• Report: #1116407

Complaint Review: LA Fitness

  • Submitted: Fri, January 17, 2014
  • Updated: Fri, January 17, 2014

  • Reported By: Captdave — Chicago Illinois
LA Fitness
6400 Irvine Boulevard Chicago, Illinois USA

LA Fitness, LA Fitness International - Unscrupulous tactics make used car salesman look honest Chicago Illinois

*UPDATE Employee: Interesting Concerns...

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These guys are so slimey, they cannot even make their own scam work.  It started with a mail promotion for a full week of workouts.  Tried to redeem that, but they had to sit me down and give me the pitch.  So the workout was meaningless.  Just a lie to get you in the door.  But that was OK.  After getting the tour I was ready to join.  Prices seemed reasonable.  I was to pay a joining fee, and the first and last month bill.  I said I would come in next week to sign up.  I was pressured to sign up that day, but said I had to talk to wife. 

Came back next week to sign up.  Had consulted with customer service and was assured that there was no contract.  I would be billed monthly.  That was a lie.  The actual deal is that they will debit my account monthly.  You are turning over an account to them, be it credit card or checking or savings account.  No way I was going to do that.  I indicated to the intake person that the customer support told me that I would be billed monthly and that what the contract said was not the same.  I asked him to call the corporate office.  He flat out refused.  He said it was after 5:00.  I said that it was only 3:00 in California.  He still refused.  At that point I made my exit.  It got more slimey from there. 

I should add that I was asked to sign a contract on a screen.  When I indicated that I could not sign a contract without reading it, the club employee became annoyed.  The screen was turned towards me and I was told that I could read anything I wanted.  Boxes were checked.  Good thing I asked to read it.  The completed contract was never printed out.  When I asked questions about the payment arrangement he voided the transaction (at least that is what he said).  I'll check my credit card to be sure.  He did print out a blank contract.  Its three full pages of small print.  Most importantly it says: "Dues Memberships are authorizing a RECURRING TRANSACTION."  The contract also states: "Your Dues (including fees for any services checked above) will be automatically billed and collected electronically once every _________ (your "Billing Period") beginning on _________ and CONTINUING on that same day every Billing Period or as soon thereafter as practical..."  The phone company bills me.  Does the above description sound like anything close to billing?

It gets better.  I called customer support and stated that I was told I would be billed monthly and did not wish to have someone accessing my accounts because when mistakes like double debits are made it is hard to get them corrected.  I was assured that they would "never do anything like that."  Also I was told that the facility manager would call me.  That never happened.  I guess they would rather concentrate on pidgeons they can dupe. 

Next I called the corporate office thinking that LA Fitness would want to make things right with a customer who was eager to become a member.  Nope!  I called Louis Welch (CEO), William Horner (CFO), and Scot Mackay (National Director of Business Development).  Welch and Horner, nor their admins responded to my messages.  Mackay's admin did direct me to a lower level manager.  His admin called me the next day.  When I related what had happened, and asked for an explanation, I was told that that was their policy.  When I asked if some adjustment would be made considering I had left work early twice to do this, she stated that, "It depended how much I wanted to be a member."  I would think it would matter more how much they wanted me as a client; obviously not much.  I asked if there was a regional manager I could talk to.  I was told that the facility manager was the one to talk to and that he would call me.  That never happened.  When I asked to speak to her boss, whom I'd been directed to talk to in the first place, I was hung up on. 

Bottom line, my experience is consistent with the other complaints I read on this site.  The only difference is because I was forewarned, they never got an opportunity to sink their fangs into me.  Believe everything you read hear and steer clear of LA Fitness.  For the record, I went to the facility on S. Lake Park in Chicago.  But it appears that the attitudes and practices I experienced prevail throughout the organization.


This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 01/17/2014 02:32 PM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/r/LA-Fitness/Chicago-Illinois-60615/LA-Fitness-LA-Fitness-International-Unscrupulous-tactics-make-used-car-salesman-look-1116407. The posting time indicated is Arizona local time. Arizona does not observe daylight savings so the post time may be Mountain or Pacific depending on the time of year.

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#1 UPDATE Employee

Interesting Concerns...

AUTHOR: Dirk - ()

I respect your concerns, however I wish to briefly address them:

1)  The "Full week of workouts" is actually a week trial membership at the gym.  You are certainly entitled to that week.  It is not a lie.  The week trial offer is generally used to motivate people to make a good life decision.  The truly motivated realize upon exploring the facility that they will not achieve their goals in one week, so they take advantage of all of the benefits that full membership has to offer.

2)  In today's modern age, automatic billing is a standard practice for businesses that provide services that have regular billing cycles.  Businesses offer this as a convenience for their customers, not as a "shady" practice.  Most member-based industries are moving towards automatic billing exclusively.  Yes, your phone company offers an automatic billing option too.  Most Americans prefer that method of billing because it is much more efficient.  I know I do.  I have never had a personal problem with automatic billing.

3)  LA Fitness has millions of customers, thousands of employees, and hundreds of facilities to maintain.  You will be hard-pressed to find ANY top executive for any company of this size that will be able to respond to an individual POTENTIAL customer that has an issue with standard industry billing practices.  You shouldn't be upset that you were not able to generate a direct response from them.  They directed you towards the correct people who are better equipped to handle your problem directly.

I apologize that LA Fitness is not for you.  However LA Fitness has helped millions of people live a longer, healthier life.

I hope I was able to shed some light and another perspective on some of the issues that caused you concern.

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