A bit of an incident occured at the David Lloyd Leisure Centre in Raynes Park last night which has raised a few concerns and a couple interesting discoveries... Locker theft appears to be rampant!
At around 8pm last night my mate Andy went for his usual gym workout, yes he has the motivation, I don't... he went to the change room, got changed, left all his belongings such as his wallet, car keys, iPhone etc in his bag and locked the locker with the combination lock provided by David Lloyds. He spent around 35-40mins in the gym area before deciding that he'd had enough. He went back to the change room, put his combination in (yes it had since been changed from the default combination) and opened the locker to a very empty locker... He frantically searched around the change room thinking how could this possibly happen. Straight after that he went to the reception desk to find out if anyone had handed anything in... as you probably guessed... nothing had been handed in, however, get this, a staff member said to him to make sure his car was still there as they've had a few stolen recently.....alarm bells!!!
While he waited outside watching that his car doesn't start driving off, staff looked around the gym but found nothing, they suggested to him to cancel his bank cards which he did, then come back the next day after filing a police report. They told him that it happens quite often however its hard to keep control because they have so many members and it could be anyone...hmmm,I'm so filled with confidence right now, not the kind of thing you really want to hear... really shows that they give a shit about your belongings doesn't it? Seems to me it's a bit of "oh well, we know it happens a lot and we don't really care about improving the situation" It's like finding a blood stained plaster in your food at a restaurant and the waitress says, "Oh sorry, that happens all the time here" would you be going there ever again? I wouldn't have thought so... He eventually had to get his five month pregnant wife to come down to the gym to bring the spare car keys . They drove the car home and Andy quickly jumped on his laptop to use a little gem for iPhones and iPads, the "Find My iPhone" app which gives you a visual map location of where your iPhone is from the cellular signal it transmits. This pointed him right back to the vicinity of the gym locker room, so he got straight back in the car and drove back to the gym. When he got down there he tried calling it and listen out for it ringing, just in case the potential thief had locked it another locker until the heat died down but couldn't hear much due to the music playing in the change room, and do you think they would switch the music off in the change room when he asked them so he could possibly hear his phone ringing? No, they wouldn't... very helpful don't you think? He decided to hang around for the gym to close and the music would then be switched off so he could listen for his phone a bit better. He bumped into a mate in the gym area who insisted that they have another look. He checked in bins and cupboards in case it had been dumped, he then checked a "Staff Only" cupboard near the change room and what do you know... there was his bag stuffed nicely in the back.
Hmmm... sounds a little dodgy doesn't it? Staff member perhaps? Had a member of staff figured out a way to easily work out the combination to the usual locks supplied by and made for David Lloyd gyms, then taken the bag out and placed it in there thinking it was a good hiding place in order to come back the next day when the dust had settled with a bigger bag, to put Andy's bag inside... then walk swiftly out the door undetected... just saying... 🙂
Today the general manager of the gym contacted Andy and gave him a story that a member of the gym advised a female gym instructor at the time that a locker was open in the change room with a bag inside. She then got a male staff member to check it out. The staff member advised that the locker was not locked properly so he took the bag out and left it in an unlocked cupboard in the passage area leading into the gym that everybody walks passed (seemingly less secure don't you think). The staff member then finished his shift and went home, without letting anybody know, not even taking the bag to an obvious place like the reception in case anybody enquired about a missing bag which any person would have done in the first place. He also advised that this is where staff members put items that they find such as mobile phones etc into this (unlocked) cupboard which is accessible by anybody.... funny that, because nobody that night, not even the manager on duty knew anything about this "lost and found" cupboard. It does beg the question, if you worked at a gym or anywhere else really, where is the first place you'd take an item that you found or think is the first someone would go if they'd lost something? I'd say the first place that Andy went to enquire about it... the reception desk of course.... If you lost your kid in a supermarket, where is the first place you go to enquire about him/her... the customer service desk because that the first place a concerned person would take him/her... it's not rocket science here, it's just common sense. Later this afternoon he was contacted again with a further story saying that if the locker is not latched properly the lock itself can still be locked however the locker can still be freely opened, to which the instructor had advised the manager was the case, looks like they had a lot of time to come up with a good excuse.
Now I've spoken to a number of friends of mine who frequent the same gym to ask them if it was possible that this can happen, they all said it is in fact possible, however, each one also added that if this does happen you notice it straight away since there is nothing holding the door closed. I find it hard to believe that Andy locked the lock in the first instance and didn't notice anything, then even when he came back, fumbled with the lock to put in his combination and still didn't notice that the locker could easily open without having to unlock it.
Overall I do find it interesting that they pin it as an error of the customer... even if it was the case, they obviously know that their lockers are so easily rendered useless by this "design fault"... considering those lockers have been there for years. What happened to normal lockers with a basic latch/hinge where you can't be stupid enough to not get the bolt though the holes and lock it properly, where the only way you're getting in there without the right combination or key is with a set of giant bolt cutters. Really makes you wonder doesn't it, theft appears to be rife at this gym and they know that lockers are easily left open since they've had these dodgy lockers for years but they've done pretty much nothing to help prevent further thefts of their customers belongings. Yeah, they've probably got a sign that says "Leave you shit at your own risk" to cover their incompetence, but that pretty much does nothing for you when you are led to believe that your stuff is safe and then your wallet, phone, house keys, car keys, even your jewellery (including pricey engagement rings) pretty everything that you aren't going to hold whilst "getting huge" goes missing. Just really looks like they don't really care... possibly because its quite a lucrative opportunity for them perhaps?
Good excuse to cover up and save face, but it does make you wonder how many other "victims" have been sent away with this same excuse, doubting themselves in the end thinking it was actually their fault... meanwhile back at the gym, they wait for the next victim...
I'll at least give them some credit, it may not be a member or members staff, but you sure as hell can't help to feel that it may very well be considering where the bag landed up, and it will until the staff do something about it in a big way... I wonder if the David Lloyd head office is fully aware of the level of insecurity and theft in their gyms that they let this carry on... shows how much they care about their customers if they do doesn't it?
One female gym member I spoke to also mentioned that she'd overheard ladies talking in the female change room one morning, saying there had been a number of locker thefts at the gym.
Now just to add, this isn't exact your average al cheapo gym, members fork out a whopping £75 a month to gym here, you'd think they'd have better security and facilities so that this kind of thing didn't happen. You'd think they'd do more to help people feel a better sense of security for their belongings while they are pre-occupied with they're gym workout.
Personally I feel rocks for David Lloyd gyms, funny enough I've had my own issues with them in the past, I was once a member at this very gym, however when I realised that it was basically becoming the most expensive Sunday jacuzzi I'd ever had, on the first of the month I paid my fee and at the same time advised them that I wished to cancel my contract and was giving them the required 3 months notice as they wanted. However 4 months down the line I noticed another payment come off my account, when I enquired about it, they told me it was the final payment, but when I said this was the 4th month later they told me that because I told them on the 1st of the month, this counts as in the month to which the three month notice period will take effect from the end of that month... had I notified them the day before on the 31st I would have been in the clear... sneaky little snakes hey... so if you already have a contract with them, be aware of this bit of "fine print". To top it off however, they still appear to have my details on file since every now and again I get a spam TXT message from them telling me about their latest offer begging me to join, aaaand if I want to stop receiving this ridiculous spam I have to pay the cost of the txt message replying STOP...so I just let them waste their money sending me a message to which I usually vent my frustration about them on Facebook, just in case a friend needs help deciding which gym NOT to join 🙂 Do they not realise that spamming people with txt messages is quite clearly an act of desperation, and if they actually spent their the money on better things like security, they wouldn't find themselves in this predicament now would they?... shame 🙂
I did do quick look with my friend Google, to see if there were other similar cases concerning David Lloyd gyms and locker theft...
Well what did you know.... sound familiar?
Whilst just down the road at David Lloyd - Cheam...
and howz this women's story
Obviously you hear the usual phrase "we take security very seriously" .... yeah really looks like it hey? 🙂
I hate to state the obvious... but more fail proof secure lockers might be a start 🙂
Now would you want to spend £75 a month on a gym with this kind of shit going on?
You could quite easily have your important personal belongings stolen... or even have to burn off a few more calories jogging home in your gym kit cause your car has also been stolen... would pretty much suck in winter wouldn't it...
Have you had a similar problem at David Lloyd gyms?
Let us all know, comment with your story below, I'm sure we'd all like to hear about it 🙂