Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Gymboree

I was looking high and low for an enrichment place where I could send both girls together and Gymboree was the only place that had the sibling programme. It worked out very well as Harvynna's class was a 2 hour drop off programme while Rowena's was during the same time as well. (at that level at that time). So, after looking at all the packages, the management advised me it was best to sign up for the 1 year programme as it would be most beneficial since I will be sending 2 girls.

They calculated it out and it seemed like you get a real good deal and the classes end up much cheaper. (when in fact it is not). You get a total of 48 plus 4 free classes in the package and they worked out a timetable for me where I get 12 of each, play, music, art for both girls. And the 1 year package can be used for all programmes, so they claim it is really worth it. Plus, they kept emphasising that it is really good since both girls will be there together.

So on the day of the 1st trial class, they commented how advance Rowena is and she responds very well in the play class and she should be able to do the music class soon as she seems musically inclined and bla bla bla. So of course, I signed up!!!

In the 1 year programme, you get 52 classes, 1 t-shirt(of poor quality), waiver of annual fee for the following year, 10 play gym vouchers (which nobody uses), RM200 off birthday parties. So what they do is, they add a value to all these things and pro-rate the cost of each class which looks really really cheap.

After 2 months, I decided to enrol Rowena to do the music classes, and they said,'Oh, she has not done enough play to do music. Its still too early, she must do more play first or she will be lost in the class!!' I thought ok, and subsequently converted all the music into play classes.

The girls were really consistent in their classes, missing them occasionally only. About 5 months into the programme, they tell me that we are running out of classes as we have utilised most of them. There were about 5 classes left between the both of them and Harvynna does not have any more art classes. I told them to convert the play into art and they said we cant do that as 1 art class is equivalent to 2 play classes. I was already getting really mad here as they told me to sign up for another year!!! I told them no way, as once Harvynna starts kindergarten, I want her to rest on weekends and they came up with this crap that she can attend during school holidays. ON top of that, HArvynna's and Rowena's classes are not at the same time now as Rowena has moved to a different level. I am not going to go there once in the morning and once in the evening and they just looked at me.

Another thing was HArvynna normally finished about 20 minutes before Rowena's class ends. And being a child, she will play on the play equipment by herself as I have to accompany Rowena for her class. The management commented that Harvynna cannot play on the equipment as the smaller children will be intinmidated. They told me to bring a helper to watch Harvynna while Rowena's class was going on. I told them the reason I signed up for Gymboree was because of the sibiling programme.

So i am really mad with the management and since there was a rebate on the birthday party, I decided I must do Harvynna's party there. Oh yes, when signed up, it was August last year and from the record they saw that the girls birthdays were only in April. So they told me just to throw any party, does not have to be a birthday at that time and i said no way.

For the party, it is for max 12 children. You are basically paying for the 1 hour class they do, which is really good. They include a party pack, but I was really ashamed of the party pack. They did not tell me that all they put inside are their brochures, timetable, i free trial class voucher, 2 small stickers, 1 mask and one blower!!!! If I had known earlier, I would have done my own party pack.

They are really strict about the time. They start sharp at the time stated and of guest are late, they will just minus the time of the programme as they end sharp on time too. Imagine having the poor children rush to eat within less than 30 minutes, and they keep telling everyone they have to close and everyone has to leave (we took the last party of the day). How rude! I felt really embarassed for my guests.
Some of the kids played on the play equipment and were shooed away. Kids will be kids. and Gymboree is supposed to be for kids.

Gosh! no more gymboree. I think the management at the Bangsar Village outlet really sucks!

Harvynna attended Musikgarten when she was 2 and comparing both programmes, musikgarten definitely outshines Gymboree. Gymboree is good to develop social skills, but I found Musik garten more interesting.

3 comments:

Nadia said...

Gosh! That's bad and you aren't the only one who's complaining. I've got a few friends who have complained about the management's absurd behaviour too. And just when I thought I'd found an answer for Irfan. Sigh. Back to the drawing board again. LOL!

BabyBooned said...

i'm glad u wrote about this coz now i can rule out gymboree!

Anonymous said...

Oh Yes, the lady who probably owns the place is very rude. She just too sweet when it comes to renewing the classes. She just does not tell you all details at the time of enrolling and once you have paid she comes out with all sorts of ridiculous rules.