No. ClubReady is not a collections company, and we don’t offer any collections-related services. What we do offer are preferred vendors for these services. All collections vendors are third parties completely unrelated to ClubReady or its affiliates. As a subscriber, once one of your members, clients or customers goes into default on their account due to non-payment, it’s up to you to decide how best to collect the money owed. You’re free to select your own collection vendor, or you can try to collect yourself. In the absence of a clear directive from you, our default position is to refer the account to one of our preferred vendors for debt servicing.
Past due communications (sometimes shortened to “PDC”) refers to our communications with your members, clients or customers about matters related to payment on their account. “Our” is a bit misleading because PDC services actually aren’t provided by ClubReady; they’re provided by GYM HQ, a ClubReady affiliate, and they are only provided if you specifically contract for them. PDC is a form of late-stage customer service. GYM HQ will seek to understand why your member, client or customer has stopped making payment on the account, which, importantly, remains active and in good standing (i.e., the account has not yet gone into default). Done well, PDC involves listening to a customer’s concern, offering a solution that results in the customer returning to your business for services, and returning the account to a healthy draft status. To clarify any misconceptions: PDC is not third-party collections, which only happens after the account goes into default and is figuratively boxed up and shipped out to a third-party for debt servicing.
No. ClubReady is in the business of providing an innovative technology solution for fitness business owners, not writing fitness contracts. A fitness contract is a legally-binding document between you and your member, client or customer. Ideally, it sets forth the terms and conditions of the business relationship that you wish to have with them. Because you know the ins and outs of your business much better than we do, you are in a superior position to write your own agreements. It’s important to note, however, that the fitness industry is regulated in many states. Depending on where your fitness business operates, your customer contracts may need to include certain provisions mandated by state law. While ClubReady does provide tools and other resources geared toward making the contract-drafting process earlier, our stated policy related to “End User Agreements” is that we accept no responsibility or liability whatsoever for any contract loaded to the ClubReady System.
In addition to the other cool stuff we have to offer, one of the key features of the ClubReady System is the ability to process payments through our platform and generally manage your member, client and customer accounts. The distinction between club-managed versus fully-managed comes down to how you’re set up in the system to be able to process payments. As a fully-managed subscriber, we manage all aspects of the payments lifecycle for you, from the facilitation of payments through the ClubReady System to reconciliation of your account to managing the chargeback process. Club-managed services cost a bit less, but you’re basically left to manage the payments process on your own. You can still process payments through the ClubReady System, but you’re responsible for setting up your own payment gateways, reconciling your own accounts, handling your own chargebacks, refunds and returns, and other tasks.
It’s easy to swipe a credit card to make a payment, but the behind-the-scenes world of payment processing is actually quite complex and involves numerous parties. A chargeback, in simplest terms, means a disputed charge on a credit card. A chargeback dispute is normally initiated by the cardholder. There could be many reasons why a cardholder might not want to take responsibility for a charge. The “chargeback process” is the process by which all of the parties involved in the processing of a credit card transaction get together and try to figure out whether a charge is valid or invalid. If you’d like to read more about the chargeback process, go here.
If you’re a merchant and you accept payment for goods or services using credit cards issued by any of the five largest providers – including Visa, Mastercard, Discovery, American Express and JCB International – then, yes, you’re going to have some PCI compliance obligations. This is true whether you are a fully-managed or club-managed subscriber to the ClubReady System. PCI-DSS stands for “Payment Card Industry Data Security Standards,” and “PCI compliance” just means you’re compliant with these standards. PCI compliance, at its core, is about creating an environment for credit card transactions that is secure, reliable and trustworthy. Bad actors are everywhere, and theft of sensitive credit card data can occur anywhere along the chain of those touching a credit card payment or helping to process the transaction. As a payment facilitator, ClubReady is required to meet its own set of PCI compliance obligations. But, as a merchant (or a sub-merchant of ClubReady’s), so do you. To learn more about PCI compliance, go here.
Your club data gets into the ClubReady System in a certain way; it leaves the ClubReady System in a certain way. “Data portability” is important, and it’s something we’ve spent a lot of time thing about at ClubReady. Fortunately, all that thinking has led to some pretty cool and seamless processes for transferring your club’s data. If you’re looking to move off the ClubReady platform, we appreciate as much advance notice as possible, but really no less than 30 days. If we get less than eight (8) days’ notice, we reserve the right to charge you an expedite fee. The reason we need sufficient notice is because electronically boxing up all of your club’s data takes some time. Yes, we push a button and some magical technology stuff happens but there’s a manual component to it as well. Someone (yes, a real person) has to go through your club’s data to make sure it’s being boxed up correctly and that nothing has been left out. The “gift” at the end of this off-boarding assembly line is called an exit file. The exit file can be sent to you or anyone else you authorize. It’s important to note that once your club’s data leaves ClubReady’s secure network environment, we’re not responsible for it.
An exit file is essentially a zip file of all of your club’s data, electronically boxed-up and presented to you with a bow. Okay, no bow, but you get the point. Once we’ve created your exit file, the data in the exit file is completely portable, meaning it can be passed to you or any third-party that you authorize. ClubReady generally uploads a completed exit file to a secure FTP site, where you or your third-party designee can grab it, unbox the data in a new (hopefully secure) system environment, and use the data. We’ve worked with many of our competitors to synchronize a data portability process, so club data leaving the ClubReady System plays nicely with other systems, and vice versa. Because exit files take some time and work to assemble, we charge a standard $350 fee per exit file created.
If ClubReady laid out the specifics, we’d be providing a roadmap for the bad guys – so, we’d rather not do that. What’s important to note on this topic is two things: first, data security of one of our highest priorities – this includes data belonging both to our subscribers and data belonging to their members, clients or customers. And second, ClubReady enforces a multi-tiered, inter-departmental approach to securing data both online and offline. In addition to the rigorous PCI audit we undergo each year, ClubReady’s Data Security Team meets regularly to discuss, refine and oversee the company’s data security policies and protocols which are implemented on a company-wide basis.
The short answer is no. But, we are always happy to listen to your thoughts, suggestions and recommendations about how our products or services might be improved. ClubReady is not a custom development shop. While we thoughtfully consider which product features or functionalities to add based on the practical business needs of our entire subscriber base, the ultimate decision about where to allocate our time, money and development resources is ours. The single exception to this general rule may be where we enter into an exclusive deal with a large, multi-unit franchise system. But, even in this case, the project would be carefully scoped, there may be fees associated with the custom build, and intellectual property rights in the features or functionalities ultimately released would be completely owned by ClubReady.
GYM HQ is a wholly-owned subsidiary of ClubReady located in Atlanta, Georgia. In addition to providing past due communication (PDC) services as an add-on to the ClubReady System, GYM HQ provides club owners and operators with a full-suite of back-office services in accounting, payroll processing, customer service, and operations/HR best practices. GYM HQ is able to operate as your fully outsourced corporate office, or it can supplement the administrative staff you already have. GYM HQ exists as it own company. While GYM HQ’s services function seamlessly within the ClubReady System environment, GYM HQ could be hired to provide back-office support independent of ClubReady’s technology and payment products. For more information about GYM HQ, visit us here
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