Indianapolis, Indiana
Not resolved
9 comments

I rejoined LA Fitness in Westfield, Indiana in October 2011 with myself, wife and son. Wife and I discussed her receiving personal training to help motivate her working out. I called the Westfield club to inquire into costs of training. I spoke with training representative (sales staff) Joseph about options and cost. A cost sheet my wife had been given had $320 hand written next to a circled 8 (sessions) in a 12 month section which led me to believe the cost was $320 for year of 2 lessons per week. I was emphatic with Joseph on validating the total cost of $370 ($320 + $50 signup) for the year of lessons at the end of the call. At that time, I was not told that a contract was to be signed.

My wife was scheduled for her first lesson at which she was presented a checklist and contract. She allowed herself to be hurried through the signing process without understanding that the total cost was an initial fee of $370 and then an additional $320/month for 11 months (total cost of $3,890, not the $370 I expected) and to cancel the contract required 50% payment of outstanding balance. I should have been with her for any contract reviews/signatures since I was the person who spoke to Joseph on the phone; however, I was unaware a contract was required or would be signed on the first day.

On Dec 16, I was surprised to see a $320 LA Fitness charge. I went into the club and spoke with Joseph who had a well rehearsed explanation that he was sorry we didn't understand, but he had a signed contract and I would have to take it up with corporate. He provided me with a copy of the signed checklist and contract by my wife and told me she was provided a copy at the time of signing and an email was sent to her email address; however, my wife is not able to find or recall being given either the printed copy or email. I certainly never saw it or would have immediately invoked the cancellation within three day policy. I called corporate "customer service" who was not involved in any prior conversation and was unwilling to cancel contract without the 50% early termination fee paid. Corporate rep offered to reduce term to 6 months (maintain 50% contract cost), which indicates they "can" make changes, but not to reduce my minimum cost obligation. To minimize my cost exposure, my only recourse was to pay the %50 fee ($1,600) and terminate all my fitness memberships (approx. $100/month). It is more financially beneficial to LA Fitness to take the 50% payout and have me cancel my membership (and hope I go away mad, but quietly) than forgive the contract as it would take over a year of fitness dues (which I can cancel) for the same fees.

At best, I believe that I was purposefully mislead on total cost in order to get my wife scheduled for first lesson – with intention of convincing us to pay the full cost at time of contract. At worst, I believe there was a purposeful "bait/switch" where I was told one thing and then my wife (or child if that had been the case) would sign an agreement.

Whether intentionally fraudulent or not, LA Fitness was not willing to address the situation in what I consider to be a reasonable manner. I cannot perceive of any additional/outstanding costs incurred by LA Fitness for future lessons which would warrant the early termination fee

I would certainly like to recover the $1,920 I was charged above the expected $370; however, I fully understand the "lesson learned" aspect of all this. I would very much like to see LA Fitness (locally / nationally) correct/improve their business practice so that other people CLEARLY understand what they are committing to and that early termination fees/contracts are defined in a manner that can be justified from a reasonable cost recovery manner (not punitive/predatory as I believe they currently are).

Product or Service Mentioned: La Fitness Personal Training.

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Anonymous
#874422

They did the same thing to me, they told me it was going to be $40 a session. I signed up for a session a week which would be $160 per month.

However they never said that the contract had an outstanding fee to cancel it which was $1000. I didn't know i was pregnant when i got the training membership, and I don't want the training during pregnancy!! I told them my situation but they were careless. They told me i had to pay $1000 to cancel or to keep paying $160 dollars a month for 12 months!!!

if i miss a session they will still charge me, so it means even when my belly is super big i still have to pay for it.

This is very coldblooded. I will look into my rights to see how I can get out of this debt!!!

Anonymous
#540965

For those of you defending the practices of LA Fitness, you may not have been subjected to the blatant fraudulent techniques that were used on me. First, I was told I needed to sign for my credit card first - the LA Fitness sales rep then handed me a signed contract!

The signature that I thought was for a credit card, which could be cancelled, was applied to a contract that said I agreed to the electronic signature which I absolutely did not. Second, the sales person said he was extending my cancellation period to seven days. He even crossed off the "three days" on the contract and wrote "seven". Upon closer examination, the days referred to the number of days to wait for a refund.

It was done in a clearly deceptive manner. Third, my son was to be given 6 months free - he was called and told he had 2 weeks free. Also, I specifically requested that he not be called. When I cancelled within the cancellation period, the salesperson was clearly disrespectful - making me wait very long and showing disgust toward me with his facial expressions.

If LA Fitness has a good product/service to offer, I am apalled that they allow these tactics to be utilized. It was obvious to me that my sales person's tactics were well-rehearsed and he knew absolutely what he was saying (and not saying)and doing. This was clear FRAUD althoug I have not been hurt financially, I understand that there are innocent people who are being hurt. As for those on this site who say "Well you signed a contract", I say, did you know you were signing a contract or is your signature there through deceiption?

I thought I was signing for a credit card charge - these are two entirely different things. I will be taking this issue further even though I have not been hurt monetarily.

It is the principle of the transaction that needs to be exposed and corrected. They have messed with the wrong person.

Anonymous
#409817

Whether or not I believe LA Fitness is entitled to $1600 for services not rendered, or a termination fee, that is what the contract stated. I have an early termination fee with Verizon; a termination fee with Direct TV; and one with the landlord of my company's office space - termination fees are standard practice in many circumstances, and whether they are fair or not is to be decided at the time you sign the contract - not afterwards.

Again, regardless of aggressive sales techniques, you always have a choice to walk away. Have you ever bought a car? Is there a place with any more of an aggressive sales technique than those employed in a car dealership?

The fact is, LA Fitness doesn't want your $1600, they want your $3200. Actually, they want your $10,000 or more. They are not in the business of selling $1600 termination contracts. They are in the business of fitness, and selling as many hours of personal training as possible, potentially keeping hundreds of trainers employed for years - and making 30%-40% margin for each and every hour they work. To think for a second they invest in an aggressive sales technique to ultimately take $1600 from their customers, and make each of them angry is ridiculous - as ridiculous as thinking you can get 104 personal training sessions for $350. LA Fitness is a private company, whose only prospects for profit is long-term customer relationships, in addition to long-term personal training contracts. Investing $1B (that's right, $1 Billion) in new clubs so they can try to fleece $1600 from as many people as possible, and drive as many customers to their competitors, is not a rational thought.

Complain that your don't like the contract, and that you are sorry for signing the contract. Complain that your wife signed a contract, and didn't give you enough notice to review and take advantage of the 3-day remorse clause (which doesn't exist in most contracts, including cars), and even complain about the cost, and rude people. But when the company exercises their rights under the contract, you don't have a right to complain when they don't give you exactly what you want. Because if the shoe was on the other foot, and you held the better position in a business contract, you too would not give up your rights.

This site is filled with similar stories, and while yours in the only one that has even the slightest hint of personal accountability, most don't, and feel these companies OWE something when people make bad choices, or act in bad ways.

I appreciate your candid response; best to you in the future.

Anonymous
#409796

I understand that a contract was signed and I paid $1600 for the 50% buyout. To terminate the contract.

Whether or not you believe that 350 for a years worth of personal training (where a person watches another person workout for 25 mins) is reasonable, it is what I was led to believe. I disagree with the aggressive sales techniques that encourage such misunderstandings and then such a high termination fee. How was LA fitness entitled to $1,600 for services not provided? That is my real concern.

I was charged $670 on my bank acct at a point where my wife had attended about 10 lessons.

Even at the full 60 per lesson rate, they had been paid for service. You think its fair I had to pay an addional $1,600 to terminate?

Anonymous
#409696

Am I to understand that you truly believed you were getting 104 personal training sessions for $370; an average cost of $3.55 per training session? Really?

I am in not affiliated with LA Fitness. However, I am a member of a local club. And while doing some research, I found this complaint.

While I do know many people have been taken advantage of by aggressive sales persons, I am astounded that you accept no responsibility for this situation. More to the point, you want us to believe that your wife cannot read or comprehend the liability in signing a contract - and that is somehow not your problem, but rather the problem belongs solely to LA Fitness. Your wife signed a contract, you don't approve of what she signed, and somehow the problem, or fraud as you see it, doesn't lie with you or you wife, it's lies solely with LA Fitness. Truly amazing.

I'm not saying that LA Fitness doesn't use aggressive sales tactics; I don't know if they do or don't. However, they produced a contract with your wife's signature, and because your wife signed something - however that signature was gained - and didn't give you her copy, or even tell you that she signed it so you could ASK for another copy so you could read it, and understand it, the problem still is not yours in the least.

There is a reason why your Attorney General is not taking your case solely on the merits - because they don't need a certain quantity of problems to take action - it's because your case involves a lack of personal responsibility and was based solely on a economic model that you and your wife should have known wasn't reasonable or prudent; that is getting 104 training sessions for $3.55 each.

Good luck in your complaint; you're going to need it.

Anonymous
#397513

Please take the time to report the to the Better Business Bureau, Attorney Generals Office and local media. It doesn't cost any money to express your frustration/experience and (although unlikely to change their behavior as this appears to be how the believe you treat other people) perhaps Law or Media will take their time / resources to either challenge them or at least warn other people from these "people".

I find that people with poor morals hide behind "corporations" and "company policy" as the cheat and steal their way through life. It is a sad commentary of the world/ country we live in when some people believe such behavior can be done to others again and again with no sense/need to correct. We are the most fortunate/blessed people in the world yet we go through life looking for our "next victims". Personally, this situation is a wake up call to me to take action and become one of the few that not only refuse to accept this "reality" but choose to take action to address this and work to help prevent this from happening again.

So, to LA Fitness: Thank You for taking $2,000 of my money for no value returned.

Immoral PEOPLe like you remind me that I NEEd to work to help other people avoid evil predators like you in the world. I hope other people will join me in an honest effort to not reward such poor behavior with acceptance and silence

Anonymous
#397472

I also suffer from L.A. Fitness fraud.

I did submit the 50% amount to cancel my trainig. Guess what. This *** company continues to charge me $90.00 a month, has not cashed my check of $315.00 sent via registered, return-receipt requested mail as instructed by their fraudulent "contract".

If I could afford it, I'd hire an attorney. Maybe if we all get together, we can begin a class-action lawsuit and close these criminals down.

Anonymous
#396909

WWW.FITNESSSERVICESETTLEMENT.COM

WWW.GYMSETTLEMENT.COM

PENDING CLASS ACTION LAWSUITS IN FEDERAL COURT

SMALLER LAWSUITS PENDING IN LOCAL COURTS

THESE ARE PREVIOUS SETTLEMENTS BASED ON DECEPTIVE SALES PRACTICES. IT SHOWS THAT YOUR CASE IS NOT ALONE. AS SUCH, YOU ARE CORRECT IN CONTACTING THE ATTORNEY GENERAL, AND ADVISING OTHERS TO DO THE SAME. IF ENOUGH COMPLAINTS COME AGAINST A COMPANY TO SHOW A PATTERN OF BEAHVIOR, THE AG'S OFFICE MAY STEP IN AND SUE TO THE COMPANY. IT'S UNFORTUNATE THAT YOU HAD TO SUSTAIN SUCH DAMAGES, AND SUCH POOR SERVICE. HOWEVER, SPREAD THE WORD TO EVERYONE YOU MEET, AND ADVISE THEM AGAINST LA FITNESS. LA FITNESS IS A FRAUD SCAM.

lzgmyn
#396594

BTW.. I have reported to many Indiana sources including the Indiana Attorney Generals Office. I am told that others need to report similar issues for action to be taken, so please do report your own experiences about LA Fitness.