Gold's Gym / contract rope-a-dope
I went into a gold's gym with my sister and we both opted for the "$1" initial payment on the one-year contract. After a few visits, I got over the whole thing, but continued to pay my monthly dues because I signed a contract for a year and wanted to do the right thing. A few months before the end of the year I relocated from illinois to new york. Still in keeping with honoring my end of the contract, I payed every month until the end of the term, even calculating the amount of money to leave in my old account when I started local accounts so that I could cover it.
The end of the contract came and I closed the account thinking all was well. Two months later, I get a collection notice from the old bank saying that gold's had attempted two more payments and that I owed them almost two hundred dollars in attempted transactions and overdraft fees. I called the bank to explain the situation. They said they were sorry for the confusion, but they were still holding me responsible for the "overdue amount". Whatever - I paid it to get it over with.
I contacted gold's to find out why they were still trying to collect on an expired contract, explaining that I now lived five states away and I had ensured that the twelve month contract was satisfied. They told me that somewhere in the contract is an assumptive clause that presumes a continued month-to-month extension of the contract until some paperwork is submitted officially ending the contract. I again explained that I was living in an entirely different region of the country, and the guy on the phone said "no problem. Just send a fax to our member services supervisor stating that you've moved along with proof of new address, and we'll accept that in lieu of an in-person cancellation." so that's what I did.
I didn't hear anything more on the issue until eight weeks later when I got another letter from the old bank saying that I now owed them almost five hundred dollars, and that I had been "blacklisted" for failure to pay. Again the phone calls. I tell bank that I don't have the money they want this time around, so they're just going to have to go after gold's for continuing to seek payments they are no longer owed. When I called gold's to ask what was going on, they told me that my cancellation fax was invalid since I did not remit payment in full for the amount they said I owed them. Fighting back the urge to let fly with both barrels on the associate, I suggested resubmitting the fax along with an agreement to make monthly payments. I was told that the best I could hope for was sending at least half of the payment, and continuing to be charged monthly dues along with the balance until I got the whole thing paid off and then re-sending the fax. No ifs, ands, or buts. Then I did lose it. I told the guy no dice; that I thought this behavior was scandalous and considered the company he worked for just another federally-licensed group of pirates and thieves.
So now, I can't get any new accounts, and I have collection agencies coming after me for both the bank and gold's... A grand total of almost a thousand dollars.
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