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Report: #1470925

Complaint Review: UFC Gym - North Brunswick New Jersey

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  • Reported By: James — Redding California United States
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  • UFC Gym 1846 US Highway 1 North Brunswick, New Jersey United States

UFC Gym UFC - North Brunswick Gym Extreme negligence and unethical/predatory billing and collections practices North Brunswick New Jersey

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I've written maybe 2 negative reviews in my entire life. I don't enjoy writing them. Any business can make a mistake, and everything works out 99% of the time. The UFC New Brunswick gym is that 1-in-100 experience with a business that leaves you scratching your head and wondering "Why in the world would a company that invested so much into building their brand employ people who severely undermine it by enforcing abusive and predatory billing tactics? I mean what are these people thinking?" 

  I've been pondering this conundrum for over a year, when my attempts to free myself from UFC New Brunswick first began. Just for context, I'll tell you that from January through the end of May, I had been caring for my 13 1/2 year old Labrador, who had begun losing his mobility. Most of my attention and resources had been focused on him, and when he passed at the end of May, I moved to Northern California to regroup. I didn't notice that I had been getting charged every month, after I put a freeze on the membership in January and called to cancel entirely in late March.    Then the place I just moved to (Shasta County) had the worst wildfire in its history. Thousands of homes and businesses were lost and my entire city was evacuated. I moved right smack in the middle of a national disaster. FEMA was evacuating neighborhoods, bright orange blazes could be seen on the horizon, ash being rained down on top of us for months; and no one could go outside without a face mask. I've never seen anything like this. The closest thing to it was 911.    The blaze came within less than a mile from my apartment, and believe it or not, I was extremely lucky compared to others. Thousands of businesses and homes were lost; thousands of acres of land were destroyed; thousands of families were left homeless...young up-and-comers, post-retirement elderly couples, the fires didn't discriminate. It was near impossible to find a job and my savings were depleted. I got behind on the rent, which is when I began noticing that my membership had not been cancelled and I had hundreds of dollars taken out of my account since March, when I was told my membership was cancelled and I would no longer be billed!   Let's recap. First of all, I haven't been to this gym in over a year. I moved to the other side of the country 7 months ago, and have repeatedly called and written asking for assistance to cancel. Non-responsive. When I do get a response, it's "there's no record of you trying to cancel and we can't help you until you pay the upcoming month's dues because you have to tell us 21 days in advance." (Telling them about the previous attempts to cancel is like talking to a wall." This is how it's been going around in circles for almost a year and nearly a thousand dollars in automatic deductions. The fact that I moved, that I was enduring a great emotional loss, and found myself right in the middle of a national disaster that displaced thousands of people meant absolutely nothing either! Yes, the inhumanity of their attitude is what I find to be the most repugnant part of all of this. This isn't about the money for me; it's about how they treat people.    I even tried to submit a complaint on their corporate website, but got the same response: silence. There is no way to stop the charges once you sign that contract. You are completely dependent upon them to put in the effort for you, and that is the problem. High turnover (3 different GMs in the past year), bad record keeping, and extremely poor hiring which seems to put the least competent and apathetic people in charge of member services. And a simple google search online will reveal that I'm not the only one by far that has fallen prey to them.   

There is no way to self-manage your account. You can't log into their website to change your credit card information or stop billing. You have to contact them to do any of that. The problem is that they magically keep "losing" email requests and not recording conversations, customer issues, etc. They'll keep charging you and charging you, and when you ask them to cancel, they tell you they'll take care of it, but they never do. Then when you call them back, they claim there's no record. (hmm...maybe because they've turned over 3 employees in the last year that are in charge of that? Maybe something's broken in the process?).     On Dec.11, I discovered that UFC gym had been charging me this entire time while even tacking on late fees. I was shocked. I wrote letters explaining all of this to Talia, Heather (in corporate finance) and even submitted an email through the corporate website to make sure that SOMEONE would read it and help me to simply cancel my membership. I got NOTHING!....except another email about the $65 they were unable to withdraw from my account and more late penalties.    Another issue is that when a charge doesn't clear, they send an email stating that they will try "one more time." That is a lie. They will try to withdraw funds every single day until they can, even if its months later. I tried to keep my account below $50 so that their charges wouldn't go through. I got emails every day letting me know that they're going to try to run the charge "one more time." After two months, I had a client who put in a direct deposit. Less than ONE HOUR after the money appeared in the account, UFC gym deducted $125 in past due amount plus late fees, which proves they have some sort of software that monitors your account and deducts money without authorization as soon as it appears. I'm currently having a corporate attorney look into the merchant credit card laws, and it looks like I have a case to present to the NJ Attorney General, as this practice skirts the boundaries of ethical business practices.   

I got on the phone a week ago and was told to write to Talia. The receptionist seemed sympathetic and informed me that Carlo (the manager I dealt with the last time) no longer works there and maybe that's where the error occurred. She seemed to understand my frustration and apologized, letting me know that Talia would take care of it. I felt a bit of hope! I wrote to Talia explaining everything in detail, getting my hopes up for a sane response. A week later, I heard nothing!    It's been 12 months since I set foot in the UFC New Brunswick gym and when this journey toward cancelling my membership first began. I wrote another email asking Talia if she received my last email and is taking action, letting her know that I'd escalate this if I don't get a response in 24 hours. It worked! After nearly a year, I finally got a response: "Hi James, I have investigated your account and there is no record of your cancellation on file. I cannot go forward with freezing or cancelling your membership until the balance on your account is $0. Respectfully, Talia"   I'm writing this to warn people that might be considering this gym because of the "UFC" brand, I don't want others to make the same mistake I made. Know what kind of people you are doing business with and understand that you are giving up all control over your membership rights and your bank account the minute you sign a contract with them. 

This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 01/06/2019 08:46 PM and is a permanent record located here: https://www.ripoffreport.com/reports/ufc-gym/north-brunswick-new-jersey-08902/ufc-gym-ufc-north-brunswick-gym-extreme-negligence-and-unethicalpredatory-billing-and-c-1470925. 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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