After moving at the end of December, I was no longer living near a New York Sports Club location. It didn’t make sense to pay for a gym I can’t conveniently get to from my own apartment so I (sadly) ended my membership. And I figured with Core Fusion for strength and running outside for cardio, I was set.
I decided to handle any issues with cold/bad weather/dark running by trying a one month membership to a small gym very close to my apartment called Strive NYC. Their website advertises the following offer in two different places on their site:
Low Priced One Month Trial, convertible in the first two weeks into a Yearly Prepaid Membership or a One Year Commitment Pay-as-you-Go Membership
Sounded perfect for me! A low priced one month trial to use the treadmill as I pleased, just two blocks from my building. And by the time the month ended, it should be a little warmer out.
So last Saturday I went in to Strive to find out more details about this offer, as well as the price of their 3 month membership option. I met half of the husband and wife ownership team, the wife Malou. She took me on a tour of the gym.
Strive NYC is very small. There are no classes. It is literally just machines, which do not have individual TVs. However, there are shared TVs up against the wall. The locker room has no amenities, but it looked clean and nice. There were renovations going on around me.
I figured this gym would be perfect for me since I planned to use only the treadmill. I figured it would be much cheaper than NYSC since NYSC lets you use any of their locations all over New York City, has individual TVs on the machines, has a much larger variety of machines, offers lots of classes and has amenities in their locker rooms. Strive only has the one small location. And I read some reviews online that put the monthly price as low as $30 a month for some people.
Once the tour was finished, I told Malou I enjoyed the tour and was interested in the one month trial. Malou shook her head, looking at me like I had two heads:
“There is none,” she told me.
“But it says it on your website.”
“No such offer exists.”
“OK, but why does your website mention this offer on both the homepage and the membership page?” I needed to know.
But Malou seemed to have no idea what I was talking about. She would not give me a one month membership.
Malou and her husband Yves are the owners. So I assume they control what goes up on their website. I assume they approve the content. I assume they KNOW the content. But based on Malou’s reaction, either she truly has no idea what’s going on with her own business or she lied to me.
I decided to find out the prices for the 3 month membership and was SHOCKED to find out that each month is more expensive than a month at NYSC. That’s right. Strive is charging members a higher price for a small club with no classes & no amenities than NYSC charges for big clubs with individual TVs, locations all over the city, amenities, classes, etc. What a major ripoff. I really hope some of their members find this post and switch to NYSC. Even Crunch Gym is cheaper than Strive – and they are famous for all their unique classes!
I’m not saying anything is wrong with a gym that isn’t fancy. I’m not a snob. I just think that a less fancy gym should charge less fancy prices.
I told her that I was paying less at NYSC. Malou shrugged. I walked out. Malou did not try to make me any better offer. I went home with a bad taste in my mouth and pulled up the Strive website. Just to double check.
I sent them an email using their contact form and pasted the one month trial text. I explained I was in there earlier and was told this offer doesn’t exist, and I asked why they advertise it on their website. I never heard back.
*Update: In a Google search of Strive, I found this case study from their web developer. As stated here, “I worked closely with the owners to create a clean and welcoming design aimed at attracting a wide audience.” So it is confirmed: the owners DO know the text on their website. They just don’t feel like honoring it.
I don’t like to bash businesses that are just trying to survive in a very expensive city, but I have no tolerance for blatant deception like this. I was willing to pay Strive a fair price for one or even three months. The owners at Strive don’t seem to care about standing by their offers or running an honest business. They don’t know who I am or that I’d write about their horrible customer service on the intertubes for everyone researching New York City gyms to see.
But they should treat every customer as if he or she writes a fitness blog. Because you never know who just might.