Crunch: $4 Trial Membership Secretly Means $138 Real Membership

Fred writes:
That’s what I got after signing up for a contest at a Lincoln Park Chamber of Commerce event (specifically Pizza fest) in July 2007. I took Crunch up on the pass because I wanted to check out what my local Crunch had to offer. Included in the week pass was a personal training session. I went to Crunch 3 times that week and had an enjoyable time; it’s a decent gym and seemed ok.

Soon into my week, Andy @Crunch called me and offered me the rest of the month of July for $4 if I signed up as a member. I agreed to that but made absolutely sure that if I canceled in the appropriate amount of time (before the end of the month) I would not be charged for anything, which he said was true. The rest of the month for a couple bucks? I thought, “Why not?”
I should mention that I was/am member of another gym and couldn’t possibly afford to belong to both at the same time. I was indeed looking for a change; otherwise I wouldn’t have even accepted the free week pass. However, even if I would have loved Crunch and wanted to join immediately, I would have had to wait a month and cancel my other gym membership. Moving on…
A couple days before I knew I would start to be billed and default into a permanent membership, I went into Crunch to cancel. Immediately, I was told that even if I canceled I would still be billed for a month and charged a cancellation free. WHAT?! Naturally, I re-explained my situation and what I was told (that if I came in canceled I wouldn’t have to pay any more money). The response I got was actually quite non-sensical – “You have to give 30 days notice” [to not be charged]. Let’s think about this for a moment. I got my pass in mid-july and went in to quit on the 30th. How, mathematically, could I have possibly given 30 days notice??! Ugh, you suck Crunch. But that’s why I am writing this.

A week after getting nowhere with the manager and being ask to fax documents around as proof of my cancellation, I checked my bank account and found out that I was actually charged twice ($69×2). I would later find out that this was because was told I was breaking my year contract (DOUBLE WHAT?!!!!), and also that I would be charged August dues (even though I canceled in July).

My advice. Don’t accept free passes from Crunch. Don’t even look at the place when you walk by it.

Crunch has something of a reputation for being shady when it comes to cancellations and billing. Avoid.