Gym Guards Beat Man To Pulp When He Tried To Cancel

A computer programmer who has been trying to cancel his gym membership since August says two gym security guards jumped him and pulverized his face when he wouldn’t back down from his cancellation request.

The club had told him he needed to come in in person to cancel. When he arrived, he was told to leave and set up an appointment over the phone. He declined and refused to leave until they tore up his contract. The desk clerk reportedly said, “Listen, I’m going to ask you to leave the gym, and I’m going to call security.’ And, she said, I’m barring you from all Goodlifes across Canada, and I’m going to cancel your membership later.” The woman left and a few moments later two security guards showed up and confronted him.

The man told CBC News, “They actually came screaming in my face, and I said to security, ‘Is there a way we can discuss this civilly?’ And they said, ‘You need to leave now, I’m giving you two seconds.’ And the next thing I know is that they’re pummeling me, and I’m hearing, ‘He’s resisting arrest, he’s resisting arrest.”

The programmer of computers said the guards cuffed and restrained him until police arrived, who let him go. The cops visited the gym later in the week to make sure his contract was cancelled.

Obviously the man was well within his rights to cancel due to a poor quality product because if the gym had worked the way it was supposed to he would have been able to defend himself from the onslaught.

For advice on cancelling your gym contract or how to avoid getting stuck in one, check out this post.

Attempt to cancel gym membership turned violent, client says [CBC News] (Thanks to Tom!)

Comments

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  1. Alvis says:

    Resisting arrest? What arrest?

    • skepticalbunneh says:

      That’s what I was thinking, they aren’t cops so they can’t really “arrest” him at all (holding for cops is another matter) …assuming things are the same in Canada as they are here in the states.

    • James says:

      “He’s resisting unlawful detainment!” just doesn’t have the same ring to it.

      • Cosmo_Kramer says:

        He was trespassing. I looked up the Canadian law on citizen’s arrest and it appears that it was not an unlawful detainment:

        ——-
        (2) ARREST BY OWNER, ETC., OF PROPERTY

        Any one who is

        (a) the owner or a person in lawful possession of property, or

        (b) a person authorized by the owner or by a person in lawful possession of property

        may arrest without warrant a person whom he finds committing a criminal offence on or in relation to that property.
        ——-

        • Tbdsamman says:

          You looked up our citizen’s arrest laws but you neglected to look up trespassing laws.
          Trespassing isn’t a criminal offense so you cannot arrest them but you are allowed to use necessary force to remove them. And no one would define a 2 second warning as necessary force.

          41. (1) Every one who is in peaceable possession of a dwelling-house or real property, and every one lawfully assisting him or acting under his authority, is justified in using force to prevent any person from trespassing on the dwelling-house or real property, or to remove a trespasser therefrom, if he uses no more force than is necessary.

          • cloudedknife says:

            not to mention that he was there at the explicit invite of the establishment to perform a task he had the right to perform. to the extent that the company appeared to be attempting to commit a fraud upon him, they had no civil right to revoke their invitation thereby causing him to be a trespasser:

            tl:dr in a civil court for the tort of trespass there isn’t a chance in hell he’d’ve been found to be a trespasser.

        • Powerlurker says:

          At the time this occurred, he was still a member of the establishment. How could he be trespassing?

    • Cosmo_Kramer says:

      When they asked him to leave and he refused, he was trespassing. Perhaps Canada, or the area of Canada he was in, allows you to perform a citizen’s arrest for trespassing?

  2. FireJayPa says:

    I lift things up and put them down?

  3. The Upright Man says:

    So the cops that use steroids moonlight as Gym security, then?

  4. skepticalbunneh says:

    I smell the stench of a lawsuit here, no wait that might just be the nasty locker rooms…

    • Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

      My thoughts. In the U.S., failure to leave the premises of a private business when asked to go is not grounds to attack a citizen, ever.

      • skepticalbunneh says:

        Exactly! Only then can the cops be called, well unless the workers wanted a fun trip to the pokey and/or donate some of their hard earned dollars to their local law government.

      • Egat says:

        I do wonder if there’s some kind of exemption to the trespassing laws when you are a paying member of a business?

      • jnads says:

        Yeah, in the US what they did is 1st degree assault, trespassing or not.

    • Difdi says:

      Or locker rooms containing sweating lawyers? It is a gym, after all…

  5. Stoli says:

    While I’m not sure about Canadian law, I’m pretty sure that once an employee you tells you to leave the property, you have to comply or else the police can be called. At that point it’d be something to get the law involved with (as far as getting the runaround in cancelling the gym membership).

    While all of us will joke about gyms doing whatever they can to get you to stay a member, I have a hard time believing that they would go to this length…unless they’re incredibly stupid (legal fees, bad publicity, etc).

    • Merricat says:

      The POLICE, not some ham-fisted-punch-drunk-steroid-munching-wannabeacopbutfailedmypsychexam security guards.

    • danmac says:

      So…you didn’t see that video of the security guard choking out that deaf shoplifter, did you.

    • runswithscissors says:

      I knew we’d get at least one OP blamer in here! Serves him right, getting the sh!t kicked outta him like that, for not leaving the gym when ordered by the unhelpful employee who was trying to rip him off.

    • Farleyboy007 says:

      I can’t wait to invite someone i don’t like over to my house, tell them to leave in 2 seconds, and kick the shit out them for tresspassing. I love the legal system!

    • guspaz says:

      Except the guy’s contract with the gym gives him the right to be there. Requiring him to leave would be a violation of the contract, despite the fact that they refused to void his contract.

      In other words, they forced him to leave for trying to cancel his contract, but were not allowed to force him to leave *unless* they cancelled his contract. Funny, that.

      • meltingcube says:

        > gives him the right to be there

        No, it gives him the PRIVILEGE to be there. That privilege can be revoked at any time.

  6. pecan 3.14159265 says:

    This would never happen at Average Joe’s.

  7. Quake 'n' Shake says:

    So this actually has a happy ending, face pummeling notwithstanding.

    • Megladon says:

      I’m sure the happy ending will be after he’s finished sueing the guards and the gym and never has to work again.

  8. evilpete says:

    Juiced gym guards ?

  9. nbs2 says:

    From what the original article, it sounds like the security that was called was a couple of mall cops, not gym security.

    The end of the article points out that the Rideau Centre (the mall where the gym is located) has banned Probst for five years. So, while the gym twit is at fault for calling security, I’m guessing mall security is the one that engaged in the actual violence and would thus incur responsibility. Now, as for the run around the guy was getting…

    • Bsamm09 says:

      They are a gym and running around is cardio…

    • Kate says:

      I was wondering why the post didn’t mention the cops arresting the guards for assault. Even Mall cops don’t get to beat you to a pulp, or even run over you with their segway

    • varro says:

      So it’s not just a nickel-and-dime franchisee who will have to pay the victim for being pummeled by gorillas – it’s the Viking Rideau Corporation, a nominee of Ontrea, Inc., The Cadillac Fairview Corporation Limited, and 885510 Ontario Limited.

      Have at it, lawyers. Don’t forget to execute on the creamers in their break rooms.

  10. Sparty999 says:

    silly Canadians…

  11. dolemite says:

    What gym has security guards? Most I’ve seen are lucky to employ actual trainers, and then pay them like $8 an hour.

    Apparently gyms in Canada are more like the wild wild west?

    Why would you need to make an appointment to cancel a contract? Any desk clerk should be able to handle that in 10 minutes.

    • nbs2 says:

      The article seems to suggest that the security belonged to the mall where the gym is located.

      • dolemite says:

        That makes a bit more sense. I also found it ironic:

        “I’d like to cancel my membership…I don’t want to come to this gym anymore.”
        “THAT’S IT! You are officially banned from this gym!”
        “Umm…ok. That’s what I wanted. Thanks.”
        “No…wait…we are also going to beat you up for no reason.”
        “This deal is getting worse all the time!”

        • danmac says:

          I was thinking the same thing:

          “I want to cancel.”

          “Sorry…you need to leave.”

          “I would like to leave, I just need to cancel, then I’ll be leaving.”

          “Oh yeah, well you’re banned from all of our gyms throughout Canada!”

          “Okay! Just let me cancel first and I’ll never come back…”

          “You need to leave now…I promise to cancel your membership if I remember to.”

          “What if you forget?”

          “Then you need to cancel again.”

          “Over the phone?”

          “No, in person, by appointment only…”

          “Okay?”

          “But you can’t have an appointment…because I just banned you.”

          “Where can I cancel then?”

          “At one of our locations in the United States…my jurisdiction ends at the border.”

        • nbs2 says:

          I’m more surprised that the mall has banned him for five years. I don’t know what stores are there, but I’d be hardpressed to think of something short of attempted murder leading to that long a ban.

      • Ebriosa says:

        The Mall (The Rideau Centre) is also located downtown and has hundreds (if not thousands) of people passing through it each day to catch the bus. It’s kind of the OC TRanspo hub. I can see it needing some serious security patroling. It’s one of the sketchiest malls I’ve ever been in, and I’m from Atlanta and have seen rappers in malls (that’s a joke).

        It’s funny. I read the headline here and thought it was somewhere in the states. Then it was Canadian. So I immediately thought of Goodlife and the Rideau Centre location. And it was so. I am sie-kick or something.

        • Galium says:

          I have seen wrappers in the malls, mostly around Christmas though. Some mall stores employ wrappers all year long.

        • OSAM says:

          I work at the Rideau Centre (near the Rideau St / Bay entrance) and I can confirm that it’s not the best, but it’s still not that bad. Im kinda surprised at it being at that particular location.

    • GMFish says:

      What gym has security guards?

      Gyms that have the business model of beating up customers who want out of their contracts.

  12. ClemsonEE says:

    How has there not been a Friends quote yet?!

    “I WANT TO QUIT THE GYM!!”

  13. puTTY says:

    Maybe if this guy wasn’t slacking off at the gym so much he wouldn’t have been bullied by the jocks.

    • nonsane says:

      Yes, the geek must have deserved it then….

      (it appears you’re lost, the youtube comments section is elsewhere)

  14. ellemdee says:

    A friend tried to leave his gym and a bunch of musclehead gym employees showed up at his house & stood on his lawn yelling at him. A lot of gyms will use any tactics – even physical intimidation – to keep people from leaving. You’d think they were trying to leave the mafia.

  15. brianisthegreatest says:

    I wanted to cancel my gym membership after my contract was up. I was reminded the contract expired by receiving a pretty hefty “annual fee” after they decided to auto renew the membership as month to month. When I called, I got the same business about needing to cancel in person. I thought that was pretty dumb. Luckily for me, I was in need of a new bankcard. They can ask me in person why it is declined every month. Subscriptions… I hate them.

  16. meske says:

    I call fake. What computer programmer do you know that goes to a gym??!?

  17. There's room to move as a fry cook says:

    I’d bring my “I lift things up and put them down” bodyguard but he’s too much of a pussy cat and easily distracted.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M-cpojkILO0

  18. carefree dude says:

    I guess the guy should have given it a rest.

  19. Dan T. says:

    I hope the gym woman and the two security guards spend the rest of their life in prison for this, and the man gets multi-million-dollar damages from the company.

  20. zt says:

    Why is the article emphasizing the fact that he is a computer programmer? This is mentioned twice in the article, even though it is completely irrelevant. Are we just playing off stereotypes of computer programmers as wimpy nerds, to set up snide remarks about how the gym membership didn’t work for him? And, what, so it’s OK for gym security to assault you if you can out-fight them? Not everyone’s goal for gym membership is to increase their capacity for violence.

  21. Griking says:

    “Obviously the man was well within his rights to cancel due to a poor quality product because if the gym had worked the way it was supposed to he would have been able to defend himself from the onslaught.”

    What a stupid comment. you get out of a gym what YOU put into it. you don’t lose weight and grow muscles just because you signed up.

  22. jaya9581 says:

    Stuff like this is insane. I can really understand how people develop panic disorders about leaving the house when they have to deal with this kind of BS.

    The shame is that it’s in Canada, where he’s unlikely to get more than a couple thousand bucks if he sues.

  23. common_sense84 says:

    Why were the security guards not arrested and charged? What kind of loony cops does canada have?

  24. Jubes says:

    The article says “they were pummeling me”, not that his face was pulverized. A bit sensationalized imo. With that said, as a member of Goodlife, they do have the stupidest cancellation procedure. I’ve had memberships with them off and on over 10 years and as long as I call and book a time with someone I never have a problem. They normally do it same day, and if not the next day when it’s most convenient for me. He was notified that he needed to book an appointment, all it takes is a 5 minute call. I seriously doubt that he was sent to Ottawa on such short notice that he couldn’t pick up the phone and make an appointment.

    • ccooney says:

      Why would you bother? Tell them that you are cancelling, maybe hand the clerk something in writing and demand acknowledgment.

    • Verdant Pine Trees says:

      Did you read the article? Someone told him in writing that he needed to come in person… THEN when he came in person, THEN he was told he needed to make an appointment.

      It is completely understandable that after he already made a special trip there to cancel, on the word of one of employee, he was upset that yet another dicked him around and told him he now had to “call”.

  25. dush says:

    And those two will be going to jail for assault when…?

  26. sheets says:

    I had a bad experience when I canceled membership at LA Fitness in Dallas. The rep at the desk made a sarcastic remark when I said I had no time to travel to that gym. He asked me if I had time for heart problems!!! That sure was no way to retain a customer. I told him that I had planned to buy some equipments and workout at home. I didn’t owe him an explanation to why I want to cancel the membership and he had no business to wish me bad…not like I was anywhere close to obese.

  27. gman863 says:

    Sad this happened in Canada.

    Had the goons been American, US Airways would have offered them jobs as flight attendant bagel Nazis.

  28. pittstonjoma says:

    omfg I hope that never happens to me if I cancel my gym membership!

  29. gargunkle says:

    Um… a gym (unless it’s a dojo or something) doesn’t teach you how to defend yourself from two big dudes.

  30. sj_user1 says:

    Sounds like this guy will be owning his own gym very soon.

  31. seanjustinpenn says:

    The gym in question is GoodLife Fitness in a mall in downtown Ottawa (where the security guards spend most of their hours hitting on young girls).
    GoodLife fitness has many locations in Canada, including one in the Ottawa suburb of Orleans, where this guy got kicked out and pissed off for talking about how good a newly-opened rival gym is.
    http://www.ottawacitizen.com/health/GoodLife+loses+member+over+policy/4094455/story.html

  32. AustinTXProgrammer says:

    Beaten to a pulp? No ambulance? Overblown. I don’t know Canadian law, but if there were bruises I would think he could file against them for aggravated assault and then file a civil suit. People have been paid for much less.

    If I were in a contractual dispute I could see forcing the trespass issue until police were called. While being banned from a place would suck, it could be helpful to have the official record.

  33. YoorCriptonite says:

    He should have ran inside and turned off the lights.

  34. pinkbunnyslippers says:

    Hope he’s pressing charges…

  35. kennedar says:

    This is so sad, I love our Goodlife in Calgary!! It makes me very sad to hear that it is that scummy out in Ottawa!

    • djc_819 says:

      I used to be a member of Goodlife in Ottawa, and got to try at least 3-4 different facilities in the city. All of them have been great! When I needed to cancel, because I decided to sign up for Muay Thai Kickboxing, they never asked why and I was able to do it over the phone by calling the 1-800 number. I received a confirmation email a few days after and was never debitted from my account after that.

      I dont know where all these horror stories come from or why they happen because it was so easy for me and a couple of my friends had the same experience as me. Who knows… maybe it depends when they call, or who they speak with??

  36. Gstump says:

    Well im an avid PA reader http://www.penny-arcade.com/comic/2006/7/12/ I have to admit I’ve done this once or twice.

  37. Nevada Scribbler says:

    I bet dollars to donuts the “security” guards were ‘roided out to the max. I don’t usually drop nasty acronyms, but WTF?

  38. Duckula22 says:

    The whole “… having to make an appointment, we can’t do this now, it needs to be done later …” thing is just BS. These businesses use this tactics to deter or delay cancellations. Way to treat a costumer. Unbelievable in this day and age business managers think news (bad news specially) aren’t going to travel fast and hit you back in your face. Seriously!