Report: #554387

Complaint Review: Fitness for 10 Brandon

  • Submitted: Thu, January 14, 2010
  • Updated: Wed, July 21, 2010
  • Reported By: anonymous — Brandon Florida United States of America
  • Fitness for 10 Brandon
    1903 West Lumsden Blvd
    Brandon, Florida
    United States of America

Show customers why they should trust your business over your competitors...

A number of us joined this facility for their Group Exercise Program that includes Dance Fuzion Fitness when it was called Athletic Clubs of America about a year ago. It then became Fitness for $10 later in the year (2009) and they had us all cancel our old memberships and pay for new memberships.

About 2 months later they abruptly, over the Christmas Holiday, and with notice of about 2 weeks, cancelled all their Group Exercise Programs including Dance Fuzion Fitness. As this was the only reason we joined, and since we do not use any of the other facilities or programs there, we all cancelled our memberships.

Those of us who paid for an entire year have asked to receive a prorated refund of our unused membership. Thus far, Kevin Donofrio, the owner of the facility has refused to do so. I have called him on his cell phone at 813-760-6161 many times but he refuses to answer and the facility states they do not have the authority to consider this request.

Those of us who signed up for a month-to-month payment schedule are being required to honor a 60 day cancellation payment or be reported to credit companies. We have requested that the 60 day payments be waived in this circumstance.

We continue to urge Mr. Donofrio to do the right thing but unfortunately, his history does not suggest that will happen. If he does honor our request, I will state so on this website.

I urge anyone thinking about joining this facility to reconsider, and definitely don't pay in advance. There are many better facilities in the Brandon/Valrico area. These actions were extremely disrespectful to us as members, and a total rip off.


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This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 01/14/2010 09:53 AM and is a permanent record located here: 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. Ripoff Report has an exclusive license to this report. It may not be copied without the written permission of Ripoff Report. READ: Foreign websites steal our content

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#1 Consumer Comment

Here's a tip

AUTHOR: Jennifer - (U.S.A.)

Here's a tip....don't lie to your customers and do yourself a favor and hire new management.

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#2 General Comment

Blah blah blah

AUTHOR: brownsong - (USA)

Blah blah blah. Kevin, all this nonsense about your finances and such is not important to anyone but you. It has nothing to do with how you treated your customers who tried and tried again to contact you and were repeatedly ignored. You are dodging the issue at hand(seems you do that alot) by posting this silly article instead of standing up and admitting you were wrong. No matter what, when a customer is unhappy, they should not be ignored. Bottom line. Period. Don't turn it around to make it seem like it's all about you, because it's not. It's about them. Your paying customers who didn't get what they signed up for. Grow up.
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#3 REBUTTAL Owner of company


AUTHOR: Kevin Donofrio - (United States of America)

Fitness For 10 had no legal obligation but we did the right thing.

My name is Kevin Donofrio, President of Fitness For 10 Florida.  I made the decision to change our business model and I did take clients complaints seriously.  I take responsibility for not responding quickly enough for some of our members. 


I decided to refund or cancel members who did enroll specifically for the group dance class, namely Dance Fuzion.  It was with deep regret that I had to cancel some programs in order to change our approach with our business however it was absolutely necessary to do so.  I have included an article that was written about my company that explains our position very nicely.  I feel that once people read this article they will understand and appreciate my position.


 Change we must, or die like the rest.  In todays changing economic climate local small business owners like the Donofrios and their families have been impacted tremendously.  In many cases businesses have been forced to downsize, sell and even close their doors due to an inability to pay their overhead and stay afloat during what many think to be an economic adjustment period in the U.S.


Kevin Donofrio, owner of one of Brandons longest lasting fitness centers of 23 years said; We had to make some serious changes in order to weather this tremendously difficult storm.  I simply refuse to give up on a project I have worked tirelessly on for over half my lifetime!  I refuse to give up!


Like many small area business owners Kevin was faced with some very difficult decisions.  He either continued his current marketing strategy that simply wasnt working anymore or he had to change his approach to adapt to these difficult economic times.  If we were going to make it, I had to make some serious changes and I must make them now! 


Donofrio has a tremendous amount of competition now and not just mom and pop gyms, serious national competitors who offered more amenities at the same rates.  I was watching my cash flow drop by the minute due to the economic downturn and the monster clubs that moved in to our town with hopes to gobble up the market. 


  Kevin decided to look at alternative business models available in the fitness industry that had a proven track record.  If another fitness club model was successful competing against larger, more difficult competition and sustaining growth in this economy, then they would be just what the doctor ordered.


I know that success leaves clues and I had to find and emulate a model that would work, said Donofrio.  Through a business associate he was introduced to a company from Nevada that was doing just that; in fact they were crushing the competition and showing a nice profit. 


Fitness For 10, a Nevada corporation founded by Steve Main, a successful health club entrepreneur and accomplished writer, seemed to be the answer.  Steve was offering franchise opportunities for clubs in similar circumstances.  He was also facing stiff competition and an economy that none of us could have predicted.  What did he do?  He lowered his price to match the affordability of his customers, without compromising the quality of the facility.  Steve has not only enjoyed the benefit of success in his original clubs but has recently opened a new facility in Las Vegas Nevada and another in California.


The concept is very simple Give the masses more for less!

                   A Wal-Mart approach to fitness.


Kevin then had to ask himself Could I do the same in Brandon Florida that Steve did in Nevada?  Would the concept work here?  What will people think if I changed the name and offer deep discounted pricing?  What about the household name The Athletic Club the name that I worked so hard to brand and sustain for 22 years?  What about my ego?  What will people think?


At the end of the day, Kevin came to the realization he had to make a change or they were dead in the water, as they say.  I said to hell with my ego and to hell with the people who criticized me for the changes I was about to make.  In difficult times you have to make difficult decisions.  He was determined to survive.


Coupled with branding changes and price modifications the club is also undergoing changes in its operational strategy regarding what it offers the masses for less.  In order to accommodate the volume of new members it would mean the need for much more equipment.  More equipment meant a new strategy regarding space planning.  Something had to go, in order to follow the new business model we had to make room for the new equipment.  He asked himself a few basic questions:

  • What services would they be able to live without? 
  • What do the majority of the members want? 
  • What services do the masses use in clubs?


Kevin turned to the most respected organization in the health club industry for some answers, IHRSA (International Health Racquet Sports Association) IHRSA produces a very accurate Global report every year that lists fitness trends around the world.  He found the answers in black and white that Steve form Fitness For 10 Nevada had been telling him for months  You must change or eliminate the things that people use very little of or do not use at all, such as childcare, Yoga and group exercise classes.  You then must add what they do want and what they use the most.


When Steve Main (Founder of Fitness For 10) was asked about the probability of success of the Donofrios, he commented:  Kevin Donofrio has tremendous experience with 29 years in the Health and Fitness industry.  Kevin and his wife Katrina have been operating a traditional model health club for over 22 years in Brandon Florida, which in itself should tell you something about them; to sustain an independent health club operation for 22 years in an industry as competitive as ours, They must have done something right.

Kevin has a keen sense for business and true entrepreneurial spirit. He recognizes that he must change in order to compete with the large multi-purpose clubs.  Kevin also has a tremendous following in his community due to his former professional wrestling career and his involvement in amateur wrestling as a coach, competitor and a referee.  Kevin is a 4 time all-American in Greco-Roman and Freestyle Wrestling.  Kevin is also very active in his community where he volunteered as a wrestling coach for 6 years at Brandon High School and presently works as a USA Wrestling official as well as a FHSAA high school official for the sport of wrestling.

We at Fitness For 10 are very pleased that Kevin and Katrina Donofrio have chosen our proven business model to convert their Athletic Clubs.  Kevin has also been appointed to help us develop the South East United States markets.

One of the most exciting aspects of the Brandon project is its huge population in a 5 mile radius.  This location is an absolute slam dunk!

The Fitness For 10 models offer more of what the masses want and need.  The statistics do not lie.

  • *Cardiovascular equipment Treadmills, Ellipticals, Lifecycles, Stairmasters, Recumbent bikes.
  • *Free weights Strength equipment.
  • *Selectorized machines Resistance machines (circuit training).
  • Clean locker and shower facilities.
  • Professional Training and nutritional counseling.
  • Pro Shops provide nutrition supplements, energy drinks and apparel. 

*Many people may ask; why are these services so popular?  The answer is quite simple You get the best results from strength training and cardio machines in the least amount of time, said Donofrio.


Potential health club members mainly evaluate three things when choosing a health club:                    

1.    Services provided

2.    Price 

3.    Convenience. 

The objective of Fitness For 10 clubs is to capture more than twice the market share that most health clubs obtain using the traditional health club model.  This is possible by offering high value and extremely low cost memberships.  The low priced memberships cause a shocking response from consumers in the local area.  Leading companies dominating cost driven models are successful in all industries. 

People join Fitness For 10 health clubs as opposed to competitors because of the value the low cost provides.  In addition, members of other clubs also join Fitness For 10 locations instead of holding only one health club membership.

Fitness For 10 offers incredible value because of the low price.  This causes the majority of the population to at least consider a health club membership.  People seek the type of value Fitness For 10 offers.  The value causes people to consider buying a health club membership when they have never considered it before.  This brings in members that have never joined a health club before.    

Members of other health clubs will join Fitness For 10 because the value is great and it provides variety.  An example is restaurants.  Restaurants stack up together because they benefit each other.  For an additional $10 per month a member of another club can be a member of two clubs.  This is about the price of a couple cups of coffee at Starbucks or a few gallons of gas.  Health clubs competing in the middle ground which are sales driven do not want to be near other competitors because it is harmful.  In contrast a Fitness For 10 club next to a sales driven model benefits the Fitness For 10 and devastates the sales driven model.  The low price memberships cut into the sales driven model's new memberships.  The sales driven model cannot overcome the price objection the low priced model presents. 

Many people have at one time or another been a member of a health club.  When these people are made aware of the value Fitness For 10 offers, they understand the value more than any other segment of the population because they have paid higher prices before. 

For potential fitness members that have never been a member of a health club it is important to create a non-threatening, no pressure environment.  Fitness For 10 clubs must also provide simple educational platforms where members can learn how to exercise and use equipment safely in order to improve their level of fitness.  This is accomplished through group orientations.



The marketing strategy of Fitness For 10 is to position itself as the low cost leader.  Competitors can not offer memberships at Fitness For 10 prices due to the cost of additional services they provide which get very little use.  The low price gives consumers who have at anytime considered exercising in a club, no reason to procrastinate.  The low price also allows the Fitness For 10 models to increase market share every year.  The traditional sales driven model does not significantly increase market share after its first or second year of operation. 


Our Mission Statement

At Fitness For 10, we believe:


         Fitness does not have to be expensive.

         The price of a membership does not determine the quality of a health club

         Health clubs should be well equipped, friendly and clean.

         A health club should provide members with a positive and helpful environment.

         People have the power and determination to reach their fitness goals.

         Our member's fitness experience should be exactly what they want it to be.

         By providing more for less to our customers we will have a distinct advantage over the competition and therefore be extremely profitable.


*In addition to our mission statement it is the purpose of all Fitness For 10 clubs to create an environment without sales pressure where members choose to buy instead of being sold.   


I believe this sums up my position.


Kevin Donofrio,


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#4 Consumer Comment

Breach of Contract?


When you signed up, you should have signed a membership contract.  Did the contract specify what reasons they could terminate a membership without reimbursement?  Unless you did something wrong that got your membership terminated AND it was outlined in your contract, you may have a case against them for "breach of contract".  But since you didn't specify the reasons for the termination nor provide details about the contract you signed, you will have to determine this on your own.


If breach of contract is (or you suspect) the case, I'd recommend you contact a lawyer about your options. 

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