ED Magedson – Founder
ABC Financial ServicesPO Box 6800 Sherwood, Arkansas USA
ABC Financial Services Blast! Fitness Crooked operations, makes it impossible to cancel your gym membership, money-hungry, charges unexplained fees Sherwood/ San Antonio Arkansas/ Texas
PLEASE allow my horrible experience to serve as a warning for you!
About 11 months ago, my husband and I were excited to see advertisements for a new gym charging only $10/month for memberships. These advertisements boasted tanning facilities, sauna, spa, state-of-the-art equipment, child care and group exercise classes.
We were very interested so we stopped by this new gym, BLAST! Fitness, to talk to someone about obtaining membership. We did a brief tour of the facility. The place was barren so we questioned the lack of populus... the staff member explained that they had just opened. There were no tanning facilities and the staff member said they would have them in by the end of the month (October 2012). The equipment did seem to be in working order and I was excited about the group classes (featuring yoga, pilates, weight-training, body boot camp). The staff member we spoke with told us that there were two packages to choose from. One was $10 and did not include the tanning. The other package was a little over $20 and included use of all the facilities, including tanning, classes and child care. My husband and I both opened the more expensive membership.
My husband and I (I will now refer to as "we") both work full-time with regular overtime so for the first few months, we could only find time to go to the gym once or twice a week. When we would go, we never had trouble with the function of the machines, but we noticed that the spa and sauna were always "under construction" and the tanning beds had still not arrived. I questioned the staff regularly and was told (about the "under construction" signs) that they were busy undoing some damage that had been done by the previous owners (the gym was formerly a Bally's facility). About the tanning beds, staff would always assure me that they were on their way and were just working out some kinks with where the beds would go and how they would be powered- each time I asked, they said "by the end of this month"- as if that's what they were all trained to say.
As time went on and we were able to visit the gym more frequently, the more disappointed we became. I, personally, was most put off by the unkempt dressing/showering area. There was mold in the showers and I had to come prepared with a cup of bleach if I planned on showering at the gym. The classes I was so overjoyed about were regularly cancelled and instructors seemed very impersonable and tried to cut the classes short every time. I'm glad I don't have children and feel bad for those that chose this gym for it's child care because I would walk by and take a peek and see children of different age groups shoved into a tight space together being ignored by the child supervisor who was on his/her phone. As time went by and more people started to join, it was hard to find a working machine- half of them were always taken and the other half were broken and not recieving attention to be fixed. My husband was discouraged to go because of how often the facilities were out of order. About two months ago, with a quickly growing list of grievances (that we always voiced and were told "we're in the process of fixing this, adding that, blah blah blah") we decided to cancel our membership.
When we expressed our desire to cancel, we were handed a "Request for Membership Cancellation" which we readily filled out and signed and handed to the staff member. He made copies and said "O.K., that's it". So, we were relieved of our disappointment with our gym and relieved of the $50/month payments. We put this experience behind us and I was happy when my new job offered me a discounted rate for Gold's gym so I was able to get us memberships for the same price we were already paying and we get SO MUCH MORE for it. Classes are taken seriously, instructors are certified personal trainers, equipment works and is state of the art, showers are clean and the facility is well-kept. YAY, I thought...
A little less than a month later, out account was debited from ABC financial services- this is the company that handles all of BLAST!'s payments and apparently all the cancellations... yeah, that's right... you have to cancel through THEM, not BLAST!
This was news to us. We called ABC immediately and were told our accounts were officially closed and we would not be charged again. I requested a refund, seeing as though we were under assumption that our memberships were cancelled prior to this and had NOT been using BLAST! fitness gym. The person I spoke with said that it was our fault that we had been charged again based on our neglect to call them before that point. "UHH, hello! We didn't know we had to cancel with anyone else besides our gym, ya know, the people who's services we were using!!!". I was furious, but again, relieved that I KNEW we were finally done with these two very shady companies.
Fast forward to today 9/15/2013, six weeks since we put in a request for cancellation at our gym and our account was debited for $108 by ABC financial services. Since it's Sunday, I cannot get a live person to speak with from ABC. I can't even describe my feelings at this point. I feel robbed. It's especially saddening/maddening because we are in a tough spot financially and that $108 will affect our groceries, our gas, our NECESSITIES. I can't believe companies like this one are still around. Middlemen are ONLY good for the company that they are assisting in ROBBING their clients. That's all this company is- A CROOKED MIDDLEMAN. I feel at a loss for how to proceed at this point. I feel like there's nothing I can do to make this place stop taking my money. I have not used that gym in two months- in fact, they recently shut it down.
Do not do business with BLAST! Fitness or ABC financial services. You will encounter this scenario when you attempt to cancel. This is not a gym that is invested in your health and fitness, it is a business running on it's desire to STEAL from those who think they are being money-conscious.
Take your money to another time-proven gym like Gold's, Planet Fitness or Lifetime Fitness (if you can afford it). None of those gyms operate this way or require you to cancel through secondary companies.
I plan to call ABC financial services again tomorrow. If they refuse to recognize their mistakes and grant us a refund, I will be taking my compaints further. I will make contact with BBB. I am fortunate to work in the marketing/advertising industry in a very heavily-populated city (San Antonio, TX). I have already cost this company the business of four close friends and family members just by simple word of mouth. If I do not recieve an attempt at reconciliation, I am in a position to cost this company a huge loss of clientele. I honestly do hope that they can just learn civility and start recognizing how impersonable and off-putting their way of business is.
This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 09/15/2013 03:31 PM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/reports/abc-financial-services/sherwood-arkansas-72124/abc-financial-services-blast-fitness-crooked-operations-makes-it-impossible-to-cancel-y-1084733. 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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