Let me start by saying that if you go to Fitness Connection's website at this very moment, a large banner runs across the top that states "$9.85 per month NO CONTRACT". Well that contract is the issue here. Fitness Connection believes it is legal to purport that a contract exists, when one does not.
At the beginning of 2012 I cancelled a month-to-month membership with Fitness Connection three consecutive times in person. Each time, the employee there told me that I was not under the term of a contract, had no obligation to remain a member, and could cancel at any time. The payment agreement I signed clearly states "Month-to-Month, no Committment". It's right there on their own form. NOT A CONTRACT. These forms merely lay out gym rules and member fees, nothing more.
Well, Fitness Connection thought themselves sly to simply not cancel my membership and to keep billing me. [continued below]....
..... So after my repeated attempts to cancel amiably, I asked Mastercard what to do. They suggested I block all charges from Fitness Connection and they reimbursed me for the false charges that Fitness Connection continued to bill me for. (Thank you, MasterCard)
A year goes by and I have heard absolutely nothing from Fitness Conenction, so there I am thinking all is well. Not a phone call, email, letter, nothing. One day I get a call from a collections agency claiming that I owe them money for unpaid gym dues. This means Fitness Connection sold a collector fraudulent or illegitimate debt under my name because of their own internal issues. Never once during the last year was I contacted in any way regarding the issue. Wrong address? Wrong phone number? I have no idea -- again, not my problem! Naturally I have no intention of, and will never, pay them a dime.
So like a responsible consumer I filed a complaint with the BBB, saying the above in that very complaint. I was responded to by a Bevery Wiggins, a "Dispute Resolution Liaison". I won't even get into that ridiculous job title. Anyway, as expected, Beverly on behalf of Fitness Connection claims that they have a contract stating I signed on for a year. By contract, I assure what she means is that someone keyed something into their computer system, and that is her point of reference. No such contract exists, and no such signature of mine would appear on an agreement, if it did exist.
I replied through the BBB stating that their records are wrong, their own employees failed to cancel the membership, and that they need to produce said phantom contract (which does not exist). I even pointed them to look at the billing history to see that I paid a higher rate to be a month-to-month member, as the contract rates are much cheaper.
Beverly Wiggins on behalf of Fitness Connection again responded, just as expected, tell me instead to provide proof that I cancelled. Well first of all, her initial BBB reponse said that I was in a year contract, meaning I could not cancel early. Then her second response notes that I should provide her proof of cancellation? How does that make sense? I will go on to say that it is not I who is responsible to provide proof that I cancelled something, because there was no contract. It is Beverly / Fitness Connection's duty to prove ON THEIR END that I owe THEM money! But they cannot. There is no contract, no signature, no agreement, nothing. They are charging people at will, fraudulently I believe, and then sending illegitimate debts to collections agencies without any proof that it is even owed in the first place.
As I already stated in my BBB report, I will continue to raise the issue with their corporate office and other sources like Ripoff Report, as well as spread the word of their unethical and probably illegal business practices. Fitness Connection needs to realize the value of customer service, because little me, one single consumer, will simply never pay them the illegitimate debt, and furthermore I can assure them that they will lose plenty of business over my complaints, well in excess of what they for some reason think is owed.