Equinox is being confused for Equifax due to autocorrect.

Equinox Has Had a Rough Couple Weeks on Twitter, Thanks to Autocorrect

Equinox Has Had a Rough Couple Weeks on Twitter, Thanks to Autocorrect

Future Tense
The Citizen's Guide to the Future
Sept. 21 2017 4:50 PM

Equinox Has Had a Rough Couple Weeks on Twitter, Thanks to Autocorrect

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Damn you, autocorrect!

Tim Boyle/Getty Images

A word’s autocorrect sibling is like its black swan, the evil twin that shows up unbidden whenever you want the other word. It’s the ducking worst. Recently the luxury gym company Equinox has been forced to reckon with its autocorrect sibling: the similarly prefixed but entirely different company Equifax.

Equifax has not been having a good month. On Sept. 7, the credit reporting agency announced a breach that exposed the sensitive data of 143 million Americans. Customers have been understandably frustrated ever since, jamming Equifax’s phone lines demanding answers. Social media users have also been translating their anger into tweets … many of which have been inadvertently directed at the ‘Nox instead of the ‘Fax. Thank the text software that automatically changes words it thinks are misspelled. (My phone didn’t make this particular autocorrect, actually, but congrats to Equinox for achieving this strange and modern level of notoriety in some tech companies’ spell-check dictionaries.)

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Equinox can’t help that its destiny has now been linked with Equifax through the cruel voodoo of autocorrect. But it does have to deal with the fallout. And so the brand, which declined to comment for this story, has ever so gently been trying to push the message that its data was not part of the recent breach.

It’s not just on social media. If you do a Google News search for Equifax and Equinox, several news articles accidentally refer to Equifax as Equinox at one or more points, which is probably giving heart palpitations to the people monitoring Equinox’s Google Alerts.

Equinox is understandably eager to be excluded from this narrative. Wanting to distance itself from this situation makes sense—no company wants to be associated with such a major hack. And since Equinox is no stranger to controversy, having gotten negative attention for several ad campaigns over the years, the brand is probably pleased to be in the clear this time. But the gym chain is walking a careful line and not trumpeting its lack of involvement too loudly: Note that none of those tweets say, “It’s Equifax NOT Equinox” or throw any sort of shade at customers’ Autocorrect errors. That is some very cool and collected customer service. In addition to having had its own run-ins with the internet outrage machine, Equinox probably recognizes that the 143 million possibly affected by the breach must include at least a few Equinox members, and therefore a little sensitivity is warranted.

Still, an Equinox data breach sounds a lot more luxurious than an Equifax data breach. The gym hasn’t earned the nickname Chicquinox for nothing. As one Twitter user joked (that’s code for I am now going to steal his line), what would get breached, your gym locker combination?

But then you remember that Equinox has credit card numbers and probably a bunch of other sensitive information, too (pull-up rate, body-mass index?). Equinox members may belong to snooty gyms, but they still deserve secure data. Inasmuch as secure data is even possible anymore—just about everyone has been exposed to one of these breaches at one point or another. Equinox must know that it’s probably only a matter of time before a hacker gets his hands on those locker combinations. Until then, enjoy those Kiehl’s products.

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