'The facilities are shocking!' Unhappy Northampton gym members take to social media to complain
Many unhappy members at a Northampton gym have taken to social media to publicly vent their frustrations about a range of issues.
On a post by Virgin Active, users have complained about pools being closed during the school holidays, neglected facilities, overcrowding and the price at Northampton's branches.
The gym at Riverside Retail Park came under specific criticism, with people saying they have cancelled their memberships over the issues, but queries about the one at Collingtree Park were also aired.
Penny Etheridge wrote on the promotional post from July 5: "I’ve just done a spin class at your Riverside gym in Northampton!
"No aircon and heat to a ridiculous and dangerous level! I’ve told the manager as I’m told others did yesterday about the 36-degree heat in the studio!
"There’s a heart attack, asthma attack or someone simply fainting and falling off of a bike waiting to happen!
"On your heads be it, start spending money on your members! DON’T say you as a business wasn’t told."
On July 5, Virgin Active UK posted on its Facebook page: "Find Your Feel Good At Virgin Active. Sign up today, 15% Off 12 Month Memberships, No Joining Fee, T&Cs apply.
So far, 70 comments have been made, with the majority of them criticising the state of the Virgin Active gyms in Northampton.
Virgin Active replied to most people asking them to message it privately with their concerns but did give a more detailed response to some complainants.
Sarah Etheridge wrote: "Virgin, why are you private messaging people? Transparency is needed here. The facilities are shocking, I’d personally never use the showers as they’re terrible, air conditioning also shocking.
"Maybe when someone either hurts themselves or passes out will something get done!!! It seems all you’re interested in is new members or Collingtree members.
"Why can they be allowed to book Riverside classes and fill them up, that’s why we can’t get in the classes. Yet you keep putting fees up and we’re restricted on using Collingtree facilities."
In reply, Virgin Active wrote: "Hi Sarah, the Northampton Collingtree membership includes access to Northampton Riverside. In order to get access to Collingtree, you will need to upgrade your membership.
"We understand that you are dissatisfied with the club and we are currently looking into the issues raised about the facilities so we can improve the experience for members. - Paresha."
Peter Molloy posted: "Cancelled my membership at Riverside Northampton treated very bad when I wanted to change my direct debit account said I had to rejoin poorly maintained showers and changing rooms can't get into the classes overcrowded surprised you need new members and that you carry the Virgin brand name."
In response to being asked to message Virgin Active privately, he added: "Just letting people know what they are spending their hard-earned cash on.
"I suggest you get you get a couple of maintenance guys in there to sort out the issues and maybe a manager that cares."
Andy Hill commented: "Virgin don’t care about members just money!" And Esther Stimpson wrote: "I looked into family membership at Northampton, to be told that family membership is 2 adults and 1 child, with no discount being offered for larger families."
Fiona Bailey summed up the gripes: "I pay £90 a month for my membership and my two children. Over the summer holidays, I can only use the creche for two hours a day. And the swimming pools are closed for the majority of the holidays.
"The creche and the pools are the only services my kids have access to. However, no financial concession has been offered."
She added: "You are also advertising four hours of free childcare a day. However, at Riverside we are only allowed to book two hours throughout the holidays... the only time when school age children realistically would be booked in for four hours.
"This is actually false advertising and needs to be stopped immediately or allow parents to book four hours during the holidays which is being advertised."
The comments are not just reserved for Facebook, with Neil Slinn tweeting: "@VirginActiveUK #Riverside #Northampton have allowed all their great PTs / class instructors to leave. Now a crap gym."
A Virgin Active spokesperson said: “At Virgin Active, we are constantly listening to our members about our services and we will continue to listen around how they would like us to improve the facilities at Virgin Active.
"We are sorry to hear that some members have had negative experiences, this is being assessed at the highest level and will feedback to those affected in due course.”