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Lafitness-Personal Training / misleading/scam

1 12080 S. Cicero Ave.Alsip, IL, United States Review updated:
Contact information:
Phone: 708) 377-3589

Hello, my name is Harishma Dhanak. On 03/31/08, I signed an agreement with Joe T. for LAFITNESS in Alsip, IL for personal training. I had said that I do not want to be in any contracts and that's why I'm not interested in Bally's. He said it is NOT a contract but a agreement and that you can "get out of it" anytime. I'm not getting the results after meeting my trainer 3 times a week, so I wanted to cancel membership. I spoke with a late 20's white male (wearing white polo shirt)on 06/25/08 and told him I need to cancel. He asked for my information and typed somethings on the computer and said, "it has been cancelled and you won't be billed anymore." I found on 7/28/08 and 8/28/08, I was billed twice more. On 9/1/08, I spoke with Tamara and Jimmy from Alsip, IL location, Kellyn from Corporate, and Joe T from the Lansing, IL location and they said it will be cancelled when 1 year is up. They said the only terms to cancel the agreement was 1.) have a note from doctor saying that you can't ever work out in your life or you died 2.) find someone (friend or family) to transfer your contract to 3.) pay 50% of the remaining of your contract. This is not on the agreement signed but then they told me to look at the checklist. I looked the checklist provided on day 1 and it said " I may voluntarily cancel my agreement at anytime during the initial term by providing written notice of cancellation 30 days prior to my next scheduled payment and paying a termination fee equal to 50% of my remaining balance at the time of notice." I'm paying $320/mo so I thought I would only pay $160 for 50%, but they meant 50% of the entire remaining contract. This was not clear and explained correctly to me initially. I wanted to sign up for 3 months and Joe said that it costs more for 3 months so I just should sign up for 12 months because it's not a contract and I can get out of it. My father was there at the time of signing and he understood it the same way. They're saying it's not a contract but an agreement. But there are only 3 reasons which you can get out of the agreement which was not clear. I went to the Alsip location and spoke to Jimmy. He said that I was the 4th person to come within a couple of weeks with the same kind of complaints. He said Joe was the one that dealt with all those customers. A heard them leave a message with their boss stating "...I need to talk to you about false promises being told to customers..." He said he will get back to me once he gets a call back. I did not hear back in 2 days so I called back left messages with Jimmy with no answer. I researched this on the internet and found that their misleading techniques are common.

Here are some links:
http://www.consumeraffairs.com/health_clubs/la_fitness.html
http://la-fitness.pissedconsumer.com/
https://www.complaintsboard.com/complaints/la-fitness-c80601/page/1.html#c128539
http://www.complaints.com/2007/february/26/LA_Fitness_and_Body_of_Change_Personal_Training_-__18013.htm
http://www.my3cents.com/showReview.cgi?id=41934
http://blog.oregonlive.com/complaintdesk/2008/02/la_fitness_lags.html

Please email or call me [protected] for further information. Thank you for your time.
Harishma Dhanak

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Comments

  • Sh
      12th of Sep, 2008
    -1 Votes

    I liked the content on this site. Would like to visit again. http://www.chennaiflowerplaza.com

  • Je
      23rd of Oct, 2008
    -3 Votes

    My name is Jennifer and I am a resident of Oak Lawn, IL I have been a loyal LA Fitness member and Body of Change client since January 2008. First of all, I just want to state that after reading this blog I cannot believe how you did not understand what was explained to you. Yes maybe it may have seemed a bit misleading by using the term "agreement" however either way the price sheet that the represenitve who signed me up clearly states "12 month program" therefore 12 month would mean a 12 month commitment.Right?? Also any mature adult would hopefully read the paperwork for which they placed there John Hancock, correct? The paperwork which was provided to me upon signing up with Body of Change (now Pro Results) clearly states that it is a 12 month agreement, and I have a payment shedule of 11 more payments of $160. The young lady who signed me up also provided a checklist to me upon signing my agreement, contract, paperwork whatever you call it. In this checklist she stated that I could cancel by paying for 50% of my remaing balance, not 50% of one month! This complaint seems very unfair, I feel horrible for the young men that were talked down upon. To me it just sounds like an impatient person who didnt want to deal with the hard work of getting results. It took me 3 month before I saw signifigant results and now I'm ten months into my term and I've lost over 10% body fat and feel like I did 10 years ago. I love personal training at LA Fitness they changed my life and I will stick up for them at any cost.

  • Sc
      9th of Nov, 2008
    0 Votes

    To cancel your La Fitness Pro Results personal training simply write a letter to the Better Business Bureau, and wait. Having an attorney send a letter to their corporate office also helps. These are almost always guaranteed to work if your problems are legitimately concerning (and referencing) trainer no shows, being switched trainers numerous time, harassment, stolen sessions, or misrepresentation at the point of sale (the time of signing up), such as being told you can cancel your contract at any time with no penalty or not being told effectively and directly that your contract will automatically convert to a month to month program upon completion, both of which I'll discuss next.

    Very often La Fitness Pro Results sales reps will mislead you by telling you that you may cancel your personal training contract at any time with no penalty, which is completely false, (in some states) such cancellation usually requires a buy-out fee/penalty of 50% of the remaining balance and can total many hundreds of dollars. Some are in excess of a thousand. Also La Fitness Pro Results sales reps will mislead you about your contract automatically renewing. One of their 'gimmicks' in this regard is to use 'fast talk' and refer to this as your "Rate for Life Guarantee", when in effect all of their personal training contracts are set to automatically renew after their initial term (month to month).

    In April 2008 (or approximate to that time) La Fitness mysteriously cancelled numerous contracts (and stopped billing) those which had entered automatic renewal, in which members checking and credit cards accounts were being billed for MANY months after their initial term, some for over a year, with payments ranging $100-$400 monthly. These contracts (payments/drafts) were mysteriously cancelled yet to my knowledge none of the funds were ever returned to the clients. This was done company wide, and was not mentioned to upper management or club management. This was a onetime thing. They did not cancel all auto-new contracts. It appears they only cancelled those who had been in auto renew for quite some time, as they let many in auto-renew at that time continue, and they still continue to automatically renew contracts on a daily basis. It may also be possible they've decided to let all contracts auto-renew, yet set a pre-determined amount of time they would allow such contracts to continue to be billed (for example an additional 12 months), then cancel future drafts at such a pre-set time.

    It was suggested to the owners of the company and their corporate brass to provide a list of ALL clients not using their personal training. This was suggested as a way of increasing customer service. This was rejected. Why? They feared that if 'non using clients' (but who were still being billed/drafted) were contacted, they would immediately become aware they were still being drafted for a contract they thought was completed and not using, resulting in people contacting their banks in order to stop electronic billing, and this could cost the company millions! As a result, the only list provide to the club is a much shorter (safe) list of members whose accounts were active recently, but who have not used their personal training in the past 30 days. Anyone outside of that time frame is not put on that list due to the reasons I just explained.

    I've been told directly by the owner and "La Fitness Top Brass" their fear is having an attorney/attorney general shut down their ability to auto-renew contracts which would cost the company millions of dollars yearly.

    Also their clients have had thousands upon thousands of sessions stolen by trainers, resulting in trainers fraudulently getting paid at the loss of sessions to the clients, very often with neither the client nor La Fitness even being made aware, and sessions never being restored. La Fitness is aware of the loopholes which allow their clients sessions to be stolen, but have done little to correct the problem due to cost and inconvenience. Such solutions could include a finger print system, or a signature verification system, or simply locking down accounts which are not being used.

    Also all La Fitness gym members need to be made aware that their billing information (while safely hidden) has the potential to used by the personal training department to bill ongoing services for personal training without the main members knowledge/authorized signature. This has also happened numerous times, to unwitting spouses and often by underage children, using their parents accounts even with the sales reps knowledge the child is underage and doesn’t have their parents approval. Sales reps have also fraudulently and intentionally charged accounts of members for personal training services without the members’ knowledge.

    If you have had problems in these areas above, you may choose to contact an attorney, the Better Business Bureau and your State Attorney General.

    The owner of the company is Louis Welch (LouisW@LaFitness.com)
    The owners personal 'right hand person' is Suzzie Horton cell 949-633-8072 (suzzieh@lafitness.com)
    The head of human resources is Mindy Stokesberry 949-255-7236 (mindys@lafitness.com)

    Rob Bryant heads the legal department. (I'm not sure but his email may be robb@lafitness.com, robertb@lafitness.com)

    Some other top brass contact info:

    Mike Ulliberry 'Super Duper' Regional VP
    cell 480-824-3826 (mikeu@lafitness.com)

    Todd McSeveny 'Super Duper' Regional VP cell 954-650-1325

  • Ka
      9th of Jun, 2009
    +1 Votes

    Jennifer sounds like a commercial for la fitness. Thousands of people have been ripped off by this company so I think I will believe the consumers on this one. Plus, I know what I also went through and the lies I was told. we are not stupid people.

  • Ra
      25th of Jun, 2009
    +2 Votes

    We were also told at the time of sign-up that we could cancel our personal training sessions at any time (no mention of penalty). I knew we were getting the rate for 12-month commitment, which is why I specifically asked about cancellation before the end of the term! We never saw the paperwork until after we had (digitally) signed the agreements. I guess we should have been smarter and asked to see the legal copy before signing, but I thought we had covered our bases by asking the questions about cancellation. I guess that's what you get for trusting the word of their sales reps.

  • Ka
      26th of Jun, 2009
    +1 Votes

    I did get all my money back.. And I got it quickly! On the 3rd day I not only gave my La fitness the cancellation letter, but I also sent one to the main office. And then I kept on both sides until I was told my contract was for sure cancelled!!

    I got all my 1200.00 bucks back within 10 days! And I have learned a lot from this. To never sign anything like this again, and to always sleep on it..Never let them talk you into signing anything until you have a couple of days to think about it and do a google search;-)

    Had I done that I would never have signed that contract. And NEVER EVER believe anyone trying to sell you something. It is safer to assume they are out to get as much $$ from you as they can.

    I decided to keep my monthly club membership with them. It's a good price, and close. So now I just need to get these people to show me how to use the equipment and what to use that will work for me. I sure cannot walk in there and just know.

    That it what they were supposed to be doing the first day I went and instead put my back out and sold me something I couldn't afford.

  • Pa
      30th of Jun, 2009
    +1 Votes

    I would have to fully agree with the complaint. The LA Fitness in San Diego CA used very aggressive sales tactics and refused to give me any details pertaining to the contract before I signed. (Basically, I had to sign the contract before I could read it) They also would not let me leave. I make a point of sleeping on contracts such as these so that I can mull the deal over and raise any questions. Yes, health is important, but not at that type of cost. I would like to reiterate that the ProResults training desk REFUSED to provide the checklist or ANY paperwork detailing out the terms of the contract. (Contrary to what user Jenifer is stating). I wish LA Fitness would have been open and up front about the terms and conditions. I would like to think of myself as reasonable. All I really wanted was to get a good understanding of what I was signing up for. All I got was pressure, attitude, and insults for not caving into the sales team. I will continue on with LA Fitness because they do have excellent facilities and equipment. However, my view of their corporate views and training plans has been soured.

  • De
      30th of Nov, 2010
    +1 Votes

    We have joined to LA Fitness Personal Training program. While joining, the person (trainer or Salesman !!! ) told me that if we want to discontinue, we've to give 20 days’ notice and it would be cancelled. No other charges would be taken. They tried to convince that the training would be helpful and we found nothing wrong in it but we were totally unaware and it was unexpected that he was hiding some information.
    After couple of months, due to some problem it was difficult for us (joined 3 people) to continue the personal training (though we will continue the Gym membership) and went to them to discontinue the program. But this time, they started telling the contract is for 1 year and if we've to discontinue, we've to break the agreement and we've to pay 6 months charge (50% of the total charge). But we can still remember the person never told this point though we've asked him and told only 20 days notice period is required and no other charge.
    Simply believing on him, we have signed the paper and now they are showing that agreement paper and telling we are telling LIE. It is really a shocking for us that a big institute like LA, can does this kind of thing. We understood it was our mistake that we simply believed on them by thinking it’s a big institute and signed the paper without looking thoroughly. It was really shocking to us, and we do not have any mood to continue there rather breaking the agreement by paying money.
    But my question is, is there nothing to do against them if we signed the agreement by believing on their words?

  • Mr
      13th of Aug, 2011
    +1 Votes

    I knowingly signed a 1 year contract. It was a better rate that way and I knew I would use it if I HAD to pay for it monthly. The first 3 months were great and it was a good benefit. Then my trainer quit. They assigned me someone else. OK, no problem. Except he basically wanted me to change the entire program I had been working on with the other trainer. After two weeks of having to modify his workouts so that I could complete them, HE quit. For another month, I got shuffled around. A couple of times I would come in, only to find out they couldn't "find" my appointment. After about two months of this, I gave up. I kept going to the club, but I didn't make any more trainer sessions. At the end of my contract, I verified it was over, and canceled it. I mailed the required letter. As a precaution, since this was coming out of my bill pay account at my bank, I put a stop payment on the ACH withdrawl. About two weeks later, I started getting phone calls. LA Fitness claimed they didn't get my written request to terminate the personal trainer and my payment had been returned. Yes, and my contract is done too. I'm not obligated to renew it. Now they call WEEKLY stating I owe them money. They always call when I am at work, and by the time I get home, the person leaving the message has gone home for the day, and no one there can help me. I'm beyond annoyed because I fulfilled my end of the bargain, even though I didn't get what I paid for!

  • Le
      29th of Apr, 2014
    +1 Votes

    LAFitness uses, at best, questionable sales techniques and a tell them what they want to hear sales pitch. I signed up for a training contract after being given a "sample" training session. The problem is the "sample" session I was given was 10x better than any of the sessions I received after signing the contract. they had a master trainer work me out to the point I almost blacked out (which I liked) but then right after sells me a contract telling me I can have him train me, I can have group sessions, I will get an individualized training program which includes a regiment for the week in addition to my booked training session, the trainer's will work around my schedule, I can cancel if I am unsatisfied after a few weeks, but come to find out none of that happens to be available after I sign the contract. I get a sub par trainer, i get shifted around to multiple sub par trainers, I had trainers tell me its my fault when a session starts late when i was there early, I have trainers try to pawn me off on other trainers because I try to hold them to doing what the master trainer said i was going to get. I complained to both the location and the corporate office multiple times and i get the same run around stall tactics like: try another trainer, ill call the location and make sure your session wont start late, etc. All so they can keep you past the point where you can cancel (which cancellation time is not disclosed at the time of signing), but even if it was you are mentally and physically exhausted, which is the worst time for you to sign a contract, but the best time for them to sell you one!

  • Be
      7th of Mar, 2015
    0 Votes

    This has just happened to me. LA Fitness LIED to me about the personal training. I thought I was authorizing my credit card for a few sessions and in no way did he show me my initials and signature were being applied to a contract. Especially one that cannot be cancelled without a fee. 50% of 3939.00 is such BS! They did not show me the contract, they did not give me a physical copy at the time of electronically signing on the blank keypad. When I found my account overcharged, I was within my 10 day right to cancel as specified on the contract. BUT, it was SUNDAY and the mail doesn't run on a Sunday so my certified mail went out Monday morning. Their corporate office isn't even open on a Sunday. And it doesn't say anywhere else in the contract that I could have cancelled at the club where I signed up. I sent my certified letter detailing their fraud. I called corporate the next day and they told me they will not honor my cancellation request at all (even when I didn't get a 10 day chance to cancel). They sent me to the local club and the guy at the club cancelled my contract. But I didn't get a receipt. I called the club every hour until I got the manager who verbally abused me and emotionally manipulated me. He acted like I was so stupid for signing a contract in several places without reading the contract. He acted like their sending me an email PDF copy and my not reading my email was my problem. I don't have a Smart phone or a computer. And I never consented to receiving notification via email about something so critical. He lied to me, lied some more, emotionally abused me...
    I filed a complaint with the BBB and my Attorney General. I hope the business gets shut down. I'm never giving them anymore of my business. I HATE LA FITNESS. ROTTEN SCAMMERS AND THIEVES!!!

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