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 gym chain made famous on NBC’s “Biggest Loser” is being sued for continuing to debit the bank accounts of customers who have canceled their memberships. The US Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit, has given the green light to a class action lawsuit that says the chain is violating both the RICO Act and the Electronic Funds Transfer Act by keeping these zombie memberships active.
Ten miles isn’t always a quick or easy trip. That’s the message that the former members of a Bally’s club in Vancouver, Wash. want to get across to the chain after their local branch closed with little to no notice. Bally’s claims that they don’t need to end contracts or refund members’ dues since there is another Bally’s within ten miles of the club, but the drive tops half an hour for some customers—not exactly convenient.
Reader Jordan writes in to share a past due “bill” that he received from Bally Total Fitness, where he had previously been a member. It turns out that the letter, which specified the amount Jordan owed and threatened to report Jordan to a collection agency if he didn’t pay, was actually a sneaky solicitation to get him to renew his contract.
Cache asked about the $10 “Super Power Pass” add-on at his local XSport Fitness club today—the sign in the window says “work out where you want, when you want with a Super Power Pass for just $10 more*,” and lists “Chicago – New York – Washington” across the top. We don’t know what’s linked via that asterisk, because the fine print on the ad is so small that it’s unreadable in the photo Cache took, but as you might expect there’s no such thing as a $10 add-on that lets you use any XSport Fitness.
The sales team at the LA Fitness in
Floral Park New Hyde Park, Long Island, were so pushy to a prospective customer that they basically forced her to take her business elsewhere. Apparently if they actually let a customer redeem one of their free passes, the gym will be sucked into a vortex of non-commission, so they have to deny you access.
We’re pretty impressed that this member of the Washington Sports Clubs at the DC USA Mall helped catch a thief. We’re a little stunned, however, that the staff at the gym let the guy enter in the first place without making sure he had a membership, or that they did nothing to stop him as he ran out with someone behind him yelling, “Stop! Thief!” Thankfully an off-duty cop pursued and apprehended the guy, and the member got back his wallet. But what’s the point of a gym membership and a staff if you’re completely on your own once you get there?
Crunch gym filed for bankruptcy last week. Guess that strategy of signing up your members for long contracts, then making it really hard to cancel a membership and continuing to debit people’s bank accounts even after they were supposed to be canceled and generally being total jerks about any member that tried to stop giving them money, even if they moved away or the gym itself closed down…yeah guess that didn’t work out.
Want an extra $1,000? The Wall Street Journal has a list of seven things that you can easily stop buying without making drastic changes to your lifestyle.
Are you sitting down? Of course you are, that’s why you were interested in a lose-weight-quick scheme to begin with. Well, bad news. Exercise physiologists took at look at several six-week weight loss programs and determined that no, those products don’t work, and that if you want to stop looking like a “dumpling,” it’s going to take at least six months of actual effort.
Aaron sent us this postcard he received from Work Out World. Amidst the grammatical landmines and asterisks to nowhere, it purports to offer membership for $9.99 per month with no enrollment fee and no commitment. Aaron even called to confirm that he had read the offer correctly, and was told he had. When he got to the gym, however, he ran into trouble.
I just found out that after I canceled my account with Washington Sports Clubs last year, they created a new account and continued to deduct hundreds of dollars from my account. More than $700, actually. I should have noticed this, but the charges varied each month and didn’t say “Washington Sports Club” anywhere — so I missed it. After more than a week of phone haggling and bringing in documents, the club is refunding my money. I would also like them to grovel and send me on a trip to Paris.
One of the first things to get the ax when people cut back is the monthly gym membership fee — which means that gyms all over the country are slashing prices in order to attract new members to replace the ones who are sloughing off.
Chanda signed up for a month-to-month membership at a Bally Total Fitness in Montclair, California, but when things went wrong—as they frequently do with this company—Chanda found himself signed up for a 3-year agreement. Their proof? An unsigned contract that doesn’t look like the one he was given.