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LA Fitness / personal training contract

1 125 N. Twin Oaks Valley RdSan Marcos, CA, United States Review updated:

If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. I thought I was old and wise enough to know this, and to trust my gut when it screams NOOOOO! But I fell for the promise of "free training sessions" if I signed up. I even fell for the high pressure pitch when I said I wanted to think about it. "I may not want to make you the same offer tomorrow..." I feel violated!

I probably told this personal training manager at the San Marcos, CA club 10 times or more that I had NO INCOME, and was using a small amount of savings for a few months to get in shape for an upcoming job on a sailboat. He assured me that I could cancel my contract anytime and the automatic payments would stop. All I had to do was come talk to him when I wanted to cancel, and he would take care of it. I questioned a few things in the contract, that I admittedly did not read all that well, and he kept assuring me not to worry about it. Like an idiot, I trusted him. I had put on some weight and had fallen off my work out routine. I was feeling flabby and out of shape, and must have appeared as vulnerable as I felt.

This personal training "manager" did give me a few "free" sessions, and I also got the lame half hour one I supposedly paid for. I never really felt my needs were being met but figured this will come in time. After the first month, I realized I was better off physically and financially on my own and went to him for guidance as he instructed. He rather callously handed me a piece of paper and told me to send it in and everything would be ok. Again, I believed him. A few days later I received what appeared to be an email confirmation so I felt ok. What I did not see, because my trusting nature refused to see it, was that the effective date was almost a year later! Imagine my surprise, anger, frustration, and fear when I saw that another $39.00 had been debited from my seriously depleted bank account!

After several persistent calls, and some rather rude comments from the Operations Manager of the club, I was told that the VP agreed to cancel my contract, effective immediately, but that I would not receive any refunds. As of today, August 31, 2009, I have not received the promised email confirmation and am in the process of writing to this Operations Manager, the VP, and the president of LA Fitness. I also canceled my debit card so hopefully that will keep these sharks out of my bank account.

I have expert legal advice from some very good friends who happen to specialize in class actions. One of them just settled a huge consumer case and is looking for another cause to champion. Maybe this will be the one!

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Comments

  • Mg
      3rd of Feb, 2010
    0 Votes

    I am having a similar experience with the LA Fitness club in Edina, Minnesota. I was swindled into a contract by a guy named Geoff Bray. He did the high pressure pitch - "sign up today and I'll give you free sessions on the side, this price is good only today" BLAH BLAH BLAH. I should have read the contract a little better, but he kept assuring me I could cancel if I felt later like I couldn't afford it. Well, later I decided that I couldn't afford it, and tried to cancel. I got no where with the actual club manager, and of course the guy who sold it to me originally had left the club. When I asked why he left someone told me "well, there's probably a reason he's not with the company anymore" (the implication being that he had lied to other people as well).

    The best the VP would do for me 7 months ago was to freeze my sessions for 6 months. I thought maybe this would be enough time to feel more financially secure and be able to pay the membership fee again. Well, now I'm being billed again, and I still can't really afford it, so tonight I went to talk to the personal training manager at the club - Brady. I explained how unhappy I was with my personal training experience, and that I was going to quit the club entirely if he didn't cancel the contract. He said I could cancel if I paid a $350 fee. I said I wasn't able to pay that and that I'd be canceling my membership to the club as well then. I told him that the customer service I'd received was horrible and he told me "Well, not everyone is gonna be happy". I asked if that is LA Fitness's slogan because it sure seems like it. I've called my bank to put a stop payment on any charges originating from LA Fitness and now I just need to write to the President (I can't find out how/where to do that - anyone know???).

    Anyway, my advice is not to sign up for personal training here. The trainers are terrible, and you can never get the same trainer - it's a revolving door of people in and out of the club. There is no accountability. And they will LIE to you to get you to sign the contract. BEWARE!

  • St
      21st of Apr, 2012
    0 Votes

    Personal training in LA Fitness is expensive and benefits of the contract are one sided. Individuals must sign for 3/6/12 months contracts that could not be terminated without serious penalties implied on individuals. Training sessions are short. 25 minutes, especially considering price of $40 on the 12m term. Prices are also getting more expensive for the shorter contracts. Upfront fee of $159 does not look reasonable considering no value provided upfront from LA Fitness side.

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