A WOMAN has hit out at a Scots gym after they slapped her with a lifetime ban and £1,000 fine for making a mistake.
Caroline Farish, 36, said she feels she has been treated “like a criminal” after she accidentally dropped a water bottle, causing it to smash.
The business property owner, from Dumfries, was heading to the jacuzzi with a friend when she accidentally dropped the bottle.
And she was left horrified to discover that the glass nozzle inside the plastic bottle had smashed.
The part-time teacher, who has been a member at the gym for ten years, immediately alerted a member of staff, as well as management, to the situation.
The incident happened on the evening of on December 20 when there were few people using the facilities.
And she claimed she was nowhere near the pool when it fell from her grip.
When staff hoovered up the mess, Caroline thought the situation was finished – but she then received a letter from the gym asking her to submit a statement explaining what had happened within seven days.
After doing so, she received a second letter explaining that she was now banned for life from Bannatyne’s.
Caroline was also told to pay a £1,000 fine to cover the cost of draining and cleaning the pool.
The health club claimed the pool was closed for eight days after the pool had to be drained – which is the procedure for when broken glass gets near the pool so it can be removed in case someone gets injured.
They added that their insurance does not cover the cost for these type of incidents and gave Caroline until January 21 to pay the fine.
Looking for help, she contacted Citizens Advice and they put her in touch with consumer rights groups, who advised her to check what it says on her contract with the gym.
Caroline told the Dumfries and Galloway Standard that she has been left “embarrassed” by the situation, adding that she feels she has been treated “like a criminal”.
She said: “I am anxious about what happens after the deadline as they say it is a debt. I feel like I’m being treated like a criminal.
“They even took my bottle off me as if it was forensics for a murder case!”
Caroline added: “It was a complete accident and I am being treated as if I had taken in a wine glass.
“I feel like they have humiliated me and I feel embarrassed about the whole thing.
“Even if they apologise to me and invite me back I would say no. I will never go back to Bannatyne’s.”
Bannatyne Health Club told the Scottish Sun that they have strict rules about handing glass near to the pool area for the safety of all members.
They added that these are signposted in the area and it is also noted in the gym membership contracts.
A spokesperson for the health club said: “We treat breaches of our club rules very seriously.
“There are strict safety rules regarding bringing any glass items poolside to protect the safety of all our members.
“When broken glass gets into the pool it takes up to 36 hours to completely drain and refill the pool, meaning the actions of one person impact significantly on every member.
“The signage is clear, and the sanctions that may be imposed are displayed within the health club.”
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