I am submitting this statement concerning Fitness Connection, as I have experienced problems with the company fulfilling their cancellation agreements, giving the wrong or contradictory information, poor customer service and fraudulent charges to my account. I have submitted this statement to the Better Business Bureau, to the Bank of America Claims department, to RipoffReport.com and to the CEO, Jeff Skeens personal Facebook profile, as the company was
unwilling to provide his direct email or contact information.
April 2012: My spouse and I signed a 12 month contract with Fitness Connection at the Reno, NV center. We each agreed to a $29.95 gym membership fee and an $80 trainer fee per month. In our copy of the contract it states in the cancellation policy that if you move further than 25 miles from the nearest location that you are entitled to cancel your membership without penalty.
May 2012: My spouse, our primary income provider, lost her job. However, we continued to pay our monthly dues, though we could not afford the gas to actually use our membership
May-June 2012: My spouse and I made several in person and over-the-phone attempts to speak with a manager regarding putting our membership on a 3 month freeze so that we could arrange our finances. At no time did we try to opt out of our contract, because of the penalties outlined in our contract.
July 2012: We were finally able to get a manager on the phone, who approved a 3 month freeze on our memberships and trainer fees. However, they only put a freeze on the memberships, not the trainer fees. We attempted several times to follow up over the phone (My spouse had just taken a job in Southern California and I was still in Nevada fulfilling our lease) but our messages for call back were never returned.
Late July 2012-Mid August 2012: As my spouse and I prepared to move to Southern California, we researched it Fitness Connection had locations near our residence. When we saw they did not we referenced our contracts and attempted to contact the Reno Fitness Connection to cancel our contract. We had a signed lease as proof of our residence change, and when my spouse returned to Nevada for the move, we went in person to the Fitness Connection and were told that the manager was not in, but that they would take a message and relay it to her.
We didnt receive a call back, and after a week I called the Reno Fitness Connection and the manager picked up the call. I explained our situation and she told me that we each needed to mail in a form to the corporate office and that I could
come down to the location and get the form. She also told me that there was a cancellation fee of $50. I told her that the cancellation fee was not mentioned in the contract that we signed in April and that we already moved to
California. I also explained that we made several attempts before we moved to get the correct forms and information
for cancelling and were never called back.
The manager asked for my email to send me a picture of the forms that I could print out and send in. At no time did she mention a 30 day written notice to corporate BEFORE those forms could be submitted and said that a copy of my lease was not necessary (I made sure to ask, as proof of those things is usually required).
I submitted the forms and our accounts were charged for August, which we accepted as we did not submit the cancellation until the middle of the month (although we had been trying for several weeks to cancel our contracts).
Mid August-Current (Late September):About a week ago I was reviewing our bank statements and saw that we had been charged for our memberships and personal trainer in spite of having sent in the appropriate forms per the Reno Fitness Connection location. I immediately called their corporate office I Houston and spoke with Joanna, who informed me that her supervisor was not available and that she would take my information and submit it the Reno Fitness Connection to assist me. I was confused how the Reno Fitness Connection could help, as cancellations are handled by corporate, but I agreed and let her take my information. I did not receive a call back
Two days later (today 9/28/12) I called back and spoke with Amber, who identified herself as the Supervisor for the Reno Fitness Connection at the corporate location. I explained everything I detailed above and requested our account be cancelled immediately, and that the charges for September be refunded back to us. She refused and told me that we would need to submit a written notice with our names, date of birth, barcode number (membership number) as well as copies of utility bills, lease agreements etc. to prove we had moved. She even noted that those might not even be enough proof, depending on the documents, to cancel our memberships, and that she could get in trouble for cancelling us if they were not the right ones.
She also informed me that the forms we had mailed were never received and that since I did not send them certified mail, there was no proof they were ever sent. However, I informed her that I did have email documentation that of the forms and the procedure I was given by her employees and that they needed to cancel our membership regardless. She said unless she received the information she requested they would not cancel it and continue to charge us. I informed her I would speak with my bank and any reporting agencies, and she outlined that those were options but they would continue to charge me and if they could not collect payment they would send our accounts to collections. This
was all in spite of the fact I had already followed their original cancellation procedure as outlined by her Reno Fitness Connection management.
Amber also told me that if the information she requested for cancellation, including the written statement, and copies of utilities, lease agreements etc. of our new residence were postmarked today 9/28/2012, that she would receive them within their 3-day grace period and we would not be billed in October. She reiterated that they were unwilling to refund me for September when I asked.
My spouse spoke with Amber as well to request her supervisors information (her supervisor is on a 3 week vacation), the partners of the companys names and information, and the CEOs name and contact information. She gave limited information and refused to give us the name of the CEO. My Spouse and I used Google to look up the information she would not provide.
I have sent her via priority mail, which has been certified, the requested information. However, I am concerned that they will either not cancel my accounts or will attempt to collect money, which I do not owe them. I am concerned that these practices are misleading, borderline fraudulent and abusive and I do not wish our credit to be effected by their
policies. Therefore, this statement is to raise awareness of this issue, to detail the history of our experience, and to make sure that our memberships and personal trainer account are cancelled completely and that we are taken care
of, as it does not seem to be the companys priority to take care of us or to follow their own contractual obligations/requirements .