Anytime Fitness apologises after member fined for not noticing stranger tailgated him to enter gym

Anytime Fitness apologises after member fined for not noticing stranger tailgated him to enter gym
PHOTO: Screengrab/TikTok/user4422076196203

Anytime Fitness Bugis has issued an apology following a viral incident in which a gym member was penalised for not closing the door behind him.

Unaware that a stranger had entered the door behind him at the gym, Alan Sim was shocked when he received a WhatsApp message that he was fined a $60 "tailgating fee".

Finding the penalty "extremely unfair", Sim took to TikTok on Tuesday (Aug 29) to express his discontent.

Sim shared a screenshot of the WhatsApp message from Anytime Fitness Bugis, in which they mentioned that because he did not close the door behind him upon entering the gym, an unidentified woman entered the premises without tapping her key fob.

Stating that they take such matters seriously, Anytime Fitness Bugis wrote in the message: "We will be charging you a $60 tailgating fee for this incident if you cannot verify that the person who came in behind you is an Anytime Fitness member."

In that message, Anytime Fitness Bugis added that they required the "tailgating fee" to be paid within seven days or Sim will be banned from Anytime Fitness Bugis and all sister outlets.

Sim felt that the penalty was "very harsh".

He wrote in response to Anytime Fitness Bugis' message: "If she snuck up on me and I wasn't paying attention, it is not fair to me as well."

'She was in my blindspot': Sim

In response to Sim's queries, Anytime Fitness shared a screenshot of the CCTV footage and wrote that he should have asked her to tap the key fob before entering. 

"It is your sole responsibility to ensure she taps," Anytime Fitness Bugis added.

They also told Sim on WhatsApp that all members were informed upon signing up on the terms and conditions with regards to tailgating and the consequences of doing so. 

Taken aback by the sudden imposition of a penalty, Sim shared in his post that he went down to the Anytime Fitness Bugis outlet to check the full CCTV footage and make an appeal.

From the CCTV footage shared on Sim's post, a woman in black fitness attire can be seen exiting the lift and following Sim closely behind as he entered the gym. 

From the footage, the tailgater didn't seem to have her Anytime Fitness key fob in hand. And even though in the video Sim can be seen looking behind, he didn't notice her. 

"She was in my blindspot, I didn't notice," he said.

No leniency offered

Being a regular at the gym, visiting five times a week, Sim expected some leniency for making such a mistake for the first time. 

But Sim said that the Anytime Fitness Bugis management team insisted that it was his responsibility. 

Sim wrote: "It was unintentional. If you give me a warning, I will remember for life."

Since his appeal was denied, Sim had no other option but to pay the "tailgating fee", but he wrote: "Now one thing for sure, I'll be sure to always close the door behind me even if there is someone behind me."

In a follow-up post, Sim shared the terms and conditions under the membership agreement that he signed upon joining Anytime Fitness Bugis on Feb 13.

Under the letter of acceptance, the document states that a guest fee of $30 will be charged if a member is found sharing their key fob or bringing unauthorised guests into the club.  

Even though the agreement made in February stated a $30 penalty, under the new membership agreement, it has been raised to $60

Sim's TikTok video has since garnered 62,000 views and 1,400 comments. 

Netizens were equally shocked that Anytime Fitness Bugis had imposed a penalty on Sim without leniency since he said it was an oversight. 

Some users shared that they have encountered a similar situation at other Anytime Fitness branches. One user even said: "I refused to pay."

Some Anytime Fitness members have shared positive experiences of their visit to the Bugis outlet. 

Staff's action 'was a mistake'

In response to Sim's TikTok video, Anytime Fitness Bugis made an official statement via their Instagram account. 

They wrote that the tailgating policies imposed at their gym exist to protect members as well as ensuring a safe environment for all gym users. 

Upon investigating the incident, Anytime Fitness Bugis mentioned that the interpretation of the incident was erroneous, and the subsequent action taken by a staff member at their outlet "was a mistake".

They apologised and noted that they will "take all necessary steps to ensure proper reparations are made".

"Members in good standing should not be penalised for a lapse in our security systems," they added.

Anytime Fitness Bugis stated that they will "improve their systems" and "continue to work towards providing even higher standards of service to all our members".

Sim told AsiaOne that Anytime Fitness Bugis has personally apologised to him and refunded the $60 "tailgating fee" as well.

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