I am writing to you since I am unable to get my questions answered any other way. I hope you will be of assistance.
Towards the end of January, 2012, I went to the Extreme Fitness Pickering location looking to do a week trial of the club there. I am currently on maternity leave, and have been having a difficult time getting to the gym with my child's nap schedule, so the child-minding hours were what initially drew me to Extreme. When I arrived, I was shown around by an employee named Drew. After the tour, I asked him for a week long trial. He brought me back to his office, and asked me what my current gym membership cost with a competitor. Then he said that they don't do week long trials, but he could draw up a "contract" and told me that the only way to get a rate that was as low as the competitor's was to make it look like it was an annual contract (but he assured me that I could cancel it at any time). Sooooo, on the paper that I signed, it appeared that the membership would be from January 2012 to January 2013. I even remember asking him to amend the date and we both initialed on the contract. But I NEVER wanted an annual membership. I was there solely for a week trial. He said he could give me 10 days which would bring me to the end of January, and then I could make my decision. He said if I chose to cancel I would simply have to let him know and the payments would stop. At this time, I even asked him if Extreme was a gym that continued to take out payments even after a cancellation (as I had seen stories like that on the news). In an offended manner, he told me that they never did that at Extreme.
So, I did about a week at Extreme, and then continued to find it difficult to manage with my baby. In that time, someone from Extreme called to set up a fitness consultation, but I told them that I was not intending to sign up and would be leaving at the end of the 10 day trial. That person (I can't remember his name anymore?) told me I should make certain to contact Drew before February 1st to prevent any additional payments from being taken out. I called and left a message, but got no response. So, before February 1st I went in to Drew's office and told him in person that I would not be signing up for an annual membership. I explained that it was too difficult with the baby and that I had decided not to be a member of any gym for 6 months or so. He told me that was fine, and that if I changed my mind I could come back in. I was actually surprised at how easily he took it. I had expected to have to convince him for a long time.
However, as February progressed, I noticed that in addition to the mid month payments (for myself and my baby) for the 10 day "trial" that we had, there were additional withdrawals at the end of the month. And then again, withdrawals made in mid-March. By this point, i kmew something was wrong. So I contacted the gym and asked to speak to Drew (but was told that he was on a leave), so I spoke to Melissa, who advised me to come in with my credit card statements and speak to the general manager (Greg). I did that. Greg told me that I had a full year corporate membership with the Toronto District School Board, even though I do not even work for that school board, (which was the "contract" that I had "signed") and he didn't know what Drew had said to me, but that it was not a trial at all. Then he said that Extreme DOES do trials, but you have to sign up online (Drew never told me this information). Greg was completely unhelpful, and made no attempt to give any kind of apology for the misunderstanding. I asked him what happens now, and he said I could transfer the membership, but had to look online to see how to do that. I have done that (which is how I came across your name)...but I see no information online to show how to transfer a membership.
As far as I am concerned, I was misled into signing a contract that set out terms to which I did not agree to. I was told a different story from what the contract represents. I was told I could cancel at any time, but I apparently cannot. And, not only is this a single gym membership for me, but I am also being charged a montly fee for my baby. All in all, it will end up costing my family over $1000!!! I am on maternity leave and we are barely making ends meet as it is. This kind of scam is unfair and an outrageous abuse of legal contracts. I feel as if I am being held hostage by this gym.