Updated by user Apr 07, 2017
Original review Apr 07, 2017
I searched carefully for a personal trainer in the Pittsburgh, PA and found Mark Selekman through Thumbtack. I was in a hurry though and wanted to start right away. He responded quickly and his fee was acceptable. First, you should know that Mark operates from his home, doesn't have a gym and how he functions is basically as an agent who recruits personal trainers, some he's never even met, to send off to clients. Once I'd made the initial contact and I told him that I was in a hurry to start and he did his sales pitch, he became rude and condescending. He wanted a full month pre-paid which I was willing to do, but the way he explained his requirement was based on, he said, not trusting other clients who "screwed him over." Nice way to start a client relationship, eh. I don't know if this is standard payment protocol for other personal trainers, but I had the money and didn't mind. He emailed me five pages of documents which he wanted me to fill out and sign including a very specific contract. After I received the documents and before I wanted to sign them, I had a few questions and called him. Before I sent him a check, I wanted him to tell me a little about the trainers who'd be working with me. He was very snippy and sounded put out that I would impose upon him for such information. When I persisted, he did tell me a few things about the trainer he had in mind for me, but he was quite rude and condescending about it. Then, he informed me more about how he wanted the payment in full via check because he doesn't accept credit or debit cards which would have made my payment method most convenient for me. When I asked about this he went on a rant about how he's been in business for 20 years and this is the way he does business and he's not going to change it and pay 3% on his transactions. Then, at first, he wanted me to drive to his house and drop off a check which was extremely inconvenient for me. Although annoyed with what seemed to me to be his lack of customer focus, I agreed to do it because I wanted to start training right away. But, when I put his address which showed a Pittsburgh zip code in my GPS, I learned that he lived in a township far from me. When I called him to explain that his town was far from me and would be inconvenient and asked if I could just mail him check which he would receive the next day and that I would even send it by priority mail, his first very irritated response was that he wouldn't be home to sign for it. I explained that an overnight package could be left without a signature. Then in a condescending tone chuckling derisively, he said my zip code was on the invoice and you're just now pretending you didn't know where I lived. Now, I was irritated and apologized sarcastically that I hadn't memorized all of Western Pennsylvania's zip codes. Right then my instinct was to tell him to forget the whole deal, but, again, I was in a hurry and decided to overlook his unprofessionalism and rudeness and conceded that I would interrupt my very busy day and drive to his house. MInutes later he texted me and told me he'd allow me to mail it after all as long as he had it within two days. I did mail the check that very day, and he did receive it the next day in regular US Mail. When I mailed the check, I assumed like any reasonable business person would that he would deposit my check in his account and I would have time to transfer money from a money market account to the account in which I had written the check. In fact, I did make the transfer that day about a half hour after he made a trip to my bank. But this guy took my check straight to my bank and tried to cash it then called me angrily accusing me of being a dishonest person. As I began trying to explain to him what I had done, he started talking about lawyers and being screwed and made offensive statements to me. I hung up on him, sent him a text and told him I wasn't interested in dealing with such an unprofessional, negative and offensive person whose services for which I would have been paying a hefty fee and in advance. In any case, in personal training with which I've had several experiences over the years, I want to deal with someone who is positive and encouraging. In my opinion, Mark Selekman is not that person and you shouldn't waste your time or money dealing with him.