Reply to realwfofwc (from anonymous post dated Oct 4th, 2011.
As the Owner of Nitro, I wanted to take a moment to address the posted concerns. Most businesses that are enrollment type programs either require a contract or a full 30 day notice to withdraw/exit their program. Some even require a first month/last month "deposit." We only ask that a withdrawal form (one page) be turned in to our front desk on or before the end of business on the 15th of each month. This is clearly spelled out in the one page agreement that every customer signs at time of registration. You are also welcomed to review that one page agreement without enrolling -- just ask - we're happy to give you a copy. That seems pretty reasonable to most people.
Our lessons parents are typically in our swim centers once or twice a week, and the withdrawal form itself takes about 30 seconds to complete.
As for instructors and deck supervisors making fun or ridiculing anyone in our lessons pool -- that is unheard of, and I would not tolerate that. We hire the best of the best when it comes to caring, knowledgeable, effective swim teachers -- who love kids. Now I will admit that we laugh a lot, have a lot of fun with our kids in our program, and we do our best to keep things light and enjoyable for the kids. We're guilty there!
Addressing the phone message, we return all calls within 24 hours as long as the person calling leaves an audible message with a return number. We have received messages from folks on the 15th, and we've returned their calls on the 16th, and we have honored every withdrawal request that was left as long as it was on the 15th or before, although we do ask that the form gets turned into us -- so we have a hard copy record. We are looking into finding a reliable electronic method to accomplish that, but we're not there yet.
We impact a very large number of families, and have the honor of teaching literally thousands of kids each year. We allow each family to make a free schedule change every quarter, and anything more frequent than that, a $15 fee. We had to institute that because several folks were switching class times/days any time it was more convenient for them on any given week, and we needed to establish more consistency. We base our instructors
just ok, not impressed.
Where to start? The highlights (if you can call them that): its more about quantity rather than quality, staff is not friendly or helpful, the bathroom is absolutley disgusting, lots of fees, and you better make sure you withdraw by the15th IN PERSON (a little fact that they don't disclose very well & good luck getting anyone to answer the phone on that day either).
To elaborate: the staff is just barely friendly, not helpful at all. When I first enrolled my child, I found it odd that they didn't ask anything about my child - if she enjoys the water, if she has ever taken swim lessons, etc. Also, they don't tell you how things work, I had to ask about everything - when to get there, where do I take my child so that they know she's there for her lesson, what to do if we have to change class times, etc. It wasn't until we had been going there for a couple of months that someone behind the desk stopped me to ask who I was checking in - never had been asked that before and when mentioned it to the guy that I was never told about checking in, he gave me attitude like it was my problem. Also, the desk staff rarely, if ever, greets you as you walk in.
The actual swim instructors are ok. Its a different teacher every class whether your child is in the same stage or not, they rarely give feedback and God forbid if you ask how your child did, they act like you are intruding. Only 2 times did an instructor tell me how my child did or if she had advanced. Oh, and don't be surprised if the "deck hand" and the instructor teaching your child start making fun of your child while they are right there - real nice. (sarcastic) I would expect a teacher of any kind to be a "safe" person, someone not to humilate a student especially when that student is trying their best/hardest.
The actual faciltiy is ok, the bathrooms are horrible though, don't go if you dont have to, I feel sorry for the staff that has to use it. The "waiting room" is just ok.
Be ready for the fees: a registration fee, change class fee, re-enroll fee. They don't do make-up classes. And don't even try to contact them on the 15th to try to withdraw, they (ironically) don't answer the phone, return messages, or emails on that day. I was sick on the 15th, the same day my child tells me she really doesn't want to do anymore swim lessons, so I called up there 4 times with no answer (had never happened before), left a voicemail that was never returned, so I sent an email saying I 'd like to withdraw & if there was anything else I needed to do; not until almost 6 pm the next day do I get a response, which is 'sorry you have to continue thru the next month and withdraw in person by the 15th of the following month' - pretty crappy if you ask me. They wouldn't work work with me at all and if they would of returned my phone call or email in a timely manner I could of sent someone 'in person' to take care of withdrawing for me. Now I have to force my child to go to 4 more swim lessons that she doesn't want to go to or be out the $69.
Bottomline, because of their terrible "customer service" (if you can call it that) I won't be going back and I won't recommend this place to anyone. There are plenty of other good options out there.
As the Owner of Nitro, I wanted to take a moment to address the posted concerns. My response is quite lengthy, and it is more than 500 characters, so I had to post it as a review. Please refer to that reply - Thanks! Mike Koleber, Nitro Swimming.
New Bee Cave location really shines.
The new Bee Cave location of Nitro Swim has everything any family would want to learn to swim, or learn to swim better. I know from personal experience that Nitro Swim has the best swim program in town (they are the ones who finally were able to teach one of my sons how to do freestyle correctly, after spending tons of money in other places).
Additionally, The new location has two family restrooms, as well as a little swimmer changing room. The parent viewing area is long with a lot of seating with and close views to see your child's progress. They have the same excellent coaching the Cedar Park location is known for, but in a new and thoughtfully design facility.
Kids were scared, but that is when Nitro really shined....
I have twin boys that are 5 1/2. I think that swimming is just a really important skill that everyone should learn. I had heard great things about Nitro and decided to sign up my boys.
The first lesson, my guys enjoyed it. They had a good time and I was happy. But by the 3rd lesson, they both did not want to go and in fact, one of my boys was crying and saying he was "scared". Last week while in the tub, he had put his face in the water to show us he could do it and accidently drank a bit of water then proceeded to cough so much he threw up a little.
I told the boys that everyone has fears sometimes,especially when they first start something. I reminded them about the first few times learning to ride bikes, scooters, playing soccor, etc. That we need to "practice" to get better and we will like it once we get the "hang of it".
They told me to tell the swim coach they were afraid and so when we arrived at our lesson today, I told the front desk about how my boys were feeling but that quitting was not an option.
She told me she understood and would go speak with the supervisor.
She came back and told me they would put my boys with the "coach with the bananna on his head". I wasnt sure how it would go, but felt better that they didnt just brush off my concerns or say something like "oh dont worry thats common". I felt like they were really going to work on the problem and try to resolve it.
And boy did they! My boys had SO MUCH FUN!! They were laughing with the "Bananna Coach" playing, doing some work of course, but really truly enjoying it.
As we were leaving, they told me, "Mommy, we had so much fun at swimming. We LOVE swimming!"
So THANK YOU SO MUCH NITRO! And a special shout out to "Bananna Coach". I wanted to thank him after the lesson, but he was busy with the next group. I highly recommend him if you ever have children that need "extra help to have fun"!
Nitro seems to be tops.
One of the reasons we moved to the RR area and Austin is the great swim programs here. My boys love swimming at Nitro and they have great coaches.
They encourage my boys and make sure they are improving every practice. I only wish the classes were longer than 45 minutes.
Every locker room I have seen at a pool is less than clean. Everything gets wet and stays wet. That is the way things are.
The pool temp is fine for exercise and swim workouts, they are not there to bob for apples or chill with their buddies.
The building may get hot in the summer but so is the rest of South TX. Go to Starbucks for AC
Quality and Quantity are not mutually exclusive. When you walk into the Nitro Swim Center, you immediately walk into an atmosphere of positive energy from the coaches and the kids. As for the comments from the person below, I am not sure what ratios he is referring. We have 23 lanes of swimmers on most days, each lane averaging anywhere from 3 to 6 kids per lane. But if you look a little closer, you will more than likely see 10 to 11 coaches -- all working with the kids, correcting strokes, assigning drills, even getting into the water on many occasions. If I were to guess an actual ratio, it would be on average about 8 swimmers to one coach, which is unheard of in competitive swimming. But it isn't just ratios that matter -- it's the coaching that takes place every day. Just come out and see for yourself, any day, any time during any of our practices. As for me not being there as much as I had been, my Dad was terminally ill and passed away late November, so I was spending as much time as possible alongside him out of state. Everyone reading this is invited to come out and see us for yourself. You will not be disappointed, and you will see why Nitro Swimming families are happy families ! Mike Koleber, Nitro Swimming.
Quantity over Quality.
Over the last 1 year, we have observed that , focus at Nitro has changed.
It is Quantity (in terms of numbers of swimmers) over Quality (in terms of coaching.)
It is more an exercise than coaching on how to swim the correct way, that will happen, when each coach have to deal with that many number of students.
Coach Mike is hardly there nowadays. I am thinking he is more focused on the 2nd Nitro center, which is going to start in South Austin.
Earlier, there used to be more focus on coaching, the right way to swim etc. But as the word spread and more and more people came. The quality of coaching has gone down, which is bound to happen, if there is no limit on swimmer per coach ratio.
Also the water is cold, where the various teams swim, even in winter.
In summer it is like an oven for the parents, no fans (forget the AC) for air circulation.
The folks at the front desk have no information or authority , which used to not the case earlier, now they will give you an email address, if you have any questions etc.
The can answer basic questions, other than that, you will have to send an email and it will takes days before you get a response etc.
Again it used to be much better, but over the last 1 year, things have gone down.
Hoping things will improve.
Response to Not Impressed. I really am not sure that melissaa is talking about the correct pool. It is anything but old, dark and dirty. Quite the opposite. You can see for yourself by clicking on the pictures at the top of the page. I am an adult and swim at this pool. The pictures are accurate and have not been doctored. It is one of the cleanest pools I have been to. It is definitely not old. The pool is only 3 years old. It is state of the art in its filtration system and it is a joy to swim in. The locker rooms are typical for any swim center in their layout, but again are clean and new. Unfortunately, this pool did not open until my children were already in college. However, I have observed the swim lessons on many occasions. The children are treated like the treasures that they are. This is a top notch facility and I think north Austin/Cedar Park/Leander is so fortunate that the owner Mike Koleber chose this location for this fabulous pool!!!
My kids have gone to Emler, and although we liked it, I really wanted them to progress faster in their skills. So we switched to Nitro after hearing so many good things.
My first impression was that it's a dump. Old, dark, and dirty pretty much sum it up. There are no designated changing rooms, and the locker room is a little gross.
There is one air-conditioned area in the whole place, which is also fairly dingy. It's also a portable air conditioner, so don't expect real comfort. Maybe I had unreasonable expectations since Emler is newer, clean, has cental a/c in the whole building, designated private dressing rooms, carpet, etc.
There is basically zero communication with the staff. After 3 weeks, I still have no idea what "station" my kids are on because no one tells me. At Emler, we knew who our teachers were and met with them briefly after each class to discuss their progress.
They pretty much call your time and then it's a free-for-all to the pool. The teachers each grab some kids and stick them on a platform. 30 minutes later, you go get them.
Needless to say, we will be going back to Emler. I really don't see why everyone is so impressed with this place.
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