Anytime Fitness - Banned after submitting a negative review about unathorized baby in the gym

I posted the following review on Yelp -

and was subsequently banned from their facility.

Prior to leaving this review, I addressed my issue with CarolAnn Fitzpatrick (co-owner) over 2 months ago.

This gym is owned by Jeremy and CarolAnn Fitzpatrick. We were members for over a year. Everything was fine until personal trainer Susannah had a baby and decided to bring her infant (now toddler) child to the gym with her while she works with clients. This child is a normal child, screaming at the top of his lungs while I am trying to do Yoga.

The official policy of the gym is that members are not allowed to bring in guests without authorization from the gym owners. So why are personal trainers allowed to bring their children while they work with clients (and are getting paid)?

We sent CarolAnn and Jeremy Fitzpatrick an email the first time this incident happened and the response was, "we have spoken to Susannah previously regarding having her baby at her Training sessions…we have told her that she may need to cancel her PT classes if there is continuous crying or some other disorder in the gym."

Over 2 months after my initial email, the rules continue to be broken by personal trainer, Susannah.

I posted this review on Yelp and promptly received the following email from Anytime Fitness

Congratulations Caroline! By your actions today, you have succeeded in exploiting a child and shown how belittling and intolerant you are of others! If that was your goal you have certainly succeeded. The mother of the child whose picture you posted on a public website did not give you permission to take the picture. That is called exploitation of a minor.

Also, the comments you wrote on FB were entirely unnecessary. We noticed you had already transferred to another gym. This is no longer your home gym. Please do not try to return. You key fob has now been blocked.

Others have brought your poor behavior to our attention on many occasions, and we have told them to overlook it. Perhaps we should have told them to post your tantrums on FB and YELP as well.

As for disturbing your yoga. If you are truly into yoga, you should be able to do it anywhere. That's what the discipline is for.

CarolAnn Denton-Fitzpatrick

CFO/Co-Owner, Fitzpatrick enterprises Fitness, Inc.

This review is a subjective opinion of a user.
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More Review Details

Diversity of Products or Services

Reason of review:
Poor customer service
Preferred solution:
Full refund
Monetary loss:
Product or service
Personal Trainer
Review category
Fitness Centers
review #531119

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Helpful? 32 Yes 32 4 No 4
Had the same issue 12 Yes 12
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Nov 05, 2015 #1058895

While I Don't think you should take pictures of other people's children without their permission, I would be upset about a child screaming while I was working out. I choose, and pay to go to the gym because I like to work out in a certain environment. If I wanted to work out around screaming kids, I would just go running in the park. Personally, instead of taking and posting a picture, which was unnecessary and rude, I would have just taken my business elsewhere.

5 1 Reply

Oct 08, 2015 #1044980

Wow I can't wait until you have kids I hope they are monsters and you see how hard it is! So sorry other people's real lives interrupt your freaking yoga

2 12 Reply

Feb 19 #1114671

You are really ignorant. A gym is no place for a freaking child! That's rude on the mother's part, no matter where she brings him, if he cannot act appropriately he shouldn't be there
Sounds like the gym owners are losing money and at the point of not caring anymore.
I had a membership at anytime fitness, I am so glad I cancelled it, the place was horrible, and the owners were always looking to add bogus charges

3 1 Reply

Sep 23, 2015 #1038054 Orange, California

According to other posters you were kicked out for threatening to harm the child if she did not keep quiet not because you complained, don't lie.

0 3 Reply

Mar 08, 2015 #955584 Columbus, Ohio

I am surprised at the poor way owners handle customers and issues is all I need to say.

10 0 Reply

Sep 23, 2015 #1038055

This is not the whole story, she is leaving things out, apparently she was kicked out for threatening to physically harm the child if she did not keep quiet.

0 6 Reply

Feb 21, 2015 #949199

Why doesn't the personal trainer put her kid in a daycare or babysitter when she goes to work like everybody else? I hated the fact that I had to spend $200 a week for childcare, especially since I had to pay even when he didn't attend or had holidays, but I paid it. Why does this woman get to take her kid to work?

16 0 Reply

Mar 15 #1127667

Wouldn't everyone's lives be improved if more employers were so flexible about children at work and people like the OP had more love in their hearts so you wouldn't have to pay $200 per week for childcare? US people and culture in general would be better if they were more child and family friendly.

1 1 Reply

Nov 12, 2014 #899346

I hope they charge you for exploiting an innocent child.

1 27 Reply

Mar 30, 2015 #965682

No, they cannot. Although it would seem they used that albeit false threat to get Yelp to remove the review.
Did the poster gain financially from posting the review & photo? In public- or publicly accessible places - such as restaurants or health clubs - one does not have any reasonable expectation of privacy. Even in a "private club", one does not have any such reasonable expectation in public areas.
"Exploitation" via photography means one person profits by the means of the use of the image another. The Word is not, in of itself, a bad thing: thence, phrases like "the exploitation of this motion picture."
The phraseology, as used by the work-out facility owner, was not advisable, and could be interpreted by many as an implicit threat to the poster to "shut up". The words "exploitation of a child" in conjunction with a photograph means another thing altogether, when coupled with a key word that's missing. Words, such as "exploitation", have specific legal meaning outside of everyday use. It is unwise to accuse a person of them, in writing, unless one is very sure of one's ground.
This is why it's not advisable to write emails such as the owner appears to have done, throwing legally meanfully & loaded words, without the advice of an attorney, especially if one insists on involving outside agencies such as Yelp, as they evidently did, since the review was pulled.

8 0 Reply

Sep 23, 2015 #1038056 Orange, California

She had no right to put the picture of the child online without the parents permission though and that is what she claimed got her banned, but other members have heard her making physical threats to a two year old and think that is what got her banned.

0 6 Reply

Nov 12, 2014 #899344

I get the child not being in the gym but you could have just left the club and joined another one. But instead You took a picture of an innocent child and posted it on the internet and you thought there would be no consequences?? Maybe you should think before you do ***, selfish stuff and you might not have been banned. But obviously they (including the innocent child) are better off without a loser like you around.

3 25 Reply

Oct 26, 2014 #890892

The owners replied to the Yelp review with this line clearly in the response: An additional Term of our Agreement stipulates that "The Club retains the right to modify these policies without warning". Our Club is a kid-friendly, family environment. We offer KidZ Zubma and many of our members workout alongside their kids of various ages, as long they are supervised by their parents.

3 7 Reply

Mar 30, 2015 #965701

"As long as they are supervised by their parents."
That's the key phrase. Was this child taking a class while his or her mother was teaching? If not, how could the mother possibly adequately supervise her child? If she were paying adequate attention to her child, how could she possibly adequately pay close enough attention to her class to assure no one injured his or herself because they were doing the exercises incorrectly?
If it's your policy that parents are permitted to bring their very young children to work, then you ought to provide daycare so that your employees are able to do their jobs without dividing their attention & thus potentially either inadvertently allowing harm to come to either their children or your clients.
Your self-righteous response does not make you come out smelling like a
rose. It sounds like you are failing to protect your employees, the physical safety of their children from the multitude of hazards inherent in a gym & your clients.

11 1 Reply

Oct 14, 2014 #884562

I couldn't believe this. Customer absolutely in the right. Gym employee trying to break the rules to suit themselves. I think the whole "exploitation" thing by posting a photo of a public place is silly, too. Is that pic going to keep the kid from getting a job someday? Seriously.
Still, it is privately owned, and the fine print on the contract probably doesn't guarantee the customer freedom from the noises of free range children; Here you would need to vote with your feet (and wallet), as you have done. You've helped others by posting here, so they are aware before they spend any money in a place that does business this way. Thank You.

30 0 Reply

Sep 17, 2014 #871473

Lesson Learned "Mind your own" Live Long.... stop taking pics and Reporting

4 22 Reply

Sep 08, 2014 #867341

Wow. I would have to agree mostly with the customer on this one, and I'm very familiar with the ATF policy on children. They DO NOT ALLOW it! Plain and simple. Employee or not. It is a safety hazard as well as a disruption to the environment. I do agree the picture should not have been posted publicly as respect for a minor, but other than that I don't see what you did wrong with trying to resolve the situation. This is a shame to the ATF brand to put members first for sure.

35 0 Reply

Sep 09, 2014 #867697

Without the picture, it's just a he said / she said. The kid shouldn't have been there in the first place!

30 0 Reply

Sep 09, 2014 #867765

Each location is equipped with multiple recording cameras. The owners could easily pull the footage to view the child themselves, or perhaps at least blur the child's face then no one has to be identified directly. The staff members have a very easy way to figure out idenity without such public documentation.

6 2 Reply

Sep 23, 2015 #1038058

True, but something she forgot to mention was she physically threatened that child and that is the reason she got kicked out.

0 8 Reply

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