I’ve been a member of Bally Fitness for about 7 years now. For the first 3 years, I spent about $46 per month, and I think I got some of my money’s worth, at least with the amount of racquetball I played. After the first 3 years, though, my rate went to a promotional level of $8 per month. Same goes with Stacie’s plan, but it went to $11 per month instead.
Each year, I get an email or letter from Bally Fitness telling me they’re bumping my rate up 10%, which was part of the promotion, and I can “lock in” a special rate if I prepay for the whole year. In past years, they’ve actually given up to a 15% discount, but I never took it thinking I would cancel the plan that year. But we’ve found it hard to justify cancelling when we pay about $27/mth COMBINED for our gym memberships (mine is around $11 now and Stacie is up to about $16). Also, my last employer paid for half of my premium (all of it had I stayed there more than 3 years). However, we’ve mostly just been “donating to the Bally church” by only attended “workout mass” once every 3 months or so. Now that my new employer has a free, decent, on-site gym and showers, I’m really considering cancelling though.
But I got an email this week from Bally Fitness announcing yet another rate increase AND a special offer. SEE IF YOU CAN SPOT THE POOR MARKETING OF THIS OFFER:
Thank you for being a loyal member of Bally Total Fitness. We value your membership.
As operating costs continue to rise, modest increases in monthly dues rates are necessary.* Because you’re a valued Bally Total Fitness member, you deserve preferred savings. That’s why we’re giving you the opportunity to save when you lock in your current low rate for one year. You can continue to take advantage of the latest brand-name equipment and an amazing variety of the best group exercise classes!
If you decide not to take advantage of this special offer, then you will continue to enjoy the benefits of electronic funds transfer for your monthly dues payments. In accordance with your membership agreement, your monthly dues will be $12.10. Your dues adjustment date: 5/15/2009. The electronic funds transfers will continue until you notify us to change your payment method.
Your special membership offer:
One year for $145.20.