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Boston Sports Club

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Boston Sports Club (BSC) is a branch of a larger chain founded in New York City in 1973 and are both arms of Town Sports International. This chain originally built Squash clubs to provide opportunities for individuals on the east coast to participate in this popular sport. BSC joined the chain in the greater Boston area in 1996 after Washington Sports Clubs began operating in the 1980’s. BSC works to consistently improve services and amenities to help fitness become a positive part of the daily lives of its members. As a highly recognized health club on the east coast, BSC works to make every body its very best before, during, and after hitting the gym.

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The Good

  • Memberships
  • Classes
  • Personal Training
  • Kids and Family Programs

Memberships

BSC has a variety of membership options that allow for a wide variety of people to use its facilities. All memberships provide access to locker rooms, training equipment, classes and reservations, member and guest privileges, a free personal fitness assessment, free team training/UXF demo, and member pricing services. Pricing is not consistent across locations. Make sure to look into pricing before signing paperwork. Most locations have three different memberships to choose from:

  • Neighborhood: This plan is for one location only and does not grant you access to other BSC locations. If you choose to pay monthly, pricing ranges anywhere from $29.99 to $59.99. If you plan to pay yearly, you can pay anywhere from $24.99 to $49.99. With this plan you can reserve a spot in any of the group exercise classes up to 12 hours in advance.
  • Regional passport: This membership plan allows members to utilize the services of any BSC in the Boston region. Pricing for this membership on a monthly basis is $79.99. A yearly plan costs a little less at $69.99. This plan allows you to reserve a spot in any of the group exercise classes up to one week in advance.
  • Passport: This last plan allows members access to any of the BSC or associated sports clubs in New York, Philadelphia, and Washington. The monthly plan costs $99.99 per month. The yearly plan costs $89.99 per year. This plan allows you to reserve a spot in any of the group exercise classes up to one week in advance.

Classes

BSC provides over 182 different group fitness classes for their members. These fitness classes are run by staff instructors or certified trainers to help members have a good experience during their workout. Some of the classes offered include the following:

  • Aqua fitness
  • Boxing and martial arts
  • Cardio and strength combo
  • Circuit and sport-specific training
  • Conditioning
  • Core
  • CrossFit
  • Cycling
  • Dance
  • Gronk fitness
  • Lab
  • Personal training
  • Racquet sports
  • Rowing
  • Seniors fitness
  • Strength and tone
  • Yoga and pilates

Personal Training

BSC Sports Clubs in the greater Boston area have a large number of certified personal trainers to help each customer with their fitness goals. Each trainer will work individually with members to help them know how to properly use free weights, cardio equipment, strength equipment, and much more. Working with a personal trainer will help members to worry less about not knowing what to do to get the results that they desire. A number of current members rave about their personal trainers and would recommend using them. If you do not know your way around a gym and are looking to better acquaint yourself with personal fitness, working with a personal trainer for a time is recommended.

Kids and Family Programs

It is never easy to go to a gym consistently as a parent. For those who do, often times it is necessary to go during school hours, or if children are not in school, they need to be watched by someone. BSC provides a childcare program to help with this challenge. Parents are allowed to leave their kids for two hours each day at this facility (available in select locations). Charges are not public and must be discussed with location managers. BSC also provides members with access to a number of activities for children old enough to participate:

  • Swimming
  • Dance
  • Cheerleading
  • Basketball
  • Fitness
  • Gymnastics
  • Lacrosse
  • Lasertag
  • Martial Arts
  • Mixed Sports
  • Soccer
  • Volleyball

Not all activities are included at all locations, so make sure you double check with the specific location you are considering. In addition to these classes, a number of day programs are offered as well: Drop & Shop, Gym & Swim, Kid’s Night Out, and Lasertag.

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The Bad

  • Late Fees and Annual Fee
  • Cancellation Fee
  • Customer Service
  • Cleanliness

Late Fees and Annual Fee

One of the most common complaints from current and past customers has been the late fees that randomly show up on their accounts. There are a number of reasons that these fees appear including changes to credit card accounts, membership account holds, and account cancellations. Typically the late fee is $15. Those who have commented about these fees have mentioned that it is difficult to get reimbursed. In addition to the late fees tacked onto monthly fees, an annual fee is charged to members to help with the upkeep of equipment. The amount of this fee is not publicly available.

Cancellation Fee

One of the challenges with the memberships at BSC is the cancellation process and fees. Little information about cancellation is provided online to help potential customers understand the process of canceling a membership and the fees that may be incurred. Past customers have been charged $100 for canceling before their contract had been completed.

Something else to be aware of when trying to cancel your membership is that there is a 30-day processing period from the day that you submit your cancellation paperwork. If a monthly payment is due during this time, you will be required to pay (even if you are not using the facility). It is common that in order to cancel, you will be required to show notarized documents proving the need to cancel (having moved, loss of employment, etc.). Most of the information on the company website invites customers to refer to the fine print of the contract that they signed. This contract is not available online, therefore any potential client will have to approach a local sports club to receive that information.

Customer Service

BSC is known for its customer service. Unfortunately, they are known for having very poor customer service and low customer satisfaction after customer service interactions. Much of this stems from base-level employees not being authorized to answer a number of questions about excessive charges and refunds and managers not being present to take care of the issue. Many times customers are asked to contact the corporate offices and in turn are told that they need to work with their local facility manager. After being tossed back and forth, customers have grown frustrated and have lost trust with BSC. If you are going to sign up for a membership, make sure that you understand all of the fine print and don’t plan on trying to get any discounts.

Cleanliness

A number of gym users have mentioned that there is a serious lack of consistency of the cleanliness of each BSC facility. Some facilities have nice equipment that has been taken care of (clean bathrooms, nice towels, etc.). Other gyms do not live up to the same standard. Some common complaints include the following:

  • Stained towels
  • Unswept floors
  • Musty smells
  • Backed-up sewage
  • No hot water
  • Broken lockers
  • Bad lighting

If you are looking for a nice facility where you will be excited to go and work out, make sure to tour the facility and see if it is on par with your standard before signing any paperwork. Many sports clubs are lacking staff members and are unable to care appropriately for the facilities. Don’t let yourself pay to go and be disappointed.

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The Bottom Line

BSC Sports Clubs provide members with a number of good exercise options. If you are driven and know how to get a good workout with the equipment provided or if you plan to work with a personal trainer, this could be a good option for you. It also could be helpful to have a place for your kids to go and enjoy some physical activities while you are working out. If you are looking for a nice gym that is kept clean and where you know that you are getting all of your money’s worth, then you may want to take a detailed tour and possibly look elsewhere.

When talking through the contract details, don’t allow the staff member trying to sell it to you to sway your decision. Carefully read the contract and all of the fine print attached. Don’t be afraid to take your time. If staff start getting pushy trying to get you to sign, there is probably something that they are hiding. Be careful! This is your hard-earned money. Make sure that you make an educated decision as you look to find the right gym for your personal needs.

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