Orange Theory is Shady

Orange Theory is Shady. If you are looking for an example of a company that didn’t play fair during the pandemic, look no further than Orange Theory. They shut billing off for their customers in March of 2020 through May, and then, by sending what looked like junk email, they reactivated billing in June — never mind that by September they were dealing with headlines out of Chicago that 18 people got COVID at just one of their locations.

No rational, thinking person could tell you that as of June of 2020, it was safe to enter the small Potomac Yard studio of Orange Theory. So for what exactly were they charging people? A small, poorly-ventilated room filled with deeply-exhaling people dripping their sweat on everything? What they should have done is kept billing off and signed back up people who  wanted to go back last year, knowing the risks.

But no, that would have been not only financially respectful to their members, it would also have been the responsible thing to do during a very dangerous pandemic. They failed on both counts. They didn’t believe they’re customers were loyal enough to sign back up when it is safe. And they certainly didn’t have the health of the local community in mind, staying open during several surges.

But they lose. Let’s do the math. Had I stayed a member for the next 10 years — and as I am a homeowner in Del Ray, I would have — I would have given them $14,280 and most likely positive word of mouth around town. I most likely would have also referred some friends. But now, they have only the $1200 they essentially stole from me, when they sold me something I could not have safely accessed as someone over 50 during a global pandemic, relying on the all-too-familiar trickery inherent in recurring billing.

So, I hope, OTF, your $1200 was worth a crappy review on Yelp and NextDoor — and anywhere else I can write one — and the loss of future revenue from me. And the years of bad mouthing I am going to do about you. And rest assured, there is one muscle I have kept in shape during the pandemic: my jaw’s. And I intend to use it to tell anyone who is listening that what you did was just plain shady.

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