Everyone gets a free class before you need to start paying or sign up for membership. I used my freebie on a kettlebell class (I had never tried a group kettlebell class before) and was completely disappointed. First of all, I'd like to mention why I wanted to try classes at Evolv in the first place. It seemed like you had a wide variety of different classes at different times and required a sign up for each class to limit the size, so I was looking forward to attending an appropriately sized, structured group fitness class. I quickly realized that the sign up rule didn't mean jack, because attendance to the first class I went to was out of control. There were so many people that the instructor didn't know what to do with everyone. There weren't enough kettlebells for everyone. There wasn't enough space. The class then devolved to what I can only describe as a high school PE class where we were split up into two groups to do very random exercises for 2 minutes at a time, only doing kettlebell related exercises every other 2 minute period (switching groups). I do not feel that the instructor gave adequate technical instruction. I asked the instructor after class if this was a normal class, and I was told that classes are not usually that large, and normally more structured.
I had a friend that went to a different class that same day and said she loved it. Because we were trying to find a place to join together and there were many good reviews for Evolv, I chalked it up to being a fluke and agreed to just go in and try it out for a month. Maybe the first class was an unfortunate accident. So I came back a few days later, about thirty minutes before class, and signed up for a membership. I filled out the forms, I paid, and I had to ask what the process was for attending classes (e.g. you need to go to the front office to check in and get a pass - pretty important, I'd say). I went outside until the doors opened for the class, and the large swarm of people that were waiting in the office rush through the doors in a mad frenzy, grabbing equipment, staking out spots. I quickly understood why. There was not enough equipment. People kept coming in the door. And they kept coming. I have never attended that particular class at Evolv before, so I had no idea what equipment I actually needed, but I tried to grab the same things that others around me were grabbing. I snatched up the very last two barbells, for my friend and I (I don't know what the people after me did, because there were still many more people). My friend was not able to grab a bench (keep in mind we haven't not actually been instructed to grab anything, so we have no idea what's going to be essential or how much weight we need). We grabbed random weights for the barbells, many were cracked and actually duct taped, but whatever, weights are weights. I got two very small weights and two very large weights, because that's all that was left by the time I got over there. Then the instructor says everyone needs two dumbbells. So in a mad rush, everyone runs over, including me, but by the time I am there I realize that only very large dumbbells are left. I had no idea what kind of exercise we were going to do or if this weight will be appropriate. At that point, frustrated beyond belief, I said, "screw this." I gathered my things, went back out into the lobby, and asked for a refund. I didn't even stay to attend the class. My frustration was unbelievable. Oh, and my friend stayed for the class and afterwards told me they didn't even use the benches.
Fast forward to a few days later. I do see that the charge for my membership went through on my credit card activity, but I don't see a refund. I called you guys to ask about it, and the girl that answered the phone remembered me from that day I came in. She told me that they were trying to call me to offer me ten free classes as an apology but supposedly didn't have my phone number. I responded by saying that I filled out the paperwork when I signed up so I'm pretty sure they do have my phone number. I'd like to point out the obvious here and say that she literally had me on the phone, then and there, and did not ask to verify my phone number or ask if I still wanted the free classes. (Oh, and because it's hilarious, I have to add that they I know Evolv absolutely does have my phone number because you've CALLED me before. I used your online inquiry form a couple of days before I tried the kettlebell class asking about the student discount and someone from Evolv actually called my number and left a voicemail. I was busy that week and instead of calling back I just came in. Also, I've received emails from you. Evolv dfeinitely has my information). After a stretch of awkward silence, because I really didn't know what she was expecting me to say, I ask about the refund and she tells me that the charge has to 'go all the way through' or something and then they can process the refund. All I knew at that point was that she had acknowledged I'm still owed money, they're working on it, great. I would wait it out.
At the time I'm writing this, it's been over a week and I still do not see a refund and I have not been called about an apology. I called the office again late last week and was given basically the same explanation. When I asked for a timeline, I was told "roughly two weeks." If they had just told me that when I asked for the refund in the first place, I would not have called twice already (wasting my time and your staff's time) and, subsequently, felt compelled to write this review (wasting mainly my own time).
I'm disappointed that it didn't work out because the location, schedule, and price point would have worked out great for me. Evolv really needs to invest in a lot of new equipment, actually observe functional class capacities, consider giving new members some direction, and make sure all of their classes are structured and consistent. I hope you read this and take my experience to heart, and make it better for future members!