clubs when I arrived at the downstairs weight room floor. In addition to all the regular gym members, there were 5 personal trainers with clients, many of them monopolizing large amounts of floor space or up to two machines at one time. I wanted to do my skateboard balance board exercise to warm up before my leg workout and prep my legs for snowboarding, so I found a space in front of the cable machine to do my balancing act. While I wasn't actually using the cable machine, I was using the space in front of it. As I was trying to balance on my board, a trainer nearby simply came in right behind me as I was doing the tricky exercise, and started to adjust the cable machine for her client, then actually asked me to move. I got off my board to ask her, "Well, where aren't you people around here? There's 5 trainers on the floor right now!" My grammar was poor but I'm sure my point was lost on the pushy, rude trainer. The rest of my workout went all right, but when I went to get a towel, they were completely out! This is a normal phenomenon on Mondays, but unusual for a Tuesday. I waited a bit, then decided to use my little hand towel to dry off after my shower instead. As I entered the locker room, a building alarm from somewhere started to go off, and kept going through the rest of my ice cold shower. Yes, no hot water, just like my Peace Corps experience in Kazakstan! Since I was meeting someone after my workout I didn't want to show up stinky, so I just went through it taking an ice cold shower. Seeing I pay monthly dues for club membership, it would be nice to have hot water at least, but I guess this is the 3rd world or something. Oh, and I forgot to add, while I was waiting for a towel, I noticed four trainers or WSC employees in various corners of the club, all talking on cell phones. Could they perhaps have spent their time actually working, helping to get towels, or riding a stationary bike that could power a generator that heats the water in the club instead? Management in that club needs to get fired, as the quality of service and the equipment has dropped over the years. There are plenty of people out there who could do a much better job, who would like a job.

Posted by jimbo at December 13, 2006 10:53 AM


The whole company--which does NY Sports Club and Boston Sports Club--is a joke. They're all about marketing and sales and could give a flying fuck about service. Of the three clubs that I was a regular at when I lived in New York, each one had huge problems--machines that stayed broken for months on end, cockroaches in the steam room and sauna, utterly incompetent trainers who would wander around and give dangerous advice. I'd expect all of that at the Y, but for $95 a month, it's ridiculous.

Posted by: ted at December 13, 2006 12:19 PM

WSC SUCKS!!! I go to the one north of the circle and though I go in the a.m. when it is significantly less crowded, the same issues hold true. Add to that lack of the basics like no TP or paper hand towels in the men's lockerroom! Not to mention the busted bathroom stall door that I told the front desk person 3 times in as many months to fix and it took them 5 months to do it! I have complained in person, over email, over the website, over the phone, and NOTHING. The only reason I go there is for convenience, if I had any other choice trust me I'd take it! Though it's gotten to the point where I almost LOVE to hate it, I'm always looking for little screw ups of theirs to bitch about next . . . it's not like they're difficult to find . . .

Posted by: Chad at December 13, 2006 1:50 PM

The NYSC branches are more of the same. Truly appalling, yet I continue to go.

Posted by: Mark at December 13, 2006 2:15 PM

Come to my gym Jimbo...WSC in Chinatown. Still fairly new, and hardly ever crowded. No complaints yet.

Posted by: Mike at December 13, 2006 3:11 PM

It's time for you to bite the bullet and join Results. We can spot each other while we do squats!

Nice title, btw.

Posted by: durban bud at December 13, 2006 5:48 PM

I complain via the website and usually get a response. They've even followed-up via phone to see if there's any improvement. Randomly throwing in the word "lawsuit" seems to get their attention too.

Posted by: Dumbek at December 13, 2006 8:58 PM

I don't even know where to start... actually, no, I do. I have to give you and all other Town Sports International members a pat on the back for putting up with the crappy fascilities they provide. I am constantly appaled by the lack of cleanliness, the void of customer service, and the cavernously gigantic incompetence that comes with paying around $90 a month. I have been going to NYSC for almost 14 years. I paid for the first two and then ended up working for the for the rest. The only reason I keep going is because I get a free membership for teaching for them. That is it. If I ever had to pay for a gym, I would just cough up the extra $40 a month to join a higher quality place. I just feel that cleanliness is worth that much.

And for your information, the company also pays it's trainers slave wages. It charges about $90 a session and pays the trainer $16. Do the math. They are assholes.

Whenever someone says they want to leave NYSC, I tell them I don't blame them. They are nothing but a dump. And I don't think it will get better.

Posted by: tim at December 13, 2006 11:01 PM


Results is opening in City Vista in about a year. I pay the same amount you pay and never have these issues at Results!

Posted by: Carl at December 14, 2006 8:15 AM

I'm going to the Silver Spring WSC now. It's terrific. It's pretty empty by DC gym standards, clean, friendly, and it has a pool!

I expect Results will be about the same as WSC once it goes corporate.

Posted by: Brian at December 14, 2006 10:10 AM

I recently changed my WSC membership from the "all gyms, any time" to one specific location any time and all others during "non-peak" hours. Before I was paying $90 now $47 a month. Paying less makes it easier to put up with all the shit.

Posted by: Dinger at December 14, 2006 10:31 AM

Going to a gym during the rush is like sticking your hand down the sink into the garbage disposal in an electrical storm; you never know what you'll get but it won't be fun. Which is why I time my going around less busy times.

Posted by: copperred at December 14, 2006 11:36 AM

How well timed. I just finally cancelled my WSC membership this week. Instead, I will be using a combination of the meager gym in my office building (the only perk of working in the Old Dominion) and the amazing rowing machine I just bought. In the amount I'll save from WSC fees, I will have paid for the erg in about 6 months.

WSC sucks smelly scrotums.

Posted by: JD at December 14, 2006 12:02 PM

Umm, shouldn't you have started prepping for snowboard before now? Oh wait............snow is an issue on that coast isn't it. I'll think about you while I'm shredding Mt.Hood Sunday on my new Baron!

Posted by: TonkaManOR at December 14, 2006 12:07 PM

$90 bucks a months geez, go to Gold's. I think I'm paying like $33 a month (Texas Rate).

Posted by: wdcwoof at December 14, 2006 12:52 PM

I've found that all of those chain gyms suck. I go to a smaller, independent gym now instead. The manager is a hyper-hetero asshole, but at least the place in kept in decent shape, the price is half what the chains are, and if there are complaints, the asshole manager takes care of it right away.

Posted by: Bill at December 14, 2006 2:11 PM

Even though my new evil gym (David Barton) is destroying my self-esteem and is incredibly crowded at peak hours, at least it's clean and there are tons of towels.

And porn stars.

Posted by: Eric at December 14, 2006 3:38 PM

Jimbo - Could be worse. You could still be at Bally's. I go to the WSC in Chinatown and thanks to be a District of Columbia Government employee, I only pay $39.

Posted by: Shawn at December 14, 2006 6:17 PM

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