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Report: #320903

Complaint Review: BALLY'S TOTAL FITNESS - PHOENIX Arizona

  • Submitted:
  • Updated:
  • Reported By: Scottsdale Arizona
  • BALLY'S TOTAL FITNESS 3821 E INDIAN SCHOOL RD PHOENIX, Arizona U.S.A.

BALLY'S TOTAL FITNESS U.S. Servicemen: Don't worry about the enemy overseas, BALLY'S will be waiting to stab you in the back right here at home when you de-MOB! PHOENIX Arizona

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U.S. Servicemen especially, BEWARE! You have 30 days (at best) to MOB for active duty--Bally's uses this to your disadvantage; while you are TDY, thinking everything is taken care of, you come back to a DESTROYED credit rating, and it only gets worse. Bally's will not cave no matter how much proof you have that you followed ALL requirements for cancellation. They will SELL your account to ruthless collector after ruthless collector, for YEARS after the law allows accounts to be pursued. We finally had to send their collection harassers to the Attorney General of New York (and we live in Arizona)! We suggest others START with this, as it seems to be the most effective. Just make sure you SAVE ALL paperwork, including your ORDERS to active duty!

(See below for sample letters to use in your fight against illegal extortion action by Bally's Inc.)
There's a reason our mortgage agent recently told us "EVERYBODY'S credit report has a (negative) Bally's")--because he sees so many of them literally every single day he's at work he couldn't even estimate how many!

Our story, as best told in the letters regarding the most recent (ILLEGAL) collection attempts of Bally's, Inc:

To:
Law Offices of Mitchell Kay, P.C.
7 Penn Plaza
New York, NY

Sirs:

I am writing to inform you that the above-referenced account is, in fact, not valid and not legally pursuable under FCRA law, 15 U.S.C. 1681c(a)(4). This alleged "debt," from its outset was patently erroneous at best, and a purposeful attempt by Bally's Inc. to maliciously defraud at worst, and is why Mr. Xxxx has, for the past TEN years, refused to pay this extortion attempt by Bally's, Inc.

Mr. Xxxx was ordered from the Army Reserve into special active duty service in the U.S. Army in August of 1997, at which time he followed the written instructions provided by Bally's Inc. for cancellation of membership for "members residing 50 miles or more from any Bally's location for a period of six months or more." It was determined that 447 days in the jungles of Panama did, indeed, qualify for such cancellation privileges. Mr Xxxx sent the $50 cancellation fee and letter of cancellation to the corporate address as per instructions of Bally's staff at 3919 E. Indian School Rd. Phoenix, AZ 85018.

Several months after Mr. Xxxx's deployment, his fiance began receiving bills from Bally's Inc. to his permanent Arizona address with mounting charges, the first stating, "Thank you for your $50 payment on your account. Your balance is:$_____." Bally's, Inc. had taken Mr. Xxxx's written letter of cancellation and $50 cancellation fee, thrown the letter away and kept the $50, instead applying it to "monthly membership fees" during his deployment for 15 months in Panama and continuing to bill during this time, knowing Mr. Xxxx had no way to contact Bally's to address their error.

Even IF this debt were valid, the original reporting date was October of 1997, and as it is now May of 2007, almost a full TEN years later, you are quite clearly attempting to enforce this arguably erroneous sum illegally in any case, in direct violation of the protections of 15 U.S.C. 1681c(a)(4) which state:
605. Requirements relating to information contained in consumer reports

(a) Information excluded from consumer reports. Except as authorized under subsection (b) of this section, no consumer reporting agency may make any consumer report containing any of the following items of information:
(4) Accounts placed for collection or charged to profit and loss which antedate the report by more than seven years.

Since the present case meets none of the exclusionary circumstances, namely:
(b) Exempted cases. The provisions of paragraphs (1) through (5) of subsection (a) of this section are not applicable in the case of any consumer credit report to be used in connection with
(1) a credit transaction involving, or which may reasonably be expected to involve, a principal amount of $150,000 or more;
(2) the underwriting of life insurance involving, or which may reasonably be expected to involve, a face amount of $150,000 or more;
(3) the employment of any individual at an annual salary which equals, or which may reasonably be expected to equal $75,000 or more.
this collection action is clearly taken by your company (at the behest of Bally's Inc.) in violation of FCRA law.

If you continue to further contact, harass, or impugn Mr. Xxxx, we will immediately file a formal complaint against your first and Bally's Inc. for willful violation of FCRA law with the Offices of the Attorneys General or Arizona and New York, and the Federal Trade Commission's FCRA unit. [Addresses given below]

Please immediately advise all three credit bureaus, as well as Bally's Inc. (the officers of which know full well their blatant violation of FCRA law in continuing to solicit collection on this account) that Mr. Xxxx's credit file should be immediately and permanently cleared of all reference to this account and that any further action on the part of Bally's Inc. to again illegally re-solicit this account for collection will be considered willful and malicious disregard for the law and no further warning will issue.

In fact, we welcome the opportunity to return to Bally's, Inc. some of the generous attention they have shown us in the past TEN years, and feel that the undivided attention of the district attorney's offices might accomplish this goal nicely, along with two little words..."Punitive damages," which would definitely be appropriate in this case due to Bally's continued willful violation of Federal Law.

Sincerely,
Xxxxx

(Second letter)
TO:
Office of the Attorney General (insert State here)

Enclosed please find a copy of my latter in reply to a recent attempt to collect an alleged 'debt' not legally pursuable under FCRA 145 U.S.C. 1681c(a)(4).

I feel compelled to inform your office of the continued willful disregard for FCRA law shown by Bally's Inc., which continues to re-solicit this account for collection far beyond the length of time allowed by law.

Dur to the suspect circumstances surrounding this collection account at its outset, I have made a conscious choice not to succumb to Bally's extortion and have endured this negative mark on my credit for the past ten years as a matter of principle, not wanting Bally's Inc. to succeed in using its power and influence to fraudulently force me to pay amounts never owed.

I was helpless against Bally's corporate might in the past in this matter, but now the protections of the law are on my side and I would like to file formal complaint against Bally's for its business practices in connection with the solicitation of collection accounts clearly past the legally allowable enforcement date.

I am enclosing a copy of the most recent letter I received, dated 30 April, 2007, in yet another collection attempt, consigned by Bally's Inc., for this account. Although Bally's corporate officers know full well the account was first reported almost a full ten years ago, they continue to solicit this account for collection, in flagrant violation of federal law.

Thank you in advance for your attention to this matter.

Sincerely,
Xxxxx

If you have also been the victim of Bally's ILLEGAL extortion attempts AND/OR collection activities, please write to the following agencies, and perhaps we may even attract enough attention to Bally's for an Attorney General class action (states are starting to take a hard line on consumer-predatory companies)!

We received letters back from:

Federal Trade Commission
Consumer Response Center-FCRA
Washington, DC 20580

State of New York
Office of the Attorney General
Division of Economic Justice
Bureau of Consumer Frauds and Protection
120 Broadway
New York, NY 10271

New York City Dept. of Consumer Affairs
42 Broadway
New York, NY 10004-1716

For our complaint against the collection agency, the Atty. General's office forwarded us to:
Federal Trade Commission
Bureau of Consumer Protection
Division of Consumer and Business Education
600 Pennsylvania Ave., NW
NJ-2267
Washington, DC 20580
Ph: 1-877-FTC-HELP (382-4357)

The IMPORTANT thing is, we now have FILE #'s in the Offices of the Attorneys General of both New York and Arizona. They are now more AWARE of Bally's illegal activities against consumers.
If YOU have been illegally assessed by Bally's for amounts you do NOT validly owe, DON'T GIVE IN! That's what everyone else does, and why Bally's never has to answer for its wrongdoing.
Instead, WRITE to those in positions of legal power in your state to bring ever-increasing attention to these unscrupulous business practices.

Better yet, AVOID Bally's like the plague! Unfortunately, especially in East Phoenix, most people have several hundred (if not thousand) dollars to throw at Bally's or any other unscrupulous business, and will pay whatever extortion money they ask just to keep their credit clean. Those with a conscience; however, beware.
If honesty and justice are among your set of personal morals, you won't find them here.

Melissa
Scottsdale, Arizona
U.S.A.

Click here to read other Rip Off Reports on Bally Total Fitness

This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 03/25/2008 11:05 AM and is a permanent record located here: https://www.ripoffreport.com/reports/ballys-total-fitness/phoenix-arizona-85018/ballys-total-fitness-us-servicemen-dont-worry-about-the-enemy-overseas-ballys-will-320903. 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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