Meeting a fool at the gym: how to waste £1,500

Normally I applaud good bargaining, but after overhearing a conversation today, I just wanted to shake the man.

The MSF and I had decided to treat ourselves by taking a trip to the uber-posh Virgin Active in Kensington, to use the hydrotherapy facilities. The MSF is a member of another Virgin Active so it’s fine (see the Virgin Active, Cannons, LA Fitness £400 off loophole article for how to do it cheaply). Now, this specific gym is a seriously expensive to be a member of.

Yet here was the conversation of the man in front of us:

Wastrel man: “Hi, I’ve not been for 18 months, and I was wondering if you would be able to give me two guest passes for friends.”

Receptionist: “I’m sorry Sir you’ve already been allocated your guest passes when you joined. We can let one person in as a goodwill gesture but not two.”

Wastrel man: “This is ridiculous – I’ve paid nearly £1,500 for the last 18 months and never been here once and you won’t give me two guest passes.”

Now, while a good haggle is appreciated and at least he wanted to get a good deal… come on… please… I wanted to grab him by the shoulders and say “you’ve been paying for a gym you’ve not used for 18 months; EIGHTEEN MONTHS MAN! You’ve gone over your renewal period and not bothered to cancel it and now here you are haggling over the cost of a guest pass. What type of argument is that? They know you’re a fool; you’ve paid them £1,500 for nothing already… you’re blatantly the type of person who will simply pay without a thought.”

I always get frustrated when people think MoneySaving is about doing without. It’s not; the core philosophy is to live within your means and get good value. As I’ve said before (and it’s now impossible): “there’s nothing wrong with flying to New York on Concorde and coming back on the QE2 provided A. You can afford it and B. You didn’t pay £7,000 for it when it was available elsewhere for £3,000”.

Yet this man is just ridiculous – think about what he could’ve done with the money. And if he’s so rich that it doesn’t matter to him, think what a charity could’ve done with it.

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