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.
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!
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.
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.
Andrew is having some trouble with Blockbuster: the 360 and Wii games he rented were unplayable, and the store manager refused to refund his debit card or apply the cost of the unused rentals to a purchase, saying “It’s not store policy.” She even tried to upsell Anrew to their Game Plan, saying, “Five bucks additional wouldn’t have killed you, with what you spent on the games previously.” What? He finally convinced her to credit his debit account—”however, she terminated my ability to rent games from the store” as a consequence. Andrew, don’t you understand? Blockbuster needs that money if they’re ever going to buy Circuit City. Here’s Andrew’s story:
Bally Cashes Cancellation Check, Continues To Bill For 15 More Months, And Now Demands "Past Due" Payment
Ashoka just found out that Bally never canceled his membership, even though they cashed his $50 cancellation check a mere 5 days after he mailed it to them last year. They’ve said there was no date on the paperwork, but Ashoka has a printout that proves otherwise. And they said they tried to contact him last year about the “problem,” but not by phone—even though they called him promptly this month when he changed his credit card info and the automatic billing didn’t go through. Bally, just admit it: nobody gets out, ever.
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.
If you buy a ticket on Spirit Airlines’ website, the purchase screen has the nasty habit of prefilling options to buy travel insurance and join the Spirit Airlines fare club. And those fees? Nonrefundable, even if you cancel your membership. How nice.
As Michael Corleone once said, “Just when I thought that I was out they pull me back in.”
- Next year, if you need a gift for a strict rationalist, consider cash. If you want to appeal to someone’s wild self, you’ll have to use your imagination. And if you’re hoping to send a little something extra to the shareholders of Best Buy or the Gap or Tiffany, consider a gift card.
And get a month-to-month gym membership. —MEGHANN MARCO
The value of Costco membership may be contentious, but what about a Costco Executive Membership? The upper echelon offers 2% Cash Back, as well as a slew of discounts on insurance, small business services, check printing, and more. Here’s MyMoneyBlog’s take:
Bits du Jour is a new site that will offer one discounted download for one day. It’s like Woot! except for software or memberships. It remains to be seen what they’ll be able to line up, but if you want to be on the front lines in case this is good and for reals, sign up at Bitsdujour.com.