Gold's Gym "Misplaces" Serviceman's Deployment Letter, Keeps Billing For Membership

Gold’s Gym in Oxnard, California won’t stop billing Molly’s brother for membership, even though both he and his mother have repeatedly sent the gym copies of his deployment orders to Afghanistan. Two months later, the gym claims that it has “misplaced” the deployment orders, and is still billing for services Molly’s brother can’t use.

Molly writes:

My brother signed up for a monthly membership to Gold’s Gym a few months before he deployed to Afghanistan. At the time he was told that he would not have a problem terminating his membership when he deployed. Before he left for Afghanistan he brought in a copy of his deployment letter to Gold’s Gym and was assured that his membership would be terminated while he was abroad. After his first month in Afghanistan, my brother realized that he was still being charged for his gym membership. He asked my mom to assist him with the matter so she faxed and mailed additional copies of his deployment letter to both the Gold’s Gym in Oxnard and to Gold’s Gym’s financial office. These additional copies of his deployment letter were “misplaced” and 2 months later he is still being charged for a gym membership that he cannot use! What a pitiful way to treat our servicemen and women.

The gym appears to be violating California Civil Code ß1812.89(b), which gives anyone the right to cancel if they move more than 25 miles from the gym.

(b) (1) Except as provided in paragraph (2), every contract for health studio (Ed. Gyms count as “health studios,” along with any place that provides “instruction, training or assistance in physical culture, body building, exercising, reducing, figure development and other similar skills.”) services shall contain a clause providing that if the person agreeing to receive health studio services moves further than 25 miles from the health studio and is unable to transfer the contract to a comparable facility, such person shall be relieved from the obligation of making payment for services other than those received prior to the move, and if such person has prepaid any sum for health studio services, so much of such sum as is allocable to services he or she has not taken shall be promptly refunded.

If the gym is billing a credit card, Molly’s brother can also file a chargeback and ask the bank to refuse all future charges.

Overview of California’s Health Studio Services Contract Law: Legal Guide W-10 [California Department of Consumer Affairs]
(Photo: Arturo de Albornoz)