The gym opened up at the end of 2010 and I decided to switch from 24 Hour Fitness over to Fitness 2000 because they supposedly do not make you sign a contract. After talking to Donovan (trainer/sales) I decided that I wanted to join. He had me pay 2 months worth of dues and said that was "in case you decide to cancel your membership."
I was already agitated because I had received a special in the mail that said that I could join for $1, that was obviously not the case because the debit receipt he brought me said $104.76. When I asked him why it was so much, he said that I had to pay a processing fee, a convenience fee, and my first and last month's dues. The next thing he did was present me with a contract ten minutes after he had just told me that there were no contracts. I read over it and the space where it said how long I was locked into a contract with them was blank. I pointed out that there was not a number in the space, he said "because we don't force our customer's into a contract." So I wondered why I was being presented with this "non-contract contract." He said that it was the only form they had that had room for emergency contacts, home address, contact info, and membership options (I got tanning added to it). That made sense to me, so I signed and he tore the carbon copy off and gave it to me.
8 months later (September 2011) I called into Fitness 2K and told them that I needed to cancel my membership because their hours were no longer conducive to my schedule for work. (They are only open until 10 pm Monday-Thursday, 9 pm on Fridays, and 6 pm on weekends. I work until 8-8:30 everyday now, so I just could not get my burn in under 90 minutes).
I was told that I needed to contact corporate because they do not handle problems at the store-level. I proceeded to contact corporate, was told that I would have to pay over $1200 to break my contract early. I told the lady that Donovan told me there was no contract and that I could break at any time because I paid my first and last month's dues at the beginning. She laughed at me, told me that I was wrong and needed to listen to her. I got mad and hung up, decided that I would handle this face-to-face. I went home, found my "non-contract contract" and took it up to Fitness 2000. I talked to the night manager, who told me that Donovan was fired several months before because he got caught writing in contract lengths after the client had signed for 0-month commitment. I was then told that I would have to pay to break my contract and there was nothing I could do about it. Their corporate office is a joke and the store-level employees do not know what they're doing when it comes to customer questions or inquiries.
I know that there is nothing that can be done now, but hopefully I can help someone out there make a better gym decision. I never thought I'd say this, but I'm glad to be back with 24 Hour Fitness.
P.S. Never use the tanning beds @ Fitness 2000; they do not clean them with sanitizer, just water. I got a rash on the back of my thighs, lower back, and shoulders that cost me nearly $400 to get cleared up. Disgusting!!