Crunch Gym Is Notoriously Corrupt

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.

Jacob wrote with an update, it seems that he’s having a hell of a time actually canceling his month-to-month membership. They won’t stop charging his account. This isn’t the first time we’ve heard this. Read Jacob’s update inside.

Jacob writes:

Crunch Rep Janet agreed verbally in person that a fee increase might not apply to me, as I had been a member for only 5 months. She promised to email someone higher up and get back to me by phone.

Several days later, no phone call, So I call them back.

She says oh yes I heard from them and unfortunately the rate increase does apply.

Me – Ok fine, I will cancel my membership, but what about your 30-day notification of cancellation policy?

(Remember that Crunch itself failed miserably to notify its customers 30-days in advance about rates increases, it actually gave us less than a week, and their contract explicitly states a 30-day period is required)

J- Well that wouldn’t apply, we don’t want to be jerks about it.

Me – (thinking that is actually human of them) Ok, I’ll come in and sign the cancellation papers.

So I do, and even put a note on it saying as per agreement with Janet @ Crunch, cancellation is effective by 3/1/07.

Looking at my bank statement today online, I see a fresh charge from Crunch for guess what? $69… yep, $84! Not only should I not be charged at all, but they already made the increase in violation of their own policy which I pointed out to them at least 5 times.

Crunch broke their own rules about rate increases, and I bet anyone who didn’t complain (and many who did) are paying higher rates this month even though they legally shouldn’t.

I promptly call the gym and after 3 or four transfers get back to Janet. She apparently only has vague recollections (“your name sounds familiar”) about the 3 phone conversations and face to face meeting from a week ago.

After more of the same hollow assurances to refund my money, she takes my number again, and I tell her I want this resolved by the end of the week also expressing my frustration about all the similar stories I’ve read about Crunch and Bally’s.

I go to my bank to see what I can do about blocking future charges. They tell me that I can only dispute charges individually and since Crunch has my account info, they can run a charge through anytime they want. Her best suggestion: close the account.

I urge all consumerist readers: Go to independent health centers, yoga studios, buy a pair of running shoes and jog in the nearest park, ride your bike, walk more, just don’t join another corporate money sucking scheme, I mean, gym!

Who has time to work out with all this Bull sh*t!

Crunch Gym is a shady outfit. Have any of you had similar problems with Crunch debiting money or charging your account after you’ve canceled? Tell us about it: tips [at] consumerist [dot] com. —MEGHANN MARCO

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