Gym Allegedly Threatens To Call Police On Blogger For Blogging That Its Prices Were A Bit High

from the good-luck-there dept

Every time you think that there have been enough examples of the Streisand Effect that it should stop people from trying to censor perfectly legitimate content, you’re just setting yourself up to be surprised by the next such attempt — often more bizarre than the previous one. The latest one comes to us via the Consumerist, and it involves the story of a new gym in Cleveland, called BarreCleveland, that has apparently threatened to call the police on a blogger because she though the price was a bit steep. But the really odd thing? The original post was generally positive. We’re used to seeing people flip out about people saying negative things about them, but a mostly positive review? Now that’s something special.

Alana Munro’s original blog post did discuss the fact that she thought the price was too high, and that she normally likes a workout that generates more of a sweat, but on the whole it doesn’t seem that negative at all. She noted that if it was a little closer to where she lived (and the prices were lower) she’d likely go back. However, somewhere along the way that got interpreted as being a dig by someone who ran the place, and they first got into a bit of a Facebook and Twitter argument with Alana and some others.

And then…. someone with the same last name as the owner posted a comment on the original blog post, accusing Alana of “stealing” the class she attended:

Just stop the posting about Barre Cleveland and take down all the existing posts. We know that you stole the class and we can pursue legal action against you for that and that is why it is ridiculous that you complain about a price when you never paid for the class. You were never given a discount code by Barre Cleveland and somehow you used that to enter the studio. I am sending you this message to politely ask that you remove all the content about Barre Cleveland from your blog and twitter and we will not get the Beachwood Police involved on this theft of services.

Alana says she did use a discount code — it was one that was being passed around widely to help promote the gym in the first place. Now the gym may argue that it only meant the code to be used by people it gave it too, but then it should have implemented one-time codes. Instead, the code worked, and Alana has a nice receipt posted to her blog “thanking” her for signing up. Her complaint wasn’t that she paid too much for that one class, but that the general price might be too much for her to keep going back.

Either way, the whole thing has blown up and received lots of attention. BarreCleveland has scrubbed the back-and-forth tweets from its Twitter feed. But it certainly looks like it already went way too far. Engaging with people who criticize you online is one thing — and can be quite useful. Threatening to call the police on them and demanding they erase what they’ve written about you is going way too far, and the internet (hello Streisand Effect) doesn’t take kindly to such things.

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Companies: barrecleveland

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Comments on “Gym Allegedly Threatens To Call Police On Blogger For Blogging That Its Prices Were A Bit High”

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That Anonymous Coward (profile) says:

And this is what happens when everyone wins a ribbon.
They expect everything they do will be met with the same over the top exuberance because it is so special.

When they don’t get the positive response they instead lash out looking to make the other person look like less than them, thereby pushing themselves up the ladder.

If I were in that area, even if I had read that review I might have considered that gym up until they went completely apeshit making things up because someone disliked their pricing.
Who wants to pay for a service where if you express any dissatisfaction your met with the threat of the police rather than a discussion.
More creepy is them stalking the days receipts so they could trot out claims of having “stolen” the class. This mentality makes me wonder if they are the kind of people who would run the card again to get back what they are “owed”.

drew (profile) says:

Business Opportunity

I was thinking about this last night (there’s another post further down talking about the whole “any publicity is good publicity”) and I’m wondering if that’s still really true?*
What I mean is that in a pre-user-generated-content world the number of people who could actually/effectively make information public was fairly low. Reporters, critics etc all needed a platform (print / radio / tv) to publish on.
For big corporations these things were relatively easy to influence over a comfortable dinner in an appropriate gentlemen’s club.
For small companies (much like independent artists today) your biggest challenge was getting your name out there and we got to this point of “any publicity is good publicity”.
But this has changed now. One letter to a newspaper (that may not be published) is now a blog or facebook post that’s available everywhere.
Given how quick people are to criticise and how slow they are to praise, we’ve almost swung the pendulum the other way to “most publicity is bad publicity”.

* Disclaimer – I’m no marketeer, I have no idea if it was ever true.

JustMe (profile) says:

Barre Cleveland Review

This is my review of the Barre Cleveland gym. I give them very low marks for the following reasons:

Barre Cleveland is not conveniently located for me. It is very far away from my house and my office, making it difficult for me to visit Barre Cleveland regularly (were I a member).

I read that the Barre Cleveland prices are high. I do not want to visit Barre Cleveland if their prices are high. If that is true, it does not seem like Barre Cleveland provides good value.

The Barre Cleveland facility appears to be quite tiny, when looking in the direction of Barre Cleveland from where I am sitting. This might mean that Barre Cleveland does not have a lot of gym equipment or that Barre Cleveland does not have many workout spaces. Also, I wonder if the Barre Cleveland facility is large enough for human-sized people. I cannot tell if Barre Cleveland even has clean washrooms or any parking space.

I have read that Barre Cleveland believes it is possible to “steal” an excercise class. I do not believe this is possible, unless one were to abduct the students. Does Barre Cleveland think that members might be abducted or kidnapped from the Barre Cleveland environs? This makes me concerned about kidnappings at Barre Cleveland. Perhaps Barre Cleveland has skimped on security.

Finally, I am concerned that Barre Cleveland, and it’s employee Mario F Salwan, might have comitted a crime by violating Ohio Revised Code 2921.21. If there are criminals working at Barre Cleveland I do not want to visit there.


Anonymous (I don't want hate mail from Barre Cleve says:

$25 is a lot to pay for a workout class like that. I don’t care if it looks pretty and is on the good side of town, it’s really way too expensive. It has nothing to do with social class, it’s really just a greedy, spiteful business owner. And that’s NOT classy. Heck, Joffrey in downtown Chicago charges less than these guys and it’s JOFFREY, not some here-today-gone-tomorrow circus outfit.

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