Thanks to Richard C of Los Angeles California for sending in his letter to Louis Welch, the CEO of LA Fitness after the health club chain forced Richard into displaying his wedding tackle on Hollywood Boulevard…
July 18th, 2013
Chief Executive Officer, LA Fitness/Fitness International, LLC
6400 Irvine Boulevard
Irvine, California 92620
Dear Mr. Welch,
I’m sure you must have lost my first two letters, so perhaps a third might engender a response. It’s unfortunate that it took a forced naked jaunt down Hollywood Blvd for me to send you belated congratulations on the successful acquisition of the Bally Fitness clubs here in the Los Angeles area. As a 21-year member of Bally, now LA Fitness, I just wanted to commend you on mastering the inorganic business model so popular with the maverick businesses of today.
Indeed, the old organic model of growing a business through good products and quality services is simply too slow, by downgrading to cheap products and abysmal services – one can rapidly harvest cash for merger and acquisition targets – a more efficient growth model for sure, and by all measures, you are a master at this!
I am writing to share my excellent customer service experience with you personally as I’m sure it’s important for you to nurture and reward excellence within your organization. After showering at your club at 1628 N. El Centro on July 8th, I was surprised to find my locker burgled and all of my possessions gone –car keys, bag, lock, phone, wallet, even my dirty gym clothes – the works!
I was clearly informed by your staff that there is no liability for the actual theft, which I assumed, but here’s the best part; your staff was impeccably trained on the inorganic business principle of “abysmal services” and no matter what I asked, or how I pleaded for mercy; they successfully avoided any liability, responsibility or even a modicum of human kindness.
The manager Pricilla H answered all my questions. For example;
Q: “I need to speak with security”
A: “We have no security”
Q: “Can you find something from lost and found for me to wear?”
A: “We have no lost and found”
Q: “Can you alert the parking attendant not to let my car out?”
A: “(no answer, just walked away).”
It became pretty clear that any additional attempts at garnering support, intelligence, comfort, or any basic human kindness was a useless exercise. In fact, upon each answer, she attempted to turn away and avoid continued discussion–leaving me half naked in the public lobby, clutching a dripping towel to my privates for the 45 minutes I was begging for mercy.
So out the front door I walked, half naked, my pride swinging in the breeze (and I didn’t even get arrested for indecency!) no money, no phone, no idea how I would race the burglars back to my house, or if my car was being burgled or stolen from your parking lot.
An utter lack of security personnel or cameras, no company policy for such events, no training, or consideration of public accommodation. You’ve built a lean and mean (and I do mean mean) organization that is destined to take its place next to the likes of Bear Sterns, Charter Communications, AT&T and other top 10 most infamous companies in America.
Louis, is it an overreaction to have canceled my membership of over 21 years? Am I so out of touch with my inner-masochist to not find forced nudity, public humiliation, fear and emotional distress exciting?