• Report: #1080761

Complaint Review: Fitness First

  • Submitted: Sat, August 31, 2013
  • Updated: Sat, August 31, 2013

  • Reported By: LizLemon — Rockville Maryland
Fitness First
7900 Wisconsin Ave. Bethesda, Maryland USA

Fitness First Terminated access to all 17 of its locations--including my home gym--with NO NOTICE and won't give refund Bethesda Maryland

*Author of original report: I Understand What You're Saying But Fitness First Still Owes Me a Refund for the Final Month

*Author of original report: Minor Correction/Clarification

*General Comment: This might help you to understand.

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If you are considering joining this gym, stay far away! When I signed a contract with Fitness First, I had access to ALL of its DC area locations (I believe 18 total). My home gym became the Rockville gym when I moved from downtown Bethesda to Rockville, and I used the Rockville Fitness First an average of 5 days a week. It is extremely difficult and expensive for me to use the Bethesda gym due to traffic and parking issues (It was fine when I could walk to the gym for free, but $3 to park? No thanks!). 

Fitness First changed the terms of our agreement when it suddenly terminated access to my home gym in Rockville as well as all other FF locations with NO NOTICE whatsoever when Gold's purchased the locations. Even though they did not give members 30 days notice of this MAJOR change, they refuse to give me a refund for the last month's membership fee because I must give 30 days notice. 

Other information to consider:

--Fitness First charged my credit card the day before the announcement of the sale to Gold's was made. I consider this HIGHLY UNETHICAL, considering they knew what was about to happen.

--Fitness First members were not informed of what would happen to their memberships as many of us have home gyms that are different than the gym we happened to sign up at. I made a good faith effort to find out what would happen with my membership, but neither Fitness First or Gold's were able to give me answers for about 2 weeks. It was impossible for me to give 30 days notice because I was unable to predict future events. 

--Fitness First members were not given a 30 day reciprocity period or the opportunity to move their memberships over to another Fitness First (now Gold's) gym. 

--I was able to access the Rockville Fitness First (now Gold's) for about 2 weeks before I walked in one day and a staff member told me my card was no longer valid. My record was completely erased from the computer and I had to sign a new agreement with Gold's to continue using my regular gym! I canceled my membership that day, but was told they need 30 days notice. I was unable to give 30 days notice because they did not give me or its other members 30 days notice that they would cut off access to all Fitness First locations that were purchased by Gold's Gym.

Fitness First has behaved highly unethically in this situation and has shown no concern for other members in this situation. Many members rely on using multiple locations or have moved and no longer use the gym they originally signed up at. Given the circumstances, I am owed a refund of the $19.95 for the last month's membership.

If you are in a similar situation and feel you were also unfairly taken advantage of by Fitness First, I URGE you to:

1. Dispute the charge with your credit card company (if your membership fee is paid by credit card).

2. File a complaint with the Better Business Bureau.

3. File a complaint with the Maryland Attorney General's office.

4. File a complaint here at Ripoff Report.

 


This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 08/31/2013 12:33 PM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/r/Fitness-First/Bethesda-Maryland-20814/Fitness-First-Terminated-access-to-all-17-of-its-locations-including-my-home-gym-with-N-1080761. 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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REBUTTALS & REPLIES:
2Author 1Consumer 0Employee/Owner
Updates & Rebuttals

#1 Author of original report

I Understand What You're Saying But Fitness First Still Owes Me a Refund for the Final Month

AUTHOR: LizLemon - ()

Gold's can legally do what they want. Even though I was not happy about signing a new agreement, they were pretty nice about it, didn't charge an activation fee, and raised my monthly fee about $7 a month. Both companies behaved irresponsibly toward customers by not having a reciprocity period until people could get their memberships straightened out, but I put most of the blame on Fitness First, which should refund the last month's membership fee to all customers who wanted or needed to cancel (considering all but 1 gym was eliminated). They charged my credit card the day before the announcement. Sneaky! 

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#2 Author of original report

Minor Correction/Clarification

AUTHOR: LizLemon - ()

Fitness First terminated access to all locations EXCEPT for the Bethesda location. This means those of us who were unfortunate enough to sign up at the Bethesda location were only allowed to go to the Bethesda location, while members who signed up at another Fitness First location, automatically became a Gold's member and had continued access to all of the other Fitness First locations except Bethesda.. 

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#3 General Comment

This might help you to understand.

AUTHOR: Tyg - ()

 See when another business buys out another, customers are not generally included in the purchase. Especially as a whole new company is taking over. The original company that you made your contract with is no longer liable once they sell it. Then the new owners can legally decide if they want the old member ships. If they chose to dismiss your membership then there really isnt much you can do except try and place a lien against the original business BEFORE the sale concludes. The original ppl normally have to pay any outstanding debts or new debts that arise from the sale. Heres the rub...its all perfectly LEGAL!!!!! And there isnt much you can do about it. Golds Gym has the right to decide they no longer want the membership customers from the original club. They have a different price structure, a different mentality, and normally different training. So if they allowed you to stay there you would be getting thier services at the price you originally paid for. This means they would lose money vs just signing all new memberships.

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