Friday, February 21, 2014

Everybody hates the Washington Sports Club in DCUSA


It seems like the Washington Sports Club in our neighborhood is almost universally hated. I've heard bad things from friends and acquaintances who go, but then I decided to check out the Yelp reviews -- and yikes. Not good.

The place has an average of 2.5 stars out of 5, and it seems to be worse lately -- almost every review from the past few months is 1 or 2 stars (you can't give zero) with a lot of similarities -- people complain about hidden fees, like a $40 "rate lock fee" that you automatically pay to keep your rate from changing, and other cancellation fees and getting charged for training sessions they never took. Folks complain they aren't told about these fees and have a terrible time trying to get them fixed, getting the runaround on the phone and with management.

People also report unfriendly staff (at best) and lots of broken machines -- wear and tear is to be expected at a popular place like this, but people report machines being broken for a long time. One reviewer described it as the "McDonald's of gyms," meaning that you shouldn't expect much, which is kind of funny -- though I feel like a trip to McDonald's at 3 am on a Friday night would be more fun than many of these reviews.

One person even mentioned birthday clubs for kids, which is kind of bizarre -- and actually does even sound like McDonald's. I hope they get those Mickey D's character animal crackers that they gave away, those were pretty tasty.

It sounds like our area is ripe for another gym, since the only other one nearby I can think of is Vida at 16th and U and then the personal training on farther down 14th.

Have you used this WSC? What do you think? Any other gym suggestions?

21 comments:

Anonymous said...

http://fit360dc.com/

http://www.yelp.com/biz/fit-360-dc-washington-2

IsmeSon said...

I guess the WSC has little incentive to improve because there's no immediate competition in its immediate proximity. We really need another gym alternative here!

Hidden fees are practically standard business practice for the WSC. I was WSC member ages ago, like in the late 90s, but got soured by their shananigans and parted ways. Been a member of another gym ever since. I wish Results would open another location in CH but it looks like they keep downsizing, so it seems unlikely. ;-/

Anonymous said...

I was satisfied with WSC until I decided not to re-new my contract. I gave the proper notice for my contract to end on Jan. 15. Then I got a $40 "rate lock / maintenance fee" assessed on Jan. 1. WSC refused to refund the fee even though there was documentation that my membership was ending in two weeks.

I tried to move my complaint up the chain of command, but customer service REFUSED to connect me with a more senior employee. So shady...

Fairmont st said...

Been a member for 2 years. The $40 annual fee is in the contract and they told me about it when I signed up. Seems like people are looking for things to complain about. Of course locker rooms are going to be messier during peak hours, people are slobs! I've seen people clean boots in the sinks and throw towels in the trash. My only real complaint is that the weights have gotten lighter after 2 years...bro

Best Addiego Bristol Bay Lodge Fishing Alaska said...

Beware: charges $40 every January, in addition to your monthly dues, irrespective of your contract length and rate.

Anonymous said...

I recently cancelled my membership, and to do so I had to send a certified letter. Between that and the contract they require, it guarantees I'll never be back.

Their whole business model is based on endlessly signing up new people, knowing most will go a few times and stop going, but also not bother to deal with the complications of canceling. It pretty much ensures they'll never devote much attention to actually making it a nice place to work out.

Shawn said...

Worst gym ever. Not only is equipment frequently broken, and pool disgusting (once counted several bandaids on the bottom), but staff are rude and lazy. It's not unusual for it to open an hour late because staff didn't show up. When I went to cancel, had to wait for manager, who showed up 40 min after he was due in.

Any decent competition in the area and this gym will go out of business. There whole business model seems to be trying to be the bare minimum gym people will tolerate.

Original Disorder said...

I am a member of the Cohi WSC, but find myself traveling to the one downtown (1211 CT Ave) or at Gallery Place. The Cohi one is simply too busy ALL of the time, which leads to all of the other complaints seen on Yelp.My biggest complaint, however, is that the trainers have no regard for the space they are using with their clients--often taking up several pieces of equipment or space as they do their circuits. I only go the one there if I'm in a real hurry and can't get to Dupont or GP.

Anonymous said...

I'm so grateful I cancelled my membership there. Such an awful place.

On top of everything, my roommate was going shopping at Target one day and was poked in the gut by one the sales people from WSC, who then told her she needed to get to the gym. It was absolutely disgusting and absurd.

Anonymous said...

If you are into the classes, the spin classes at the new Y are terrible, the spin classes at the Columbia Heights WSC gym are pretty good, and I would say some of their teachers/classes are on equal footing to the private spin studios. and they just replaced all those bikes about a year ago...

Anonymous said...

Just saw this post...and this place is just as bad as it is made out to be. It's busy all the time, unkempt and staff is kinda indifferent. I'm a WSC passport member...the DCUSA location is very close to me...I intentionally bypass it and go to either chinatown or 1200 CT ave...I don't own a car so it's a "hassle" (not really) to go to those two, but I would rather schlep downtown, sometimes walking right past the DCUSA location.

Anonymous said...

I went in to inquire about signing up and had a really enthusiastic young lady convince me to sign up because she was going to "hook me up" with the Federal Government employee discount and allow me the regional passport permissions without charging me the extra monthly price of $100 vs. $70 per month. I took the bait but she didn't stop to explain any of the details behind the "pause" contract process. I clearly stated to her that I travel outside of the CONUS for long periods of time for work and so the "pause" seemed convenient. It's $15 a month. Furthermore, regardless of when in the year you begin your contract, as of 1st of January every year you will be charged an additional $40 to "lock in your rate". However, my monthly rate was raised $4 a month in the middle of last year with no explanation. So much for paying $40 a month to lock-in my rate.... BEWARE of the extra fees before you join WSC.

Anonymous said...

I have a love-hate relationship w/WSC ColHeights. I've been a member for 3 years. Their palates instructor is outstanding - I've never found a better one, though they only offer the class twice per week on Tu and Th nights. i signed up due to that class and the pool. So few affordable gyms have pools and I'm limited in exercises I can due due to knee operations. My gripes are 1) several months after I signed up they opened the pool up to kids, and adults already share lanes 2 to 3 people each in a very very small shallow pool (25 mtrs, 4 feet deep). They promote kids swim classes, which take away one of the four lanes. Swim classes are nearly free all over the city at nice city pools, and a Y is down the block. I signed up for an adult gym. The Y is really better for kids/families. And, 2) I signed up for a trainer who was really nice but then his manager charged me for a class after I canceled. I don't remember them requiring a 30 day notice when I signed up for exactly 3 sessions, no more. i hope someone else opens up a gym that is affordable in the area so at least this WSC has some competition and shapes up a bit.

Anonymous said...

I have a love-hate relationship w/WSC ColHeights. I've been a member for 3 years. Their palates instructor is outstanding - I've never found a better one, though they only offer the class twice per week on Tu and Th nights. i signed up due to that class and the pool. So few affordable gyms have pools and I'm limited in exercises I can due due to knee operations. My gripes are 1) several months after I signed up they opened the pool up to kids, and adults already share lanes 2 to 3 people each in a very very small shallow pool (25 mtrs, 4 feet deep). They promote kids swim classes, which take away one of the four lanes. Swim classes are nearly free all over the city at nice city pools, and a Y is down the block. I signed up for an adult gym. The Y is really better for kids/families. And, 2) I signed up for a trainer who was really nice but then his manager charged me for a class after I canceled. I don't remember them requiring a 30 day notice when I signed up for exactly 3 sessions, no more. i hope someone else opens up a gym that is affordable in the area so at least this WSC has some competition and shapes up a bit.

Ros G said...

I had my wsc membership placed on hold for a month (Aug '15). When I
Returned in Sept '15, my auto pymt had ceased and I owed them $15.00 then and there. It's crazy. They need serious management in the cooperate office.

Ros G said...

I had my wsc membership placed on hold for a month (Aug '15). When I
Returned in Sept '15, my auto pymt had ceased and I owed them $15.00 then and there. It's crazy. They need serious management in the cooperate office.

Ros G said...

I had my wsc membership placed on hold for a month (Aug '15). When I
Returned in Sept '15, my auto pymt had ceased and I owed them $15.00 then and there. It's crazy. They need serious (new) management in the cooperate office.

Anonymous said...

For some reason only one person can cancel a membership. After going in person and on the phone twice, this special person is always "busy" and will get back to me. Okay. I just want to cancel my membership this is Comcast level bad service.

Malestrom said...

They practice bigotry.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bg5EAmQesdM

Christs' disciple said...

a minority employee, working in a hostile environment full of bigotry @ Wash Sports Club, caught on film: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dlr0bVw6S38

vr-blonde vr-blonde said...

I agree. this gym is practically a joke