• Report: #27993

Complaint Review: Body of Change--LA Fitness

  • Submitted: Mon, August 26, 2002
  • Updated: Thu, May 22, 2008

  • Reported By:tempe az
Body of Change--LA Fitness
20430 N. 19th. avenue st. 140 Phoenix, Arizona U.S.A.

Body of Change LA Fitness ripoff SCAM false promises Phoenix Arizona

*UPDATE Employee: From an personal trainer who currently works for BOC (Pro Results)

*UPDATE EX-employee responds: rebuttal

*UPDATE Employee: From an insider..

*Consumer Comment: LA FITNESS has a long history of scamming people

*Consumer Comment: Ideas on how to handle your misfortune

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I am 23 and have been working out at LA Fitness on a daily basis since I was 14. Earlier this summer, I was leaving the gym when I was approached by a Body of Change Salesman, whom I shall remain nameless.

He said that he had seen me doing cardio for the whole two hours I was there and that I could rev up my workout if I had a trainer to introduce me to the freeweight area. That should have been a sign, seeing as I had not done any cardio that day and existed primarily in the free weight area.

I see now that I perfectly fit the Body of Change demographic--I am an average size female who blends into the background. Among his many tactics, the salesman told me all about his baby daughter that he has to pay child support for as well as the plentiful Body of Change clients who go on to compete (Lie). Too bad I cannot hold any of these things against Body of Change in a court of law.

Because I am a push over, I signed up. My trainer was late on his first day and training was nothing I had not done already (I let him know that).

My trainer was nice, but more interested in watching the televisions than watching my form. He was also a bit uneducated when it comes to fitness. I would ask him about certian muscle groups, and he would have me point to them to demonstrate as to which groups those were.

I even asked him if he had heard any new medical research about aspartame and the effects it has on the body. In reply he told me that he does not take body building supplements. Whatever?!. Due to unfortunate circumstances, which I do not hold against him, my trainer had to spontaneously leave town. The bone I have to pick is with Body of Change in that I was not told that he left town.

I continued to show up to my scheduled sessions and no trainer would arrive. This continued for a whole month. It says in the contract the client should get a free session for every session the trainer missed. This has not happened.
Seeing as the trainers are only paid $6 a session, I can see where they are scrounging for hours. That trainer is permanently gone, and they are squeezing his clients into other trainers schedules. There are no training spots around my work schedule and the contract does not say that there must be.

On top of that, my new traner is fatter than me.

The contract stipulates that I can only get out of the contract by canceling my LA Fitness membership as well as pay some fines. I am sorry that I am going to have to do this seeing as I have been a member at LA Fitness for 8 years and is a part of my life. If LA Fitness knew what was good for them, they would get rid of Body of Change, or possibly buy out my contract for me.

Tempe, Arizona

This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 08/26/2002 09:24 AM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/r/Body-of-Change-LA-Fitness/Phoenix-Arizona-85027/Body-of-Change-LA-Fitness-ripoff-SCAM-false-promises-Phoenix-Arizona-27993. The posting time indicated is Arizona local time. Arizona does not observe daylight savings so the post time may be Mountain or Pacific depending on the time of year.

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Updates & Rebuttals

#1 UPDATE Employee

From an personal trainer who currently works for BOC (Pro Results)

AUTHOR: DVS77 - (U.S.A.)

I can say with the utmost certainty that everything that "Kcr357" is true.

I hope to provide further detail with my experience working for Body of Change (Pro Results).

From the time I began working for BOC (as a personal trainer) almost two years ago, I realize how mismanaged the training department was, yet it took almost a year before I understood exactly how corrupt and cavernous the situation was.

First off, the "training managers" are not personal trainers. Yes you read that right. They are NOT personal trainers and most of them have absolutely no qualifications justifying their working with the public in any way, shape or form. The "training manager" job is a sales position, pure and simple. These people can walk off the street with no education, instruction, certification enabling them to instruct anyone in terms of physical fitness.

The only ones certified to train people are the actual trainers who wear the blue v-neck shirts. The training managers wear the black collared shirts and khakis. Now that BOC has been purchased by LA Fitness, they have changed their company name to "Pro Results", but rest assured that nothing has changed in terms of how the company operates.

I never paid attention to the fine print in any of the contracts because, as a personal trainer, it wasn't really within the scope of my job. It was only after awhile when some of my clients complained about the hassle involved in trying to cancel the training membership that I realized there was indeed some unscrupulous practices going on.

Evidently, after the 12 month obligation is completed, the contract turns over and re-bills on a monthly basis until the unsuspecting consumer physically cancels the contract. The problem being that there is no explanation in the fine print of the contract as to how to cancel. After many complaints, I inquired myself and found out the following: On the LA Fitness website, there is a physical address to which a letter stating the desired cancellation must be sent by registered mail.

LA Fitness International, LLC
2810 Trinity Mills #209 - #322
Carrollton, TX 75006

Unfortunately, by the time most clients realize this, they've been charged several additional months because these cancellation procedures weren't covered in the contract.

I've told all clients how to cancel because I want them to realize that I don't represent the company in terms of their unethical practices, and am in fact more of a subcontractor in nature than a true employee of LA Fitness. The fact that I work for them doesn't obligate my silence when it comes to doing what is right.

Over time I have seen many loyal clients cancel memberships due to the way they were treated by the sales staff.

Promised free sessions which were never guaranteed in writing, switched from trainer to trainer without any prior consent, no-showed by the trainer or training manager.........the list goes on and on.

I honestly thought that being a trainer would be a job devoid of politics nor conflict of interests, yet I found both of these in spades working as a personal trainer for BOC (Pro Results).

The general manager, who is a salesman himself, supposedly is required to be certified as a personal trainer or hold a college degree equivalency yet not once have I seen a certification on file for either GM I've worked for during my time in the company.

I can't say with any certainty that the GM is actually qualified to train anyone.

Now, given the sum of all these circumstances, how would you feel working for this company?

I can only vouch for my training and that's about it.

I don't respect the training managers because they aren't certified personal trainers, yet portray themselves to be.

I will not hesitate to explain that they are NOT personal trainers, so there is no confusion.

I have been accused of not being a "team player" because I won't lie to people, but I could really care less at this point.

I am already looking for another job.

If you have any questions, don't hesistate to respond and I'll answer to the best of my ability.
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#2 UPDATE EX-employee responds


AUTHOR: Kcr357 - (U.S.A.)

"I am 100% confident that if that was the club I am currently going to they would have worked something out internally. "

I can tell you for a fact that when I quit my clients were left high and dry with no trainer, and the sales dept. did nothing to help them. (after all, the sales people are "trainers" too, are they not?) they could always train new clients until sessions open up. Never happens. I know this because I keep in contact with my old clients. They are irate.

As far as the client mistaking her for another person, no how no way. When you work there, you know every regular that comes in and what they do, especially when it is your job to snag new prospects.

No one is disputing that sales is necessary for revenue, I would not have had clients if not for sales. What we are disputing is the unethical/borderline illegal tactics they use. The only people I have ever met that think the sales tactics this company uses are acceptable are the salespeople themselves.
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#3 UPDATE Employee

From an insider..

AUTHOR: Kcr357 - (U.S.A.)

Starting with the sales people-they are lower than used car salesmen. I caught one of them taking her new client off of my schedule 30 min before she was supposed to show up so as not to get charged for a no show so she would not cancel her contract. If the saleswomen simply would have asked me to let her cancel I gladly would have. I understand things come up and let clients cancel/reschedule all the time without charging them, but going behind my back is another matter.

Another salesman I was somewhat FRIENDS WITH decided that he didnt want to share commission on a client I referred to him(it is policy to split commission when a client is referred to a slimesman) I even reminded him about this policy when I booked the client for him. The poor girl got suckered into paying 50 DOLLARS a session, almost twice the going rate. If you watch their pitch, its easy to discern the tactic-keep talking and distract the client until the thinking part of their brain is occupied with the charts, workout plans, etc etc bs they put in front of you. NOw you are ready to do whatever they tell you to do. Its like hypnotizing someone almost.

As for the trainers, I will say my gym has really good ones;however some show up late; if they bother coming in at all. Nobody is there for the fat money LA is paying, they are there because its what they like doing. Some are better than others, just talk to their clients.
BTW, do you think that ANYONE can live on 6 bucks for a 30 min session? Bypass the human waste that sell the contracts, pick a good trainer that is there consistantly, talk to his/her clients, observe them, and approach the trainer about some sessions.

To some degree, of them have clients on the side. You will get more attention, save money, and a better workout working with just the trainer. Not 100% on the up and up, but it is how it is. I will give 110% to my clients that take care of me. ( I do not give the regulars subpar training; however)
I will advise you DO NOT SIGN THE CONTRACT, not in order to get regulars, but because once you do, you will continue to pay and pay even if
the trainers suck -not BOC's problem, you signed the contract
all the trainers quit/not enough trainers and you cant get a session-not BOC's problem, you signed the contract
you have a different trainer every time you go there-not BOC's problem, you signed the contract
Trainer is miserable about making 6 dollars a session and bitches the entire session about the latter? not BOC's problem, you signed the contract
Get the gist?

I went into this knowing I would make 6 a session, I did approach the job how I wanted to be treated-as a valuable employee the made alot of money for the company by keeping the client happy. Usually a company will reward those who do this, not La. I come in early, stay late, take clients nobody else wants, NEVER call off, always on time, and I get the same pay as the trainers that show up 3 out of 5 days they are supposed to work. I am not a novice, fitness has been a big part of my life since I was 10, but I moved and ended up @ La thinking it was a decent place. My clients range from a 18 yo former boxer to a endocrinologist to a 40 y man with EXTENSIVE ligament/nerve/artery damage in his knee. All my clients are booking weeks in advance, so I like to think I am keeping their best interests in sight despite of the environment. Good luck to all of you who signed, and email me for any advice.
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#4 Consumer Comment

LA FITNESS has a long history of scamming people

AUTHOR: Bart - (U.S.A.)

It doesn't suprise me that LA Fitness would pull this off. Few years ago me and my buddy were looking for fitness center to sign up. We walked to LA fitness, we didn't care too much for the center but we offerred an incredible deal.

We were reluctant to take it but then we were told that today was the last the day and we had 48 hours to cancel. Seeing that we had nothing to loose we signed up to hold that special deal.
Later that day we found a much better place to work out for a bit more.

The next day we walked to cancel the deal. We were told that the rep we talked to wasn't in today and we had to come back the next day. We did just that, he still wasn't available and the person we spoke to refused to do anything to help us.

Then we started getting the bills. We called and wrote letters to the corporation. Then there was the collection agency...after more letter and CC to Better Business Bureau it finally stopped.

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#5 Consumer Comment

Ideas on how to handle your misfortune

AUTHOR: Karin - ()

I am also a member of LA Fitness who works out with Body of Change. In regard to them soliciting her, they are a business. They have to solicit people in order to generate new business. I have been in the gym many times and watched them solicit people old, young, fat, skinny, ulgy, beautiful...in a nutshell all types of people. They do not just single out one type. It is not in their best interest to do so if they are trying to make money. What business isn't?

As far as her trainer commenting on free weights vrs. cardio perhaps he mistook her for someone else or had seen her in there before. She said she works out every day. I think that she should have switched trainers and notified someone if she didn't think that he was very knowlegeable or misinformed. It doesn't say in the contract ANYWHERE that you are locked into being with the same trainer. You can change trainers for any reason. Actually, you don't even need to give a reason.

In response to her trainer not showing up, I agree she should have been notified . However, she never mentioned that she informed management or the corporate office. I am 100% confident that if that was the club I am currently going to they would have worked something out internally. It seems like she is trying to scam them by not originally bringing it up to someone so that later she could say...I didn't have a trainer for a whole month and now I want free sessions. I would suggest that she bring it to the attention of someone right away in the future but for now let the corporate office of both body of change and LA Fitness know what is going on. I'm sure they will work something out that both sides can agree on.

My trainer is helping me to produce great results and is very motivating and knowledgeable both in the areas of fitness and nutrition. Don't let one bad seed ruin the whole apple.

Just remember it never hurts to ask!!!
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