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Labour politician and GLA member Andrew Dismore labels LA Fitness pool ban 'outrageous victimisation'
Labour politician Andrew Dismore wrote to LA Fitness chief executive Martin Long demanding he reinstates the membership of Terry Messenger
Barnet’s GLA member has weighed in on an “outrageous” decision by swimming pool managers to ban a member who complained about its regular closure.
Labour politician Andrew Dismore wrote to LA Fitness chief executive Martin Long demanding he reinstates the membership of Terry Messenger, who was thrown out by the national gym chain last week.
Father-of-three Mr Messenger had complained to the Times Series that the swimming pool was closed on several occasions over the past six months.
The 56-year-old, who only joined the £50-a-month complex to use the pool, argued that members should be given some money back when facilities are not available.
But he has since had his membership terminated by head of member services Neil Hodgon, who said the gym was clearly not meeting his needs as he had complained to the press.
Assembly member for Barnet Mr Dismore labelled the decision “outrageous” and accused the fitness corporation of “shooting the messenger”.
In a letter to CEO Mr Long, Mr Dismore said: “LA Fitness’s treatment of Terry Messenger is one of the most outrageous examples of consumer victimisation I have ever seen.
“If you do not think that a service is adequate, speaking with local newspapers must be an option available to consumers. Most businesses would see such complaints as an opportunity to improve their service, not shoot the messenger.
“Companies like this are very keen to take subscriptions from people even when they don’t regularly use the faculties, so it is a bit rich for them to take the money and then not provide the service people pay high prices to use.”
The former Hendon MP also believes the case raises a wider issue of consumer protection when they speak to newspapers.
He added: “Whilst whistle-blowers working in the public sector have some protection, no protection exists for consumer whistle-blowers.
“If I was still an MP I would be introducing a private members bill to ensure that consumers like Terry are protected.”
LA Fitness is yet to provide a response despite a request from the Times Series.