I contacted Warrior Fitness in Valencia, CA seeking assistance in reaching my health goals post cancer treatment. I outlined my needs generally during an introductory email and then in elaborate details during a 2 hour session. I was informed by the owner, Tchicaya that not only did he have experience creating fitness plans for various cancer patients, but that he had specifically worked with TRAM (a surgery that removes Transverse Rectus Abdominal Muscles as part of treatment) cancer patients like myself. He went on to say that he specialized in cancer patients.
After purchasing personal training and agreeing to the per session cost, I agreed to be billed monthly through a ASF International. I trusted that I would get the TRAM cancer specialist services that were verbally agreed to. After making payments that were not credited to my account and paying for services I never received, I cancelled my contract.
ASF International continued to bill me even after my account was cancelled and applied my last payment to an account that had been closed 4 days earlier. ASF International would not even apply payments to my account where I had bank records to show the checks had been cashed.
At that time I found the oral cancellation terms were never implemented. I filed a complaint against him with the Better Business Bureau and the Department of Justice and he reponded by acting my character in contradictory statements that included:
1. We believe Ms. Smith's post cancer surgery is a crutch and that her demand and need for physical male attention has clouded the real issue.
2. "Ms. Smith did not wish to train with any other trainer.
3. Ms. Smith's desire for personal attention from many male trainers is certainly understandable.
4.She demanded that Tchicaya be the only one to do her training.
What's funny is, there were no female trainers at the gym for me to select and the times my trainer was changed it was Tchicaya that assigned the new person to me. I am a middle aged mother of 2 teenage daughters, who has been married to the same man for 26 years. I was shocked when I read his response. It was malicious and completely made up. My daughters went to the gym with me 95% of the time.
This man is from Africa and clearly has a problem with strong women. Every time I questioned him about my bill, he told me that I was speaking to him like I was a man and that in his country a woman would never speak with a man like I was speaking to him.
I am headed to small claims court in February 2008 to see if I can get my money back. I heard he is trying to get people to call the Better Business Bureau and say nice things about him. I think he will get alot of people to come to court as character witnesses. I will stand alone. I feel like David going up against Goliath. I feel like I am fighting for people that have been victimized everywhere.
ASF International is bad, but they are only carrying out the instructions of Warrior Fitness (or the other gyms they represent). I am still in shock at the events. It's bad enough that I have had cancer and had to go through many disfiguring surgeries and chemo. But to get ripped off on top of it is more than I can bear.
We must stand together and not accept this. We need to write letters and make phone calls to ensure that health clubs are held accountable for their actions.
Santa Clarita, California