Saturday, April 3, 2010

Like Signing a Contract with the Devil

Obamacare kind of reminds me of signing a contract with Bally's Total Fitness. You walk in and are impressed by what you see and you want to know more. You get taken on a tour by this handsome fit male or beautiful trim and athletic female while they tell you all the things the facility has to offer you. You're impressed but you're still not quite sure.

Then you're taken into a small room where the buff male or athletic female sits in front of you and almost takes an aggressive stance as they "ask" how they can get you started and how you're going to pay. They then show you the different tiers of membership, each of them more unjustifiably expensive than the next. You have your reservations and would like to get some literature so you can take it home and think on it. It's then that your tour guide becomes exasperated and calls someone else in who has a smile on their face but is no less aggressive.

Both representatives then proceed to grill you on how this may be the best thing you ever do for yourself, that it needs to get started NOW, that you really don't need any other information because it's just that simple, and how you don't need to go home and sleep on it because if you do, you'll never come back and you'll only get worse and by then it'll be too late. Ok, under all that pressure, you sign the contract...

The money begins to be taken out of your account every month, but you come to find out that you are limited to only one club, or a few. You begin to notice that the facilities are not as impressive as you once thought, and that some of them were downright DISGUSTING, complete with locker room thefts and people who don't do their party by cleaning up after themselves.

Well, now life begins to happen. You have to work late, you have kids to take care of, you get sick, or you're just tired. You begin to go less and less until you're maybe going once a month if at all. But, the money is still coming out. Enough to buy you a tank or two of gas. You decide you want to cancel. You scour your contract to see how you can do it and damn near need a 100x magnifying glass to find the cancellation clause. Sure, you can cancel, but you'll have to provide PROOF that you've moved, been handicapped or incapacitated, or DIED. You try to call corporate but can NEVER contact a human being. They don't even give you the options you're looking for, only if you want to join or renew your contract. You could try to send them correspondence through the mail, but good luck trying to verify that it actually reached a human being and was acknowledged.

Next you decide to just stop paying and you remove your payment information. Now, this is when you hear from a human being! You come to find your account has been turned over to collections and the delinquent item is now on your credit report. You're harrassed relentlessly until you finally pay the account off. So, in the end, you have a delinquency on your credit report, which killed your credit score; you paid over $1,000 for a service you barely ever used and could not cancel when you no longer wanted to use it. You are out about $1,400 and have NOTHING to show for it. And what's more, its negative effects will affect you for at least 7 years.

No comments:

Post a Comment