Copy of letter sent to Gold's Gym Annapolis, Gold's Gym International, and ABC Financial.
August 29, 2009
Gold's Gym West Street, Annapolis MD (General Manager)
Gold's Gym International, 125 E. John Carpenter FWY, Suite 1300, Irving, TX 75062
Any uses of I, Me or My, or any variations thereof, are henceforth references to the sender of this certified mail, Feld "removed."
To the Manager of Gold's Gym at the following location,
1127 West Street,
Annapolis MD, 21401
This letter serves as official notice that I am canceling my membership in Golds Gym effective upon the date you certify receipt of this letter. Notification of your receipt of this letter will be confirmed by the U.S. Post Office, per your stated policies. This letter formally notifies you I am ending my membership with Golds Gym effective upon the date you certify receipt of this letter. Further, this letter formally notifies you that I no longer authorize you to deduct membership dues or any other fees or monies from my account effective upon the date you certify receipt of this letter. You do NOT have authorization to access my account in any manner whatsoever as of the date you certify receipt of this letter. Any access of my checking account after the date you have certified receipt of this letter will be viewed as a fraudulent action.
Not only was I told by an employee upon signing a one year (1 year) contract that I would be able to cancel any time with 30 days notice, but I was also told that my membership would immediately, at the end of my year-long contract, transform into a month-to-month contract (which I am unable to verify due to the fact that West Street's employees refuse to let me see a signed copy of my contract). I have recently done research on this issue, and have found there to be a vast number of customers who have been refused cancellation and whose contracts have been
fraudulently presented. I have found testimonials that have claimed that not only must membership cancellations be approved by corporate (which is, according to employees at West Street Gold's Gym, not true), but also by the manager of the local Gold's Gym, This fact is not stated anywhere on the contract or associated paperwork, nor was it presented to me by employees at the local Gold's Gym when asked, point blank, about the cancellation policy. They assured me (in total non-compliance with the employee who sold me my original contract), that all cancellations must be made through Gold's Gym's accounting department, one ABC Financial.
I was also made aware, through research, that some franchise Gold's Gyms are not held responsible to any organisational entity. That is to say, there is no "corporate" Gold's Gym through which to formally complain. That being said, no employee of either the local Gold's Gym nor ABC Financial, will provide me with a local manager to which to talk to.
Due to the vast inconsistencies in policy in both written and verbal areas, I have taken action to protect myself from fraudulent and unfair business practices.
A) Verbal inconsistencies, including but not limited to:
Misrepresentation of Gold's Gym cancellation policy, by both corporate and local offices,
Misrepresentation of Gold's Gym renewal policy, by both corporate and local offices,
Misrepresentation of Gold's Gym membership policy, including but not limited to cancellation, facility use, pricing and corporate contact, by both corporate and local offices,
Misrepresentation of Gold's Gym pricing structure and policy, including but not limited to monthly membership fees, yearly maintenence fees, towel fees, by both corporate and local offices,
B) Written inconsistencies, including but not limited to:
Vast variations between contracts, including but not limited to Membership cancellation policies and forms,
Vast variations in corporate contact information, including but not limited to whom cancellation must be approved by and by which standards it is
Vast variations in the dollar amount required (if at all) to cancel an account,
Vast variations in the amount of time it takes to (if at all) cancel an account, varying from, but not limited to: 30 days, 45 days, two (2) months,
Missing information as to where to send a "Member Cancellation Form," in order to process a potential cancellation,
C) Contractual unfairness, including but not limited to:
Unfair and unconventional business practices in the field of cancellation of a membership, including but not limited to 30 days written notice, certified mail requirements,
Unfair contractual requirements, including but not limited to clauses in the contract which effectively prohibit the signee from ever leaving said contract, including but not limited to: unfair cancellation requirements requiring permanent disability with a doctor's note acceptable to Gold's Gym (with no specifications as to what information said doctor's note must contain), movement more than 25 miles away from any Gold's Gym location (with no specifications as to which information is required to prove said move),
Unfair contractual charges, including but not limited to: 45 day minimum notice to cancel, wherein Gold's Gym may continue charging signee's account for services not rendered, 30 day minimum after the original 45 day minimum cancel notice, wherein Gold's Gym may continue charging signee's account for services not rendered, leading to a total of 75 days MINIMUM wherein Gold's Gym continues to collect monies for services not rendered,
Unfair unforseen charges, including but not limited to those at the whim of not only Gold's Gym local office (West Street, Annapolis MD location) and corporate office, Gold's Gym International, but as to those of ABC Financial and a Mr. L. Lamb, as through whom all requests must be made and approved,
Unfair and incomplete contractual clauses, including but not limited to the means and methods by which the signee can be expulsed from a Gold's Gym local location due to actions, behaviours, or attire.
To protect myself from fraudulent and unfair business practices, I am, as of my intent to cancel membership today, 28 August, 2009, henceforth recording all further phone and email communication with Gold's Gym local branch (West Street, Annapolis), Gold's Gym International, and ABC Financial. Any email communication may be sent through "removed", any phone communication may be held through "removed", and all communication will be noted, with formal introduction of both full names of parties in attendance and a time stamp, for future use.
To further protect myself from fraudulent and unfair business practices by Gold's Gym International, I have contacted my bank and credit card companies and canncelled/changed all accounts connected to Gold's Gym. Gold's Gym is, as of the date you certify recipt of this letter, prohibited from accessing my account in any manner. Any further attempts to access my account, and any fees that are levied, will be considered fraudulent business practices, and will be met with legal action.
To further protect myself from unfair business practices by Gold's Gym International, I have contacted the Greater Maryland Better Business Bureau as of 28 August 2009, and formally filed a complaint as to both Gold's Gym International's vast inconsistencies and misinformation, both written and verbal, and Gold's Gym International's contractual unfairness, which I find to be clear evidence of unfair and shady business practices. For your reference, it is BBB Case #: 36042107.
Any further action on the part of Gold's Gym International that does not result in a certified letter, sent by certified mail, of the cessation of my membership with all contractual obligations fulfilled with an accompanying carbon copy sent through email to "firstname.lastname@example.org", will result in:
A) Further complaint to the Better Business Bureau regarding threating business practices, and
B) Further complaint to the State of Maryland's Attorney General's office regarding threatening and unfair business practices, and
C) Further complaint to a personal lawyer as to Gold's Gym International's business practices, and
D) Further complaint to the Maryland Secretary of State, and
E) Legal action.
A simple internet search on this topic will show all parties concerned the amount of consumers affected by these unfair and downright threatening business practices. My3cents.com, ripoffreport.com, consumeraffairs.com, and complaints.com are all riddled with reports of consumers with the same issues. These consumers jump through hoops and are repeatedly charged fees and monies and denied cancellation of their memberships. I would sincerely like to solve this issue quickly and effectively, but, if favourable action is not taken, and taken quickly, I know a call to the
Consumer Protection Division of the Maryland Attorney General's office will resolve this problem. There will be no second step taken on my end. If Gold's Gym locally or International, or ABC Financial, is unable or unwilling to respond favourably and in a timely fashion, all further communication will be directed to the Maryland Attorney General's office and metropolitan news media sources.
Having notified the Gold's Gym at 1127 West Street, Annapolis MD, 21401, it should be up to the local manager to ensure that this information proceeds to corporate. However, as to the vast inconsistency in which Gold's Gym is mired, verbally and contractually, I am sending this via certified mail to both Gold's Gym at 1127 West Street, Annapolis MD, 21401 and Gold's Gym International, 125 E. John Carpenter FWY, Suite 1300, Irving, TX 75062.
I am also sending this information via email to the Gold's Gym on West Street at "email@example.com", Gold's Gym International, at, for lack of a direct email, "firstname.lastname@example.org", and ABC Financial, "email@example.com".