I posted a few months back about visiting the New Orleans Athletic Club, which is one of the oldest clubs in the country. It is a kind of nice place, although the equipment is kind of crappy. Mostly, it is convenient to my neighborhood, and kind of silly, since there are old chandeliers amid the workout rooms. At the time of my first visit, they still hadn't even rounded up their staff and instructors, so it was kind of odd to me that they were feeling generous about asking for 50% of their intiation fee and a one year iron clad contract. Since I was going to be out of town every other weekend, it seemed I might as well wait. So today I stop by and discover that they are still offering 50% off the initiation, but they've actually doubled the fee. And the membership staff still has nothing much to say other than that. I came home with a list of their classes, but since most of them are offered at the same times that I'm teaching, my decision is still on hold.
Last week, I finally switched cell phone providers from Cingular to Sprint. I won't recap the hideous experience most of New Orleans has been having with Cingular. Nor will I go into how absolutely inane every encounter with their pathetic customer service has become. I'll only say it was worth every penny of the penalty for canceling early (although actually my contract ended last year--they extended it in another of their endless mistakes). Yet, after ordering a phone from Sprint, I was told that it would arrive in two days. A week later, it was here. The instructions said that it would be locked and gave me a code to unlock it. It was unlocked already. It was also already activated. I called customer service and discovered that I already owed over $100 for service. My contract began the minute I contacted them, it turns out, even though I had no phone. And last week was the end of that billing period, so I was paying for a week that I could have never used. They also added several packages without my permission, and charged me the activation fee that was supposed to be waived. The difference between Sprint and Cingular, aside from the fact that they actually have a working signal, is that Sprint was able to quickly correct all of these errors. Cingular would have transferred me from one office to another until finally I gave up.
Meanwhile, I have yet to dump Capital One and transfer everything to Whitney Bank, but it will happen. The latest insanity is that they lost--completely lost--a large deposit that I made with one of their tellers last week. And it seemed as if I had to walk them through the process of tracking it down. The height of incompetence, but I guess as long as they keep cheating their customers, they'll be doing well financially themselves. They have to pay for all those matching polo shirts somehow. (Capital One actually has their staff wear cheap shirts with the company logo, like their working at McDonald's or something. And they probably were.)