Saturday, January 13, 2007

Yoga shouldn't bring frustration, should it?!

I have a situation that I could not be more frustrated with.
My thoughtful husband bought me a gift certificate for 8 weeks of yoga classes for Christmas. This was an awesome gift idea! I LOVE yoga and have been wanting to take a more formal class for quite some time now. I was so impressed with Keith's gift idea and I could not wait to start my 2 months of yoga.

Well, I went to my first class last Tuesday. The class lasts an hour and a half. I won't go into much detail, but lets just say it was less than enjoyable. I have taken other yoga classes before, from 4 other instructors and this was my least favorite class. I didn't really have one good thing to say about the class and left the studio feeling crabby and irritated. I should never leave yoga feeling crabby and irritated. As a matter of fact, in the past (before this experience) I have always left my yoga class in a great mood, feeling relaxed and ready to take on the world.

So, the dilemma- what to do about this gift certificate. I had been in contact with the instructor prior to the first class via email, so I decided to email him. If you know me at all, you will know that I am not a confrontational person. And, I do not like to hurt people's feelings. I didn't know what to tell him. How do you tell someone that you totally disliked their class? I considered lying, telling him that my work schedule had changed to four 10 hour days and I wouldn't be able to make it to the class. In the end, I decided to "sugar coat" the truth for him. I emailed him and thanked him for the opportunity to participate in his class, but after the first class, I didn't feel like it was a good "fit" for me. (on his website it states that you have to withdraw before the second class for refund, minus the registration fee). I told him he could mail the refund check to me or I could pick it up. His response was "there are no refunds for gift certificates". I read and reread his response. I was SO ANGRY! I did not like his class at all, but tried to be kind about it and this is what I get?!?! So, I emailed him again and told him that I did not feel that I should lose out on the money it cost to purchase the gift certificate just because I did not enjoy the class. I asked if it were possible to purchase yoga mats or eye pillows or other equipment he may sell. His infuriating response was basically "we are a small studio with limited resources. Please hear me out on this, the gift certificate can only be used for classes".

You can imagine my complete and total appall at this! I cannot believe that he is choosing to be so unreasonable. I truly feel like I handled this in the most professional way that I could. When I did not get my way at first, I attempted to find another solution to the problem and he is just not budging! Oooooh- it really bothers me.
I wanted to email him back and tell him that he is being completely unreasonable and I will be sure to tell my family, friends and co-workers how unaccommodating he was. I wanted to email him that I will NEVER recommend his business to anyone looking for a yoga studio. But, I didn't. I actually haven't responded to his last email because I did not want to do so in anger. I am still so angry, so I still can't respond. Namaste-yeah right.

What do I do about this? Keith paid alot of money for the classes and I can't bear to let that money just go to this man for no service whatsoever. But, I do not want to take his stinking yoga classes and Keith doesn't either. I thought about asking him if I can give the certificate to someone else, but I don't want to send anyone to this studio. Should I just drop it and move on?
Suggestions, please?!?!?!? What would you do?

My favorite part about this whole situation was my friend Nicole's response to it all.... after I explained the story to her, she said "well, that isn't very yoga-like of him, is it?". I am glad Nicole was able to bring a bit of humor to an otherwise not humorous situation.

Ok, enough of my venting for the day.....


Corie said...

Oooh, I just looked at this post after I posted it to my blog and it is LONG! Geez, sometimes I can be very long-winded- even when typing! I promise to try and make my next post a bit more uplifting!

Val, that's me said...

Are you sure we aren't the same person??? :)

Cor, I dealt with a situation similar to this recently. I completely understand. As a business person, trying to see things from his side, it is wrong. A business person's #1 priority are his clients. You must do all things possible to make the client happy ESPECIALLY if you are a small business! I had a customer recently very unhappy. I tried everything in my power to please them when I found that out. (Unfortunately no matter what I did, they weren't pleased, but I know you are not that kind of person and would appreciate any kind of understanding he might give you) What I think you should do it CALL HIM or go to him IN PERSON. I person is the best thing because he won't be able to tell you straight out the things he told you in email. I think he'll have to be understanding. I hope this works out. It stinks that some people are like this. I'm sorry your class was not good. That is definitely NOT normal with yoga. And Nicole is right, that is not very yoga-like of him.