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Payment processing and billing can be a hassle. But, they don’t have to be. Daniel T. Bryant, the owner of The Gym 24/7 Fitness, recently took time to explain how his partnership with Affiliated Acceptance Corporation (AAC) has not only made billing and payments easier — it has also led to a valued friendship.
CS: How were you introduced to AAC, and why did you decide to partner with them?
DB: My relationship with AAC started in 2005, when I had the opportunity to purchase the gym that I was a member of. The gym had been using AAC since opening four years prior. Having never owned or worked in a gym before, I had a lot to learn, and AAC was there to walk me through every step of the way regarding member billing and learning their system. The AAC employees that I dealt with on a daily basis quickly became more like friends than vendors providing a service. Anytime I had a question, they were always there to provide the answer in a friendly, professional manner. I can honestly say that I never had a single complaint about the service that AAC provided me.
CS: Can you tell me a bit about how your relationship with AAC has evolved over the years?
DB: When I purchased the gym, it was part of a franchise. In 2011, the franchise owners stated that all of the gym locations had to use the same billing company as to better serve all the members by having the same door system provider. Since the majority of the locations at that time were using a different company, I was told I had to use the new company. Although I had absolutely no desire to switch, I was forced to sever my business relationship with AAC. I promised my friends at AAC that if I ever had the chance to switch back, I would do it in a heartbeat.
To say that I was unhappy with the services provided by the new billing company would be a gross understatement. Unlike the employees at AAC who all knew me by name, I felt more like a number to the new company. Anytime I called with a question, they made me feel as if I was more of an inconvenience to them than a customer. Even after 10 months, nothing improved and I constantly wished I was still using AAC as our billing provider.
Then, about a year after leaving AAC, I had the opportunity to expand my business by purchasing a larger space to move the gym into. Due to wanting to provide additional services to our members that were not possible while being a part of the chain I was currently a part of, I had an amicable separation from the franchise. In doing so, this allowed me to uphold the promise I had made a year earlier about coming back to AAC if I ever had the chance.
CS: What are the benefits to your members as a result of this partnership?
DB: It’s been 3 years since coming back to AAC and I could not be happier with the services they provide me and my business. My benefit: AAC excels at providing top-notch service regarding billing, collections and door control access to my facility. I can always rest assured that they have everything under control. Member benefits: Since AAC does such a great job at handling our billing and collections, my staff and I are able to devote more of our time to our members’ needs, instead of spending it on the phone or computer.
CS: What else can you tell other club owners about the benefits of working with AAC?
DB: Through their excellent customer service, the employees at AAC have proven that they have the same goal as I do, and that is for me to run a business that is as efficient and profitable as possible. They are truly my friends and they help make work feel less like work. I wholeheartedly recommend AAC to anyone who is looking to start a gym or already owns an existing facility. In my humble opinion, you will not find a billing and payment processing company out there that cares as much about their clients’ success as Affiliated Acceptance Corporation.
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