Here's a copy of the email I sent to customer care (firstname.lastname@example.org). I spoke with a representative for over an hour. She would not let me cancel my membership. She said I either had to have a medical condition, or moved to far away to be able to visit one of their locations. And, of course, since my membership is not cancelled, they want to charge me monthly fees.
See my letter below sent on August 7, 2012.
Dear Customer Care,
With regards to account #5970-32257, please note that this membership will not be renewed. Back on Sept 2011, I paid in advance for one full-year membership costing ~$430. I have not been to your club since January 2012. Recently, a refund for the 9 months the account was not used was declined my your company. Therefore, under no circumstances are you allowed to keep this account open. This membership will not be renewed. This account was not authorized for automatic renewal.
Your customer care rep named "Tracy"--who reports to "Brenda" (supervisor)--told me there were only two conditions under which you would accept a cancellation. Those reasons were: 1)The member moves more than 25 miles away from a nearby club location (due note I've always lived 25 miles away from your nearest location); 2) You have a medical condition making it impossible to workout. Attempts to call your Jersey City location (201-451-1911) to resolve the "automatic renewal issue" have gone unanswered. And since I live 50 miles away from this location, I will not be stopping in anytime soon.
By virtue of this letter, I am writing to state very clearly, "I do not wish to be a member of your club". Failure to remove my membership and continue "charging" this account will only lead to your practices being exposed via press or court proceeding. There is no court that would allow a business to force customers to stay on "indefinitely" or with such restrictions as to never be able to cancel. You simply can't hold a member "hostage" and force someone to do business with you. Our business together is over. We stopped doing business together back in January 2012.
Having prepaid the required membership fees for one year (~$430) covering the time period Sept 2011-2012, I never agreed to have my membership automatically renewed. Hence, this was the reason for buying a one-year membership in the first place. After the one year has expired, I would choose whether or not to renew. You claim I "initialed" the "renew" box, but I certainly did not. I agreed to be a club member, but I did not agree to automatic renewal.
In addition, by virtue of this letter, you are hereby denied from maintaining any personnel information regarding me, which includes but is not limited to: my driver's license, my credit card, and billing address. This membership is officially canceled and I state this clearly without any of the "requirements for cancellation" mentioned above.
I look forward to your response either through me or through the Better Business Bureau. And I don't mind stating that a "Class Action Lawsuit" will be inevitable.