A Malaysian woman was allegedly shamed by a gym in Kuala Lumpur after she enquired about a free weight loss programme it was advertising on Instagram
Instagram user Sofia Cholan took to her profile to share the unwelcomed experience in a post uploaded yesterday, 21 May.
Sofia explained that she reached out to the local gym because it was offering a "weight loss challenge that was completely free".
She saw that it was also offering normal classes but the sessions cost well over what she could afford. Trying her luck, she asked if the gym was able to offer her a discount.
Unfortunately, the gym management gave her a rude reply
"If you can afford to go overseas, I'm sure you can afford our RM880 fees, honey," they responded to her plea.
To make matters worse, the gym posted their private conversation onto their Instagram account and attached pictures of Sofia when she was travelling overseas
A shocked Sofia has since called out the gym's behaviour for being "sarcastic and snarky"
In the now-viral post recounting the incident, she said this should not be the way a business responds to customers, even potential ones.
She added that she has been struggling with weight loss for a long time.
"Coming up with courage to even ask for help was huge for me, so to be given this type of response was truly shocking," she wrote.
In later comments, she also clarified to curious netizens that her travelling photos were taken two years ago and that she had simply asked for a discount because she is currently on a fresh graduate's salary.
"My family took me to Europe as a graduation gift. That was also my last trip abroad as I have since started working," she said.
"I never said I couldn't afford to pay for health and fitness, I just asked if there was a possibility of training me for a minimal amount or a promo."
"If they couldn't have helped me, they could have just not replied, or said, 'No, sorry' and that would have been it."
Sofia's account of the exchange has gone viral with almost 2,000 likes and over 350 comments
Many netizens empathised with her and were in disbelief with the gym's unprofessional handling of the situation.
"Absolutely disgusting response. There's never an excuse or reason for an attitude like that. Power to you, love," said an Instagram user.
Another said, "This cyberbullying is disgusting. I can't imagine anyone ever being this awful to another person, especially someone honest about their flaws and intentions."
"Totally true. I mean, they are allowed their view," said another user.
"But it could have been presented in a much nicer way. Like a simple, "No, we're not interested" would have sufficed. How terrible that they posted your images without permission."
SAYS reached out to the gym for a comment but at the time of writing this story, we have yet to receive a response. The gym has since made its Instagram account private.
Recently, a 20-year-old woman, said to be a victim of cyberbullying, was found dead at her home in Penang:
According to the Ministry of Health, cyberbullying, which includes body shaming, is a punishable offence: