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Ballys Total Fitness / Unauthorized billing

1 United States
Contact information:

I signed up for a Ballys membership in June 2008. I am a student and go to school out of state, so I was looking for a gym for two months. I was told by the man who helped me sign up that I could work out for 60 days and then I could cancel my membership, as long as I did so within ten days of the 60-day point. If I didn't, I would be signed up for a year contract. He was going to give me the membership for $39.88 a month and waive the cancellation fee to make it appealing to me.

I went in within ten days of the 60-day point and told the person at the front desk that I was on the two-month trial membership and I wanted to cancel. I filled out some form and was told it was taken care of.

A month later, $39.88 is deducted from my bank account. I called Ballys and they told me that I was signed up for a year contract. Apparently, the only way to cancel a membership is to write a letter to corporate and send them $50. To get it over with, I just wrote a letter and sent $50.

A month later, $39.88 is deducted from my bank account. I called Ballys and had them stop the electronic funds transfer. I'd rather get bills then just loose money without having any say in the matter. The woman I talked to told me I should have been canceled when I went in the first time, I did not need to write a letter and I certainly didn't owe them $50. I would be receiving a $50 check in the mail shortly.

A month later, I get a phone call saying I owe $39.88. I explain to them what's going on, they look at my account and apologize, telling me they will cancel it and a check is in the mail.

A month later, same story. I insist on speaking to a supervisor, who tells me she is very sorry and she will personally handle it. For the next two weeks, I receive daily phone calls from a computer telling me I owe Ballys money. I call Ballys and ask if my membership has been canceled. They tell me it's in the works and it will be done within 7-10 business days. I tell them that's great, but please stop calling me because I'm in class every morning and it's irritating. They turn off the system that calls me.

That was two months ago. Yesterday, I received a collections letter in the mail. I went into Ballys immediately and they told me they were so sorry, this should have been canceled months ago, and to come back at 9am tomorrow morning when corporate is open.

I went back at 9am this morning and corporate is not open. 'Corporate is in California, ' they tell me, 'so that's noon our time.' The woman at the front desk tells me she's sorry, she'll take care of it, and to come back that evening to get my finalized cancellation paperwork.

We'll see... if this continues to be a problem, they will get reported to the Better Business Bureau and I am contacting my lawyer. I hope all of you out there who have problems with them file a federal report, and that no one signs up for a membership there. They're alright while you're a member, but it's impossible to get out of, and you're credit will suffer because of it.

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