I signed up for a gym membership in October 2009. After shopping around for the best price, thought I was getting a deal. Not the case.
I paid an enrollment fee, plus the last month’s membership fee up-front. Each month after, I was charged my regular monthly membership fee. In February, there was an additional miscellaneous charge on my bank statement, so I called Gold’s Gym to find out what the additional charges were for.
I talked to two meat-heads, and they said that they couldn’t even find me in their system, and that I’d have to call back on Monday for a manager. So, I called back on Monday, and finally talked to another meat-head, who claimed to be a manager. He assured me that he’d take care of it, find out why I wasn’t in their system, and refund my money. For the next three weeks, I heard nothing. Every time I called to speak to him to get a status update on my refund, he dodged my calls. He’d tell the front desk to tell me he would call me after his break, or before he left at night. I didn’t hear a peep.
Finally, one month later, their new accountant called me back. She explained to me that she was working on the issue, and trying to get to the bottom of it. Apparently, they had hired a rogue accountant previous to her, and since then, she has been trying to clean up messes with billing and membership errors. I wasn’t the only member to have disappeared from their system. I also spoke briefly with one of the owners, who was no help at all, other than to say that he’d also get to the bottom of the issue, and that his accountant would keep me in the loop. The accountant then told me to call my bank and dispute all charges from Gold’s Gym, starting from day one, since they have not been receiving any of my money. I spent 1 ˝ hours on the phone with the bank’s fraud department, and then had to cancel my debit card and have a new one reissued. Talk about an inconvience. The good news is, all of my money will be refunded within 3 working days. The bad news is, there is a 90 day waiting period to find out whether or not the recipient of my funds will come back at me and dispute my dispute. And so I wait.
I’ve found numerous horror stories online about Gold’s Gym and their crappy billing practices. What scares me is that someone will come back at me later with a collection agency for the transactions I had my bake reverse.
My word of advice for anyone out there thinking about joining a Gold’s Gym. Think again. Do some of your own homework about the company before you give them your bank or credit card information. It could save you a huge headache in the end.
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