When a pregnant woman in the U.K. tried to get out of her contract with her local LA Fitness gym, the company told her that even though her husband had lost his job, it would not be letting her out of her contract.
The Guardian got involved and LA Fitness agreed to a compromise.
This wasn’t good enough for many.
Cue the Twitterati!
According to Gordon MacMillan, who writes about the ordeal at the Wall Blog, “The gym has done untold damage to its reputation in social media as Twitter users calling for people to cancel their membership in protest.”
Several people tweeted at LA Fitness about plans to boycott, etc. Eventually, LA Fitness relented. No brand wants to be associated with ripping off pregnant ladies with unemployed husbands.
But how lasting and impactful are these social media gaffes? Will LA Fitness really take a big financial hit because a handful of people berated them into acquiescence?
It will go down as another example for marketing insiders of how not to treat customers, and the gym will lose a few members and maybe take short-term hits in the brand reputation department.
For some, the response was too little too late. But at least they responded appropriately in the end. Because for the vast majority fitness enthusiasts around the world, this story never entered their consciousness.