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.
I was ripped off to the tune of $5620. They refused for 3 years to refund my money. Then they told me I have I have no recourse. It was electronic funds transfer for personal training that I never authorized. The people who did it were fired shortly after. It had happened to several other members, and most of the cases were settled. Except mine.
If you don’t like high pressure sales environments, stay the hell out of Gold’s Gym. Seattlest tried to sign up for a membership yesterday but was so put-off by the confusing sales pitch that they just walked out.
My work out experience was fine, as I didn’t mind the bad smell, chipping paint, or inattentive staff. The problem came when I tried to cancel my membership. I moved to London in April 2007 (less than 2 months after joining), but they refused to cancel my membership and continued to charge my credit card each month. Under my two year contract is a section entitling me to a no fee cancellation if I move outside of the Lucille Roberts catchments area. They demanded proof of my move, which I supplied. Apparently, 3,000 miles away isn’t far enough to be considered outside the catchment area!
It’s that time of year to pretend to care about your body for a few weeks before you give up in despair and realize it’s your parents’ fault for not having better genes. SmartMoney has published another one of their “10 Things” articles, this time about the common workout hobo, or as they prefer to be called, “personal trainers.”
Good news if you hate the gym, bad news if you’ve invested your time, money, and faith in the body-shaping power of daily workouts: despite what most people think, there still isn’t overwhelming evidence that exercise will reduce weight. Over the past several decades, research continues to show that exercise will definitely increase your body’s energy needs but not always reduce fat, and that a sedentary lifestyle and obesity are linked but not in a proven cause-and-effect relationship. Meanwhile, the popular press has promoted and mythologized a sort of “faith-based” concept of exercise as a key requirement for weight loss.
So you go through the process of selecting a gym, asking yourself whether you want one close to your house or to work, choosing between opulent technoplaygrounds and piles of torture devices in an old VFW lodge, and most importantly, determining whether your goal is to actually get fit, or get laid.
The following is reader David’s consumerist report on how Crunch Gym stole from his bank account and how he made the bastards pay, a process akin to squeezing sweat from a stone.
Yesterday we followed up on reader’s bad experience at Crunch Gym by calling 2 of their locations, the corporate office and interviewing Angie, our reader.
…I had a sickening experience at Crunch Gym yesterday.
Crunch Gym is notoriously corrupt. In the course of running this blog, it’s only natural that we get quite a few similar complaints about the same company. Sears Home Repair People never show up on time. Verizon’s customer service people are mean. Stuff like that. It becomes really troubling when we receive many complaints about a company refusing to stop taking money out of an ex-customer’s account. Those are the complaints we receive about Crunch Gym. Remember Jacob? He was canceling his membership after Crunch tried to charge him extra for adding a boxing ring to the gym.
Personally, we are allergic to high-pressure sales people. This is the reason that we do not work out at Crunch Gym. It may look like a gym, but it’s actually a festering pool of high-pressure sales douchebags.
As Michael Corleone once said, “Just when I thought that I was out they pull me back in.”