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LA Fitness / la fitness — membership scam

1 South Elgin, IL, United States Review updated:

I live in Elgin, IL. I recieved a flyer from LA Fitness in the mail to try their facility for 7 days for free. They had just opened 2 weeks ago in South Elgin so I was interested. There was no asterik or catch to it on the coupon. It just said, "other memberships MAY be presented". So I go in and the sales person SHAUN GREEN takes the coupon, asks me if i'm serious about joining, which yes, I was because I was interested in joining at a later date. So he then goes on to tell me that the pass is for 3 DAYS and that then I would be charged for the first month of membership and last month of membership and wouldn't have to pay registration fee. I told him I wasn't sure about that and that I would think about it. THen he offered me a tour of the gym. I thought, I'm already in here, might as well. After the tour he said, so do you want to give it a try? I'm thinkin I get to try for 3 days and if i don't cancel I get charged. So he takes me card and the next thing I know he's asking me to sign for 79.95. I said that is not what we discussed and told him to cancel it and he said, "well you might as well sign it because it's already gone through". WITHOUT MY SIGNATURE ON IT YET! He then said, "just come try a class and later if you don't like it, i'll cancel it for you" telling me i'd get a refund in 3-5 days. I leave, pissed and upset because I didn't have that amount in my account. I came back less than 5 mins later telling AnnMarie, the operating manager, to cancel it. She did. The next day, when the overdraft was on my account, my financial advisor as well as a friend of mine (who owns a gym) told me to demand reinbursement for the overdraft fee because it was their fault. I went in to the gym the next day and DOMINIC ORAIGARA told me i needed to speak with AnnMarie. I went in the day after that and AnnMarie told me it was Dominic that i was supposed to speak with. She tells us that the company never reimburses those kind of fees and there is nothing she can do at her level. So I call corporate. JAMES FOX, a customer service member, tells me he WILL NOT give me the district or regional manager's number and that they will contact me in 24 hrs. I asked to speak to James’ boss and he kept giving me the run around, saying, “he’s not available.” So I said, “James, I know you have a boss. I want them on the line. Now, please and thank you.” James says, “well I don’t know where he is” So I said, “well could you find them please?” and he said, “Well he’s not in the facility” So I said, “So you mean to tell me there is nowhere their above you.” He said, “no. but everyone is going to tell you the same thing I am telling you, that we don’t give those kind of refunds.” I was LIVID! He told me the regional manager would be in touch with me, his name is RENE SHARP. I waited in the gym for SEAN because AnnMarie said he was starting his shift soon. SEAN came in, and spoke down to me and tried to make it seem like he did nothing wrong, that I knew I was getting charged, and that he was trying to save me money. Yea. Right. I told him he never said anything about the 7 day pass and that how is it saving me money to make me pay 80 bucks for 3 days. He then tried to dismiss me by saying, "fine i'll give her her $25 fee out of my own pocket." But it's not just about the money. They are tricking people into memberships, telling one thing and doing another and he shouldn't have done it to me or be allowed to do that to someone else. So I called the customer service number again, told the woman to have a director call me ASAP. That was at 4 pm central time. Still no word. And they didn't call me after the initial complaint. It's been 4 days. They are not taking me seriously and trying to sweep the matter under the rug. And now I’m losing money that I couldn’t afford to lose- I just graduated from college without a job and am still transitioning, so this is really taking a toll on my finances.

Bj
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Comments

  • Ka
      14th of Oct, 2009
    +1 Votes

    I'm so sorry you had to go through this! I used to work at the front desk at LA Fitness and I saw scams like this happen everyday which is why I quit because I think lying and tricking people is horrible. You were completely right about the pass - it's a FREE 3 day pass and all the sales guy should've done is presented you the memberships and then put a 3 day pass in on the computer. After your name and phone number is in the computer, he might call you a bunch seeing if you want to join, but he has no right to sell you a membership without your knowledge. My mom joined the one I worked at and I stood right behind the sales guy to make sure he didn't do anything sneaky. The sad thing is though, is that even the general managers (who are over the sales dept) do tricky things like that and deceive people. I've heard of plenty of sales counselors getting fired because they didn't sell enough memberships but I've never seen one get fired over lying or deceiving a customer. How backwards is that? If anyone reading this is thinking about joining LA, I recomment you go to another gym.

  • La
      2nd of Jan, 2014
    0 Votes

    I used to work for LA Fitness and trained under Rene Sharp, he is fair and believes in selling straight on the merits and amenities of the gym. There is of course, sales techniques and sports psychology used to sell these memberships but Rene is honest. That said, I cant speak this way about the other employees and managers of LA Fitness. There are plenty of scams and ### techniques used that always challenged my personal ethics. Stay the course in dealing with LA Fitness officers and I think you will get some results. I hope you hear from Rene, again he was an excellent trainer and is a stand up guy. I just happened to be looking for him to refer someone to him interested in sales when I cam across this. Good luck with your dilemma!

  • Ci
      10th of Oct, 2016
    0 Votes

    I hate companies that are like that. They think they can just bully you around. There's absolutely no reason they couldn't cover your fees. My advise if you ever are unfortunate enough to encounter something like this again, go straight to the Better Business Bureau. File a report, be as detailed as possible, just like you were in your above statement, with names, times of phones call, and they will take it from there for you. You won't ever have to talk to them again. BBB will handle all correspondences. Companies HATE when the BBB gets involved!

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