The ‘good life’ means selling your soul

10 09 2010

…or at least a paycheque or two…

I had a rant on Twitter a couple of weeks ago about Goodlife and how they wanted me to sign a six-month contract for personal training at a cost of $3800. Before tax.

Photo courtesy of http://feedmelah.com

I’m not inept when it comes to working out. I’ve been weight training for years.

What I was looking for was someone to change up my routine – spice it up a little and then send me on my way.

I don’t need hand-holding when it comes to working out. What I need is change.

Since I’m a Goodlife member, I thought I’d check out what they had to offer. I found the experience really annoying for a couple of reasons.

  1. It was a waste of time. I explained to the Goodlife representative what I was looking for and he never stopped to say – you know what, we don’t provide that kind of training. Instead, I sat through a one-hour pep talk on what they could offer with the wham-bam price presented at the end. Talk about wasting each other’s time.
  2. He wanted me to sign on the spot! I said no – I don’t spend that kind of money without talking to my husband first and he said, “Oh you can use the phone here; I’ll leave the room.” Ha! Nice try, buddy.

When I got home that night I tweeted the experience and had many kind people offer suggestions on where and who I could get good personal training from at a fraction of the cost. Not only that, a few other people shared their own experiences about the sell Goodlife does with respect to personal training.

Like seriously? That’s the only kind of training you offer? Feels more like a deal with the devil than a personal training program.

I did some investigating of all the suggestions made to me and found that Tara from Motiv8 personal training offered exactly what I was looking for. Not only that, Tara comes to my house, with all the necessary equipment, to create a customized program just for me. She has set up a program I can do on my own and meets with me periodically to assess my progress and make adjustments where needed. Perfect. (I’m not sure if Tara has a website but you can email her at motiv8fitness at live dot ca for information on what she offers.)

Last week I was watching CBC news and they had a promo piece about an upcoming Marketplace investigative report on gyms that do the hard sell, make it difficult to end your membership, etc. Marketplace is calling their investigation The Big Gym Ripoff $earch, and they want you to answer a survey about your gym membership experience.

While I’m not saying Goodlife has “ripped me off”, I do feel that they tried to with a hard pressure sales tactic and an unrealistic expectation that I would actually put that kind of money down on the spot. The whole experience has left me feeling disappointed in them as a brand.

What’s interesting is that Goodlife has just recently launched a new marketing campaign about “the good life” to demonstrate that being healthy is more than being buff, more than what you see in the mirror.

The message is a good one but I don’t really feel it’s truly representative of the experience at that gym. And I guess I’m a little jaded about the campaign’s message after my recent experience inquiring about personal training.

What do you think about their campaign? Are you a Goodlife member? Do you have a similar experience to share? I’d really like to know.

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48 responses

10 09 2010
Kelly Rusk

I’m a goodlife member and I ran into the same thing. I wanted to do some personal training here and there to help me switch up my routine, learn new things etc. I’m also disappointed I can’t get that from the gym I already attend. And from what I understand this ‘package’ deal is a new one as my sister has done a lot of personal training and never had to commit to paying $3800.

I like Goodlife because 1. I happened to get a really cheap member price and 2. they are EVERYWHERE, which is convenient. However, I definitely don’t get any warm fuzzy feeling being associated with the company.

10 09 2010
melgallant

so true about Goodlife have a million locations making it convenient to workout. that’s why i’m still a member. πŸ˜‰

you know, they’d make more money if they’d let people create the kind of training they need/want. maybe focus less on the hard sell and more on building relationships with members.

10 09 2010
Alex (@harzack86)

This reminds me of the following post I read earlier this week. Way to go Good Life, I’m going to talk with my wife about it πŸ™‚
http://isaonabike.wordpress.com/2010/09/01/my-goodlife-fitness-rant/

10 09 2010
melgallant

Hi Alex – thanks for sharing that link. At least Goodlife took the time to respond and make amends. Too bad it took a public ‘rant’ to get them to listen.

10 09 2010
Ingrid

A few years back DH and I investigated Good Life, we had an idea of what we wanted and *everyone* was joining Good Life. We got the whole shabang sales talk…yes you too can do the spin classes they are designed for anyone…ok when was the last I actually spun any wheels…are you looking at the shap I am in? I saw $$$ in his eyes. We go the tour, we noticed all the *buff* people working out. I felt uncomfortable as did my DH. “Oh, and did I tell you about our fabulous juice bar?.” Uh, no, but aren’t they full of calories? Oh but they are good for you. Ah huh…ok then thanks for your time and the tour, we will think about it and contact you if we decide to go ahead with it. Well, I could offer you this great deal, if one of you joins the other can get half off… WE SAID WE WOULD THINK ABOUT and why didn’t you mention this great deal in the begining???????

10 09 2010
melgallant

thanks for sharing your experience! it reiterates my point to Kelly above. they’re not listening to you / addressing your needs. too focused on the hard sell. disappointing, and one big fail.

15 09 2010
Roz

That’s exactly why i’m NOT a goodlife member.

A few years ago i wanted to get a gym membership, and like Ingrid mentioned, it seemed as though *everyone* was joining goodlife. I called and asked them how much a membership costs per year. They couldnt’ give me a price over the phone and said i had to come to the gym to find out. I went to the gym and asked them how much the cost of a membership is and they STILL wouldn’t tell me – i had to go on a tour first.

Finally, when my tour was over they told me how much a yearly membership is. I can’t remember the price, but i do know that it wasn’t inexpensive. I told them i would have to think about it and they said that if i left, i would be forfeiting this “deal” they were offering me today only. I said “really? i can’t even sleep on it for one night??” their answer was no.

So i walked out without a membership. I could see they were trying to scare me into buying a memership and it’s obviously worked on hundreds of thousands of people. They proceeded to call me every day for the next 4 days trying to get me to buy a membership – they lost their chance at that first meeting.

I even know of someone who worked at goodlife selling memberships who quit after the first week because of how they were told to treat people and SELL.

Finally, i’d just like to add that i think it’s good that you aren’t getting your personal training from goodlife, because i know of other people who worked at goodlife (at the front desk or other non-athletic positions) and they were promoted to “personal trainer” with no background or experience in it…

15 09 2010
melgallant

Hi Roz,

Thanks for sharing. It’s sad that so many people are coming forward with similar experiences with Goodlife’s hard sell.

I am so glad that I went a different route with personal training. Tara is great, and she’s really putting me through my paces!

15 02 2011
Marcy

I have been burned by the Personal Training at Good Life. I am on trainer number 6 and am not getting anywhere as a result. I had a fabulous trainer to begin with and so I signed up for the full personal training, 81 sessions well over $4000. I was so happy with her and the results I was getting. 20 sessions in I was told that she was asked to quit or take on more hours, which she could not do. So she had to quit and I was left with no trainer and no one contacted me about setting up more training.
I contacted the club manager immediately to let her know my dissapointment and that I would not have signed up for that many sessions if it wasn’t with the initial trainer. I was told there was nothing that she could do for me. I called and emailed the head office and was told that I signed the contract with GoodLife and not the trainer and I needed to fulfill my end. I was also told by the “customer service rep” that they don’t even refund money to people with medical notes. WOW that hit me like a ton of bricks…apparently they are only after my money and once a contract is signed they could care less about it.
I felt awful because I had encouraged friends to join with me. I left messages and waited to hear about a new trainer…nothing. Almost 5 weeks later finally I had a phone call from the new fitness manager who set me up with a new trainer.
I showed up for my first session and was told that she had quit. I was so angry because no one had even called to tell me. I need to clarify here, I only joined Good Life because they have child minding and I have to use it in order to work out. So…here I was again, no trainer but of course they were withdrawing over $500 a month for my sessions. Back to the fitness manager who went over what I wanted out of my sessions (look in my file, was what I was thinking) and set me up with a third trainer.
Tried to book sessions with the new trainer and was told by her that she would have spots for me mid-February. Called her again and was told that the session times that I needed were booked by someone else who was going 4 times a week. (or in other words, someone who was giving them more money). Back to the fitness manager again…who offered up herself as my trainer but for more money.
Finally I was set up with a brand new trainer, loved her and the workouts and of course one week in, she is no longer with the company either.
Now they want me to travel to another location in a coed gym to work out or wait but continue to pay into the pot for a suitable trainer to be found at my current location.
So now here I sit with 60 sessions left and no trainer that meets the qualifications I am looking for, someone with a degree and more of an understanding than the training good life provides them. (side note their training is done by an institution that is owned by the owner of good life, I read somewhere). I am so angry and frustrated and have friends at other clubs that have excellent training and all I want is to be done with Good Life. Please please please don’t sign up for a training contract with Good Life unless you really know what you are getting in to. Now I will have to start again with another trainer, back at square one…

15 02 2011
melgallant

Hi Marcy,

Thanks for sharing you story. Pretty disappointing the run-around you’re receiving. I would keep pressuring them – calling the head office, etc. – to express your dissatisfaction.

By the way, I ended my membership last month (also got a bit of a runaround and misinformation about the steps involved) but it’s finally done.

Best of luck with your personal training issue. I hope it gets resolved.

15 03 2011
sonya

Hey Marcy,

Sorry to hear your story. Which location are your sessions at?
If your in the Vaughan, Ontario area I can refer you to an amazing trainer who I am currently working with!

16 03 2011
melgallant

Hi Sonya,

I’ve let Marcy know you are interested in helping her out.

16 03 2011
Marcy

Hi everyone,
I should update…I was at the Deerfoot Calgary location but they “asked” me to try another club since they can’t keep their staff. So here I am on trainer number 6 and at the McKenzie location and Mike is FABULOUS! He actually understands body movement and how muscles work and I am enjoying myself completely. Too bad that I had to deal with so much CRAP to get here and had to basically start all over again. He pushes me and encourages and we actually have a great time. I go again tonight for session number 6 and am looking forward to it!
I still would be hesitant to sign up for a gym that requires a long contract, especially when a lot of the big gyms require none.
Buyer beware I have learned!!

16 03 2011
melgallant

Marcy,

So glad to hear you found a trainer for keeps at last!

6 09 2013
Holly

I feel your pain…I am going through the same kind of thing… my trainer totally stuck it to me to get another contract with them and then when I became injured kind of threw my training down the pipe and told me that training is not rent-a-friend… now I have 65 sessions left, have spent 12,000 dollars and have lost 3 pounds… hate goodlife. my only hope is my new trainer will be better

7 06 2011
Chris

Heres my experience:

I went into to get advice, had no idea they would try to sell me soooooooooo hard… I ve talked to many shady car dealerships for fun over the years of learning about cars, looking for used cars. This is worse case of hardselling I have ever experienced… worse than call centers worse than anything I have ever experienced. This is like 100 to 1000 times worse than the shaddies used car salesmen.

Firstly they try to make you commit to yourself, that you want to do this… that you can do this. Thats great… then they set goals for you… than I start to figure out hes trying to set me up with sessions and I was like this is not what I came in for tonight. Hes like I thought they told you…

He said it would be 7500$ for a whole year of sessions and said that was a deal because the trainer was at a lower level and in a week they’d would be going up. If i were to train with him it would be 10000$ I was like I cant pay that, Id rather go to school again or buy a new car.

Said how much you pay for school? Than after saying how much, he was like this is less and this is your life and health.

Tried to use scare tactics of heart disease, clogged arteries etc… diabetes.. I am 28, he said by 38 I could be dead… DEAD!? I was like hell no, theres no way I am that bad, and I have come along way since a year ago… I read packages… the problem I have is snacking at night and these are things I can do on my own… I am like your not going to be there to guide my eating habits at home are you?

Then he took my blood pressure wrong this was after a workout, I was like theres noway… I know people way worse than me, and I know they are at higher risk than me… it made no sense… than he said he a client and another trainer came in and tried to sell me even more.

OH AND HE SAID IF I COULDNT AFFORD IT I SHOULD ASK MY PARENTS FOR THE MONEY! I laughed at him, I was like why would I ask my parents for that kind of money?

I wish I would have recorded this…

8 06 2011
melgallant

Oh Chris,

That is terrible. Ya the high pressure sales tactics…it does kind of feel like you’re in the process of buying a used car for sure. As if the used car salesmen moonlighting as a trainer tells you to ask your parents for the money! Brutal.

I think they focus too much on trying to get you to buy these big packages versus focusing on what is the real goal – get you fit. Why they don’t offer different packages to suit different lifestyles/needs, etc. – I have no idea. The personal trainer I found through a friend is great. She comes to my house, my workouts our tailored to my individual needs and goals and she works me hard but at a fair price. I don’t have to “sell my soul” to get guidance in my training.

I wish you luck Chris in finding a trainer (maybe at a different gym?) that works for you. Oh and by the way, if you go to cancel your membership, call the Goodlife head office directly. Do NOT do it through your local gym – they give you the runaround if you do.

19 02 2012
Zhu

I had a similar experience going to Goodlife just to find out how much the membership was (about to blog about it too). I had to sit down for 30 and share personal information (I gave a fake address, phone number etc.) just to get the price. Gee.

I’m never signing for a membership at Goodlife! Intrusive questions, high-pressure sales pitch and mystery membership fee are a no-go for me.

7 08 2012
Mary

Yeah, I used to have a Goodlife membership but I moved and had more convenient gyms to go to, and as I’m not really into going to goodlife classes all the time I cancelled. When I went back the cost nearly doubled from what I had been paying. I later got a membership at Fit for Less, and while the price was far more manageable, (as you don’t pay for classes you don’t take, the base salary of trainers you aren’t going to use, or for their shower bill), they didn’t really take care of the equipment and the staff appeared disgruntled.

I have known a couple of trainers at Goodlife and they let me in on the secret. They barely make minimum without clients and they are in charge of finding their own, and they only make so much off of the price, essentially commission. As for the hard sale, they are commission based as well. I personally think that if they took better care of these employees they in turn would take better care of customers instead of hard selling.

After another move GL is being considered again, but I really dislike how employees have made me feel in the past. Chances are I’m going to go to a smaller gym where my business actually matters.

7 08 2012
melgallant

Hi Mary,

I totally agree with you re: taking better care of their employees means employees would be more focused on taking care of customers without trying to get them to sign their life away.

Good luck with the gym hunt. It’s not easy…it’s why I finally decided to workout at home.

11 08 2012
Lucy Lu

Its terriably sad. Just to let you know its not the personal trainers choice to sell hard, those are the expectations from GOOD LIFE – passed downward in Superiority and Pressure. You would think by now with all the negative feedback they would pull up their socks, NOPE !!! Clearly lying has gotten them here. Warning to People. Unless you want to follow a intentionally dragged out non effective training plan, Which they are Instructed to follow as well by The company. Its actually pathetic that such a positive aspect In life is situated and executed with MoNEY MOney Money Sell sell. If You Pay that much money for a trainer I’d say personal Imput and needs are number one. Nope, its not About you people. Its a cooperate GREED accompinied by misrepresentation.

26 10 2012
Kirk

Im currently a trainer @ Goodlife. I can tell you that the stories above are the exact reason I feel like moving on from this company. I hate feeling pressured into pressuring others. I’m a personal trainer first not a used car sales person. The pressure to sell large packages is unreal, and I’ve let thousands of dollars walk out the door because people couldn’t afford a 6 month contract. I realize that sales is part of the job, but one should never feel guilted into purchasing PT. I see a bright future as a independent trainer in my future. I hope you

26 10 2012
Kirk

I hope you one day can enjoy the experience of a no pressure, quality PT session.

12 02 2013
Jacob Saunders

Hey everyone. I just wanted to take the time to make a post with a different perspective on things. I am a personal trainer at Goodlife Fitness. I see a common theme with what many people are saying….hard sale. YES some trainers will really try and enforce this on you, that is their method, Goodlife does not make you say a script. The whole point behind selling larger packages is that it is proven to bring about better faster results. If you have a good trainer, will you get closer to your long term goals in 3 months or 6 months to 1 year, pretty simple answer. The problem with how things were and selling smaller trianing packages, is every wants to think they can do it on your own. For many this is unfortunately just not a reality. I have seen many people purchase 30-40 sessions, see great results, and believe they know what to do forever to get results. Problem is, not just in Goodlife but everywhere, you do the same thing, you get the same result. Eventually that result slows down. Many people like I mentioned purchased 30-40 sessions, set out on their own, only to slide back into old habits and form and end up at day 1, or even worse. Many of these people would return to purchase more training. The big issue here is, they oculd have got 60-80 sessions, and got even better results, but essentially they ‘wasted’ those 30-40 sessions. It generally takes 5000-10000 repetitions of one movement to develop a neural adaptation to not even have to think about it anymore. Coincidently, that would take roughly 6 months to 1 year. Leaving training after 1 year opposed to 3 months leaves you will a MUCH higher chance of maintaining those healthy habits, and much better results to show as well *Cue all the SUCCESS stories*. Everyone has a different opinion on what they buy and how much they want to invest sure, but that doesn’t bring reason to bash a whole company that when you look at it from an objective rather than subjective view, they are trying to help you reach all of your goals, and beyond. I couldn’t be more proud working for this company because they now understand how to best get people results. Some people within the company MAY be a little too pushy with sales but that is their perogative. I can not speak for those individuals, just myself, whatI have seen, and the methods that have best got my clients to their goals, dreams, and wishes.

12 02 2013
melgallant

Hi Jacob,

Thanks for leaving a comment and sharing the perspective of an actual Goodlife Fitness trainer. I understand your point about these larger training packages being what gets results. I do. The issue here isn’t with that so much as it is the selling tactic. I gotta say, it’s a huge turn off to experience that kind of sales pressure. Particularly when you consider that for many of your prospective members, that meeting with the trainer would be one of the first interactions they would have with your organization. Absolutely a turn off. You push me (and others) to make a $3800 decision on the spot? Ya, that’s going to hurt the Goodlife brand as a whole.

So if you say this is something to blame on the individual rather than the brand as a whole, I disagree. The Goodlife corporate culture is reinforcing that pressure sales tactic because otherwise, how would these trainers get away with it? And why would there be so many stories of this kind of sales pressure tactic?

I appreciate that you like your job and like working for Goodlife. And I’m glad you felt comfortable sharing a different point of view here. However, this is more than just one or two people sharing this kind of experience. For that, you would hope Goodlife would take notice.

20 02 2013
Jacob

Hey again,

Just want to clear a few things up as it seems you are coming at this STILL from an objective point of view (opinionated). If you knew you would get someone better results in one year opposed to 2 months what would you do. I know it makes sense to get them to buy a year so you avoid anyone losing commitment. Pretty good chance people will stick to a program or anything for that matter if they have already paid for it. I did already mention the ‘hard sale’ is not ideal correct? It’s not that you would want them to buy a year for sales purposes, I sure don’t. I want them to buy a year because I know they will get to where they need to be and NOT have an option of quitting on the path to their goals. MIndboggling enough, this is a GOOD thing- getting results.
I have NEVER nor’ have I EVER seen any trainer at my location force someone to make a decision on the spot. I encourage people to have a thought about it and more times than not they will purchase long term training because they know it is best for them. I’m sure this will be thrown out later so no, I do not hold their families at gun point either.

So many stories, count how many posts on here, divide that by the 2200 trainers that work for this company. Slim odds. Maybe not all of them share their stories on their post? Well maybe, but many people often want to express disgust and inform other people, so again, small margin have commented about these experiences.

Goodlife should not take notice as a brand because why spread negativity company wide when it is only in scarse locations that these ‘horrible’ things happen. If you had someone purchasing services for cable from you, they signed an agreement, then did not pay you, would you care at all. So the matter of getting out of an agreement is squashed really. Again, some people are stuck in their opinions and subjective views which won’t change a thing.

27 02 2013
melgallant

Hi Jacob, I think what you meant to say is that we are taking this from a subjective point of view – not an objective one, and I don’t understand your cable agreement analogy. Of course we’re taking it from a subjective point of view! This is our personal experience with the Goodlife brand! We disliked the experience so much, we’re writing about it and sharing those experiences with others.

I get that you are passionate about the work you do and the company you work for – for that reason, Goodlife is lucky to have you as an employee. However, I think from the number of comments left here and the number of times people are sharing similar experiences that there is definitely some validity to what we are saying with respect to high-pressure sales tactics at Goodlife. So yes, Goodlife should take notice because it is their customers who matter. And word-of-mouth is the most trusted form of advertising so Goodlife should recognize that people are unhappy enough with the experiences they’ve had with the Goodlife brand that they’re talking about it. Even if it’s just a few trainers in a few locations doing this – all it takes is one bad experience like this to really hurt a brand. Unfortunately, it looks like there’s more than one person who’s had this experience. It’s great you have never seen this kind of high-pressure sales tactic but that doesn’t meant it isn’t happening.

Again, thank you for leaving a comment and supporting your employer. It’s good to know there are passionate and dedicated trainers at Goodlife who are in it to help people live healthier lives rather than get money in the door.

27 02 2013
KellyJo

I would love to be able to commit to a workout package for 6 months or more but with two kids I am helping put through University it can’t happen. I find it hard to believe that I would not benefit from being about to meet with a trainer a couple times a month to assist me with what I am doing. If I could book three at a time or so when I had extra money they would be making a profit off of me.

When I joined I booked an orientation session on the equipment. The person who met with me didn’t even take me out of a small room to show me anything … it was one hour of “if you don’t commit to a trainer for six months you will just fail.” Other members have taught me equipment and one long time regular got accused of training me for profit when she was just being kind.

I do like the two locations in my area and they are bright and clean but it feels like they just want my money.

27 02 2013
Jacob

Just to re-itterate, an objective view would be with bias. You have had a bad experience so now your opinion is the company as a whole is just like a ‘bad apple. My cable agreement analogy was, any agreement you sign up for, you sign for the terms of that agreement, so any stating that the agreement is too hard to get out of knew of the scenarios before they signed, and if they were not aware of every stitch in it, the onus is on them to be aware before they sigm, just like clicking accept terms of service and conditions on downloading something on your computer, no one reads it.

In regards to the bad experiences, if there have been 100 out of 30000 really bad experiences, that’s good. BUT yes ideally there would be no bad experiences. Essentially, anyone who has tried these tactics in this location, word has gone out about them, they don’t make any sales, and are gone shortly thereafter anyhow.

At the end of the day, this really does happen anywhere you go, people want you long term. In some cases it MAY come across the wrong way, but as far as results and benefits of being with something long term, like a doctor, it is very beneficial. That is quite alike what trainers are, we know what will get people healthier and where they need to be to sustain that healthy lifetsyle, and maintain forever. It really does take a long time to get into habit and make something a lifestyle so this is why people enforce long term deals.

Not much else to say other than that. Bad experiences happen everywhere, it is very unfortunate. It is too bad there are some high pressure sales out there but those people will not last in the company. I am very sorry for anyone that has dealt with this experience but you must look at it from the other side as well, that being, long term is best for you, it will hold you accountable, and you WILL be where you need, and want to be faster than on your own:)

27 02 2013
melgallant

Once again, Jacob – thank you for sharing your point of view.

25 07 2013
Matt

Ummmmm “not influenced by personal feelings, interpretations, or prejudice; based on facts; unbiased: an objective opinion”… You meant subjective..

27 02 2013
Karen

I’m genuinely shocked. Seriously, truly astonished. This is the absolute opposite of what I experienced as a Goodlife member.

I was a member of Goodlife from 2003/4 until 2008 when I canceled after Brandon was born. I’ve purchased personal training from them several times and I always got exactly what I wanted. Whether it was a small package of sessions or a bigger one. I’ve never been offered such an outlandish deal that would cost me $3800 for six months.

I wonder, though…I signed up at one of the women’s only facilities and only ever got personal training at the women’s only facilities – not because I wouldn’t go to the co-ed locations, but because the women’s only locations were the most convenient for me at the time. I never got the hard sell from them. Maybe they have a different way of doing things at the co-ed locations.

Even when I called to cancel my membership, they asked why and when I said I was on mat leave and couldn’t afford the expense, they understood and cancelled right away. I found out a few months later that they instituted a much cheaper mat leave membership, which I thought was a great idea.

I’ve had the hard sell from gyms before. I’ve been lied to outright and had my file sent to collections because of their lies – long story from before I moved to Canada. I am so very disappointed that Goodlife has gone in that direction. I thought they were a better company than that.

27 02 2013
melgallant

Thanks for commenting, Karen! Maybe the service packages offered at the women’s-only gym are a bit different? *shrug* Great to hear you had a positive experience with Goodlife!

16 05 2013
K

From what I’ve heard the all women’s gym’s do not have the “hard sell” format that is common in the co-ed gym’s. I read about training at one of the all women’s gyms in my city offering six week training packages, etc. Having worked at a co-ed gym, I know that this was an impossibility at the gym I worked at. We were only allowed to sell a minimum of six months of training.

8 03 2013
Derek

I’m a new Goodlife member and just finished my 6 session personal training today. ($260 or so including tax). On the 3rd session, the trainer spent about 10 minutes talking about purchasing MORE sessions for the next year. I can’t commit to 3 days of personal training a week. Long story short, the least number of sessions I could buy was 30 for about 2200.00.

I asked if single sessions were possible. No. Which is too bad, because I like him but I’m certainly not going to be spending over 2 grand upfront for 30 sessions.

8 03 2013
Derek

I wanted to add that I saw an ad in my club today for 10 sessions for $199, and to ask at the front desk. Not only did no one at the front desk know what it was about, but the guy who called me tonight wanted me to sign up for it, without being fully informed as to what it was.

It doesn’t instill a lot of confidence in the level of professionalism there. It’s all about selling.

3 04 2013
Jocelyn Fowler

I was quoted $8,000.00 dollars and a year’s worth of sessions when I went in and said I’d like to lose ten pounds and get better toned. I was completely flabbergasted, told him there was no way in hell I Could ever afford that, let alone pay it if I could. He suggested cutting something out of my budget that $20/week to help LOLOLOL I think he was insane and it infuriated me! I had been a member of that gym for years.

I have since quit due to time and health issues but I am looking at getting back into a gym, just don’t want all the BS to just get a price. lol The other gyms in the area post their prices on their websites.

8 07 2015
Susan

This is 2015 and the price has gone up. It is well over $9000.00 for one year. It’s almost like they’re saying it would cost $1000.00 to lose one pound. Like you I don’t have that much to lose. I’m so disappointed in Goodlife!

16 05 2013
Elizabeth Ashe

I just finished my 3 sessions with my trainer. He then sat me down, showed me his plan that he worked out for me, very detailed, it looked impressive……I was just waiting for the bottom line, how much are you wanting from me? $9000 for a year, which was 4 times per week. If I had the money I still wouldn’t have paid that. It’s too bad, my trainer is AWESOME! We get along really well, he understands what I’m looking for and has done a fantastic job in only 3 hours of working out. He’s a great motivator and I am very sad that I won’t be able to see him anymore.

He did the hard sell, and I get it he works on commission but I told him I could maybe do one session a week, how much would that cost? He came up with $127 bi-weekly with $1000 down. OUCH. He’s calling me back on Saturday to find out whether we can proceed with the paperwork. I understand that he’s doing his job, he does really want me to achieve my goals, he’s a sweetheart, but I can’t commit to a year of sessions. I can’t commit to a month ahead.

16 05 2013
melgallant

Thanks for sharing your experience, Elizabeth. Sounds like you had a great experience with your trainer but that personal training package sure does pack a punch to the wallet. outch. Really too bad.

9 07 2013
Kalena

My daughter recently purchased a goodlife personal trainer membership – it’s costing her close to $9,000 for a year – 3 times/week! The contract states she has 10 days to cancel. No where on this contract does is say where or how to cancel!! She tried calling the Gym – no answer or always busy. As she’s in school and works she cannot spend all her time trying to get ahold of them. Feeling frustrated with not getting anywhere with the gym I decided to take over. I called the Gym – explained that we’ve been trying to get ahold of them to cancel within the 10 days – and now we’re a few days outside of that because no one answered the phone or it was busy. How do we cancel the personal trainer contract??? She stated “Dave” the personal training manager would have to contact us – that’s his responsibility. Waited 3 days! No phone call. Tried calling them again – phone was busy. I can’t sit on the phone all day trying to call them. Called the next day – this lady informed me that I was “misinformed” and that I was to call the 1-800 number! OMG!!! I call the 1-800 number – I’m #43 in the Que – someone calls me back. They tell me my daughter is an adult – they need her to send them an email or talk to them on the phone to allow me to speak on her behalf. Fair enough – daughter sends them an email and lets me know she’s done so. I call 1-800 back – I’m now #31 in the Que – phone rings – I get a recorded message “I’m sorry, an error has occurred blah blah blah..” I figure – ok – maybe they tried to call back and it cut them off – will wait and see if someone calls back – no callback and now too late to contact them as I’m on MST and they’re EST and it’s now Friday – can’t call until Monday! Monday (today) I call 1-800 again. I’m back in the Que – someone calls me back (different rep) – I need PROOF that she tried to call within the 10 days – phone records, emails, etc. I tell him honestly – that’s impossible! She called from school/work – she has no access to those phone records!!! All I can provide is all the documentation since I’ve been trying to cancel the contract. Starting with the Gym itself. He says he’ll have to verify with the Gym that I called them. “Go ahead” I tell him. wait wait wait. He comes back and says – sorry – no one was available. Betting he didn’t even call!!! This is ridiculous. I ask him HOW can we cancel this contract! Why can’t someone just do it? Nope – has to go through an “Investigations process” – have to make sure that we’re being honest, that we have the proof! OMG again! He says she signed off on 3 sessions. I say – no – she signed off on 2! Oh yes – he says, 1 was a “no show”. Of course you idiot! She signed Jun 18th – and on Jun 20th we were evacuated from our home due to the entire fricken city flooding!!! For almost a week the Mayor was telling everyone to stay off the streets! Don’t travel anywhere! Near the end of the week – things start going back to normal. Then a train derails at the end of the week – again – don’t travel!! Okay – now it’s June 28 with is the 10th day of the contract. She tried to contact the Gym during the week of the flooding to cancel. This is July 8 and we’re in the fight of our life to get the contract cancelled which could take forever – and she’s still obligated to continue paying until they decide whether to cancel it or not if they feel she honestly tried to call within the 10 day period. Given the circumstances of the situation – I’m wondering if I should be contacting a Contract Lawyer……

24 07 2013
Muu

So I came across this because I was looking for some inside story on Goodlife … i really see a point in spending on health .. i do … but being quoted $8000 and get 3 bonus sessions is not my cup of tea … then the next offer was around $5000 for 80 sessions … then the next was $3500ish for 58 sessions … and then i left saying let me think …. and I thought and i thought and i said no .. now i was offered a free session and another $10 less on each training session … πŸ˜› I could go out and find trainers no contract $30 an hour .. why pay $66! If goodlife made it easier for us to get trainers, they would be getting more business than just scamming one person … there are so many people who want a trainer but can get one cause of the price tag .. also on doing some digging when goodlife charges us 66 … the trainer himself gets only 20 to 30 per hour …. umm i thought we were already paying for the gym equipments n all then why is the trainer have to forgo 36 fdollars because he is using the gym facility to train .. .they dont make any marketing sense to me :S

12 08 2013
pinkey

Actually Muu, we only get paid $15 an hour, the client pays $42

I am currently a PT at goodlife, the pressure to sell is suffocating, we don’t have a choice but to hard sell cliental. I don’t like putting the pressure on, but members have to understand if we do’nt get you to sign up we don’t get a paycheque, and I have to put food on the table. it’s rough but thats business,

6 09 2013
melgallant

Pinkey – that may be business but it’s bad business.

6 01 2014
becky

I currently have p.t at the Airdrie women’s only gym. I signed on cuz my friend is a trainer there and they have child care. I’ve laid two complaints about the type of care they were offering and my car broke down last month.I live in Calgary n have no way of getting there but am somehow suppose to drag me n my son there. It is a huge headache and I have barely lost any weight thought this six month process. Which In the end will have cost us over seven grand!!!! I have recently inquired about swit hung to a trainer closer to me and have yet to get a reply. I wish I never signed that contract…defiantly learned a lesson!!

13 09 2013
Crissy

Thank you for this post. I just ran into the same situation and was quoted over $7000 for 1 year of training. I couldnt believe that came out of their mouths. What has really made me mad is its not customized at all to you. Its the standard for everyone. I still have to do the same steps as someone who has never worked out. I lift, Im fit and I want to push harder. I really just wanted one for a few months to safely use the equipment and learn my way around the gym and also have someone who can spot some bad habits. I was really dissapointed and honestly feel like they are losing out on a lot of clients because of this way of doing business. I just started there so it sucks but Im gonna go at it on my own I guess. Im glad Im not alone.

24 01 2014
Sadie

I literally got suckered into getting a pt. I went to the gym just to check out a membership and I ended up signing up but before I could leave they got me to talk to a pt about getting sessions. So she does the whole schpeel about how great I will feel and the results she will help me acheive and it sounded amazing!! After the whole conversation she ends up telling me that a year will be $8000. My eyeballs almost blew out of my head!! I was like “I could never ever afford that!” She continued on to reduce the fee “as much as possible” little by little, she kept reducing the fee and the amount of training sessions to try and “better fit my budget”. I felt so pressured and upset that I actually started balling my eyes out in the little office because I knew I couldn’t afford this. She just kept saying “but this is what you want for your health, I can help you”. I felt so overwhelmed I actually ended up signing a contract with her costing me about $5000. I paid the $4000 down and continue to make bi-weekly payments to pay off the rest. It was great until the trainer switched jobs and now I’m stuck with a trainer who is never available on my time and is driving me insane with scheduling.
I can no longer afford either my gym membership or the pt due to my husband losing his job. I need to cancel this and every other extra thing I pay for such as cable and car insurance (starting to bus). I am so lost I don’t even know where to start with trying to cancel with Goodlife. I have been thinking of talking to my doctor to see if she’ll write me a letter stating I can no longer attend the gym and so forth, but I’m nervous to ask of such a favour because I don’t know if a doctor will do that without a real serious medical condition. Also, i thought of just going in there and cancelling my membership and just dealing with my remainder training fees but that’s still money out of my pocket.
I know you can transfer your membership to another person (although I don’t know if it has to be family or if it can be a stranger). I’m wondering if you could “sell” the remainder of your personal training to someone. I’ve seen adds on Kijiji about this but I don’t know if it’s aloud. Like maybe I could find out how many sessions are left and how much money is owed and sell the remainder? If anyone knows anything about this or can help me with ideas on getting out of these rediculous contracts please help me! I feel like a fool..

7 03 2014
kittykat

I was hired at Goodlife a week ago as a personal trainer. My background is in bodybuilding and powerlifting and I ACTUALLY want to help people reach their goals. I was excited about this opportunity but wow, all they’ve taught me during me week of training is how to sell personal training to people. I don’t mind selling but this company is just horrible! Personal Training cost 7000+. But what really bothered me was that they DO NOT want their clients to know how to do exercises. We are not allowed to teach them anything. We have to make them useless stuff so they DO NOT actually reach their goals, so they are dependent on the personal trainer for the next 2-3 years. I want to actually provide a good plan based on my client’s SPECIFIC goals and needs but the company forces their personal trainers to use the SAME plan (Foundation, build, burn, strength) for EVERYONE. Most of the personal trainers working there have NO background in training people, they have a background in sales. I hope this helps anyone reading this. Please spread the word and SAVE your money and your friends money. Look into private personal trainers in your area on kijiji or go to a smaller gym that is not so pushy and useless.

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