I paid for a membership that allowed myself and a friend to use the facility. I called in December to delete one of the names off the membership and was told I couldn't give notice over the phone; that it had to be in writing. I asked for a fax # to fax over my notice to be effective immediately and was told they had no way to receive my fax. I asked for an email address to email the notice and was told they could not receive emails. I then told them, since I had moved, I would take my written notice to the gym nearest my new location. I was told no one other than the gym I signed for, could accept my written notice, even though I told them I had moved and could not come into that location.
I was told the only way to send it was through "regular mail". I was not happy, but I mailed it that day. I just received another full charge (not discounted upon removal of my friend from the membership) and I again called. She informed me that she didn't receive my notice until Jan 2, which would allow them to bill me the full amount AGAIN, with the 30 day notice required "per your contract". I told her that there was something very wrong with their processes and that because of that, I now want the entire membership cancelled. She told me I would have to mail it to her. Again, no FAX, no Email, no other means to cancel.
I questioned it taking so much additional time for them to input my letter once they received it and asked her to give me my cancellation date, given I was giving her notice today, following up with my letter today. She told me that if she received my letter by Monday, my membership would end March 15. "What?", I inquired. You're charging me for the entire month of February and 2 weeks into March even though I'm cancelling on January 27, 2012? She said, "Yes, that is correct. Your 30 day notice as required by your contract, is based on 30 days from the Billing Date cycle, not the date you give notice. What???? I told her this was fraud, not explained to me when I called in December and would not have been explained to me today had I not specifically asked what my cancellation date would be.
I told her the only way I could get this cancelled, it appeared, was to cancel my auto pay with them through my card. She then raised her voice and threatened me. "If you do that, and we try to put your billing through, you will be hit with additional charges and we will turn you over to collections and hit your credit. So you have a nice day." I am appalled by their fraudulent business practices, employees threatening me when I am simply trying to cancel a membership that I haven't even been able to use for months due to health issues. I was willing to continue with my membership until I was able to use again, until this happened.
This is wrong and I now see that others are experiencing the same problem. I told them in my written cancellation notice that I was going to report their business practices and I intend to do so everywhere I can. Someone really needs to look into the legalities of their practices. It is inconceivable that in 2012, a business cannot take a cancellation notice over the phone, email or fax. It's not that they can't, they don't want to; because then they can extend your cancellation date by weeks, allowing them to bill for longer periods of time for each cancellation. You have no control over when they input your letter of cancellation. I call that fraudulent, at the very least, misleading business practices and certainly not ethical, if not illegal. Your notice should be the date you notify them. Not based on their billing cycles. Or, at the very least, it should be prorated from the billing date to the end of that month, not continuing to charge you into a new month. Something very wrong here.