Customer Service Fail: New York Sports Club

Going to war with your customers should be a sign that you’re doing something wrong. I’m looking at you New York Sports Club (NYSC). 

If you want to watch television while you work out at NYSC, your headphones must be plugged into the remote control’s audio jack. If you turn on the TV without headphones plugged in, it will quickly shut off. I’m pretty sure this was done to save money on electric bills because before this was implemented, most TVs were always left on.

But this system breaks the ability to watch TV while listening to music. Sure, you can bring two sets of headphones, but having now lost 3 such extra sets because I forgot to grab them when I finished exercising, I’m done with that idea. Fortunately, there is a work-around. You can:

  1. Plug your headphones into the remote
  2. Turn on the TV
  3. Unplug the TV from the remote
  4. Unplug your headphones

Voila, the TV is on, and it won’t go off. Until recently that is. Over the last year, NYSC has been installing a tamper proof lock on their remotes such that you cannot unplug the remote from the television.

So, in response to a work-around for their lousy system, NYSC has escalated a war on customers by preventing them from exercising the way they want to. Whatever happened to “The customer is always right?”

I think NYSC needs to take a hard look in the mirror and realize that they’ve installed the wrong system. There are plenty of good alternatives:

  • Don’t worry about energy efficiency
  • Make the TV auto-shutoff tied to whether or not the machine is in use (not the headphone jack)
  • Have the auto-shutoff kick in after 15 minutes instead of 15 seconds. I wouldn’t mind having to turn the TV on once or twice a workout.

Instead, they have chosen to make their customers feel like criminals, locked out of working out the way they want to.