Wednesday, 4 August 2010

The Greatest Complaint Letter Ever Written

Well, this is what the past 6 blog posts have been leading up to. I thought you lot would be interested in the email I just sent them, I think its the greatest complaint letter ever written. Apparently, they aim to reply within 24 hours... it's already been a week and a half. And I've chased them up twice on it. Anyway, it's a bit of a read but you'll enjoy it...especially the last paragraph!

Dear Sir/Madam,

I am contacting you as I have a few complaints about my local gym (Edmonton Leisure Centre). I know that this 'contact us' page says please contact your local gym for all issues regarding them, but I have tried numerous times over the phone and in person to speak to the manager, but he is always 'unavailable'. Also, I thought you might like to know about the quality of service being suffered by members at one of your recently acquired gyms. Firstly, nowadays, it is almost impossible to get through on the phones to book a court and when you do, you experience some of the things mentioned in the following paragraphs.

I mainly use my membership to book badminton courts and in March on one such occasion I booked a court for the following week. I was phoned up on the day I had booked the court for and told that I had been double booked, and my hour was being cancelled due to a computer error. I did not get an explanation as to why it had taken a week to inform me of this double booking.

In April, I again, was phoned up on the day of my booking and informed that my booking would have to be cancelled, this time because they were short staffed because of the Icelandic volcano. Even though I had played the day before and there appeared to be no staffing problem then.

In May, whoever answered the phone to take my booking, decided to put me on hold and leave me there for a couple of minutes, without telling anybody I was on hold, so when somebody finally picked up the phone again, they were unsure as to why I was there and seemed less than helpful in booking my court.

In June, it took ages to get through, and I appreciate that at times they are busy, but when my call was answered, firstly, I was chastised for wanting to book a badminton court because “people are always phoning up to book badminton courts”, and secondly, when I asked to double check a booking I’ve already made I was told that I should have written it down and that “Its really annoying people keep phoning up asking to book badminton, check bookings for badminton all the bloody time. You wouldn't do it for the doctors or a hospital or something.”

On another occasion earlier this month, I turned up for a 9am booking Saturday morning. Not only was the receptionist quite rude to me, but we found out that we had been double booked on a court that was being used for gymnastics. And as there was no more free courts I had to leave and without an explanation or apology from the member of staff at reception.

And the most recent occasion last week when I turned up for my hours badminton, I arrived on court to find there was no net set up. After much running back and forth from reception and the courts, a net was finally set up. A full 23 minutes after I had first informed a member of staff that there was no net on the court. The duty manager was more bothered about trying to move everyone around in the sports hall to their correct courts when they were already settled into a game than getting someone to set up a net on our court.

Now, I regularly speak to other customers on the badminton courts and they all seem to agree that the booking system is not working and the majority of the staff give the impression of a similar shoddy service, having been either booked on the wrong court, there being no net, being double booked, not even booked at all, or are spoken to like we are nothing but an obstruction to the end of their shift. Now I know you have only recently acquired Edmonton Gym under your fusion company, and that you are not responsible for the running of the gym before June. And upon hearing that you were taking over the gym, I thought I’d give it another month before I wrote this letter, but unfortunately, things have not got better. And as I mentioned earlier, I can never seem to get hold of the manager, so I am left with no choice.

Whilst after an event has happened, it provides a great source of humour for the followers of a little blog I have on the subject, it has gone too far and is costing me money in paying for parking and petrol when things are messed up, not to mention the membership fee. I enjoy playing badminton and would love to continue playing it at your gyms, as they are the closest places to me that do badminton. But as a paying member who has access to this broken booking system, I feel I owe it to all long suffering members to bring it to your attention so that something can be done about it.

Ghandi very dissapointed...
As Mahatma Gandhi once said, “A customer is the most important visitor on our premises, he is not dependent on us. We are dependent on him. He is not an interruption in our work. He is the purpose of it. He is not an outsider in our business. He is part of it. We are not doing him a favour by serving him. He is doing us a favour by giving us an opportunity to do so.” I wonder if the staff at Edmonton Leisure centre would benefit from being made aware of this little quote?

I eagerly await your comments on where we might go from here.

Yours sincerely,
Membership Number xxxxxxxxxxxxxx


Christine said...

Love it!

Cybermeldrew said...

Fusion have recently taken over the Leatherhead Leisure Centre, put in place an expensive refurbishment program, and all of a sudden we have terrible capacity problems that we never had before.

Loyal customers are being regularly turned away now because they built an exercise studio half the size of the previous one.

Chris said...


You should contact head office, they are pretty good at getting the leisure center managers to pull their finger out.

Cybermeldrew said...

Thank you for your prompt advice, Chris. I submitted an online posting to head office on Friday 17th and am currently awaiting their reply. I'll chase it after a week as I haven't even received an acknowledgement yet.

Cybermeldrew said...

I got a bit eager earlier today and sent a posting to Head Office asking when I can expect to hear more. I received a rather promising reply from the General Manager of the Leatherhead Leisure Centre within the hour.

Chris said...

Good news! Yeah, I noticed that once you pressure head office into it, the leisure center managers get a bit scared and send you a decent email as quick as they can!

James Collett said...

So you got a reply from "Upstairs"? Did things improve at the leisure centre?

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