James Hatts wrote:If it's asking for card details you are filling in the wrong form.
The signup process is overly complicated and frustrating (I had to do the form several times in different browsers before it worked), but it's not a 'con'.
I filled out the details online and then had to give all the same information again in person, which seemed like unecessary duplication, but you emphatically do not have to pay anything to take advantage of the free swim and gym scheme.
Obviously there are paid-for options available too (the free sessions are only on Fridays [all day] and weekends from 2pm) and it is these that the terms and conditions refer to.
Hope all is well with you, and am sorry that your
commitments will not allow you to attend this Saturday's
Arabic festival oranized by the DRA, Hubb: I'm sure that you
would enjoy it.
I write in regards to the new leisure centre at The Elephant
& Castle opposite the Draper Estate.
I would like you to read through this thread currently
active in the SE1 news website:
Do you agree that it isn't right that Southwark residents
wishing to find out what it is going to cost them to take
out a membership will only receive that info after they have
If you do agree, can you please ensure that all costs are
clearly displayed on their website without residents having
to disclose their identity, or make any for of commitment
simply to find out what "the damage" is going to be?
This is not related to the free swim initiative: I already
have all the relevant info on that.
Please let me know your thoughts on this, and what you
believe is the best way forward.
Many thanks for getting in touch. James had indeed passed on the message - apologies my response has been somewhat delayed. I will get back to you with a full response to the issues you have raised as soon as possible.
May I also take this opportunity to let you - and the rest of the DRA know - that the universal Free Swim and Gym offer (all day Friday, Saturday and Sunday afternoons) launches next Friday the 29th. Pre-registration is currently available through the Southwark Council website. This is a great offer for all residents and I hope that many of you will take it up.
I heard great reports of your Hubb event - I am very glad it was a big success. I was sorry to miss out, but was hosting a Friends of Parks Conference, followed by re-opening Camberwell Green.
Thank you for your email 12 July 2016 with regards to the website displaying membership prices at The Castle Centre. Please accept our apologies for the delay in replying.
We have reviewed this with our leisure operators Everyone Active. Unlike privately owned leisure facilities, there is more than one price for a membership at a local authority centre. These include single, joint, family, concessionary/low income, exercise on referral, emergency services, armed forces and off peak to name just a few. If these are listed then it will be very confusing what membership type is best for them and what they would have to pay.
When people come in, call the centre or register their details online, the aim is to find the most suitable and cost effective membership for them which is sometimes cheaper than they first thought as they would not be aware of all the packages that are available to them. If customers do an online search for local gyms, then leisure centre prices will in comparison look more expensive then some budget gyms that are now opening in London. They also may not realise until they have joined a budget gym that there are no classes, no swimming pool and no staff in the gym and they may have been happier to pay a bit for more for the wider services offered at a Southwark leisure centre but may be put off by a confusing list of prices.
Everyone Active have confirmed that when anyone enquires about membership prices online they are asked for their details as part of the process and they are then given the correct price for their own circumstances however at this point there is no commitment to join. Everyone Active are currently in the development stages of reviewing this part of their website as they recognise the need to make things much easier for the customer.
You mentioned in your e-mail that you are aware of our Free Swim and Gym scheme, which has now launched for all Southwark residents but if you require any further details or would like to register for the offer please click the link below.
Thank you for bringing this matter to our attention. If you have any further feedback on The Castle Centre then please do not hesitate to contact Stephen Hopkins, Leisure Contract Officer, who oversees the leisure centres by contacting him at email@example.com
Leisure Contract Officer
Sports and Leisure Services Team
Thank you for your reply.
If I understand things correctly, the overall pricing structure is too complex for its terms to be easily understood by the public, so it has been decided not make it readily available online.
The fact is, such a page does exist (as I found out fortuitously since my original email to Maisie Anderson) but visiting the Everyone Active home page presents no link nor path to it.
Omitting this page on the grounds that it could be "confusing" could be interpreted as patronizing, or even contemptuous in respect of the intellectual abilities (or perceived lack thereof) of Southwark's residents.
I respectfully suggest that a direct, front page link to this 'secret page' be placed on the Everyone Active home page, and that LBS also have the link in the relevant section of its own .gov website.
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