Banned from UBX Training Gym – For What ??

Banned from UBX Training Gym – For What ??

WARNING – This post has become very very long (and getting longer)… Unfortunately, what should have been a very simple story, and not worth posting about at all, has evolved into a bit of a Saga – mostly due to the horrendous way an alleged complaint against me to UBX Greenslopes has been handled…. Despite Permanently Banning me from the gym, UBX have still not deemed it necessary to tell me what I apparently did wrong… This post is about my thoughts, feelings and disgust at the way this has been handled – with the aim of ensuring no-one else is treated so poorly by UBX in future.


This summary does not contain the full context or details of the entire situation, but it provides an overview of my experiences and feelings throughout the suspension and complaint process.

I have been a long-term fan and member of UBX for over four years, with more than 1300 visits to the UBX Greenslopes Gym, and attribute some of my significant weight loss and improved fitness level to the training provided by UBX.

However, out of the blue, my membership was suspended following a phone call from the UBX Greenslopes owner, who stated that a complaint had been filed against me. The nature of the complaint (who, what, when) was not disclosed, neither was I informed (until recently) of the complaints process.

I was shocked and confused by the suspension, as I was completely unaware of any incident that could have led to such a complaint. I attempted to communicate with the gym owner and seek information about the complaint process and the nature of the complaint, but received no response initially.

I continued to press for information about the complaint and the status of the suspension, and was eventually informed that I had been “permanently banned”. I was concerned about potential motives behind the complaint (and whether or not it was even true) and wondered why the complainant didn’t approach them directly to resolve any issues, or the gym didn’t ask for my side of the story.

Thankfully , I have received great support from fellow gym members, who were also surprised by the situation.

Eventually UBX HQ responded and promised to investigate the complaint further and work towards a resolution, and I was eventually provided with the UBX Complaints Process (after I had been banned and my membership terminated) but still did not receive any details about the complaint.

I am determined to know the truth about the complaint and have sought clarity from UBX HQ. They have expressed their belief that a fair resolution and transparent complaints process were essential for both members and the gym, and, to their credit, have acknowledged issues with how this has been handled, and agreed to react to feedback. I hope they do.

I am still oblivious to the nature of the complaint, have not been asked for my side of the story, or been give any right of reply, and actually have my doubts whether a valid complaint actually exists, but am determine to find out the truth.

Monday 10th July – “You Have Been Suspend Subject to an Investigation”

I’ve been a long term fan of UBX (formerly know as 12 Round Fitness). I have been a member of the UBX Greenslopes Gym for more than 4 years and have had more than 1300 visits. I love the way their exercise program is setup and attribute a chunk of my weight loss (55kg), and current level of fitness to the training I have done there….

UBX training is an important part of the reason I have been able to maintain my weight loss for so long (nearly 5 years) and I am now probably the fittest and healthiest I have been for more than 30 years…. so to be told.. out of the blue.. that my membership had been Suspended came as quite a shock.

Gym Membership Suspended

On Monday 10th July, I received a brief (but shocking) phone call from the UBX Greenslopes owner (AJ), saying that they had received a complaint about me, that my gym membership had been suspended, and that I wouldn’t be able to attend the gym until further notice … I was stunned …

He went on to say that for “confidentiality” reasons he wasn’t able to say who had complained, when it had occurred, or what the complaint actually was, and that he had to follow a “process” in case it went legal.

I was immediately concerned and worried about what may have occurred to be serious enough for me to be suspended, and that could potentially go legal ????

I wracked my brain for any incident or situation that may have resulted in someone being uncomfortable – and could not come up with a single thing.

I was told that the complainant had also been suspended subject to a review of the complaint, but was NOT told :

  • what the complaint process entailed
  • how long it might take
  • when I would be told what the allegation was
  • when I would have a chance to respond
  • or whether he suspension was temporary or permanent

Oh My God … What just happened

I left the phone call feeling numb.. I didn’t know what had just happened… Suddenly I was torn from my daily routine (I usually go to the gym up to 2 hrs a day – 6 days a week) – to being banned (perhaps forever) … I didn’t know what I had done… I didn’t know who I had upset.. I didn’t know how serious this was (but had to assume the worst).

I reviewed my gym sessions for the last 2 weeks in my head and tried to remember everyone I had spoken to… a wrote down a list of every female (at least I assume the complainant is female) that I had spoken to and thought through each interaction and came up with nothing that could be considered remotely inappropriate.

What’s Going On ??

I sent an email back to AJ that afternoon asking for information about the complaints process, and included a list of people I had spoken to in the last fortnight and told him I was very happy for him to speak to any of them about this issue… No Response

I started worrying about what AJ had said about “if this goes legal” so sought legal advice and sent another email off to AJ asking for the following – and again – No Response :

  • Details of the complaints process
  • The nature of the complaint
  • Where and when it occurred
  • The impact on the complainant
  • What the complainant is seeking as an outcome / resolution

Since then I have messaged daily to try and find out the status of this, and heard nothing until late Thursday (13th July) when AJ messaged me with “I’m expecting to hear back from HR today sometime.”…

Gym Etiquette

The social aspect of the gym has (surprisingly) become important to me…. I do tend to chat to people… I think I am pretty indiscriminate about who I talk to… but I am very aware, that as an older guy (nearly 60) I need to be careful how/when I talk to young females or it could be misconstrued (no-one wants to be “that creepy guy at the gym”).

I have on occasion, realised that someone didn’t want to chat – they wanted to focus on their training…That’s absolutely fine and reasonable.. I get it… and there are some people at the gym, I simply acknowledge and don’t engage with… no problem.

But Why ?

I was concerned how I could have done something to annoy someone so much to make a complaint – without being aware of it … Am I really that clueless ? Surely if I made someone uncomfortable, the first option would be to ask me to back off rather than raise a formal complaint ?

I began to wonder why anyone would do this? What’s the point of submitting a complaint ? What would they get out of it ? Is this a real complaint because I actually upset someone, or is it just part of some “master plan” to get me out of the gym ? Or is someone simply using this as an excuse to cancel their gym membership?

I can’t think of ANYONE that I have upset… and if I did I would have done my damndest to resolve it.

How am I feeling?

I’ve been on an emotional rollercoaster.. (probably partially fueled by the lack of endorphins I am used to getting from training )

I am sad, upset, confused…
I am concerned, worried, frustrated…
I am anxious, depressed and sometimes angry.

Occasionally I see it as an opportunity to move forward and make some positive change’s in my life.

I am confident I have done nothing wrong… I am hopeful (but not certain) I will eventually be vindicated, and I am wondering if/when I am allowed to return to UBX Greenslopes whether I will actually want to.

(Update Friday Lunchtime)

Thanks for the Support

I had a number of my Gym Besties contact me to see why I hadn’t been training and see if I was OK…. When I explained what was going on, they were as shocked as I was :

  1. That someone had complained about me
  2. at how I had been treated
  3. that I was being left in the dark with no option to respond

I have subsequently contacted some of the other’s and they are stunned as well… Thanks VERY MUCH for he support guys (and girls).. feeling a bit better about the world just now 🙂

(Update Friday Afternoon)

“Permanantly Banned”

I’ve had an update from AJ… apparently UBX Human Resources have reviewed the complaint and decided to ban both myself and the claimant permanently from UBX Greenslopes … which I believe allows us to join another UBX gym, but prevents us from returning to Greenslopes for at least 12 months. This comes as a bit of a surprise because they still have not contacted me… I still don’t know what the complaint is… and I still have not been informed of the complaints process.

Not sure quite what they based their decision on … Did they talk to the claimant (they certainly didn’t communicate with me)?… How did they judge whether it was a legitimate complaint, and if so, who was at fault ?

Have they just decided it is all too hard and hoped that by banning us both the problem would just go away ?

I have reached out to UBX HR and asked of a copy of the process… including (if one exists) their Appeals process… more to come ??

(Update Friday Evening)

Its a Guy (apparently)

I’ve been making some enquiries, doing a little detective work and asking around my gym buddies, and although I still don’t yet know what the actual complaint is, it seems that the complainant is a guy (NOT a girl as I had assumed).

Discovering this has probably shocked me more than anything else so far… I had assumed the complaint would be related to a female feeling uncomfortable about something I had said or done… I have even less of a clue what I could have possibly done to offend a guy – and why he couldn’t have just told me there was a problem so we could have resolved it simply…

In some ways I am greatly relieved that I hadn’t somehow overstepped the mark when chatting with a girl.. I am always very careful to try and keep everything appropriate, so was horrified when I thought I may have offended a girl. I’m also glad that it rules out one of my ex-best-buddies as a possible complainant 🙂

(Update Saturday)

Nothing from UBX (yet)

Saturday morning, and nothing new really to report, but I am glad I am at peace with AJ from UBX Greenslopes. I am enjoying the support I am still getting from my gym buddies, and reading and responding to the comments. Some useful insights here, but overall most people seem to be as stunned as I am at the process (or lack thereof).

I (like most people apparently) am wondering how I could have been banned for something that I didn’t even notice doing at the time ?

I’ve been training most of the week with F45 and am actually really enjoying it (and being challenged by the new training regime)… I will probably also check out the local Body Fit Training too.

No Response from UBX HR yet, but I guess this is the weekend. I hope they don’t think ignoring me is a viable strategy, as I am now focusing my anger and frustration on them… Now that I have all this extra time on my hands, I have already started putting in place a few of the “court of public opinion” strategies suggested in the comments.

(Update Sunday)

What Would Be “Fair”

Sunday and still nothing from UBX, but I have been pondering some of the feedback and comments I’ve received, and started to wonder about what I would consider a “fair” outcome…

Obviously I’d like to know what I had apparently done wrong.. I guess then I could decide whether or not banning me was fair.

I am guessing the complainant wasn’t expecting to be banned, and I don’t actually think (as long as he believed he had a legitimate reason to complain) this is fair either.

It’s certainly not fair that UBX Greenslopes has lost 2 members, and it may not even be fair for me to air UBX’s dirty laundry… but at the moment I have few options – and if the only positive outcome to this is for UBX to improve their complaints process (so it doesn’t leave members worried, anxious and depressed) then I reckon its a win.

One of the comments to this post asked what would happen if the complainant withdrew the complaint… I don’t know if this is an option, or would make a difference.

I don’t know who has complained or what the problem was, but I am still unaware of any gripes or issues with ANY member (male OR female). I’d be quite happy to talk to them, understand their concerns, apologise and sort out an amicable resolution… and if that involves us avoiding or ignoring each other, fair enough.

I don’t believe either of us should be banned, or that UBX Greenslopes should lose 2 members in an already tough economic climate, but UBX really do need to sort out their complaints process…

(Update Monday)

Sometimes You Have to be Pushed !!!

Wow its only been a week – but feels like a month. Still waiting/hoping to hear from UBX HR – but not holding my breath.

I’ve been training at F45 for the last week and to be honest, I’ve been loving the training, being physically challenged, and all the positive interactions with members is like a breath of fresh air.

Although I do miss my UBX buddies, I am already feeling more welcome at F45 than I have for a long time at UBX … I guess that sometimes you need to be pushed out of your comfort zone to make positive changes in your life.

I’ve been re-evaluating my priorities, and at this stage am likely to continue with F45 (although I should probably give the local BFT a trial too). I would prefer to have my UBX membership reinstated, so I can from time to time catch up with my UBX Buddies (and also be able to justify continuing to work with AJ), but I can’t see myself returning to UBX full time.

I am still VERY focused on holding UBX accountable, and am determined to get to the bottom of this complaint.

(Update Monday afternoon – 1 week after suspension)

UBX HQ Responds…

I have heard back from UBX HQ late this afternoon… they’ve acknowledged that the way this has been handled has caused confusion and frustration and have initiated action “to investigate the initial member complaint further”. They have also promised to keep me up to date as they “speak with all of the relevant parties” and they work towards “the best resolution”.

It certainly doesn’t mean my membership will be reinstated… but seems to be a reasonable (if delayed) response for now. All I really want is a fair and reasonable outcome for all parties…. because at the moment EVERYONE seems to be suffering.

(Update Wednesday)

UBX HQ Responds ?? … NOT

I was in some way encouraged that UBX was “taking it seriously” when they eventually contacted me on Monday… but when they said they were contacting “all interested parties”… it seems that I wasn’t included in that list, because they have still not contacted me, and I am still being kept in the dark.

Apparently what they meant by “all interested parties” is everyone that I have allegedly pissed off or annoyed in the 4+ years I’ve been at the gym, because all of a sudden I have been told there are numerous other “complaints” – most of which I was completely unaware of.

UBX has essentially threatened to talk to everyone who has ever had any issue with me at the gym…

I have also been accused of “playing the victim”… but it’s hard to see it any other way when I still don’t know what I’ve been accused of…. If I’ve actually done something wrong, fair enough, I’ll acknowledge it, and cop the punishment. But I can’t accept (or fix) something that I don’t know.

It is pretty clear that there is no hope for this complaint to be dealt with objectively.. I am a thorn in the side of UBX, and now that this post is getting more attention, and gaining momentum, they just want it to go away… Unfortunately, threatening me is probably not the best approach.

Despite me asking repeatedly (from day one) what the UBX complaints process actually is, I have received nothing – except today confirmation from AJ that there is no appeals process.

I don’t want to embarrass UBX unnecessarily, but I think that UBX Members deserve to be told what the UBX complaints process entails, because at the moment it seems that UBX Staff, Owners and even UBX HQ don’t seem to know what it is. … And if there isn’t a defined complaints process, members should be VERY concerned that any action they take, whether unintentional, accidental , or otherwise could lead to them being banned.

(Update Thursday – 10 days after initial suspension)

Ding Ding….

I heard back from UBX late yesterday… via an email from AJ – the Franchisee owner of UBX Greenslopes…here are some of the highlights.

“After careful consideration and a thorough investigation into the complaint that was filed against you, I regretfully have to confirm the termination of your membership.”

Not sure how a “thorough investigation” would not include me… and I am unaware how “membership terminated” differs from “permanently banned” which was what I was told last week – either will prevent me from going to the gym I have attended almost daily for the last 4 years.

“I have been speaking to all relevant parties and after a thorough investigation I have determined that your actions were in violation of the terms of your membership agreement”

I wonder what actions those are?. because they still haven’t told me… and it seems that I don’t qualify as a “relevant party”

“I have been informed by the complainant that the matter is under legal advisement and as a result I cannot disclose any further specifics”

Sounds like a dodge to avoid explaining the “complaint”… surely I would have noticed if I had ben involved in some activity that warranted legal action ?

UBX HQ seem determined not to communicate with me directly – they are leaving all of that to the UBX Greenslopes Franchisee… so despite AJ’s assurances last week that he was “waiting to hear from UBX HR”, it appears that they are putting his head on the block to try and avoid further attention on UBX HQ… or perhaps it has really been personal all along ? Maybe its just a part of their complaints process ? (but I wouldn’t know because they still haven’t told me what that is).

I have been punished : suspended, permanently banned, and had my membership termninated.

I have been kept in the dark : not told the nature of the complaint, and not given an opportunity to respond.

I have been threatened : with exposure (which doesn’t concern me because I am not embarrassed or ashamed of any of my actions), and with legal action (bring it on, at least then they would need to inform me of the “complaint” and allow me to respond).

At this stage, UBX seem so desperate NOT to tell me what it is, I’m beginning to wonder whether the “complaint” is real at all… Was there really a complaint in the first place , If so, is it legitimate or fabricated ? Could it be a case of mistaken identity ?

I’ve been wondering what Danny Green (Australian professional boxer who held the WBA light-heavyweight title from 2007 to 2008 and also a co-founder of UBX) might do in my situation ?… I am certain he would not back down.. He would come back fighting – Hard.. so thats what I’m going to do too. I may have been forced to hang up my gloves, but I have certainly not thrown in the towel.

I have plenty of options, so unless UBX decide to start communicating sensibly about all this, I reckon we are just in round 3 or 4. :).

For now, I have asked (yet again) for details of the UBX complaint process and the nature of the complaint, and will give them a reasonable amount of time to respond before I escalate further.

(Update Friday – 11 days after initial suspension)

UBX Complaints Process – at Last

Well I have finally heard from a real person from UBX HQ… and they have finally provided me with a copy of the UBX Complaints Process. It is simple, clear and reasonable…. Not sure why it took them nearly 2 weeks to provide me with it (but I am guessing that it may not have existed until a day or two ago).

They state :

“Our goal is to manage all complaints in an open, accountable, responsive, fair, efficient, and effective way. We appreciate your feedback and will use it to improve our processes in the future.”

which is awesome, because my experience of their complaints process probably only ticked 2 of these boxes (efficient and effective).. they have failed miserably on the rest. I really do hope that they take my feedback on board to ensure that no other UBX Member (or complainant for that matter) has to suffer through the same traumatic experience I have.

They also explained, how the process was handled in my case… They said that the business owner of UBX Greenslopes received the initial complaint, carried out an investigation, and made a decision to terminate my membersip… They explicitly state that UBX HQ “were not involved in the decision to “ban” anyone from the club”…

Which is completely at odds to everything I had been told previously.

I was informed that the complaint was submitted direct to UBX HQ, was investigated by UBX HR (with input from UBX Greenslopes), and it was UBX HQ who made the decision to first initiate a Permanent Ban, and then “after reviewing with all interested parties” (but not me) decided to terminate my membership.

Something stinks here … someone is telling me bullshit … I’m just not sure whether UBX HQ is throwing AJ under the bus, or AJ is covering his arse… but in either case I have been misled and lied to by someone.

So What Did I Do ??

I still don’t know what I did that was so terrible that deserved being banned (or how I could have done it without noticing). I have (yet again) asked UBX to provide me with details of the complaint.. where, when, what (but not who)…

So far they have refused to provide this. Initially details of the complaint were denied on the grounds of “confidentiality”, and then, because the matter may be under “legal advisement”… UBX HQ have told me that they don’t actually know the details and have requested these from UBX Greenslopes..

I’d prefer not to make this a legal issue, but I am confident I’ve done nothing wrong, so if I need to escalate this further to shed some light on the complaint (and presumably, the complainant too), then so be it.

(Update Saturday – 12 days after initial suspension)

When is Enough, Enough ??

I have been asked why I keep pursuing this , why am I making such a drama, why dont I just suck it up and move on ??

Ask yourself…

  • If you were accused, and punished for something… but you didn’t know what it was, and had your doubts whether you’d actually done it… What would you do ?
  • If you had signficant changes forced onto your life, but werent told why, and were facing weeks or months of wondering what you had done wrong … What would you do ?

I actually believe that this situation (and my perseverance) has already had some positive outcomes :

  • on me.. It has forced me to try another gym (12 days straight so far) – where I am feeling more welcome, am being physically challenged … and am enjoying.. a LOT… It has motivated me to make some lifestyle changes : I dont have to drive 20 minutes to and from the gym every day… I get to sleep a bit longer… I’ve completely stopped taking pre-workout…
  • on UBX … I am actually impressed with their complaints policy (even though it clearly hasn’t been followed with me), and I actually believe (perhaps naively) their assurances that they will take my feedback on board.

But I do still need to know (for my own peace of mind), the TRUTH about the complaint.. Was their actually a real complaint, if so, what the allegation was… and then, if I am guilty of it, I can acknolwedge it, apologise for it, try to resolve it, and try not to repeat it.

At the moment the accounts of how this has been handled are so dramatically different between UBX HQ and the UBX Greenslopes Franchisee, that someone has to be lying to me.

Enough will be enough when I am satisfied that I know the truth about the complaint…

(Update Wednesday – 16 days after initial suspension)

Well… I’ve taken a few days to chillax and consider… and given AJ and UBX a chance to do the same… but nothing much seems to have changed.

Despite UBX HQ :

  • asking AJ to provide them with details of the Complaint
  • advising me to liaise directly with AJ,
  • and instructing AJ to provide me with more information,

…I am still no closer to finding out what I have been accused of… and in fact AJ now seems to be refusing to communicate with me at all – his most recent communication regarding the complaint (last Friday) was “Stop messaging me!!”.

I have taken time to more carefully review the UBX Complaints Process, and whilst my initial opinion was that it was simple, concise and reasonable, I now realise that it includes nothing at all about procedures for the Complainee (if – as in my case, the complaint was about a person)… So if a member complained about another gym member, or member of staff, it doesn’t address their role, rights or responsibilities at all. Even as it stands though, the UBX complaint process has (very clearly) NOT been followed.

My main concern, is still that I have never been told what I have been accused of doing, or been asked for my input, or been given a right to reply, or an opportunity apologise if necessary, or even learn from my mistakes.

I cannot think of ANY situation (in the civilized, free world at least) which involves someone being accused and punished, where they would not be made aware of the issue. Imagine if you received a speeding/parking fine but not told where or when it occurred, or you were arrested by the police and not told why ? There would be an uproar.

UBX Members (and Staff) Beware

If I was still a UBX Member I’d be very concerned…

At the moment UBX HQ seem to be supporting this flawed process and you run the real risk, that if you are accused of something (whether it is true or not) you may have no right to state your case… It appears they expect you to just shut up, accept the punishment and go away …

What Does ChatGPT Think ?

In the course of my work I have been recently doing some investigation into AI learning and in particular ChatGPT… so I thought I might see what ChatGPT thought about all this by asking it “I have been banned from the gym following a complaint… what should I do ?

I thought that it came up with a pretty reasonable set of options, however, of the 8 suggested steps I am only able to do :

# 1 – Stay Calm and Respectful – which I hope I have mostly done
# 8 – Consider finding a new gym – which I have definitely done

Unfortunately all the other suggestions are dependent on me actually knowing something about the complaint … (see here for ChatGPTs response in full).

While I was on a roll, I also asked ChatGPT “how do I publicise an issue I have with my gym” and was given 10 suggestions on how to address, promote and publicise my concerns… some of these I have already initiated, but there were a few which are worth considering further 🙂

Update Monday – 3 weeks after initial Suspension

Still No Change… I am still Banned, my UBX memberships has still been Terminated…. I still don’t know the nature of the “complaint” (or if it actually existed), and have not been given the opportunity to present my side of the story as part of the “UBX Complaints Process”.

Time to Escalate…

Update ~ 7 weeks after initial Suspension

So… what’s been happening ??

I’ve been pestered by people asking for an update … so here it is 🙂

Despite an ongoing investigation by the Office of Fair Trading about how this “complaint” has been handled by the owner of UBX Greenslopes, I am still not really any closer to finding out the truth of what happened… and maybe never will.

Sometimes the simplest answer is correct though – the most likely scenario seems to be the one that pretty much everyone I’ve spoken to from the outset has insisted is the reason (but I had just not wanted to believe it).

It seems that an Ex-Best Friend and gym buddy of mine, and the Gym owner have colluded and concocted the complaint, as an excuse to get me out of the gym so she can come back training without having to face me.

AJ had assured me this isn’t true, but most everything else he has told me has proven to be a lie, so why should I believe him ?

Regrets ?

Not really … despite a lot of angst, anxiety and frustration, over the last months, I have recently turned 60 and am fitter and healthier than I have been for 30 years – some of this I attribute to the training I did with UBX… But I have joined a new gym (that I am loving, and getting better results)… I have maintained friendships with some of my old UBX Gym Buddies, and have developed a whole bunch of new gym buddies at F45.

I am disappointed that my ex-friend didn’t seem to care enough about the “friendship” to explain the issues or try and resolve them… she’s not the person I thought she was. I suspect that AJ may have some regrets that he didn’t think it all through first, I wish him every success with the gym and his side business, but have doubts he can ultimately make it a success.

I do regret dragging UBX Headquarters into this, they have mostly been helpful and professional, and probably as much victims of this as I am… I am certainly not claiming to be blameless, I am sure that I have rubbed some people up the wrong way.. and perhaps a ban is even an appropriate outcome…but the way this process has been handled is just appalling… I hope this post goes some way in explaining my perspective, and that any future, legitimate, UBX member complaints are dealt with appropriately.