I joined GOLD'S GYM Buford, Georgia. Gold's management had me sign a contract that designated ABC Financial to debit the monthly fee from my account. The fee was reasonable so I agreed. Then, during my time at the gym, I would hear other members complaining about ABC Financial doing "double debits" and continuing to debit accounts after they were expired. ABC pulled the double debit on me while I was a member at Gold's. They hit my account twice in one month, hoping I wouldn't notice it. Not an unusual occurrence for them. Management was eventually able to credit my account back, but it took a while. My contract was coming up for expiration in April 2010. The fine print stated that I needed to notify Gym management in writing that I wanted my contract to "really" expire??? That meant, if I didn't give them a 30 day written notice that I really wanted my contract to expire, then ABC would continue to debit my account, even after my contract dates have expired. So, I did what the contract wanted. In fact, I went above and beyond because I knew from the other members complaints, I was going to have trouble.
Two months after my contract expired, I received a phone call from Mr. Tater, bill collector for ABC Financal. What Mr. Tater told me was that he was hired by ABC to be the debt enforcer and collect from me. Tater stated that the balance was $180 but he would be so kind as to offer me 10 percent discount if I paid for it right now. I explained to him that the contract was up in April of 2010 and that I followed contractual procedures to end the contract as it expired. Mr. Tater said, "Well, Since you didn't send in writing that you wanted to cancel (even though the contract expired) we've been charging your account for service, late fees, admin fees, month to month fees". Ok, even if my contract went month to month after that, then my balance should be $37.50 a month, times two months (expired contract time) for a total of $75. Not even close to the $180 Tater was trying to get me for. Mr. Tater said to me, "You didn't send in the correct documents and follow the proper procedure for cancelling you contract, so you owe us membership fees, admin fees, tater fees etc and that is $180". I explained to Tater that according to my contract I was only required to notify the Gym in writing that I did not wish to renew my contract and I did that plus sent in the certified letter and fax to ABC Financial. Tater said he has no record of it, (of course not!) He continued to insist that I pay the $180 they were trying to scam me out of. Mr. Tater would not even try and listen to the fact that I had already sent the required paperwork into ABC. Tater stated that he would place a negative mark on my credit since I was not willing to pay the balance.
This is deceptive, intimidating business practice and is indicative of extortion by demanding money that is not due and if it's not paid, giving a threat to scar a credit rating.