Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Hassle, Rules and Policies

I wonder why retail establishments which we frequent make it so very difficult to do business with them? An incredibly long and frustrating story cut short because I only wish it to serve as background. My iPhone is not working. I went into the Apple Store (Columbia, Maryland) and simply wanted to buy a new phone. I didn't have the time to stand in the store while the "helpful" staff took me through the activation process. They would not sell me a phone unless I had it activated in the store. Apparently they would rather not have the sale than give a customer what they want. I refused and went home to order it online (which Tony in the store fully admitted would come to me non-activated). The online AT&T store only has 2-3 day shipping. My choices are to go without a phone for 2-3 days or agree to the retail store's inane policy.

This experience made me wonder about bricks-and-mortar gym memberships. I remember reading this article recently about someone two months into a two-year contract with Bally's when the gym declared bankruptcy. He had some difficulty getting his money back. Does anyone else think this is ridiculous? I would think by this time we'd be living in a refined world where we treated each other kindly and with respect.

When we were setting membership prices for Cybercise we decided on $10 a month and $120 per year. We had much discussion about giving a discount for a one-year membership and, for now, have opted to keep the pricing consistent. What does this do for you, our customer? You can join on a monthly basis and don't have to worry about a long-term contract. We want to make you happy and let's face it, $10 a month for unlimited workouts delivered directly to you, is quite a bargain. You don't have to drive to the gym, you don't have to put up with silly long-term contracts and you can workout as much as you want. And, we're so sure you're going to love us that we're comfortable with our month-to-month relationship.

If, for some inexplicable reason that I can't imagine at the moment, you are not satisfied with the customer service you get as a Cybercise member, just invoke the "Apple Store Insanity" defense. We'll make you happy.

P.S. - And we are working on an iPhone app so all of your favorite Cybercise workouts will be available to you anywhere!

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