Heaven in hell

The other day, I canceled an LA Fitness membership that was created in 2010. I haven’t set foot inside an LA Fitness in four years, and I didn’t realize I was still paying for it until I took a close look at my credit card statement last week.

Before we proceed, let me make a couple things clear:

  1. I fully appreciate the fact that my finances are my responsibility.
  2. This was a preventable situation and I’m the only one who can be blamed.


When I moved away from Atlanta (where I was living in 2010) I canceled my membership. Through their creative customer-screwing policy, you apparently have to cancel your membership at every location at which service was initiated.

For me, this means that canceling my membership (by mailing a form of course, because doing it over the phone or Internet would result in more people actually doing it) at the location where I first signed up was not enough. There was another membership for the location near where I worked in 2010.

So I’ve paid about $1,250 or so since then.

Again, rage.

I was out running errands on Saturday when I remembered to swing by an LA Fitness so the operations manager could handle this, and I gave them a ring to let them know I was on the way (and really, to ensure that someone who could help me was on the premises). The gentleman informed me that the operations manager was only there during the week, so the best they could do is print me out the membership cancelation form to mail in.


When I walked in a few minutes later, the gentleman had looked up my account and printed the form with my name and customer number on it, which meant that all I needed to do was put a stamp on this form and mail it off.

A small gesture, sure, but this is still what I would call excellent service. [Why make it easy for me? Their $35/mo Willie Jackson gravy train was about to be (angrily) derailed.]

I had spent the past few days thinking and saying things about LA Fitness that I wouldn’t want printed or repeated in polite company, yet my first (and last) interaction with them in four years was stellar.

The irony was not lost on me.

Draw from this what you will, I don’t know whether to tell the guy he should be working for a company whose business model is not fundamentally corrupt, to call his manager to praise him, or if I should find a different use for this story.

Willie Jackson is a Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) Consultant & Facilitator with ReadySet, a boutique consulting firm based in the San Francisco Bay Area. He is a frequent writer and speaker on the topics of workplace equity, global diversity, and inclusive leadership. Connect on LinkedIn or get in touch.