Thursday, June 13, 2024

David Lloyd members claim clubs now ‘more like Benidorm’

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Members at posh David Lloyd clubs across the UK say they have been infiltrated by naked yobs and loud farters treating the clubs ‘like Benidorm’.

They claim the issue comes from the fitness club’s liberal use of temporary offers, which give non-members two weeks of access to a club’s facilities for either £14 or £20, a fraction of the price offered to full-time members who can pay more than £200 a month. David Lloyd dispute this, saying the two-week access costs between £20 and £200.

Members are said to dread the special offer period and have reported assaults, thefts and general intimidation, particularly in the spa area, reports the Times.

One member, David Crutchlow, from Rugby, told the Times he has been subjected to several unpleasant incidents and has told the gym he joined in August that he wants to end his £208-per-month contract. David Lloyd has however said they do not offer short-tern trial memberships in Rugby.

He said the first incident involved a group of five or six “aggressive” men in their early twenties loudly passing wind in the sauna before jostling around the entrance to block people from leaving.

Mr Crutchlow told the paper: “The spa in the evening is almost a no-go area for full-time members.

“On the big issues it’s been getting worse: lots of talking, use of mobile phones, people sat in pants in the sauna, lots of undesirables around.”

He also said different young men were running around the changing room naked, taking items from other members and throwing them in the shower. Mr Crutchlow said he had also seen people setting off alarms, filming in the spa and pushing others into the cold plunge pool.

This week it culminated in him approaching a group of four people making excessive noise in the Jacuzzi. 

He says he told them: “Come on, this is a relaxation area, can we have some quiet?” After they responded with abuse, Mr Crutchlow, 45, went to get the manager. 

He said: “I don’t know if he spoke to them or not but they stayed in there [the spa], following us from room to room, sat just staring at us and as I left they pushed me in the changing room where there is no CCTV. I’ve not been back since.”

Mr Crutchlow has since logged a complaint on his David Lloyd app, comparing the situation to “school bullies”.

Oliver Newell, 27, who pays £143 a month for his membership in Southampton, which most recently did the £20 deal in February told the Times members feared the special offer. 

He said: “The clientele the trial attracts are the ones who don’t know how to use anything, they swag about thinking they are someone special and with that comes real disrespect. 

“The towels go missing, the free weights are never put back properly and equipment is never cleaned down. There’s been damage done to people’s cars in the car park, theft happens.”

He said he had complained in December, but was told the trials were an “important part of growing the membership base”.

A spokesman for David Lloyd clubs told the Times its trials were limited to a certain number of people and reiterated it had high standards of behaviour. David Lloyd also told the Express they do not offer short-term memberships in February.

He said: “We do a small number of trials each year to give members the chance to share the club with their friends and family. All trials have limited spaces available based on how busy each club is and we offer different price points dependent on the club facilities. 

“Our expectations for behaviour for all users of our clubs are high, and any concerns are addressed quickly and taken seriously. We ask our members to let us know about any issues.”

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