I joined Bally Total Fitness three years ago at the Glendale, CA location. I was advised by the representative that my contract was for only 36 months and then it would end. He did not advise that it would automatically renew if I did cancel thirty days before.
I tried to cancel contract after I found out about several months of use that I could no longer attend because of my demanding work schedule. The local club advised it could not be cancelled and whether I used club or not, I would need to pay the $31 per month. I did so faithfully for the full 36 months.
The Friday before my contract was coming to an end, I received a letter advising that I could renew for one year, 2 years or 3 years. Furthermore, there was no place to ask if I wanted to cancel but it did say if I did not contact them, I would be charged more than what I had orginally agreed to pay ....due to price increase.
I proceeded to call that Monday, June 2, 2008 at 9 am as it rang off the hook and no answer and no voice mail system.
I then knew that my debit payment of $31 could kick in the next day, June 3, 2008. I called the local club where I signed up and used their location only when I used it for a short period of time and spoke to Frank. I advised Frank the urgency of getting through Corporate Office and so I asked him to call for me and cancel. he did; however, he indicated it was probably too late to stop the debit in time. If I was charged, I needed to contact Corporate Office so that they could refund me.
I was charged the $31 and again could not get through to anyone with their phone system at the Corporate office. I left three messages for Frank within a two week period and no return call. I then asked for another Supervisor to talk with and she followed up by calling again Corporate Office for me to confirm that yes I was cancelled; however, she had good and bad news for me.
I decided to hear the good news first and she proceeded to say that I had membership for another 30 days which I did not want because I was paying for nothing and could not use their services. Bad news is that I could not get a refund. I advised her to make sure Frank called me and he never did.
Today, June 23, 2008, I asked for Frank and he came on the line. He denied that he told me I would get a refund and then shared that Corporate Office had a stipulation in my contract that Paragraph 15 stated that we are automatically renewed if we do not give a 30 day notice of cancellation.
I insisted he call them back and get my refund. He indicated he could not so I asked him to get a fax copy of my contract for legal investigation. He advised that I would first need to pay a $10 fee to have done.
I was so upset that I ended call and decided to report Bally Total Fitness to any agency possible as this is a scam and just not right. I did file with the Better Business Bureau a complaint to attempt to get my refund. I want anyone that has ever had any such treatment to file a complaint as well. This is so unethical and wrong.
I will tell everyone I know to never sign up or use Bally Total Fitness. I will contact Burbank/Glendale Leader advising of such treatment. They need to be stopped.
I urge anyone reading this complaint to never sign a contract with Bally Total Fitness or if they go to any other health club, to read every letter of the contract before signing.