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Gym refusing to allow freeze on membership due to fears of virus

(32 Posts)
Struggling2do1 Mon 16-Mar-20 19:22:26

My gym Nuffield Health has a policy of not allowing members to freeze their membership on the basis of Covid-19. In order to do so they require evidence via NHS 111 of the need. In my view hygiene at my gym from some members raised concern, e.g not cleaning equipment after use. My husband is 70 years of age and has Parkinson’s I am 68 and have hypertension.. we are both therefore high risk. I raised all of this with Managers at the gym but had a blank refusal from them. We have therefore given notice and will not return. This is clear evidence of trying to put profit before health and well-being. Well it backfired and they have lost two long standing gym members. Not impressed.

Bibbity Mon 16-Mar-20 20:01:28

But. If everyone freezed their memberships how would they get through this crisis?

Bibbity Mon 16-Mar-20 20:01:44

Not freezed froze ?‍♀️ Sorry

Struggling2do1 Mon 16-Mar-20 21:18:45

Well my reaction to their refusal was to cancel so they have lost me totally whereas I would have returned once things had settled! This is a big organisation saying that people should call NHS 111, who must have more important things than gym membership to deal with at the mo, don’t you think Bibbity!

Charleygirl5 Mon 16-Mar-20 21:22:59

Struggle2dol I agree with you and surely what the PM said today includes the gym, They are being rather short sighted.

Bibbity Mon 16-Mar-20 23:05:57

So you don’t care about those individuals jobs? If they’re going to get paid?
This event is unprecedented. It’s never been prepared for.

Do you know that parents out of work and not getting paid will be charged for their child’s nursery place?!

That’s a problem.

Struggling2do1 Tue 17-Mar-20 12:38:24

Of course I feel concern for those who may lose their jobs BUT I care more about myself & my husband not catching this virus & thus running the very high risk of death. How very selfish of me Bibbity, you are clearly a much better person than me!
You are also missing the point, this is a BIG WEALTHY HEALTH organisation advocating that their members should contact NHS111 in order to freeze membership. The NHS are facing massive challenges and to advocate contact at this time is outrageous. Many organisations are having to close, restaurants, cinemas, theatres etc keeping things open to save jobs will cost lives.
It’s so sad that people like you feel the need to make nasty remarks, let’s try and be nicer to everyone shall we!

Bibbity Tue 17-Mar-20 13:06:02

I think you’re being ridiculous.
A huge company still needs income to function.
It has overheads.

We’re in hospitality.
Someone just tried to cancel their party for this weekend. We’ve said no. We are also apart of a massive company.

But until Boris says We must close we can’t claim on insurance and so must try to keep some form of damage control.

Sunlover Tue 17-Mar-20 14:16:47

I understand both points of view stated above.
Life is going to get difficult for many people. My daughter has taken a 30% pay cut along with other senior managers. However, others in the company are not willing to do the same. Consequently some will be made redundant and possibly the company will collapse if the virus continues for too long. Difficult choices to be made.

Wigwamgran Tue 17-Mar-20 14:29:55

It’s a shame that this is coming down to money for a lot of people. If you are paying for your membership anyway you’re not really losing anything. I think we should all settle down and if we can afford to, ie not losing salary, keep paying for things like gyms, subscriptions to clubs etc that we normally do. Hopefully it will be short(ish) lived. It’s a way of paying it forward in my humble opinion.

eazybee Tue 17-Mar-20 14:41:13

You would be allowed to suspend your gym membership if you were ill, but you cannot expect them to freeze it in case you might catch something. I think you are being unreasonable.

Summerlove Tue 17-Mar-20 15:00:34

Know what? It is unfortunate that you can’t suspend your membership right now. However, saying that you should be allowed to because the company is a big wealthy company is a little insane. They still need to make their money.

Many, many companies are going to go under during this time. I completely understand why companies are doing everything they can to stay open

Elegran Tue 17-Mar-20 15:58:08

Here is a different story, but with a much smaller organisation.

Many years ago, a woman wanted part-time work after being out of the teaching profession while the children were small, Her last child had just started school so she decided to use her experience to start up and run morning play sessions for 3 -5 year-olds - (this was before there were many nursery classes, and the alternative was unskilled childcare). She hoped for a modest income. Starting from scratch, she bought second-hand equipment, invested in paint, clay, sand, water, and construction toys and haunted jumble sales for books. When it opened, it had only three children - and the regulation second (paid) assistant. The rent for the premises still had to be paid, although at 50p per morning (paid in advance at the start of each term), three customers didn't bring in much, and she was well out of pocket.

It had been expensive to set up, but she hoped that the debt would soon be paid off and it would start to give her that modest income.

Two years later, the reputation of the playgroup had grown, numbers had risen well, and a third (paid) person had by law to be present. There was even a waiting list of small brothers and sisters not yet old enough to join. However, the income from it had still not quite covered the debt. There were rent and assistants to be paid, and supplies to replace before she could receive anything herself. She had spent five mornings a week in what was praised as an excellent preschool nursery class, but had not made a penny out of it.

At that point, a mother asked how much she would take off the terms fees because they would be going abroad for two weeks.

What would have been your answer?

ananimous Tue 17-Mar-20 16:13:58

Think of it as being community spirited - Maybe the gym will still exist after the Corona event has passed.

Itsnotme Wed 18-Mar-20 05:52:12

Struggling2dol I used to belong to Nuffield and generally found them very underhand when it came to money. The admin was shockingly bad too. So I’m not a bit surprised they haven’t helped much. But saying that, all businesses will do what they can to stay open.

I now belong to a council run gym and got a Black Friday deal in November, paid about a quarter of what Nuffield charge, and yes they are still open, ( get half the facilities) I doubt they will close, but there are a lot of spaces on popular classes (bookings by app) I’m not going to the gym anymore and I doubt many are.

Oopsadaisy3 Wed 18-Mar-20 06:15:13

When I was a member of a local gym, I took sanitizer hand wipes with me to wipe the machines before and after I used them, plus a towel, some people just walk away from the machines leaving their sweat all over them.

Time to be proactive and wipe the machines down ourselves , just the parts you actually touch, it wouldn’t take a minute and most Gyms have signs asking you to do this anyway.

Gummie Wed 18-Mar-20 06:44:05

Nuffield are a big business and will get government help along with all the other businesses. Cancel your membership and look after yourself. They clearly have no regard for your individual health.

Nuffield should accept the responsibility and take steps to look after their staff. They have the funds to do so. If it were a small local gym, nursery etc I would have different advice as they would not be as well placed as a big company like Nuffield.

Struggling2do1 Wed 18-Mar-20 10:56:44

The whole point of freezing was to avoid having to cancel. In other words not to leave but not to continue to pay over £70 per month for something which we could not use. We could then resume payment and attendance once this crisis had passed. We are both in the high risk category due to age and health condition and have been advised (by the government) to self isolate. We therefore knew that we would not be able to use the gym for at least three months maybe longer. We could not afford to continue to pay for something which we could not use.
Prior to having to go into self isolation we did always wipe the equipment before and after use and also used hand sanitiser, it was staggering however noticing how many people did not do so, levels of hygiene were also of concern.
Totally different issue Elegran, we are talking months not a two week holiday. We are also dealing with a very big company who will no doubt be compensated by government help.
P&O another very big, rich company have fully refunded our cruise no quibble. Based on some of your views maybe I should have just let them keep the money for something I could no longer use in order to ensure that they would not fold as a result of this crisis, where do you draw the line!

An update having written to Nuffield Health chief executive I had an email back from him with an apology, they are freezing my membership for at least 3 months and DID NOT have a policy of contacting NHS111 for verification. Clearly my gym manager was not being truthful!

By the way I am not ‘insane’ ‘unreasonable’ or ridiculous’; why on earth can’t people offer their viewpoint without being nasty!

tanith Wed 18-Mar-20 11:07:36

My daughter got a form for me to fill in to freeze my gym membership for up to 6 mths. I have to fill it in and return it by 4 pm today to freeze next months payment she’s going to drop it in for me to sign and then drop it to the gym for me. Thank goodness for family I can’t afford to pay for something I’m not using.

lemongrove Wed 18-Mar-20 11:15:29

Very well done Struggling2do1 for arguing your case with big business until you achieved a fair outcome!?

travelsafar Wed 18-Mar-20 11:26:26

*Struggling2do1 *well done you for sorting it out. There will no doubt be many older people in the same 'boat' it is sad for everyone all round. No one wants to feel they are responsible for people losing jobs, or businesses failing. But no one wants to pay for a service they can no longer use either. Its a very difficult time for all concerned. sad

Dinahmo Wed 18-Mar-20 11:33:33

The government is sending out mixed messages. We are supposed to self isolate, not get together in large groups but they are not enforcing it. Their advice is to avoid large gatherings and gatherings in smaller public places such as restaurants, bars, pubs, cinemas etc. People are following this advice and pubs etc are empty. But, because the govt. haven't enforced their suggestions the companies cannot claim on their insurance - if such an eventuality is covered.

Surely it would be better if those places were closed for the duration.

As regards gyms, I'm pleased that the lady has had her subscription frozen. It's a long time since I visited such a gym but from what I remember, many of them are sealed and rely on air conditioning which doesn't produce clean air. Most of you probably wouldn't notice this but as a severe asthmatic I have problems in air conditioned buildings and have to stop walking to use my inhaler to get my breath back. The terminal at Stansted is a good example - all glass and no fresh air.

Do you remember the out break of legionnaires disease several years ago. A friend caught the disease and it transpired, after much investigation, that she caught it walking past an air vent from a restaurant in London.

CleoPanda Wed 18-Mar-20 11:40:50

The money refunded from the cancelled cruise could have paid for the gym membership? Surely it’s not a case of “can’t afford” to pay for something not used, but more “don’t want to pay”. Clearly the money is there to pay, and would have been paid all year, as was the money for the cruise. If everyone cancels everything, I guess almost every leisure company will collapse? Loans are on offer but that won’t help every business. We can choose which businesses we want to support, but the argument about “can’t afford” simply isn’t true.

lemongrove Wed 18-Mar-20 12:00:53

Big business ( Nuffield Gym included) have a duty towards older customers during this crisis, this includes stringent cleaning, which they are not bothering to do.In any case, with older people being asked to stay at home, they cannot now access the gym, hardly fair to have to pay for it.Younger gym members will still be paying and using the gym, it won’t go out of business!

anna7 Wed 18-Mar-20 12:30:15

My local Nuffield have said on their website that they will freeze payments. I haven't managed to get through to them yet though