Customer for Life
Gary Lemke, Chief Customer Advocate
(May 31, 2012)
"Even death can't cancel a Gold's Gym membership."
As you might expect, I receive quite a few customer experience stories (both positive and negative) but this opening sentence in an email from a CRMAdvocate reader had my immediate and full attention.
The reader's father, a member of Gold’s Gym, suffered a critical illness and he was on life support. With original Power of Attorney documentation in-hand, she asked that his Gold’s Gym membership be cancelled as he was not going to be able to return to the gym. The request was denied with the explanation that “he had to come in personally to do that.” "What part of life support is not clear?"
Unfortunately her father has since passed away. She contacted Gold’s Gym again this time with the father’s official death certificate asking that current charges be removed. They said they would not take back the current charges because my father did not give them a 30-day notice. "I don’t know which is worse…asking my father to come in and cancel his membership while he is on life support, or saying they have to charge my dad’s account because he did not give 30 day notice that he was going to die."
Is that anyway to think about "customers for life?" Posthumous retention is no strategy. Sorry Gold's Gym, I think your customer experience practices need review.
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