I want to clarify before I begin this post that this is not a rating of Vertical Edge as a whole, but specifically of my experience there last night. And I’m going to begin by adding some context.
Vertical Edge is one of three climbing gyms that I use in the area. It is the gym that hosts the Tuesday meetups with most of my climbing friends in the area, and Tuesday’s have become the highlight of my weeks because of it. They give you a discount of $3 every Tuesday when you come with the meetup, which is also a huge bonus, and your first time with the meetup is free (a great incentive for bringing along new friends to try it out). While slightly older than Triangle Rock Club (and when I say slightly, I mean like 15 years), I genuinely enjoy the routes there, and it’s definitely a better gym for bringing beginners. Plus, Greg works there and we all love Greg.
Well, this week I walk in and am non-greeted as usual by Mark (the guy who works this desk who’s never very nice to me, but definitely knows me as sometimes we actually joke around and he used to help me out on the bouldering wall occasionally). When I go to pay he says “$11”, which is the normal price. I let him know I was with the Meetup, and he goes “Did you RSVP?” Seriously? EVERY OTHER TIME I’ve gone, they assume $8 because they know I’m with the meetup, and now you’re going to ask me if I RSVPed? When I told him I did, he pauses and responds with “We check these things you know”. Oh my goodness.
I recognize the economies not good right now, and I’m sure they’re losing some money, which makes me understand wanting to be a little tighter on giving the meetup discount. But this seriously shouldn’t be done in a ‘I’m gonna catch you’ kind of way to your most loyal customers. It makes sense with people who are coming for their first time (although even then you can be more polite), but when you do this to someone who comes all the time, and who you KNOW is part of the Meetup, you’re just not making friends there.
I have about 11 free passes to TRC (literally), yet every Tuesday I insist on paying to come to Vertical Edge because I love the people so much. Well, Vertical Edge, if that’s how you’re going to treat me when I make that choice, please expect to lose my business once a week. Which I’m pretty sure will hurt you more than the $3 you would have saved if you ‘caught me’ sneaking in at Meetup Prices.
Can you tell I’m that kid who never got in trouble in school, and doesn’t feel very comfortable when someone tries to get me in trouble? Yeah, that’s me and I rate this experience a 2. 2 points for teaching me the importance of RSVPing to Tuesday night climbing.
P.S. Did I mention how much I love Greg and how much this rating is absolutely no reflection on him and his work at Vertical Edge? Okay, just wanted to check.