Woman given £1000 fine by gym for smashing water bottle by accident
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A woman has hit back at a gym for fining her £1000 after she smashed a water bottle by accident.
Caroline Farish says she feels like she's been 'treated like a criminal' by her local Bannatyne's, which banned her for life as well as slapping her with the charge.
The incident unfolded at a branch of the health club chain in Dumfries, Scotland, where Caroline has been a member for 10 years.
The business owner, who also works as a part-time teacher, is now speaking out about the unfortunate turn of events.
She explained that she accidentally broke a plastic bottle there, not realising there was a glass nozzle inside.
To be fair, even if the whole thing had been intentional, that's one hefty fine.
"It was a complete accident and happened when I was with a friend and heading for the jacuzzi. It was nowhere near the pool," Caroline said.
"I immediately told the manager and staff who hoovered it up. It happened at night and there were only a few other people around.
"I could easily have left it to be cleaned up but I was honest and told them. But then I got a letter from Bannatyne’s giving me seven days to put in a statement of what happened.
"I did that but have had no acknowledgement, only a letter saying I am banned from life from the premises and the car park plus they want me to pay £1,000 for the draining and cleaning of the pool which they said was closed for eight days."
The mishap unfolded on 20 December at around 8pm, with Caroline adding that employees of the fitness centre said insurance wouldn't cover this sort of incident.
She continued: "I was given a deadline of 21 January to pay up or face some kind of action but I have contacted Citizens Advice who put me in touch with the consumer rights people and they say to check my contract with the gym.
"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!"
The fitness fan went on to point out: "I am a professional business woman with properties in the town and not a stupid wee girl.
"It was a complete accident and I am being treated as if I had taken in a wine glass.
"Now I have been left with nowhere to go and just feel like they have humiliated me and I feel embarrassed about the whole thing.
"I used to go there four times a week and I’m a long standing member. Something needs to be done about this."
That being said, even if she received an apology and an invite back, Caroline said she'd never return.
A spokesperson for the Edinburgh Road 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 hour to completely drain and refill the pool, meaning the actions of one person impacts significantly on every member.
"The signage is clear and the sanctions that may be imposed are displayed within the health club."
LADbible has contacted Bannatyne's for further comment.