Family members of a developmentally disabled 49-year-old man told 6 News in Indianapolis that two men from Bally Total Fitness showed up at the man’s apartment, drove him to a Bally location at Pike Plaza, and signed him up to a monthly membership. When the man’s family asked Bally to invalidate the agreement, the gym refused.
The brothers told [6News reporter Rafael] Sanchez that they went to the gym Monday hoping to resolve the issue, but that their requests were rejected by the management at the facility.
“I’m wondering how more people are they going to do it to? After meeting two young gentlemen yesterday, they don’t feel they’ve done anything wrong,” said [brother] Pat Hannon. “They feel it’s their right to get America fit.”
So there you have it. Bally’s wants the developmentally disabled to be physically fit. I don’t see how that’s a bad thing—we should all take care of our health—but it seems weird to target men and women who, you know, can’t drive themselves to the gym they’re joining. Maybe the two salesmen who showed up at the apartment—where “no soliciting” signs are posted—should agree to shuttle their new client back and forth whenever he feels like it.
Update: Bally’s PR firm just contacted us with the following statement on behalf of the gym:
We regret that this incident occurred and have accordingly addressed the issue with the employees involved. It is common practice that we market our clubs with free trial passes to the local community but it is against our corporate policy to transport anyone to or from our facility. When our management found out about Mr. Hannon’s disability, we immediately cancelled his membership and refunded all of his fees.
“Family: Gym Took Advantage Of Man With Disability” [WRTV Indianapolis] (Thanks to Becky!)