On February 28, 2008, I met with Robert Pepple, training general manager at the LA Fitness in La Verne, to discuss my possible interest in enrolling in personal fitness training at that club. After spending an hour with Robert, he proposed a fitness plan that seemed like it might fit my needs. At the time, we verbally agreed that he would not process any payment for the plan as I was going to speak with my employer about the possiblity of using my flexible health spending account for this purpose.
On February 29, Robert called me at the time we agreed upon, and I told him that I had been unable to speak with my employer about my request, but that I would call him back as soon as I had an answer. I estimated it would be within an hour or two. During the time that I asked Robert to wait, the credit card I had on file with LA Fitness was charged for $386.52 to enroll me in the program. This was done without my consent; I found out my card was charged because I received an email from LA Fitness welcoming me to their personal training program.
When I found out that my card was charged despite my verbal agreement with Robert that I would be paying by check (whether or not my employer was going to help me out with the costs), I called Robert and told him that I was outraged and that I wanted an immediate refund. This would have been easy for him to do since it was a credit card charge; all he needed to do was to call my bank and have them reverse the charges. Robert told me that the charge was made in error by one of his staff members, and apologized to me (but not after telling me to "calm down" when I was angry). He also told me that he would cancel my membership in the fitness training program and that I would have my account credited for the amount that was taken. I was told that the money would be back in my account by March 4, but here it is March 5 and I'm still waiting.
I was assured by another staff member at LA Fitness that the reversal of charges was in the works, but that it might take ten days from today to see the money. Long story short is that I feel absolutely taken advantage of by this process, and by Robert, whom I trusted to work with me professionally. I suspect that Pro Results/LA Fitness puts such extreme pressure on their employees to get a sale that they lose their ethics somewhere along the way. I will update my posting if/when I actually receive my refund.