This press release was provided by Noel Thompson. The Club Industry editorial staff was not involved in the creation of this content.
Gold’s Gym in Oxnard is reorganizing under Chapter 11 and will become Powerhouse Gym Sports Club with new ownership, giving the gym’s 8,500 members continued access to sports club facilities and preserving jobs for some 53 employees, Gold’s Oxnard franchise owner, Noel Thompson, announced today. The move also aims to resolve membership contract cancellation issues identified by the Ventura County District Attorney’s office.
All Oxnard Gold’s Gym contracts will become Powerhouse Gym memberships, and member access to facilities will be seamless, said Thompson. The change will not adversely affect members, and they all may keep their memberships as Powerhouse at no additional fees, or they may transfer their Gold’s memberships to another Gold’s Gym at no additional cost, Thompson noted.
The Ventura County District Attorney’s office recently filed a $75-million lawsuit alleging the Oxnard gym makes it difficult for members, including those in military service who are being deployed, to end or suspend their contracts.
Thompson, a veteran Sea Bee who served in the Gulf War, said he regrets any problems members may have had when trying to cancel a membership, and that he has worked cooperatively with the DA’s office for more than a year to resolve inconsistent customer service and back-office issues that affected the processing of some members’ contracts.
“We are in the long-term business of serving members and over our 20-year history, we have routinely processed literally thousands of contract cancellations smoothly and without complaints. I deeply regret that some of our members had difficult, negative experiences. Over the past year, we have made many changes to improve customer service procedures and we have more extensive employee training. We are committed to putting customer satisfaction and health foremost,” Thompson said.
Enhancements planned as Powerhouse include free Zumba, free kick boxing, Trx training and family add-ons for $10 per month. The club will have Social Icloud for online reviews and posts, and a new customer service web page for account updates and to request a membership freeze or cancellation. “No one else in the industry is doing this, and we hope to set a new high standard in the industry for transparency and accountability in customer service,” Thompson said.
“We have worked in full cooperation with the DA’s office to ensure our contracts meet the letter of the law, down to the font size of contract language. In addition, we have completely revamped our customer service procedures and policies to ensure a positive experience for our members who want to leave us for any reason,” Thompson said.
Other changes Thompson has made over the past year include closing the off-site corporate office where account requests were handled, and locating that office at the gym to enable better oversight and more convenience for members. He also hired more experienced and better-trained staff for back-office support. In addition, the gym now offers a month-to-month renewal agreement to enable easy cancellation.
Thompson, who opened Gold’s Gym 10 years ago, has been in business in Oxnard since 1994. “We’ve serviced tens of thousands of happy members over the years.” Currently his facility provides 33,000 workouts per month.
“We strive for all members to have complete satisfaction with their experience with our organization, even if they are cancelling membership. We regret any inconvenience anyone may have experienced during our 20 years in business,” Thompson said. “We very much look forward to all the new offerings the Powerhouse Sports Club licensing will bring to the great people of Oxnard.”