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“Is the local Council paying Freedom Leisure too much?”


written by britishconsumer on 06/02/2017

We are a volunteer club that practices Olympic and Submission wrestling, started in London 18 years ago, with a group now in Stanley Deason Leisure Centre, managed by Freedom Leisure. Our Brighton group has been practising in Stanley Deason LC for approximately 5 years ago. The front line staff are fantastic and friendly, no qualms there, but the monthly drag we have to go through to pay their invoice is unbelievable!! Imagine that??? We have to chase Freedom leisure to get them to take our money! Each month, we receive an email with that month's invoice. We have asked for quarterly invoice, Computer Says No (CSN). On receipt of invoice, you can either ring to pay - which usually directs to ansaphone which no one calls back, or when they do, you are either at work, driving or actually busy! OR you can fill all your credit card details including your important CVC number onto a printed A4 form at the centre whereupon this form takes a journey through numerous hands before it reaches a finance officer that enters it into a pdq machine to effect payment. How can Freedom leisure ask us to put down all our credit card details onto such a form WHEN our banks specifically advises us against it! As Stanley Deason leisure centre reception has a pdq machine, I asked if I can pay there? Again, CSN (Computer Says No) I asked if I can pay CASH at Stanley Deason reception, again CSN! I asked if their head office could keep my Credit Card details on secure file and on my instruction, effect monthly payment on my behalf, again CSN. So over the years, this charade of several phone calls and messages ensues; I ring, ansaphone, they sometimes call me back, Im busy! Today, I decided to face this charade head on and escalated my concerns. After speaking to their complaints officer who passed my concerns to their finance officer, I was told they will look into my earlier proposal of their head office keeping my Credit Card details on secure file and on my instruction, effect monthly payment on my behalf. This took them 5 years to consider my proposal! If so many sellers in ebay, amazon and gum tree can transact deals online nowadays, I am indeed puzzled by why and how Freedom Leisure can rest on it's laurels of yesteryears! Perhaps their finance department still uses abacus, profit loss accounting books, pencil and rubber and quail pens to conduct their daily duties OR Brighton & Hove city council is paying Freedom Leisure too much for them to bother collecting their dues.

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