GoodLife Fitness Sucks!


Update: I’m switching to LA Fitness! They have fewer locations than GoodLife, which may not make them an option for everyone, but their rates are better and their clubs are quite nice! I went with the $49.99 upfront and $34.99/month plan. Much better than the $56/month plan I was on with GoodLife. Ripoff!

I just got off the phone with a customer service rep from GoodLife and no matter how much water I drink, I cannot wash this horrendous taste out of my mouth.

I have dealt with many customer service call centres but none as bad as GoodLife’s. The company is completely ignorant to proper customer service. Some companies like Bell, have recently made tremendous strides in customer service and I couldn’t be happier. GoodLife Fitness, on the other hand, has such poor business practices it’s laughable.

Let’s set the picture – a GoodLife employee fills out my information wrong (both my banking information as well as my address) and then try to slam me with a huge bill after a couple of months because of their error. I was confronted rudely about not having made my payments, when all the while I had assumed it was a 3 month trial. Of course, the employee that set me up has been fired and therefore is not available to take any of the blame and GoodLife refuses to take responsibility for any of it.

GoodLife Fitness sucks.

So I call in. After waiting on the phone for an HOUR I am eventually treated to their horrendous business practices.

“Can I speak with you manager?”

“I’m sorry, we don’t escalate calls here.”

You don’t escalate calls? Are you serious??? Never have I called in and been presented with a single opinion on my situation. It is maddening to speak with someone that refuses to help you with no one else to turn to and it is certainly disgusting customer service to do so.

Being a little optimistic:

“Can we please start from scratch and treat it as a 3 month trial since you guys messed up?”


Being reasonable:

“Can you please help me by spreading out the cost over the remainder of my payments so I don’t bite the bullet for your mistake?”


What GoodLife doesn’t understand is that I can be tremendously loyal if I am treated well. Instead, like many others, I have been burned. They may get their money from me eventually but they’re giving up a lot of future business when I quit. How much do I owe you ask? $200. A penny to them but a lot more to me. Apparently a happy customer is worth less than $200 to them,

P.s. I miss my old community centre so much. They had really nice staff and everything I need for half the cost. I highly recommend you check out a community centre in your area – they are much better than you would believe. These corporate gyms are absolute garbage and you will likely get burned sooner or later.

Other reasons GoodLife sucks

  1. Machines that are always broken. There have been times when I have come in and as many as 10 treadmills have been simultaneously broken. How do they let that happen?
  2. High turnover. They are clearly doing something wrong with their HR since the person that signed me up didn’t even last two weeks after I started at the gym.
  3. Pricey.
  4. Broken lights??? The light in the men’s sauna has been out for 2 weeks. Many people stopped using it as a result while others tried to find their way in the dark. Management has been alerted numerous times of the issue. How long does it take to replace a light? GoodLife Fitness sucks!

Here are some other angry people at GoodLife Fitness if you want to join in and share your struggle:


Update: Courtesy of Dave in the comments, here are some links to legal information that you may want to consider if you will be fighting with GoodLife:

Government of Ontario :: Know your rights

Consumer Protection Act

The consumer protection act is a legal document so if anyone doesn’t have strong language skills don’t get discouraged. Find a friend, a teacher or legal student or professional. Stand your ground on the issue.

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35 thoughts on “GoodLife Fitness Sucks!

  1. Whatever you do make sure you keep all communications you have with them IE cancellation or hold notices and even void cheques because they lose everything.

    Horrible administration department!!

  2. I’ve been a member for two years and I’m so sick of this company. I’ve been to four different locations, all are always packed and none of the equipment ever works. I tried 4 treadmills yesterday without finding one that worked properly. There’s never soap in the bathrooms which is unacceptable considering the cost of the membership. There arent any customization options for training programs (and the rates are stupid). The final straw was today while on the road, I stopped in at a location Which I’ve never been to find out its a women’s only goodlife… So I missed my workout. Even though i pay the same monthly fee as every female member. I’m done with this crap. Avoid goodlife at all costs.

    1. Thanks for sharing your frustration. I am also annoyed by the women’s only gyms. I happen to have a Goodlife that is 5 mins from my house but it is women’s only so I have to travel across the city to get to the next closest location. I have also experienced the other problems you have described. Many treadmills are broken each time I go.

  3. I couldnt agree with u more Alex. good life is not a good company at all. i just found out that they still charged me for 500 dollers in the past 10 months after i quit Because one of their stuff didnt put my cancelation on file. and sadly i cant find my copy. And i just found out there is nothing i can do with out the copy. Can anyone help me?

    1. Sorry Darren, I think you are out of luck. You can certainly fight back hard and see where you can get. Most gyms are really bad for cancelling and Goodlife is no exception. You have to keep a close eye on what they charge you. Thanks for sharing. Lesson for everyone: check to make sure you are cancelling a few weeks after – don’t trust that an associate says they have cancelled your membership!

  4. . In 2011 I was outside the GoodLife in Newmarket at the Superstore.I was very ill that day migraine ,dizzy I and could barely stand up. I was waiting for my daughter who was in a cooking class. When I realized something was very wrong I walked into GoodLife to get help. I told the girl at the desk that I could barely stand up and needed help.She looked at me and said what do you want me to do? I told her I was going to faint she said I don’t have a place for you in here. No one came around the counter to help me and they looked at me like I was a nuisance. I walked out and proceeded to collapse outside the Goodlife on the floor. I was assisted by members of the Superstore team. The next day I called GoodLife toe tell them about my experience . I could not belive the lack of humanity displayed by the individuals at the gym.I could only reach a call center. I figured they should know what kind of training their staff had and I was so upset I wanted to make sure that this never happened again to someone else.. I was given an apology from the call staff. I indicated to her that while I appreciate her apology that I would like to know what the follow up was and that I would like to speak to a senior representative. I never heard back from Goodlife. Something recently triggered my memory with regards to this incident. I was wondering if this experience was a good barometer on how they deal with their clients, members, or employees. As a run of the mill human I was disgusted.

    1. Hi Ms.Lawrance,

      As a GoodLife employee id like to apologize for such a horrendous event. That is absolutely unacceptable. I think you should have went to the manager to discuss what happened and the name of the person at the front desk. I assure you that as a motivator our key goal is to keep you healthy and happy.


  5. I worked as a personal trainer at a women’s only GoodLife for one year. I wanted to quit from the get-go, but since I had been looking for personal training job experience and guidance for a full year prior to being hired, I stuck with it.

    The reason GL has such a high turn-over is because they treat their employees like garbage! You are expected to work LONG unpaid/underpaid hours all hours of the day, and then finally only get paid if you can rope somebody into spending $6000+ to train constantly with you. Out of the $50+ I was forced to charge per hour, I only made $20, the rest went straight to Mr. “Patch” (aka GL cult leader!). There are NO benefits (except for free tanning and gym membership etc), even though the personal training department is the biggest source of revenue to the club. Goodlife advertises Free “Personal Health Profiles” to all of their members- These PHPs are basically a 90 minute sales pitch that we personal trainers are forced to service to an excact formula- the catch? WE NEVER EVER EVER EVER GET PAID FOR THESE APPOINTMENTS! We are told we need to be “grateful” for the “opportunity” of making a sale, and are expected to do 1-2 of these at least every day. 3 hours/day = 15 hours of unpaid WORK every week. Because I worked in a less-affluent community, in my entire year there, I only made one “small” sale though one of these appointments.

    I was taught to be pushy, manipulative, not take “no” for an answer, and continue to ask for the sale. I am not a salesperson, but I am a VERY good personal trainer, with a Bachelor of Physical Education and an impressive athletic background, as well as being a great coach. Goodlife was not the fit for me, and I don’t think my clients realized how poorly I was treated as an employee.

    Our smaller club had a pretty nice enough staff so it seemed more tolerable, but the company policy and procedures were built on lies and manipulation and my entire experience left me with a sour taste in my mouth. I am not surprised as a customer you felt under-valued. Goodlife sucks!

    1. I was a personal trainer there for 3+ years and you really hit the nail on the head PT. When the mandate came down that the minimum number of sessions to be sold was over SEVENTY at around 80$ a session it was over for me (this was in 2010).

      I’ve never regretted leaving or looked back (despite being called a ‘selfish bastard’ by my FM when I quit, and that I’d be sorry for my choice) … I have a real job now with benefits where my contributions are valued. My recommendation to any young person starting out in fitness, who is using GL to gain experience, is to decide in advance how long you are willing to deal with their crap … that place will exploit your youth and zest and leave you with nothing. don’t give them the best years of your life.

  6. I just realized i have been being charged for a year without my approval after the one year contract i signed with them. I didnt receive an email, phone call or letter stating this would happen, i have reached out to the Barrie ontario branch to deal with this and am awaiting a response, lets see how they do. thats like 800 bucks for not using a gym!!!!

  7. Oh really? Have I got a story for you! I’ve been a forced member of Goodlife for three months now. They bought, more like vampired, on Extreme Fitness when EF filed for Chapter 11. The day it was announced Extreme was bought by Goodlife over 300 people QUIT Extreme at the Deslie Club, many people from the Richmond W club went to Equinox and the rest stayed. People are leaving every single day.

    When Goodlife or as I call it “Ghetolife” took over they promised more equipment, better service and a whole new club. They didn’t deliver but they did bring in new equipment but now many locations are crammed full of this Goodlife branded stuff that everyone either steals or hates. The really good trainers from Extreme left and were replaced with trainers who don’t know their ass from a hole in the ground. To make matters worse we got the members from the McCaul St. Goodlife who are looking at the Richmond Club like it’s Buckingham Place. Ugh the people are so fuckin’ tacky, ghetto and now with 3x more people working out the Richmond Club there are very few lockers. Theft has gone up and people just generally hate merger altogether.

    There are many of us former Extreme people who wished it would have closed than been taken over by Goodlife. My word of advice is, if rumours start to circulate that Goodlife is even thinking of taking over you gym, RUN! Don’t walk! RUN find another gym and stay there. Trust me Goodlife Fitness Clubs is DEFINITELY NOT living the Goodlife. They are bullshit club chain that is worse than Superfitness in the 1990s! If that’s even possible.

  8. Unbelievable! Glad I found this blog but too little too late! I was (admittedly under my own stupidity) “invited” by a friend for a free trial. So we went. I was currently a member of The Athletic Club (here in KW– the location is horrendous. Built right on the dump. Not paying $60 a month to run to my car holding my breath!) and was told that since my membership was soon ending, I could have a 3-month free trial at Goodlife. PERFECT! I’ll give it a shot! Why not? So they took down all my information so I could get a “trial” pass. If I liked it when the trial was up, I could join. Seemed harmless. WRONG!!!!!!! At about the 3 month mark, my pass was flagged at the door. I was sure I still had another week or so but maybe I had calculated wrong? Nope! I was told that they did not have my banking information on file. Well yeah, because it’s a FREE trial. I was told very rudely that infact I had agreed to a one year membership once that trial ended! Well I did nothing of the sort! They insisted that I pay immediately. I said no dice, I just would give up my free pass. Again, RUDELY, I was informed that it would be sent to collections if I didn’t pay and that I’d have to continue paying monthly or pay the cancellation fee (didn’t even ask how much that was– I can’t even imagine!). I left in a huff and called their very loosely named “customer service” deparment. I got nowhere. So I called the club and asked to speak with the manager. I was in fact told that my signature was on this contract and I was obligated to pay (again, lesson learned, ALWAYS read the fine print!!!). I then asked if I could speak with the girl that “signed” me up. Of course, she no longer works there and now I’m stuck with a crappy membership for a gym that doesn’t even have a single fitness class, or paying some astronomical cancellation fee, lest I end up in collections! UNREAL!!!!!!!!!!

    1. I’m always sorry to hear of people that found out the hard way like myself. The fact that employees are always gone or fired by the time you need to argue an issue almost seems too convenient, and it says a lot about how they treat their employees as well.

      My question is: does anyone know of a gym that actually treats their members well?

    2. So, how it went? I have a similar problem here. Ok, I was stupid and I signed a contract with GoodLife. Three weeks later I decided to cancel my membership. In fact, I didn’t go for a single workout after signing it. I didn’t give them my banking information and we agreed I would submit it later. So, after I called them and told them that I wanted to cancel my membership, I was asked to come in person and I had to pay $100 cancellation fee+$40 for one month=$150 for my dumb mistake. Isn’t it that my contract is kinda illegal without my banking information, however it has my signatures everywhere. I was told that they would pass me to collection agency. I am an international student, they don’t have my banking information, but surely I don’t need that kind of problems. Is there any chance I can avoid this cancellation fee? Thanks in advance!

      1. I’m in no position to give legal advice. $150 sucks to pay but it might be worth it to avoid the struggle. Depends on how much you are willing to fight it. But yes, usually when your signature is all over a contract it is hard to argue it. Good luck!

  9. Jump associates r expected to work alone with no help in daycare sometimes with as many as 6 babies under 6 months of age. U never get an increase in pay unless minimum wage is increased in province than patchell is forced to give u a raise. U get two performance reviews a year why I ask and u never get a raise anyhow. Half the childminders r young kids texting on cellphones…wd u trst yr kids to other kids to look after. What a joke this place is!

  10. Awesome thread david.! I was at good life for 2 years aurora than newmarket . I have respect for the majority of the staff. The door girls are great. Most of the trainers kept professional with regards too one. Who was actually very far out of line. I had been training hard 5 x a week. I saw great results. This personal trainer while he was training clients made remarks that I was using steroids, stared me down, made comments like “I value my balls” and would get in my way of my mirror well I was training and make offensive gestures. The best thing is I was only 200 pounds at the time. Which pretty obvious I wasn’t on roids. Managers and other trainers saw this and didn’t handle it. I switched to newmarket goodlife and now at la fitness . Better gyms.

  11. So here’s an update to my post of July 23, 2013. In October 2013 I left Goodlife. Between July and October of last year, things went from tolerable to worse. Goodlife’s mandate is to just CRAM PEOPLE IN AN HOPE FOR THE BEST. You have to understand the significance of “Ghettolife” taking over the Richmond (Scotiabank Theatre location).

    At the Richmond club we were a family when it was Extreme Fitness. We followed each other on Facebook, supported our individual fitness goals, the trainers knew everyone and helped out even for free. We are a group of people who loved fitness and really cared about each other. Goodlife changed all that. Don’t let the shiny marketing fool you, Goodlife is not out to get you fit. They are out for your money!

    When they took over they forced the top instructors to sign exclusivity agreements or leave. (This mean they could NOT teach anywhere else but Goodlife and Goodlife cut their pay by $5.00 a class and gave them less classes!) They gave them three months to sign or leave. Most of the instructors said, “Fuck you!” left and went to Equinox. Then Ghettolife went after the trainers. Again most of the trainers said, “Fuck you” and left for Equinox. However some had very loyal clients and remained behind.

    I’m now happy to report I’m at Madonna’s gym (yes “the Madonna”) Hard Candy. It is beyond fabulous the Group Fitness Director (who have known for over 20 years) has pulled instructors going back to Sports Clubs of Canada days (how’s that for retro). We are now having a big Extreme Fitness (at least the Richmond location) reunion at Hard Candy. You have to see this gym to believe it: Though the club is Madonna’s I think it’s like Extreme Fitness 2.0. but with a lot of cooler classes.Goodlife begged me to stay. I said, “You couldn’t pay me to stay at this f**kin’ gym!”

    So the Extreme Fitness implosion did have a happy ending. But GOD DO I HATE GOODLIFE!!! Ugh. You have no idea. They are one f**kin evil chain of gyms.

  12. My Story… I used to run a lot and I would run right through the winter. One year I told my mother (who is a Goodlife member) that I was tired of running in the winter and a few days later she told me that she would pay for a membership at Goodlife. That was very nice of her and I have always been thankful for that.

    Well, I went to the gym a lot for a few years but I had been accepted into university for computer science and became extremely busy with my studies. I decided that I don’t have time to go to Goodlife anymore and that I was going to quit. I felt bad that she was paying for this gym I didn’t have time to go to.

    I went to the gym and informed them of my desire to quit and explained that my mother was the payee. The guys at the desk told me that she had to cancel the contract because she was the one paying for it. They seemed like they were snickering a bit. I think they were lying to me and knew that I was going to get fucked over later down the road.

    I informed my mother that she had to cancel the gym membership as I had been told by the staff. She went into her Goodlife and the company had removed her as the payee when the time was up for this cycle of the contract. She was not told that my membership would have to be cancelled seperately. Goodlife did not inform me that I was to become the payee. In fact, because she didn’t want to pay the cancellation fee, she ended up paying for the membership until the specified time was up. I didn’t even know I was still able to go to the gym. If I had known I probably would have continued to go to the gym when I could. My mother didn’t tell me that she was still paying for it. She was stressed out because she was taking care of my grandmother who was 93, suffered from Alzheimers and had broken her hip. It was a tough time.

    From what I understood I was no longer a Goodlife member. Yesterday I went by my old house to see if there was mail and I found a letter from a lawyer stating that I owed Goodlife money. I was surprised because I didn’t think I was a member anymore.

    I went down to the Goodlife to try to clear up the situation and I explained what I had been told by the staff at the gym last year. I spoke with these women, the manager and the assistant manager. It was like the manager thought she had the power of Jedi Mind Tricks. She was telling me what happened didn’t happen. It was weird. I must be impervious to manipulations by the Force. She kept telling me that the staff go to some training camp and they are taught a procedure. She didn’t seem to comprehend that the procedure was not followed and I was given misinformation, more likely disinformation… by assholes. She was like some kind of hefty robotic administrator who assumes that if a rule exists, it was followed. I like the old manger better, she was very personable and nice but not fake. She seemed like a person doing a job, not just a conduit for a corporation.

    Anyhow, they kept stalling me until I would leave. I think this whole thing is bullshit. When I told the staff I wanted to quit I should have been told how the process works and even been given the proper documents. I was misled, I stopped using a membership that was being paid for and here is the kicker…

    After the term was up, Goodlife just made me the new payee without informing me and then I get this letter from a lawyer saying that I own the company money for several months of gym usage. When I went to the gym they showed me a copy of the document that I originally signed, well, just the first page of a multipage document. I wasn’t even able to read the rest of it. On the document the payee is listed as my wonderful mother, not myself. That is the contract I signed. I never agreed to be the payee… unless it was hidden in the fine print on the n+1 pages of the sign up document. Yet they are charging me. They didn’t even contact me to inform me that I was to become the payee. It is complete bullshit because if a contract is altered the parties who are involved in the contract should be notified of the changes. You can’t just get someone to sign and alter the contract without their knowledge of it.

    This is completely unethical. Don’t join Goodlife. In the last 24 hours I have convinced 8 people not to join Goodlife and I am thinking about making an anti-Goodlife website.

    I want to thank you for sharing your experiences. I am not alone.

    The worst part is that I was in way better shape before I joined Goodlife. I used to run on a 2 day on, 1 day off schedule and lift weights on a 5 day on, 2 days off schedule. After I joined the gym I worked out a lot less and it was time consuming to get to the gym. Especially since the closest Goodlife was a women’s only gym.

    Goodlife had a variety fun classes but I found a lot of the people a bit snobby. Occasionally some were even hostile. I once talked this huge musclebound a guy about what I perceived to be his hostility towards me and he apologized and told me that he hated being there. That says something about the place.

    I also didn’t like how some of the staff would sit around talking about people who were working out. That was one of the reasons I wanted to stop going there. They had recently taken of staff who were kind of superficial jerks.

    // end rant

      1. Hi David. Just an update; I have been reading some government websites and the Consumer Protection Act. I think I might have a very strong case on a half dozen points. The unfortunate part is that it is my word against theirs for a few of the points. Some of the points I know I am correct about.

        Could you please post these links in the main article to help people learn about their rights under the law?

        Government of Ontario :: Know your rights

        Consumer Protection Act

        The consumer protection act is a legal document so if anyone doesn’t have strong language skills don’t get discouraged. Find a friend, a teacher or legal student or professional. Stand your ground on the issue.

  13. I was a personal trainer at GoodLife for a month and I have to say that it was the worst job experience I’ve ever had.

    They didn’t care about my college diploma in Fitness & Health or my ACSM certification. All they cared about was sales, sales and sales. I was not a sales person, but I tried my best and did a lot of “free Personal health profiles” and grew out of my shell very quickly, it did help me be less shy. But at the end of the day, it’s not easy to convince people to sign up for personal training that would cost them $6,000+.

    I am a genuine and kind person, GoodLife made me change into someone who had to be fake to make the sale.

    By the end of the month they fired me for having a lack of “peak attitude”. I came in smiling everyday, greeting members, prospecting and working 8+ hours. I had never been so angry. The real reason? I hadn’t made a sale.

    They have a high turnover rate for a reason. They don’t just treat their employees like shit, but the members as well. Stay away while you can, whether you’re looking for a job opportunity or just a membership. There are better gyms out there.

    1. Thanks for sharing. I noticed that from the trainers. They seemed like they cared but were being way too pushy. Personal training should be something people seek out, not something that is crammed down their throats. GoodLife doesn’t seem to understand that.

      1. Update: I took a temporary job working as a flooring installer. We installed the rubber flooring and the basketball court at the new World’s Gym in Waterloo. I have put my hard work and sweat into the effort to bring down Goodlife. It was heavy work but I was motivated to put a dent in Goodlife.

        Good news for anyone who lives in the Kitchener-Waterloo and Cambridge area. World Gym offers basic memberships (machines and weights) for only $10 a month. If you pay $20 a month then you get to do all the classes like spinning and stuff as well.

        With any luck they will cut deeply into Goodlife’s profits. $10 a month people. I can’t say the company is better in terms of the quality of staff and such but at those rates it is hard to complain.

  14. They kept charging me too, this is obviously happening on purpose. The rates and the idea of contracts is completely ridiculous. I come from a more rural area where the gym is extremely high quality for $30 per month no contracts, or pay for a year for like $300

  15. I agree with you so much. Its so expensive and the staff there are such assholes. Simple. I’m switching to LA Fitness as well. Fingers crossed their customer service isn’t as horrendous as Badlife Depression

  16. I had a terrible experience with GoodLife Fitness and their personal training program.I was paying roughly $395 biweekly for three one-hour sessions and it was the biggest waste of money and time. The trainer just didn’t know and didn’t care. No education, and even worse, no professionalism. There was no coaching, no tracking, no planning, and a wrong routine. He was more interested in pointing out the club’s female members, and being on his phone while I was in the middle of sets. I quit and reluctantly paid their cancellation fee. Just horrible. To make matters worse GoodLife continued to charge my account. I brought my personal training experience to the manager and as well as their customer service department, and they did absolutely nothing.

    I am glad to be attending a local gym instead with real professionals. GoodLife Fitness has truly become the low standard in the industry. I will never be returning again, and I caution everyone to think twice and look elsewhere before getting into a contract with them. All they want and care for is your money.

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