I wanted to take some time educate all concerned consumers that have been taken advantage of by LA Fitness; specifically by getting over billed and not being able to cancel your account. First, please go to the following link for a riveting look into how LA Fitness runs their "business" (http://la-fitness.pissedconsumer.com/la-fitness-3a-the-cold-facts-of-business-201204****0947.html). Now, there are certain dynamics of LAF that you must understand in order to be successful in reaching your goal of severing all ties with this company. First, LAF and the people they keep are very pushy, arrogant and very dishonest (with the exception of few). The communication culture within the company is two-sided. I have had the opportunity to meet the owners of the company, and I can say that this behavior originates and is enforced by them, their VP's and DOM's.
Keeping this in mind; when you present your issue, you must be calm and level headed; almost childlike. Remember they have your financial and contact information on file. If the person you are speaking to feels slighted in anyway, they can (and will) ruin your account by excessively overcharging you, refusing to cancel your account, and by having pt employees call you daily (including weekends and holidays), threatening you to collect more payments. ONLY speak with the Operations Manager. They have all the power in the club (despite all the titles that are thrown around) and the ability to cancel your gym membership on the spot.
CANCELLING THE GYM MEMBERSHIP:
Approach the OM in person and let them know you would like to cancel your account. They will try to spin you into keeping it. Remain firm. Once your account is cancelled, GET A RECEIPT. You need this proof on file should you have to take legal action. An email should also be sent to you as well. If you have cancelled in the past and LAF is still billing you, have the OM verify your last check-in date and ask for a retroactive refund per that date. You may want to call ahead and ask for that date in advance, in case the OM tries to lie to you about the date.
CANCELLING THE PERSONAL TRAINING MEMBERSHIP:
If you've made the unfortunate mistake of buying their Personal Training packages, I am sorry. However, getting out of your contract is quite difficult...but not impossible. You will need to leverage the OM to act as a liaison between you and the districts VP; who only has the ability to cancel your PT contract. You will also want to put in some leg work of your own because the VP's and OM's drag their feet with this kind of membership. Call ahead and passively ask for the VP's first and last name. You will never get their email, but with a first/last name you'll essentially have it. If the VP's name is "John Smith", then his email will either be "jsmith@***.com" or "John.Smith@***.com". I recommend you write an email demanding cancellation to both of these possibles. One will get through, guaranteed. Ask for a reply to identify the real email. Keep sending emails and following up with the OM until a resolution is reached. DON'T put too much time into speaking with the Personal Training Director (PTD) or the Membership Marketing Director (MMD aka GM). They will never help. This is their commission we are talking about here. Go over their heads and straight to the OM.
Now, because you are a sane citizen and have approached this cancellation process in an adult fashion, it doesn't mean that LAF will reciprocate this in a sane or rational manner. This is where you will have to fight fire with fire. If you fail to reach a timely resolution for the cancellation of your PT or Gym membership, there are a number of things you can and should do.
REPORT TO THE BETTER BUSINESS BUREAU
REPORT ON YELP, TWITTER, FACEBOOK AND ALL OTHER SOCIAL MEDIA
REPORT TO LOCAL NEWSPAPERS
REPORT TO THE LOCAL POLICE DEPARTMENT (In cases of fraud)
LA Fitness Intl. , like most other companies, are concerned with their image. Because of this, they have their people in California monitoring ALL of the entities mentioned above. As soon as they catch wind of your problem through any of these venues, they will be very quick to take care of it. I cannot emphasize this enough. The media is powerful and you should use it. I can't tell you how many times I have seen a smart consumer exercise their right to freedom of speech; and the ensuing reaction from LA Fitness. Its remarkable, really.
Even still, if you are not satisfied with their resolution and have reached your wits end, do the following: 1. Simply call a local club and request to change your credit card number on file, your demographic information (i.e. phone, address, email etc..).
2. You will want to place a cancelled cc, pre-paid cc or old bank account number on file to replace your real one. Their entire system, including the EFT portion was created by the owners and is designed to take any cc or bank account number without first screening to see if its valid. All LAF wants is your money, and they don't care where its coming from; or even if the account exists!
3. Make up some demographic information and give it to them to replace your real one; especially your phone number.
If you have done this, you'll have successfully cancelled LA Fitness Intl. out of your life forever! NEVER worry about any past balances coming back to haunt you. I SWEAR to you, even if you owe them $10,000, they will never come knocking down your door. I'll tell you why. Remember when you first signed up? all they asked for was your DL, Phone # and of course you cc #. They Never asked for your SS# (nor should you give it). That's key.
The top 3 Credit Bureaus never take gyms and health clubs reports seriously. In fact, if you ever were to dispute their claims against you, the credit bureau will take it off your file immediately. In LAF's case, the part time employees are the collection agency and the credit bureau. They are treated like slaves and forced to call and threaten you to collect more payments. NEVER give someone over the phone your cc #! No matter what they say. they are calling to get your money, not to help. They get paid $5/cc# they get from you (OM's get paid $10/cc# they collect and $5/cc# off of their PT employees collections). If you do, you will be so sorry.
After 90 days your account is expunged from their system as a collectible prospect; what LAF calls a "Revoked/Deny Entry Status". Remember, ALL of LA Fitness' threats are empty. As the consumer, you hold the REAL POWER. Take control.
Product or Service Mentioned: La Fitness Membership.
Location: Wilmette, Illinois