Sunday, March 28, 2010

Gymboree only cares about the bottom line

When our son was born - our first born - we heard about how great our local Gymboree classes were not only for our baby, but for us. We attended the first class and were pleased to see how much fun our child had and how much fun we had meeting and sharing milestones with other moms. We signed up not just for one class, but for the "core pass" which allows you to attend any play class within your child's age range, have unlimited access to open gym and even signed up for a second class - a music class. You might say it was the "Cadillac" plan of Gymboree. We attended religiously, even inviting some of the teachers to our child's birthday party. Then, when our son turned two, new management took over and we noticed an immediate difference. So much so, that even the teachers we loved - and who had loved our kids - were miserable.

Many of the teachers moved on, but we kept going because we really liked having an additional outlet and place to spend time with our child aside from the park, the neighbor's house, the sports class, etc. Yes, we attended AND PAID for classes on Tuesday, Wednesday, gym on Friday and class on Saturday - until last month - nearly three years after we began attending Gymboree. Figuring our son was ready to move on, we told the management that we would be ending our time at Gymboree, but that we had 9 make- up classes we wanted to complete. Make-up classes are allowed if you've paid your fees. Well, assuming we could make up the 9 classes - which WE PAID FOR - we continued attending. Well, after the first class, my husband was very rudely told that he is no longer eligible to attend classes. He explained our situation and the person at the desk said they'd take it up with management. We received a call from the same person from the front desk saying that we couldn't use our make up classes because we didn't pay for an additional month. We were furious!! After three years of paying for their Cadillac of offerings - and knowing that make-ups are a policy - that now they were telling us, sorry, you can't attend. My husband was furious and said he was going to attend another class since we paid for them. He took my three year old to music class the next week. Nothing happened - until we got home. We received a rude email from the management - yes, and email, not a personal call - WE HAVE YET TO SPEAK TO THE MANAGEMENT FROM THE SOUTH PASADENA LOCATION BECAUSE THEY ALWAYS HAVE THE FRONT DESK RECEPTIONIST CALL US INSTEAD - the email said we are not allowed to attend because we did not complete the 9 make ups before we ended our "membership." No mention of the fact that we reminded them of this from the very beginning.
Needless to say, we are no longer recommending people attend the South Pasadena or Monrovia locations of Gymboree. We believe in the the classes and what the company offers, but recommend other locations - or, if you do attend South Pasadena, just note that they are in it for the money as they "claim" to be in it for you and your baby.

1 comment:

  1. Dear Family & Friend of Gymboree - I work at the Corporate office for Gymboree Play and Music and I want to sincerely apologize for your recent experience. We want to thank you for being part of our family and joining us for the last 3 years. I would love to help you with your current situation and make sure you leave us on a positive note. I would like to speak with you directly and help you in any way possible. Please call me directly at 415-278-7925. Thank you so much and we are very sorry once again.