How Not To Do Cyber Monday: The TomTom & 24 Hour Fitness Failures

I’m drowning in Cyber Monday emails — mostly from merchants I’ve already done business with and so far, simply suggesting that my previous business with them isn’t that worthwhile. I’ll pick on TomTom and 24 Hour Fitness, in this post.

TomTom emailed me this:

Hmm. That Go Live Top Gear edition? Yeah, I just bought that at the beginning of the month for the full $270 price. Now they’ve dropped the price $70. I’m supposed to appreciate that?

No, what I’d have appreciated was if I’d been given the credit, instead. I sure would have appreciated when I called to ask about getting some credit, if the TomTom rep hadn’t made me think I was insane to find this strange.

Meanwhile, 24 Hour Fitness emailed “Cyber Monday Specials” to me today. I thought — good timing. My existing membership is about to expire, and this promised some pretty good savings. I headed over to the site, and here’s what I got:

Click on that Join Online Today button, and you have to enter your ZIP code to find clubs near you. Then after you pick a club, you land on the club page, which pitches the Thanksgiving Holiday Specials page, which sends you on a circular loop:

Instead, you have to ignore the most prominent pitch and instead select the “See Prices/Join” option off to the right. Do that, and you can get the offer as shown — but only if you selected a “Sport” level club or lower.

I actually want this membership because it promises access to the higher level “Super Sport” gyms. My existing 24 Hour Fitness gym is a cesspool. And now it’s finally being renovated, which means closure for a month next month.

Directly across the street is a new Super Sport gym that the Sport members aren’t allowed to use, during the renovation. Thanks, 24 Hour Fitness, classy move. But if I can upgrade my membership to use the new, nice gym for the same price I pay now or less, that’s a bargain! Sign me up!

Unfortunately, if you select a Super Sport gym, this offer isn’t available for purchase. That’s odd, because Super Sport gyms aren’t excluded, only the Ultra Sports are:

“Excludes Ultra-Sport level clubs,” you can see — no mention of Super Sport being excluded.

Now, if you click on the “Click for details” link shown, it simply takes you over main “How To Join” page that offers no further specifics. Are Super Sport gyms included or not. I had to call to find out. The phone reps said no (naturally) even though the ad didn’t make this clear.

I could do without the specials, thanks. They aren’t making me feel very special.


  1. says

    It’s Cyber Monday, not Cyber November. Not sure why you’d expect TomTom to give you a credit on something you bought a month ago

  2. says

    Because, Ken, many merchants have 14, 21 or 30 day price matching. It’s a nice way to make their existing customers not hesitate to buy things from them or resent that when they do drop a price, they’ve somehow been ripped off. Because it’s not like the device I got about three weeks ago suddenly changed.

  3. says

    If you’re pushing out a huge deal on a fairly new product it’s going to have blowback — many people will have just bought the item and are going to be upset, potentially even return it to the retailer to get your deal — and that nets you nothing [except some bad PR]. You have to think from the perspective of your your existing customer, how they react, how the offer impacts them too [especially when the offer went out via email and thus mostly to current customers].

  4. Craig Burgess says


    I’m glad you pointed out these marketing #fails. I run into this all the time, not just on sale days, and it astonishes me that multi-million/-billion dollar companies put out such mind-numbing, ineffective processes and concepts. I love the latest Google video about the real-life experience of checking out, porting the online experience to a grocery store. If we looked at things through this lens, the bad experiences would happen a lot less.

  5. Randy says

    The biggest fault I have with these kind of deals (24 hour fitness) is the lack of information that people at the club level have and inability to use the same promotion on different platforms. You would think that with a deal such as this you could just call the physical location to get the deal, but they will tell you “i haven’t heard of this promotion” or “it’s internet only”. It just doesn’t make any sense.

  6. says

    OC 24 Hour Fitness, marketing: new location migration

    Yes, I know both of the locations you cited (the new 24 is splendid; yes, the other 24 is dank, to be generous). Getting directly to the point (I’ll omit 24’s intentional misdirection/squirreliness in print and online come-on’s): get people migrated over to the new facility by allowing the same ~$25/mo. membership in return yearly sign-up and also offer a three month sign-up at ~$25, at the new facility, that would then bump up to the new ~$50/mo. price. All the while keeping in mind that the oldish 24 will have been be cleaned-up in around four months or so.