Thursday, 17 March 2011
This review was sent in to me by Steve Bailey, a Fitness First Member who lives in Shepherd's Bush, and who thinks it is the 'worst gym in London' - harsh indeed. Here's his view:
The toilets some time overflow onto the men's room floor. We dry off after a shower with the hairdryers when there are no towels as happens too often. The general manager calls the men's dressing room ``a disgrace.''
Welcome to Fitness First at Shepherds Bush, London's worst gym.
Going to the gym should be an enjoyable experience. Too often it is not at Shepherds Bush Fitness First.
Here's what I have found in my six months as a member: The showers smell and many of the soap dispensers and shelves are missing from the walls. The sinks are broken and never fixed. The area around the toilets and the urinal are some times covered in towels or newspapers to catch the overflow. The walls are mildewed. Most of the lockers do not have hangers for your coat. Towels are often not available. And more.
``I completely agree with you that the state of the men's changing room & maintenance is a disgrace,'' the General Manager wrote me in an e-mail on Feb. 2.
I can't speak for the women's room, but we in the men's dressing have become the brotherhood of the miserable. ``London's worst gym,'' I grumbled one recent morning as I used the hairdryer to dry off yet again because there were no towels. ``London's cheapest gym,'' another member offered. ``If you think it is bad in the morning, you should see it in the afternoon,'' said a third. Longtime members tell me the gym has gone downhill steadily over the last five years. If a service business depends on word of mouth, the word of mouth is about as bad as it gets at Shepherds Bush.
It doesn't have to be this way. I use the Fitness First at Covent Garden every Sunday while my daughter goes to dance. The facility is very nice. The men's room has cut flowers and a deodorizer on the sink. The only things that smell are the weightlifters. Everything works. Amazing.
I've gone to gyms for years and never experienced any as bad as the men's room at Shepherds Bush. I continue to go and hope for changes only because of the proximity to my home; unless the gym is close by, I won't use it. And as I said, the gym should be an enjoyable experience, good for mind and body.
The problems come down to two words: management and investment. Both are inadequate at Shepherds Bush.
Fitness First should either fix or close its facility at Shepherds Bush. It is providing a poor service to its paying customers and damaging its corporate brand. Fix Fitness First.
It does seem to be Fitness First, Service Last at the moment. One has to hope they fix things soon. Reading between the lines I think the old manager was given the boot which is why it's under new management and to be fair to new manager Marius I don't think he is under any illusions about the scale of the challenges the gym faces - but I'm not sure he understands how soon people are going to just start cancelling their memberships rather than wait for things to get fixed. It really has gone downhill in a big way.
Posted by Chris Underwood at 07:00