(frankieleon)

Held In The Disney Movie Club’s Enchanted Prison

Sandra was trapped. She was trapped in the enchanted prison of the Disney Movie Club. She didn’t need someone to cast a spell and set her free, though: what she really needed was to pay off her entire account balance. The problem is that the enchantment robs the Movie Club of the ability to read checks, so they dragged out her departure by logging her $35 check as a $25 one. [More]

Sam's Club Absolutely Must See Your ID For One-Day Pass; Can't Say Why

Sam's Club Absolutely Must See Your ID For One-Day Pass; Can't Say Why

Claudia is a Costco member, but when Sam’s Club advertised a one-day shopping pass in her local paper, she went to see what Sam’s had to offer. What the ad didn’t mention was that a photo ID would be needed to get the pass from the store’s customer service desk. Which is interesting, since you can actually print a pass from the Sam’s Club web site, presumably without holding your driver’s license up to the screen. [More]

DirectBuy Won't Let Me In Their Showroom Without My Husband

DirectBuy Won't Let Me In Their Showroom Without My Husband

Reader Stacy writes in to let us know that DirectBuy refused to let her tour their showroom without her husband.

Massage Membership Rubbed Me The Wrong Way

Massage Membership Rubbed Me The Wrong Way

Megan tried to quit her membership with Massage Envy, a national chain, in person, but was told she’d need to provide a request in writing. After she jumped through that silly hoop she was stuck with a charge of $10 more than she anticipated. Then a company rep told she would still be billed automatically for the membership she canceled. [More]

Urban Active Gym Appears Lets You Cancel, Then Charges You More

Urban Active Gym Appears Lets You Cancel, Then Charges You More

Gyms are notorious for being difficult to cancel your membership at, so at first Heather thought hers was different. They even backdated the cancellation date so she wouldn’t pay for the full month. So nice! A month later, collections called her. [More]

How LA Fitness Convinced Me To Cancel Two Memberships Instead Of One

One bungled customer service experience can change your whole outlook of a company. Joseph proves this as he talks about how LA Fitness — a gym he once adored — bought itself two membership cancellations instead of one by screwing up his attempts to cancel his partner’s contract. [More]

ECA Responds To Membership Controversy, But Doesn't Say Much

ECA Responds To Membership Controversy, But Doesn't Say Much

Yesterday, ECA President Hal Halpin emailed Consumerist and other blogs a formal statement addressing the charges that the ECA is deliberately making it hard for members to break free. I’m printing the letter below, along with a summary of the key points Halpin makes and the issues that remain unanswered. [More]

ECA Tries To Prevent Members From Canceling

ECA Tries To Prevent Members From Canceling

Some members of the Entertainment Consumers Association (ECA) are pretty upset that the consumer advocacy group for gamers removed the ability to turn off auto-renewal on member accounts. They’ve also removed the phone number you used to be able to call to cancel. In fact, the only way to cancel your ECA membership now is to mail them a letter–and if your request isn’t processed at least 30 days before your membership is due to renew, you can expect to be charged again. Update: The ECA has responded, but their formal statement leaves a lot of questions unanswered. [More]

Planet Fitness Publicly Shamed Into Refunding Dead Member's Fees

Planet Fitness Publicly Shamed Into Refunding Dead Member's Fees

Gregory Rowell has been dead for nearly two years, but no one knew that he’d set up an auto debit with Planet Fitness on a second checking account. The gym continued to debit his account each month until a bank employee notified the victim’s mother, Patricia Rowell. When she provided the death certificate and asked them to refund the money, they not only refused, but said it was her fault and offered her a six month membership instead. That’s when Rowell took her story to the local newspaper. [More]

24 Hour Fitness Sued For Charging Ex-Customers Fees

24 Hour Fitness Sued For Charging Ex-Customers Fees

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.

$10 XSport Fitness Upgrade Really Costs $20

$10 XSport Fitness Upgrade Really Costs $20

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.

Gold's Gym Applies Fitness Shrink Ray To Membership Privileges

Gold's Gym Applies Fitness Shrink Ray To Membership Privileges

Most complaints that we receive about gyms involve memberships that refuse to die (even when the customer does), but Laura in Indiana has a different problem. Her local Gold’s Gym is changing its services and membership structure with no regard for the facility’s current members.

LA Fitness Will Say Anything To Avoid Honoring Free 3 Day Pass

LA Fitness Will Say Anything To Avoid Honoring Free 3 Day Pass

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.

Washington Sports Clubs Sets Up New Account, Bills Ex-Member $700 More In Fees

Washington Sports Clubs Sets Up New Account, Bills Ex-Member $700 More In Fees

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.

Hey! You Can Buy Alcohol At Costco And Sam's Club Without A Membership!

Hey! You Can Buy Alcohol At Costco And Sam's Club Without A Membership!

Need some quality alcohol at discount prices? Don’t want to sign up for a Costco, Sam’s Club or BJ’s membership? There may be hope for you!

Bally Total Fitness Scams College Student By Swapping Contracts

Bally Total Fitness Scams College Student By Swapping Contracts

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.

AARP Really Really Needs Members

AARP Really Really Needs Members

Adam’s mom recently received an AARP invitation, which is not surprising since she’s nearing fifty. But we think AARP may want to pass a better filter over the address lists they’re buying, because a few days later Adam received the same invitation. Maybe AARP is trying to expand to seniors and their admirers—sort of like a backwards NAMBLA.