Monday, November 11, 2013

How to save money joining L.A. Fitness

Way back in January 2011, I wrote a blog post about how I had saved $25 joining L.A. Fitness, and I advised readers how they could do it too. To my surprise, this post went viral, and over the next two and a half years it garnered 57,000 hits – a ton for my little blog.

I wrote three more posts on the L.A. Fitness deal and together they became – by far – the most viewed items on my blog.  Everybody, it seemed, liked to save money joining L.A. Fitness.

Still, I sensed that this was about more than dollars. For many people, the biggest negative of L.A. Fitness is the process of joining it. People who walk into a club for the first time are too often met with high-pressure and manipulative sales tactics. Nobody likes that. So when my blog pointed out a way to join online – and save money, too – people jumped.

Update on this topic: Want a deal on joining L.A. Fitness? Call Paul
But in September 2013, the party came to end. It seemed that the discount I was pointing readers to had become TOO popular.  L.A. Fitness changed the system and the discount codes on my blog no longer worked. In case there was any doubt, an anonymous reader posted this comment:

“You'll never have this bull shit working again and I am the one that reported this to corp. All you're doing is costing hard working sales people commissions and devaluing our company. These gyms are worth more than this you prick.”

And in case you were wondering how L.A. Fitness sales reps feel about members, the commenter posted this:

“Hahaha suckers we changed our friends and family discount ! No more whored out unauthorized rates to the unfit. Pay up now fatties!”

Another post from someone claiming to work for L.A. Fitness confirmed that the system had changed and told people not to try to get discounts. “The prices are set for a reason,” it said.

Sure, the prices are set for a reason: To maximize L.A. Fitness’s profit. But that doesn’t mean that potential members should just roll over and accept the first rate they’re offered. Smart consumers know it’s worthwhile to seek out discounts and negotiate for a better price.

The codes no longer work, but some folks have started posted helpful tips on my blog that may aid you in getting a better deal with L.A. Fitness. I can’t promise you that these will work, but they’re worth considering:

“Always go to a gym to sign up at the end of any month. Just like any business, they need to reach their quota for membership signups. All sales people are under the gun to generate their numbers. They know the lowest rates they can give and will be more than happy to give them to you because they just want to keep their job and could care less about the corporation. I used to work at a gym so just giving a heads up. No need to worry about finding codes and all this nonsense, just go in on the last day of the month.”

I went in an negotiated and negotiated and ended up getting $0 initiation fee and $20 a month for 3 family members, but it's only for one location. That's okay for us, because it's the closest one to our house, and we don't like driving all over to try out different gyms.”

“I used a guest pass and went there. Later the reps offered me $29.99 with $50 initiation, i told him i want no initiation fee and if he cant give me i have a sister who can add me into her membership for $29.99 only. He agreed and gave me the deal no initiation, multi club. This is at garden grove, ca.”

“here is what I did which worked. call them at (949)255-8100 and ask to talk to sales. tell them you want to join and they will pitch you on the $29.99 per month with the $99 initiation fee. Ask them if they can waive the fee, they will say yes for $39.99 per month with no initial fee. tell them you are ready to join today if they offer you $29.99 per month and no initiation fee or you are not going to join and ask them to text you the code. this worked for me time to hit the gym!”

“I just followed the blog and was going to sign up for me and my son. At first they would not do it, but then they offered to waive one of the fees. I told them I was ready to sign up today for both, either both of us without the fees or neither of us would join. They agreed and we both were signed up with just first and last months payment up front and no fees.”

“So my church is getting ready to open up a fitness center in Dec. I just enrolled in membership $29.99 mth and they waived the initiation fee. However my church is about 20-30 mins away I thought do I really want to drive that far everyday just to work out. There is LA fitness 2 mins away from me that has everything my church fitness center will have except rock climbing wall which I thought LA Fitness would be more expensive until doing my research. After reading this I figured I can try to get the same deal that my church is offering. So I just called the number and I was transferred to a location within my state I'm guessing because of my phone number. The lady I spoke with is Kay she was wonderful. Gave me $29.99mth no contract, no enrollment fee, any location I want to go to, and all I have to do is pay for 1st and last mth $59.98. She processed everything over the phone I just had to scan and email her back the paper work.”

One last thought: To be successful in any negotiation, you have to be ready to walk away. So before you make contact with L.A. Fitness, consider what you will do if they simply say no to your discount request. Walk out? Hang up?  Go join another club?

See also: "Want a deal on an L.A. Fitness membership? Ask Kay"

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  1. Thanks for this post. I tried the tricks in the old one, but they didn't work, so I followed the advice above. Called, and the negotiation went exactly as above: 1st offer: $30/month + $99 initiation. I asked to waive initiation, he said ok, $40 + no initiation. I said if they do $30 month + no initiation, I'll sign up today. He said he can do that, just for one club.

    For the signature club, I followed similar steps and we went from $54/month to $40/month/no initiation. The deal is good "today only" of course :)

  2. the friends and family page still works is it a matter of getting the right code?or will none of the codes ever work? from what i have heard those codes are the people that work there ID.

  3. I am trying to sign up at a LA Fitness in Bloomington, Minnesota. I received an email with three options: high fee/ low monthly ($20 per month), med fee/ med monthy ($30), and no fee/ high monthly ($40). Will see if I can try what many had listed about to get the $0 for $30/mth.

    Then I called the rep that I had been working with, they will not waive the initiation fee for me, but in turn offered me to pay upfront for 18 months at $30 per month. Then have the option to pay $249 for each subsequent year. That's actually a pretty smart pricing strategy, but from a consumer point of view I am not buying it. I will hold out until they give me the deal I want.

  4. i went in with a guest pass, the guy said if i chose to sign up on that day, he'd wave the initiation fee and it'll be $29.99/month nation wide (not including signature clubs). i ended up signing up a month later for the same thing for $24.99/month instead of $29.99/month, still no initiation fee. They gave it to me because the triathlon club i am in has affiliations with LA fitness.

  5. I just signed up in Ga and I only paid first and last month for a total of $59.

  6. I am paying $29 per month, with only first and last month required. I used my Blue Cross Blue Shield medical insurance. They have some type of discount in each state I have lived in. Check with your health providers or ask someone who has a discount that this that does not go. You get two vouchers per household.

  7. Don't look for promo code or call corporate! Save your time!
    JUST SIMPLY CALL MR. PAUL at 786-312-8299. He doesn't play number games. He cuts to the chase and give you a lowest membership fee with NO initiation fee. This guy is so nice, honest and down to earth! Even after I signed up with him, he still cared enough to give me good advice about how to work out effeciently.
    It doesn't matter where / which state you live in. He can sign up anybody!

  8. AAA has a special for its members. No initiation, $29.95/mo. All clubs, all states except Signature Clubs. Does not include add ons like court and swim. Log in to AAA website, search LA Fitness discount and a link will go to an enrollment page.