The management of Virgin Active Raffles Place is under fire after they had failed to reveal a closed-circuit camera pointed at a female-only changing area on their premises. A statement issued by the Virgin Active branch has only angered the affected women further, and public relations experts were quick to point out the tone-deaf quality of their answer.
The camera had been pointed at that area from the time the branch was established, which was in 2013.
How bad was the CCTV placement in Virgin Active Raffles Place?
In the photo released by the company below, you can see that the camera was pointed at a room where a woman can be seen with her belongings, and while no woman in the room was naked or undressed, this was a photo released by the company itself.
Customers at the branch, though, have said that they feel betrayed, and that some of the women who were affected by this issue went through that particular area in various stages of undress.
Virgin Active’s response to the CCTV issue
Here’s what the company has posted in connection to the matter:
The post says, “If you have seen a recent post on a local socio-political community site and disregarded it, we want to thank you for having the same trust and belief in us as we have in you.
As seen below, our CCTV is pointed at a communal area where our female members can pick up a bathrobe to put on before enjoying our relax and recovery facilities. We certainly would not advise members to do their stretches there. Other than our concerns over their safety and hygiene, it sure would be a waste of their membership fees, which gives them unrestricted access to the many workout areas in all our clubs and proper equipment to target those sore muscles.
But if you did think our staff have ill intentions and do not show the due respect that the female body should have, come have a chat with us! We’re always open to share with you the values that all our staff embody.”
What a way to say that their female customers are overreacting.
As expected, the women who frequent the establishment commented on their statement, showing their distaste, not only with the whole arrangement but also with the statement that the company put forth, saying that they felt the company was glossing over their concerns, and it was downright rude.
One commenter said, “As this particular area is in between the showers and the sauna where people are at maximum in a robe or towel and possibly less, I think it’s absolutely necessary to have signage that makes members aware of the CCTV. At least they can take the proper precautions or decide how they are comfortable being filmed from there. I can tell you that I’m extremely unhappy finding out that I was unaware of cameras in this area after patronising the club for more than 2 years.”
Apparently, the club failed to post signs that there was CCTV installed in that particular area. They have since corrected this. In a report by The New Paper, they also said that the central manager had sole access to the footage, and no one else.
While the company has since apologized for the tone-deaf response that showed insesntitivut and more than a fair amount of snark, customers have notified authorities of the incident.