Bally's Crunch Fitness sold for $45 m...

Bally's Crunch Fitness sold for $45 million

There are 137 comments on the Crain's Chicago Business story from Jan 20, 2006, titled Bally's Crunch Fitness sold for $45 million. In it, Crain's Chicago Business reports that:

Health club industry veteran Marc Tascher and investment firm Angelo, Gordon & Co.

Join the discussion below, or Read more at Crain's Chicago Business.

emma long

Miami, FL

#62 Jan 13, 2007
Emily Davis wrote:
The way Crunch and Bally's parted had recently resulted in ripping off current members - and breaching contracts of prepaid crunch memberships.
I prepaid for one year (12 months) at Crunch in Chicago in Feb, 06. Yesterday, the gym manager tells me because of Bally's selling Crunch, I'm a "Bally's legacy member" and my membership is up at the end if this year - my contract is no longer with them. So I lost all of the money I paid for the last two months of my contract! Worst. Business acumen. Ever.
I filed a complaint with the BBB.
Thought this story might help.

Emily (in Chi-town)
<quoted text>
Do like I did. Walk into the Bally manager's office when you see they have a prospective customer in there and complain very loudly about what happened to you. Each prospective member is worth thousands to them. They only understand you when you cost them money.
SF former Crunch member

Martinez, CA

#63 Jan 14, 2007
Do you have a contact at the Better Business Bureau? It would be great to talk with the same person, so we could really try and get this resolved, if possible. I will also ask my credit card company to launch an investigation. If anyone has e-mail contacts for Crunch's corporate offices, could you share those? Thanks!
emma long

Miami, FL

#64 Jan 14, 2007
Crunch is Criminal wrote:
Am reading all of these comments and now it makes sense. I left Gorilla/Bally when I moved away from San Francisco. In December, a random Crunch charge shows up. Now again in January even though I complained and a Crunch rep said they'd fix it. Haven't they in effect stolen my cc number? Ridiculous.
Yes. Bally gave them your credit card numbers. Now they can bill you as often (2 to 3 times a month) and as much as they want. Don't pay, contact Clark Howard's website volunteer line and complain at his Consumer Action Center number
, contact the Atlanta Better Business Bureau , contact the Governor's Office of Consumer Affairs at
SF former Crunch member

Berkeley, CA

#65 Jan 15, 2007
I just heard from the San Francisco-Oakland Better Business Bureau. They said that all complaints re: Crunch are being handled by the BBB serving Metro NY. I see that I can't post the phone number or address, but suggest that it may be effective to go on-line and get the BBB of NY's e-mail contact info so that we can ensure all complaints are heard in the same forum.
Class Action 2

Atlanta, GA

#66 Jan 17, 2007
CRUNCH SUCKS! The organization is crooked from the bottom up/top down. They are completely unresponsive, unhelpful, dishonest, and rude. I can't imagine what the organization is thinking. Don't invest in their stocks, a company this flawed will never succeed.
Ex SF Gorilla Member

United States

#67 Jan 17, 2007
I had a 3 year membership with Gorilla fitness, which ended last January. I cancelled the membership then, and they stopped billing me. Then I got 2 charges from Crunch on my December credit card account. I called them and they said that I have to cancel in person. I explained that I cancelled and they confirmed it, and they stopped billing me at that point. Her response was that their system was down for 8 months and couldn't bill me until December. I've never heard such a crazy lie! I just filed a dispute with my credit card company and will file a complain with the BBB. I will gladly join and support a class action suit.

Walnut Creek, CA

#68 Jan 30, 2007
I can't believe so many people are echoing the sentiments that I am experiencing due to the deception of the Crunch Fitness team. Class action law suit anyone? Seriously, let's get Bally's where it hurts.
mortgage broker

Orlando, FL

#69 Jan 31, 2007
Bally's isn't the only one who's been screwing your wife and mom.

Downers Grove, IL

#70 Feb 1, 2007
OMG....Thought I was the only with billing problems at Crunch. I bought a personal training contract with Crunch in July 2006 and they charged me for TWO bloody contracts. I asked the billing rep if it makes ANY SENSE at all for an individual to buy two contracts when there is only one of me!!! Then when I renewed my contract in dec 2006 (unaware of the brewing billing problems, unknown delinquent status on my account), they had the nerve to tell me that they don't have my new contract on file!! Then WHY WAS I CHARGED DOUBLE for ONE CONTRACT? They also messed up my monthly dues. All the billing reps are clueless, incompetent and bloody rude. They keep slapping me with late payments, late fees and all that crap when my credit card is always in good standing. I hate Crunch. The only reason I'm staying till summer is purely because I really like my trainer. Otherwise, I'd be out of there
SF former Crunch member

Berkeley, CA

#71 Feb 2, 2007
I just spoke to my credit card company. After I provided documentation in the form of a letter to Crunch (sent certified mail) and copies of the complaint I filed with the BBB and the Attorney General, and apparently no response from Crunch, they have agreed to credit my account for the disputed charges. Of course, I will closely monitor to ensure that this occurs and that no further charges accrue. I urge you all to keep at this persistently and to put as much as possible in writing. Crunch will not return phone calls, and has not yet responded to any of my correspondence. Still, persistence appears to pay off (fingers crossed).

Orinda, CA

#72 Feb 4, 2007
I live in SF and was forwarded to the Better Business Bureau in New York:

Better Business Bureau Serving Metropolitan New York
257 Park Avenue South
New York, NY 10010-7384
[email protected]

Cases take 6 weeks, I'll let you know what I hear when the 6 weeks is up (in about 2 weeks).
Atlanta Crunch member

Phenix City, AL

#73 Feb 18, 2007
I am in the same situation. I paid for a gold membership when Crunch was Sportslife. After paying thousands upfront, I was supposed to be able to be a lifetime member for $20 per month. I was suddenly told today that I am no longer a Crunch member and that I am now a Bally's member. I went to the Buckhead location and Bally's locations are extremely inconvinient to where I live!!! If I want to stay w/ Crunch, I will have to "rejoin" for $49 per month. That is BS! I was also told a BS story by the people working there. Here is the real story- Crunch bought Sportslife (back around 1999) Bally's then bought Crunch (sometime around 2002), then in Jan. 2006- Bally's sold Crunch. Obviously in the deal terms, Bally's got to keep certain customers and Crunch got to keep certain customers. I am conviced that the way they were split was to screw the maxiumum number of people on both sides to try and scam everyone into buying new, more expensive memberships with each of the gyms. I will be contacting the BBB and I know a lawyer who is going to look into this.

Wheaton, IL

#74 Feb 28, 2007
As someone who was employed by Crunch for years, I want to tell you that all your comments are completely valid. This company is not only deceptive and crooked toward their members, but their staff as well. I can't believe this company will succeed. Not only are the corporate higher-ups illiterate, they're also unprofessional and stupid. Bad decisions and disorganization are the cornerstones of this establishment. You are all being taken and if you don't think your billing issues are not intentional, think again. They're hoping that you won't notice the triple billings thus it's nothing but money in their pockets. Don't join and don't work for Crunch.

Wheaton, IL

#75 Feb 28, 2007
crunch worker wrote:
I WORK for crunch and its not bad at all.. YES, Ballys SOLD crucnh for $45M.. because Ballys is in a huge debt way over $45M... People on here, do not talk unless you KNOW THE FACTS!!!
I also work for Crunch and let me tell you..YES, it IS that bad. You are dillusional. You must've been the one employee in the last 4 years to receive a raise or can afford to buy groceries. This company is driven by one thing only: pure greed..and they're not afraid to let everyone know.

Branchville, NJ

#76 Feb 28, 2007
I have been struggling to get reimbursed from Crunch for nearly six months!!! My husband and I moved from NYC and paid crunch $50 to cancel our memberships. After six months of phone calls, emails and faxes to follow up on our membership credit (that we paid for !!!) we still have not been reimbursed by Crunch. I call, leave messages yet no one calls back. The manager at the Christopher St. gym in NYC, Richard Morris, simply doesn't return calls. Then after I reach him, only because I'm lucky enough to have him answer the phone one day, he tells me it is being handled and a Frances Guzman from Crunch HQ will call me to confirm. Guess what? I never got a call from her either. It's frankly unbelievable!

I have an article underway that will document this outrageous and egregious behavior. I'd be interested in hearing from others about Crunch and I will include your woes in my article.

In the meantime, I will continue my quest to get paid the money I am owed.
Cynthia wrote:
I was charged for two months' membership at Crunch in San Francisco, but I actually cancelled within the 5-day grace period. I've been trying for three months -- phone calls and faxes-- to get the charges refunded without success. Citibank Mastercard is now disputing the charges for me with Crunch. I'll let this group know if they get anywhere. I would like to join a class action if one is being mounted. I really hate being cheated!
I am ignored

Jackson Heights, NY

#77 Mar 2, 2007
I paid $80 for the rental of a locker at crunch fitness, 25 Broadway. After seeing the locker I decided to get my money back instead. I was told by the clerk that refunds are not allowed, yet the sales receipt says you must have original receipt in order to get refunds. Its day 8 and no one at crunch has the balls to respond to my inquiry or attempt to resolve my issue.

United States

#78 Mar 5, 2007
Did you know there is a 30 day cancellation period following your end of term? So that means if you cancel on the day your annual contract expires, you will still be billed the following month because it takes Crunch 30 days to process your claim. Therefore, even if you tried showing up at your gym to prevent them from automatically enrolling you in a month-to-month after your annual expired (i.e. the trap), sign the form and do not let them charge you a termination fee. Also, it is clear that no one knows what the correct procedure is (evident from the numerous people I have spoken to over the phone and at my gym). I was told my annual ended in March when it really ended in the evil empire has stolen three months of dues from me and they claim they will charge me for April too. If you live in Chicago, sign up at another gym! No about no brains and no customer serivce.

Oceanside, NY

#79 Mar 7, 2007
My problem is not so much a problem now as what it can become. Crunch is screwing up all their billing. My screwup is favorable to me, but who knows for how long. They have been charging me $10 a month instead of my standard monthly rate. Don't know whether to let them know and fix it, or to let them figure it out on their own and then get charged the money. Any advice?

Westwood, NJ

#80 Mar 8, 2007
I am a reporter for a small newspaper in downtown NYC and am going to write an article about shady sales tactics, double-billing etc. in gyms. If you or anyone who works out downtown (anywhere below 28th Street) has been victimized in this way, like I have -- double-billed by Crunch -- please contact me so we can talk about it. Thanks

[email protected]

Westwood, NJ

#81 Mar 8, 2007
Don't know why that says "Franklin Park, NJ" under my name. I am in Manhattan, NYC.

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