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[Resolved] ABC Finacial / Retro Fitness / scam and fraud tactics to get fees

1 Jackson, NJ, United States Review updated:
Contact information:

HI, I had a Health Club membership with Retro Fitness of Jackson, NJ for over a year now. I had moved out of the area, and also recently lost my job back in Feb of 2008 - I did keep my Gym membership for several months afterwards, canceling it on 11/3/2008 with "Laura" who was working the front desk of Retro in Jackson. She asked that I send her a written letter and fax it over that I had moved away, along with a copy of my (new) electric bill showing proof of move. I did all this the same day, called her back and she verified receipt of the fax and noted "...you are all set Mr. Malta, no further fees are due, and wish you all the best - thanks for choosing Retro!". I proceeded to move on with my life, but note I did pay the entire month of dues for November as Laura noted it may be difficult to get the $40 back from ABC Financial, who is their billing arm.

Now, several months later (1/20/09), I am getting harassed by ABC Financial with letters, Emails, and even "crank" phone calls to my house (they call and hang-up !). They are trying to bill me for December and January noting they never received my cancellation, and quote the person I spoke with at ABC Financial noted " ...well the Health clubs often rip up those cancel requests and throw them out...you should have dealt with us directly" - can you believe the audacity of them to say such a thing ?

I have sent ABC Financial all the details, the fax, and spoke with them several times - they are not accepting any of these items, depsite the fact that I have verified "received" faxes, and even taped phone calls from the original request with Retro way back in 11/3/2008 !

ABC Financial is a scam, fraud outfit - designed to ripoff consumers and try to lure them into paying additional fees when they are not required to do so. I am referring my case to the BBB of New Jersey, and also route my Senator and Governor as well to have them banned from doing business in the state of New Jersey - submitting my taped conversations, as well as my fax and written requests / verification.

Note to all - DO NOT deal with any health club or establishment that uses this fraudulent scam company - the entire company is designed to ripoff the hard-working US Citizen, and likely their executives are all "fat cats" driving expensive cars and cheering how they ripped off the most recent tax-paying US citizen.

  • Resolution statement

    Customer care service did everything in their power to resolve this complaint. All attempts to contact the complainant have failed. Therefore, this complaint has been annulled and must not be considered where image of the company in question and it's services are concerned.

  • ABC Financial Services Customer Care's Response, Jun 27, 2011

    Hello,
    We regret to hear your recent experience with ABC Financial Services and Retro Fitness was not a satisfactory one. I would like the opportunity to review your account and see that proper action has been taken. We strive to address all consumer feedback, positive or negative, and want to make your situation was handled properly.
    Should you have any further comments please feel free to email me at stephanie.cook@abcfinancial.com

    Stephanie Cook
    Data Research Analyst
    ABC Financial Services, Inc.

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Comments

  • Jr
      27th of Jan, 2009
    0 Votes

    As a previous club owner who used ABC for billing, he is 100% accurate.

  • To
      18th of Feb, 2009
    0 Votes

    I completely agree with you. I am in college and "freeze" my account with Retro while I am at school. They told me to contact ABC directly and I had to send them a written letter with proof that I was a student. On 2 separate occasions they claimed they never received my letter and charged me for a full month. Since then, I now send it via certified mail with the USPS so I know and have receipt of it being delivered. After having proof, they still claimed i didn't send it. I hit them with the proof and they immediately froze my account like I had asked and instead of giving me a refund, they just didn't charge me for the first 2 months of the summer. Every time I send a letter, I still have to followup with a phone call so i don't get ripped off. What a scam!

  • Sa
      22nd of Feb, 2009
    -1 Votes

    my name is salina everytime their withdraw a money on my account and then few day, they send me a letter and said your payment it late you need to update a payment now with a late fees 15 dollar something and then i used my credit to made a payment and then a weeks with later i recieve my bank statement send it to me they withdraw my money on the bank is feb 9, 2009 amount is 31.08 and every month they charge me triple on that so i can't stand the way they service very mean and not clearly

  • Jr
      20th of Apr, 2009
    +1 Votes

    i workout at Retro Fitness in Woodbridge and i have to say they have great equipment and a good boxing area but my problem with some of the people who work there is that they are not professional at all. You have some of the workers in there having side conversation about some of the members, while some people are working out some of the worker would enforce the rules about your gym bag being on the floor or whatever but the don't enforce the rules with everybody. Some of the trainers walk around and they would observed someone lifting or doing something wrong which probably the person would hurt themselves, instead of them showing them the right way, they would go into there little huddle and talk about them. The problem is they have to many young or unprofessional people who work there. I really hope someone in the corporate office see's this complaint and make some changes around there. Times is ruff now so people going to workout is the healthy way to let off some steam. I wouldn't want to see anybody take it out on one of RETRO FITNESS employees

  • Bi
      21st of Dec, 2009
    0 Votes

    Retro Fitness in fairfield is awesome. I never have any problems with them. They help me with the late fee's etc as often as they can. Also the gym is spotless and the staff is professional, and fun at the same time. All the members are courteous and follow all the gym rules. No one gets special treatment they all get the same great treatment.

  • De
      5th of Jan, 2010
    0 Votes

    I deal with Retro Fitness in Lumberton/Mount Holly NJ. They charged us an additional $19.50 this month. We caught it on our bank statement and called right away. Apparently our credit card expired and there is a term in the agreement that allowes them to charge this fee.

    Here's the thing though - they got the payment. HOW? If they didnt have the expiration date on our card, how did they process the payment? The faultered on their answer to this question AND returned our money. But not after I had to get into a 20 minute phone call with my husband conferenced in so that we could tag team them.

    Before then I was happy. After that though I went searching and find others complaints. I am definitely cancelling our membership - but at least now know that I have to speak with their financial/collection people as well. OhBoy, this will be fun!

  • We
      5th of Apr, 2010
    0 Votes

    I have been dealing with these harassing phone calls also. I don't know what to do. I spend a whole day on the phone with Retro Fit and still nothing is solved. I can't waste any more of my time on this and I am worried it is going to hurt my credit.

  • Da
      8th of Jul, 2010
    0 Votes

    I am a retro fitness customer for over 2 years. I got a letter 2 days back, saying my auto payment got decline by my credit card company, and they are trying to charge me $26 late fee and service fee.
    I checked and found out I got my new credit card number (Same credit card account, got new number because of losting the old card in 11/2009) since Nov, 2009. My retro fitness pay history shows that my autopay was normal till May, 2010. That means I didn't miss updating my credit card number with retro, otherwise, they won't be able to charge my credit card from 12/2009-05/2010. Not only that. Retro and ABC finanical didn't notify me the autopay issue, and directly starting charge me the big fee (Compare with the $21.39 regular monthly bill).
    I call them twice to deal with he fee. Their rep doesn't want to wave the fee and didn't listen to me, but just keep repeating that it is my responsibility for the due date. blabla. (I contacted them right after I receive the letter, can I do anything better? Is was AUTOPAY!) Later I told her that she will have to either fix the problem, or cancel my membership. Then she put me on hold for minutes, saying talk to manager then back to wave my fee.

  • Ja
      19th of Oct, 2010
    0 Votes

    I have no complaints with the facilities, but ABC Financial and retro's corperate offices are thiefs. I have been trying to cencel for over a year, sent letters twice and called 50 times. They refuse to cancel my membership to the point i had to change bank accounts. They just keep charging you. The sent it to collections now and no matter how many times i call or email NOBODY from Retro will respond. Crooks. Do not join.

  • An
      20th of Nov, 2010
    0 Votes

    this place is ridiculous.. every month they keep withdrawing different amounts from my account... im starting to get really fed up about it.. i cant believe this.. now i can see that this place is nothing but a rip off from what im reading.. im so glad i checked this out... they must not think i check my bank account online... they are going to hear it on Monday.

  • At
      7th of Jan, 2011
    -2 Votes

    I am not a fan of electronic debit accounts for gym memberships but none of these complaints indicate the member followed the letter of their contract on how to cancel. "ABC Financial" requires a "Certified Letter" mailed to their office and the 60 days starts from the next billing cycle not the day you send the letter or the day they receive it. You have to pay those two months (60 days) and not freeze or dispute the charges. Any interruption of the debit results in an increase in the monthly payment but also puts you in default of your contract giving them the right to collect the entire amount. Remember you signed a Contract to pay the entire year and that contract has a specific way to cancel that you must follow it to the letter. Canceling with the franchise, calling, faxing or sending an overnight Fed Ex letter does not follow the letter of your contract, READ IT before you complain.

  • Ny
      14th of May, 2011
    0 Votes

    Having the same problem Nowwwwww in Staten Island.NY Tottenville gym, They are over charging me then giving me the same run around for the moneys they stole from my account.I will just keep posting as much negative as I can on as many websites to keep people away from this gym Who would think joining a gym would be such a Scam.Beware when you ### me !!!

  • Mu
      8th of Jun, 2011
    0 Votes

    I used to workout at the West Long Branch, N.J. locationI have some tof the same complaints as others. The trainers are a joke, people much too often didn't wipe down the equipment after use & the desk personnel are very unprofessional. I've often heard them talking about other members. But my bigesst complaint is the cancellation policy. I know i didn't want to continue in December of 2010, my membership was ovewr in 2011. I had inquired with staff members (who looked at my account) whenb would be the last time they would take maoney from my account and was informed in would be 2/2011. I also asked what I had to do so my account would not be acessed after that date & was told nothing since I had a 1 year mrmbership. What a bunch of liars, . I've had them hit my account in Mar, and May. When they took money from account in March was the only time i was told I had to contact ABC Financial, and send them a letter which I did on 3/16. They are still trying to get money. I wouldn't recommend this place to anybody. I would, and do, tell anybody that they are bunch of crooks and check out other gyms.

  • Do
      10th of Jun, 2011
    0 Votes

    Tried to cancel over the phone . Lost job and can not use the facility any longer .Tara in the Farmingdale n y store explained that she was an expert at customer service and was well trained. I asked for the franchise owners phone number and she refused to give it to me because the owners are very busy .
    She may be well traind at being a fitness trainer but knows nothing about customer issues or service. This place although it may have new equipment, has zero customer service because of people like Tara.

  • Do
      10th of Jun, 2011
    0 Votes

    I would discourage anyone from joining this place. thet are dishonest, deceitful and have zero customer service because of Tara because she is so "well trained" at her job

  • Et
      10th of Jun, 2011
    +1 Votes

    OMG! retro just charged me an additional $20 for a pass due balance that was only $21.39!!!

  • Mu
      15th of Jun, 2011
    0 Votes

    Even though this is a complaint board, I wanted people to know that all gyms are not as deceitful as Retro Fitness. I found a great local gym in Long Branch by the name of Pearl Street. Competitive in price, open 24 hours and staff is great as well as the members. It seems most of the members have had many problems with Retro. If you don't live in the Long Branch, N.J. area, look for a local gym they tend not to be slammers or thieves like the people at Retro, or ABC Financial.

  • Cp
      20th of Jul, 2011
    +1 Votes

    I followed the requirements of my Retro Fitness membership cancellation to the letter. Sent a certified letter, received a receipt, got charged for two more billing cycles (60 days). About a month after the 60 days, I see ABC Financial has charged my account from a Retro Fitness location I have never been too. I call them and they acknowledge that my membership was properly cancelled and they refund the mistaken charge. The next month I get a charge from ABC Financial for tanning ($11). I call them back and they apologize and refund my money again. The next month I get another charge from ABC Financial for $42. At this point I called my bank (B of A) and had them put a stop on any further charges from ABC Financial and issued a charge dispute. Now I am getting robo calls from ABC Financial saying there is a problem with my account. Both Retro Fitness and ABC Financial should be sued by a class action law suit.

  • Mu
      25th of Jul, 2011
    0 Votes

    I agree with you CP12, either a Cass action suit, or maybe bring these tatics to the attention of a government official so such tatics are illegal, including the necessary action of having to cancel at least sixty days in advance and having to be charged for 2 billing cycles. I could see the sense of the cancellation method if each location had a limited number of members, but they sell as many memberships as possible. In fact you never about ABC Financial until you cancel, when the funds are withdrawn from your account it withdrawn by Retro Fitness. Both businesses are a horror to deal with.

  • Sa
      21st of Aug, 2011
    0 Votes

    I've had similar horrible experiences: withdrawing too much money, not canceling even after I follow procedures, etc. I strongly discourage anyone from joining this gym.

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