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Custom Built Personal Training / Bad Business Practices

1 Meriden, CT, United States Review updated:
Contact information:

I signed with Custom Built Personal Training in January of 2009 and for about four months everything was going well, until my trainer left because of how poorly she was treated by the management. After having about three appointments with different trainers I finally was placed with a nice trainer who told me he was there to stay and I would be working with him from then on. After about another month he told me they were running a great special where I could upgrade my contract to have more training sessions but pay less per session. I thought this sounded like a good idea so I agreed to upgrade my contract. The manager, who was new, told me I just needed to update my paper work they had on file, so I did. I was never given any paperwork at all! The next training session I went to my trainer was gone and no one had even bothered to call and tell me.
That month I got billed twice, once was for the amount I was paying before I upgraded and the other amount was for the amount I was told would be my new fee per month. When I asked the manger about it, he gave me a card for Paramount Acceptance, which is the company that does their billing, and told me to speak with them. When I called to inquire, the representative told me he was not sure what was going on and he would have to look into it and call me back. Of course he did not call me back so I called again I was directed to the custom built personal training corporate headquarters. When I call there I was told I had two contracts and that I would have to write a letter to cancel my contract and pay a fee. I explained that in their Meriden Connecticut office I was told I was upgrading my contract and I would have never signed up for two different contracts. I was told I had no other options but to pay the fee to only have one contract.
This is when I did more research online and I found out about all the horrible things they were doing to their customers. I did write a cancelation letter for “any and all” contracts I had with them but did not pay any fee. I then proceeded to report them to the BBB, the Department of Consumer Protection, and the Connecticut Attorney General.
Unfortunately for me I only researched this “company” locally in Meriden, CT before I signed up. I only found out after talking to the BBB in Connecticut that although they have several locations in the state all of their complaints go to their headquarters in Atlanta. The BBB in Connecticut also told me that they must be fairly new in the state because they just started receiving a lot of complaints. On a side note, when I went to mail my cancelation letter at the post office, the lady who helped me knew exactly what I was dealing with and said she had talked to a lot of people who had problems with Custom Built Personal Training.
After my complaint was transferred from Connecticut to Atlanta they responded by sending the same form letter twice using the wrong last name and wrong gender, that had nothing to do with my complaint at all. The BBB in Atlanta was going to close my complaint until I pointed out that Custom Built Personal Training had made absolutely no effort to address my complaint. I am waiting for another reply. The Department of Consumer Protection sent me a letter telling me that this company was no longer in business. I immediately called the office and was told that they could not reach them and the letter they sent had been returned unopened. I told the Department of Consumer Protection that Custom Built Personal Training was headquartered in Atlanta, and they then told me that my case was reopened.
Meanwhile, Paramount Acceptance has told me that my “contracts” were never canceled because I did not pay the fee and even though I have stopped them from taking any money from me they are still charging me. And because the contracts “auto renew” they could, in theory keep charging me forever. I have also filed complaints against Paramount Acceptance.
This company is counting on people to give up and pay. They think if they just send form letters and do not reply that people will just go away. I cannot in good conscience do that. I just want this company to be put out of business so they cannot do this to anyone else. I have also noticed that every gym where they have a location has extremely low rates which is why I decided to go to Club 24 which was only $10 a month as compared to the YMCA which is about $50 per month. These gyms must be getting some serious kick backs if they can afford for their memberships to be so much less than the YMCA.
I am not sure what will happen next with all the complaints I have filed but I will keep fighting until something is done about this.

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  • A1
      3rd of Dec, 2009
    0 Votes

    Hey i'm stuck with the same problem! I'm in total custom built hell! Please tell me how you resolved it. I feel sick thinking about the charges adding up every week, and want to get custom built out of my life ASAP!!

  • Jd
      15th of Jan, 2010
    0 Votes

    I am having a similar dispute with CBPT, they are ruining my credit over a unauthorized charges against my credit card. Their operation here is Florida continues to operate and even though the Bank agreed with me and charged them back, they turned my account over to a collection agency.

  • Dr
      24th of Feb, 2010
    0 Votes

    I share your pain. I thoughtlessly signed a contract thinking it was a bit of fluff. These predators are more interested in fleecing their customers than building good will.

  • Ma
      10th of Mar, 2010
    0 Votes

    Beware of CBPT and thoroughly read the fine print! These people are rip-off artists, couldn't care less about your well being, and are lower than a shady used car salesman. I totally agree that they are predators only interested in fleecing their costomers out their hard earned money for thier own financial gains.

  • Ab
      22nd of Apr, 2010
    0 Votes

    Let's all change our Facebook status update to read Custom Built Training is a rip-off. At least that way we can save our friends from making the same mistake we did and hopefully, Custom Built will lose a little business over it too!

  • Nh
      8th of May, 2010
    0 Votes

    Is this what I have to look forward to? I just signed up for 2 times a week PT...and is it all going to lead to what has been posted on this site? I have three day to recind my contract...What do you think should I exercise that options within my three days?
    Thanks in advance

  • Ti
      21st of Jun, 2010
    0 Votes

    I am going through the same thing that you are. Thank you for your advice. I am not sure how you stopped them from taking money from you, I would really like to know. I am affraid to cancel my cards as I have been told they will then just send me to collections and mess up my credit. This company needs to be stopped I agree. Please give us an update on any and all of your complaints. Thanks in advance!

  • Le
      21st of Jun, 2010
    0 Votes

    I really wish you well. I agree that we should not give in or give up. I will continue to fight till the end.

  • Ca
      18th of Nov, 2010
    0 Votes

    I won't give my name out, but I'm a former sales manager for one of the Custom Builts in the South East. Every above complaint is true. The company screws over its trainers as well. I know this because I played a hand in it. Numerous argument broke out with the General Manager and Assistant General Manager (myself) against the trainers. The trainers were always complaining that they never got paid enough, and that they were missing hours.

    There is a system on the computer, that the trainers would log their trainer number into, and check off their training sessions. One of my job duties was to delete a couple of sessions from each trainer. It was done in such a way that the client would still be charged for their session, but a trainer wouldn't get paid for it.

    For instance, if a trainer performed 60 training sessions, we would only pay him/her for 56. If you did 30, you would get paid for 28. If you did 15 sessions, you got paid for 14. There is no way for the trainers to figure out which sessions they weren't getting paid for, so they always lost arguments against us.

    If they got to clever about it, we would find other ways to get around it. For instance, "Don't worry about those two sessions. You're getting paid for it next paycheck." If you still didn't leave it alone, we would find an excuse to fire you.

    It was a near perfect system. Eventually my conscience got the better of me and I quit.

    Custom Built, plainly put, screws over everybody.

  • Lc
      4th of Jun, 2012
    0 Votes

    I foolishly signed a contract and was told by the dumb sales girl behind the counter that all I would need to do to cancel my membership was submit a certified letter and it would be cancelled within 30 days. I used the service a total of 4 times. The trainer was well aware of an existing neck injury. During this time frame one of the exercises she had me doing caused me to hurt my neck. I advised her right then and there and told her that I would need to go see my doctor. My doctor advised me to stay out for a little bit and rest my neck. I told my trainer and she told me to notify the company to cancel. During this time frame they were still billing me and I ate over $1000.00 in charges. I sent in my certified letter and then received a phone call that I could not cancel because it was not done according to contract. I advised them my trainer hurt my neck and they did not care. Next thing I know I am getting a call from some douche advising he is a legal representative for them and is willing to settle for 1800 and change. Are you kidding me! $2800 for four sessions and I even got hurt and footed a doctor's bill? These people have lost their damn minds. As far as I am concerned I would be willing to have this on my credit the rest of my life then give them another dime. It will come off in 7 years anyway. Bottom line is he threatened to sue me...anyone else have this issue? DON'T USE CUSTOM BUILT TRAINING!

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