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Massage Heights / Terrible experience

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My 23rd birthday present and fist massage ever from Massage Heights has turned into one of the worst retail experiences of my life. It all started back in June when my boyfriend bought me a massage from Massage Heights as a birthday gift. I had never gotten a massage before so he thought it would be nice to surprise me with one on my birthday. I went to Massage Heights, had my massage, and everything was fine until I was getting ready to leave the salon. As I was trying to pay and leave the girl cashier working starts trying to push me to purchase a monthly massage membership. She explained the membership was $50 and that along with reduced prices on massages, the membership also included a free complimentary massage every month.

Considering this was my first massage in 23 years I said I could not justify spending $50 every month from now on to get a massage for myself. I also explained that since I work full-time and go to school full-time I would never have time to come in every month to get a massage anyway. Finally I also said I would be moving in a year so it would not make sense for me anyway.

Oh none of these things were a problem the cashier explained! First of all she said the membership only lasts a year and I could cancel it before I moved. This did not motivate me because again I thought even one monthly massage for myself was way too extravagant and unnecessary.

However next cashier said I did not have to use all my complimentary monthly massages and that I could give my free monthly massages away in the form of gift certificate to anyone I like. Along with this she did explain that I could only give away two of my free monthly massages to the same person. She also said the free unused monthly massages roll-over so if I did not use a free massage one month it would carry over to the next. Finally on top of that she said that my first month of the membership would be free and the gift card my boyfriend got for the massage I had already received would pay for the second month of the membership. So over the year I would have to pay for 10 months of massages plus tips and I would get 12 massages in exchange.

After she explained all this to me I was much more enthusiastic about the membership. I thought to myself how great the free massages would be to give away as gifts to other people. I figured I could use 2 or 3 of the massages for myself as a treat and then give away the other 9 or 10 to people as gifts. I looked at the membership as a prepaid investment in Christmas and birthday gifts for the next year. After thinking it through and asking questions to confirm that I correctly understood everything she was saying to me I decided to sign up for the membership. Things have gone from bad to worse ever since.

I signed up for the membership in June, and has not used any of my free massages until now. Last week I decided to book an appointment for me and my boyfriend to each use one of the free massages I had accrued. I called and booked the appointments for both of us. On the phone I indicated that I the two of us would like to use two of my unused free massages for our appointments. Just to be sure I again confirmed over the phone that it was okay for both of us to use my unused free massages. The girl on the phone said OF COURSE that was fine and confirmed both of our appointments under my account.

Today my boyfriend and I arrived to have our massage appointments at Massage Heights and everything went well to start with. The massage staff was polite when we arrived and both of our massages went fine. We finished with our massages and I went up to the cashier to pay for tips on both the massages. There were three Massage Heights employees at the counter. I believe two of them were managers and one was an employee in training learning to use the cash register. I said I would be paying for the tips on both the massages and the trainee employee at the counter started to run my card for tips on both the massages.

During this time the other two girls at the counter started asking me if my boyfriend wanted a membership. I indicated that he did not and wanted for my receipts. Then one of the managers asked who would be paying for my boyfriend's massage and I replied I was giving him one of my free unused massages from my membership. The manager looked at me and said what are you talking about. I again said I was giving him on of my free unused massages. Both the managers then became extremely rude and again said what are you talking about you cannot give away any of your free massages to anyone else.

At this point I was just dumbfounded. I explained that I was told multiple times when I signed up for the membership in June and once again last week over the phone that I was allowed to give away my unused massages to anyone I wanted as long as I did not give more than two free massages away to the same person. As I was trying to explain this the two managers at the counter continued to be extremely mean to me-interrupting me, rolling their eyes, and saying that this was not allowed, they did not know why I would think that it was allowed, and no one would have told me that this was allowed.

At this point I realized that I had been lied too, the Massage Heights employees could care less, and that there was nothing I could do. I said I would pay for the massage and just told them to run my card. I think it is important to point out that during this entire exchange none of the employees did anything to try to make me feel better about the situation or address any of my concerns. The managers were extremely mean-spirited, stuck-up, and cruel throughout the entire incident. I have never been made to feel worse as a customer at a business. There were other customers waiting in the salon during the incident and the two managers made me feel like a criminal who was trying to fraud their business out of a free massage.

This entire incident was extremely aggravating and embarrassing. First of all I am extremely mad I was lied to about the terms of the membership. Never in a million years would I have signed up for the membership if I had not been told I could give away the massages as gifts. My friends even remember me talking about this as the sole reason I signed up for the membership. Although I take some responsibility because I should have never signed up based solely on the false representations Massage Heights made to me, I still feel I was swindled. I feel completely defrauded out of the $500 I will have to pay this year before I can cancel my membership next June.

I am also extremely worried something will go wrong when I try to cancel my membership. When I was waiting for my massage today I overheard a phone call where a customer had called complaining their card was still being charged even after they canceled their Massage Heights membership. The same manager that was mean to me got on the phone and started explaining something about how the members card would still be charged for two additional months. Although I realize I know nothing about the other members situation and overhearing a phone call is not credible information, but given my experience today I am concerned over cancellation of the membership.

I would please urge everyone to never go to Massage Heights. It was the worst customer service experience of my life. Not only was I defrauded and lied too, I have never been made to feel worse as a paying customer in my life. I do not want others to have to suffer through what I went through.

Finally I think its important to note that I was so outraged by this incident I did call the Massage Heights corporate headquarters immediately when I got home. The woman I spoke to at the franchise was polite and indicated she would call the franchise and get back to me. I called at 2:30 pm today and I am still waiting to hear back. I do not want to ruin the Massage Heights reputation based on the deceitful business practices at a single franchise if it is not warranted. I am hoping the corporate headquarters will look into my complaint and take action to justly resolve this situation.

Ke
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Comments

  • Al
      29th of Jul, 2009
    0 Votes

    My story almost mirrors yours exactly. My husband got me a free massage for my birthday and after using it the owner talked us into signing up for their monthly membership. We were extremely unsure about signing up so she told us that we were not able to come back and sign up for the same monthly fee later and that if we signed up that day, we would be able to call and cancel if we decided to. Later that night I called and canceled and recieved a call from the owners son, who also is an employee, stating he recieved my request to cancel, that everything had been taken care of, and call him if I had any questions.

    The next month both my husband and my accounts were debited. This started what seems like a war between Massage Heights and I. I called and spoke with one of the managers and he said there was "no record of my call". How convienient. As with the previous story, they were rude and uncompromising. There were many more back and forth phone calls between the staff and I on later occasions. They kept saying that I would hear from one of the owners who deals with cancelations. I never heard from him.

    After calling corporate, sending certified letters, bringing in phone bills showing the initial call, repeatidly trying to get a hold of an owner, and being in talks with local news stations I finally heard back from an owner. His call was only to inform me that now they had record me calling and canceling, but it was 6 days after signing up and you can only cancel within 3. Again, how conveinient. He also explained that I was in a year contract and legally obligated to pay them for a year, or pay $200 to get out of my contract. He also said if I don't pay it he will send it to a collection agency. After 10 minutes of going back and fourth I spouted out that I had been in talks with a news station. His exact words were " I love threats! I thrive off of them! Bring it on!!" I was shocked.

    So...I'm going to do exactly what he told me to. I'm going to "bring it on". And even if I don't get a refund I will be satisfied with exposing them on television. Hopefully no one will go to their establishment and they will close down. might be a strect, but that's my hope. I refuse to lay down and let them walk all over me.

    So all of you reading this NEVER GO TO MASSAGE HEIGHTS!!!

  • Is
      10th of Oct, 2009
    -1 Votes

    I like to say I'm sorry if the two of you had an experience the way you described but, the programs are designed for people that want to come in regularly and take care of themselves therefore they get a price break for doing so. The normal market rate the one hour massage is $79.99 so, the program only makes sense if you are a person who likes to save money. The program is also, designed for a family member to join at an even lower price as another added benefit. These are the offerings for the whole franchise nationwide. I feel it is only fair to assume if a person cancels and wants to back out of the program that they must pay the difference in the pricing of the program rate and market value or some type of cancellation fee or everyone would take advantage of the business. It seems as though both of the complaints have been resolved but are still posted on this site...seems rather unfair especially considering that all franchises owners are not created equal and that someone would think they could share a program that was designed for one at such a low rate...just like a tanning bed membership???? Go figure...

  • Je
      11th of Dec, 2009
    +1 Votes

    I agree with Kevin & Alyssa. I am towards the end of my 1-yr membership, but because I haven't been going every month, I have accumulated at least 4 pre-paid massages. I want to cancel my membership after my using the pre-paids. I made an appointment for (2) one-hour consecutive massages and was informed that they couldn't do this, so they offered me a 1.5 hr massage with hot stones and would take 2 of my pre-paid one-hour massages, leaving me with 2 remaining. Ok, fine. The massage was mediocre at best. Prior to the massage, I stated that I want a DEEP TISSUE massage. I felt like I was being pet the whole time. I don't think the therapist even had to exert any energy. Hot stones were used, but they were pretty much placed on my back. I guess they were too hot for the therapist? I walk out unhappy, but then I am not the complaining type. I suck it up. I check my credit card statement a few days following and find an additional charge of $30 for what I assume to be the hot stone elevation. Really? Hot stones cost $30? That's ridiculous, if anything, the therapist exerts less energy with the use of these by allowing the heat to do the work. I call in, request to know how many remaining pre-paid massages I have. I am told I have 3, but my CC was just charged the day following my massage per the membership. I'd gone in with 4 pre-paids, was told that 1 pre-paid was used. So using BASIC MATH... (4 pre-paids) - (1 pre-paid) + (1 monthly pre-pay charge) = 4. I should therefore have 4 pre-paid massages remaining. Huh?

    I am told that the manager has just stepped out. I leave my number and the manager returns my call shortly after. The manager is the owner's teenage son! He proceeds to tell me that Massage Heights does not substitute massages for hot stones and that he had charged me for the hot stones ($30), and that he is really benefiting me because he only charged me for the hot stones and gave me the .5 hr for their mistake. I want to use my pre-paid massages so I can cancel my membership!! Why would I want to pay additional money out of pocket only to receive a mediocre, sadly lacking massage? I tell this to the teenage manager and he says ok, he'll do whatever I want. If I want him to deduct for the additional .5-hr and the hot stones, I will have 1 pre-paid massage remaining? WHAT? I came in with 4, minus the 1-prepaid (said he gave me the .5-hr for my benefit), and was charged the next day for 1 (per the membership agreement). I went over this BASIC math with him several times and couldn't get him to comprehend the numbers. I haven't seen the owners at the location and cannot deal with a teenage boy who cannot count and who continues to attempt to sarcastically appease me for Massage Height's mistake.

    All in all, after my FIRST massage that impressed me enough to join the 1-yr membership, I have received poor massages. I am not happy and want to cancel my membership, but I fully intend on getting my ALL pre-paid massages first! Perhaps I should have a 4-hr session. (They probably don't allow that).

  • An
      11th of Dec, 2009
    0 Votes

    IT"S A GREAT PLACE! I tell everyone that gets massage about them.
    My experience has been WONDERFUL in North Carolina. I travel for my business and I absolutely love being able to go anywhere I travel and still get my massages at such a great price. I have visited three locations of Massage Heights in North Carolina and all of my visits have been pleasant. I would also like to say that the facility here where I live looks like a resort spa when you walk in and it is owned by a lady who makes sure that every experience I have is enjoyable. She and the front desk staff always have smiling face and makesyou feel at home, and my therapist loves working there. (that always tells you something if the employees are happy.)

    I have had the hot stones also but, the day I went in Melissa told me if I upgraded my membership that it would only be $10.00. What a great deal. I used to pay $125.00 at Urbana Spa. I am saving $56.00 a visit and since I go atleast once a month for my aches and pains, that saves me $672.00 over a year.

    I think you may have possibly had a therapist that wasn't for you, every therapist is different. I'm sure if you ask the owner to call you, they would be willing to work it out. The owner should know how you feel. They won"t know unless you tell them. Goodluck, I hope you get it resolved. :)

  • Am
      9th of Sep, 2010
    0 Votes

    I had a horrible experience with the staff at the Colleyville, TX store. I called because we had accumulated 11 prepaid messages. I asked a staff member the best way to use these without being charged any further. He said that I should pay to freeze my account until I caught up. I agreed b/c it was a small monthly charge and I wanted to catch up on the messages I already paid for. I got his name and he said he would take care of it. He did not and I got a call from the manager. She said I would need to use all 11 messages in 30 days if I cancelled or I could freeze the account but I could not use my messages during this time. She also informed me that since my account was set up in Keller, and the accounts from that store had been transferred to the Colleyville store, that she did not get paid for those messages and is therefore not responsible to make the situation right. She would only help me for the two months that had been billed to her store (2 messages). When I expressed my obvious dismay with this, she hung up on me. I called back and was directed to a man that asked me if I could read. He was refering to the contract we signed with them. I was stunned. I have now at this point been lied to, hung up on, and insulted. I explain to the manager and the man that all I was looking for help as to how to use my 11 messages without shelling out more money. They refused to help and did not care. I called corporate and am hoping for a resolution.

  • Bd
      28th of May, 2011
    0 Votes

    Absolutely stay away from the two here in Atlanta! Both salons are scheming and the one in SS is owned by the most hilarious excuse for an owner I have ever encountered. Moving past that point... buyer beware.

  • Lu
      20th of Sep, 2011
    0 Votes

    horrible, corporate vultures. the complete opposite of anything holistic and healthy. stay away from massage heights!

  • Km
      24th of Apr, 2013
    0 Votes

    I agree this place is joke. I went to the one in Pasadena TX They will charge up your credit card even if you don't go they will make it a point to charge you and not tell you ahead of time. They will not refund your money if you sign a contract with them. This is such a scam. Plus when you schedule an appt with them you have to give them your credit card # in advance if you are not able to make the appt within 24 hrs they will bill you. So say if you happen to miss your appt they will charge your credit card...SCAM!
    The massage wasn't that great either they lady was very rough even when I asked her to lay off the pressure she massage my hand so hard I screamed. I know you are supposed to be sore afterwards but my body was sore for 5 days I was sitting in a hot tub just to relax my muscles. My jaw was hurting so bad I thought this was weird because everytime I haven't gotten a massage before never did my jaw hurt afterwards.

  • Sf
      21st of Aug, 2013
    0 Votes

    I got a gift of a massage for my birthday and my friend signed up. He paid cash and we asked specifically if the massages are not used every month, would the card I had just given after the massage for the gratuity be charged, the lady @ the front desk... Ashley & Pauline said NO. My card of course was charged yesterday, I called to find out why & I was told I had signed up for pinnacle membership and that I can't get out for 12mths. Pitiful. I had actually made up my mind after the last massage, I wouldn't return because the service was mediocre @ best. I'm disappointed. I wish I knew how to put these people on blast...I really would, I'm so mad.
    Please, please stay away from the Massage Heights in Sugar Land, Texas.

  • Ya
      31st of Aug, 2013
    0 Votes

    I had a 1 year membership at Massage Heights, University Parkway in sarasota, FL. I paid for it every month automatically with my credit card - didn't even use all the massages because they were so freaking horrible. My credit card expired when my membership did, so I figured, great - I don't have to deal with them. Well, now a year later I just got sent a collection notice, for get this - 719.88 from a collection agency!!! For what??? A year of service after my year was up?? WTF? What kind of company does this?? Not a reputable one, that's for sure.

  • Ow
      13th of Dec, 2013
    -1 Votes

    I watched undercover boss tonight. And the owner stated that she has a multi multi million dollar company!! Great. But what a cheap ### at the end of the show. She should be embarrassed I was going to check it out now no way other CEO s really cared and it showed monetarily. Fake tears and all. Very disappointed anyone else feel that way?0

  • Rn
      12th of Jun, 2014
    0 Votes

    I too was ripped off by massage Heights at university park in Sarasota Florida My one year contract ended and I called to make sure that there would be no more charges. Next month, another charge. Called again and told must be in writing. Wrote and no one responded and next month I was charged again. Finally called and told although I called, the original email was not 30 days in advance (written same day charge hit my account) and they will refund nothing. This is a scam. Do not sign a contract.

  • Ds
      26th of Sep, 2014
    0 Votes

    Had a similar BAD experience with Massage Height in San Antonio. I have been a member for greater than 8 years. I was one of the first members with Massage Heights opened...although I did not get the best massages every time I convinced myself it was because the massages were so cheap. Every once in while I would find an outstanding therapist. Three years ago, I moved from Texas to Florida but decided to continue my membership (big mistake) in hopes of Massage Heights would expand to Florida and that periodically I would be returning to San Antonio and could at least continue to get massages when I was in town. This week, I decide that it was time to cut the cord that is 12 pre-paid massages down the drain with no recourse to get massage that I have paid for. I do understand that I have some responsibility but that is >$500. If I have pre-paid them, I should be able use them but not if I cancel my membership. What a scam...I still paid for those massages. Basically $500 profit without providing a product or service sounds a little bit like highway robbery or snake oil sales. Whatever, for $500, I am now a unhappy customer for life. In the end, my unhappiness will cost them a lot more than $500.

  • Di
      9th of Jan, 2015
    0 Votes

    Massage Heights in Kingwood, TX.- Pressured me to sign contract, ok I did. Stupid me, because next massage 'therapist' talked the entire time about herself. What a waste of $$$$. I wish I had seen these posts beforehand. I certainly would NOT have ever patronized the place. I guess they want to get you in a contract because most probably would never return after the first visit.

  • Dl
      8th of Apr, 2015
    0 Votes

    This is for All the above comments. I would like to apologize for all your bad experiences. I am a therapist at one of the Massage Heights in Texas and most of our therapists including the manager is pretty fair and cordial. Although we have had some bad ones in the past as well. I think as a therapist that is one of my complaints as well as other therapists. We just cringe after we have given a massage and the front desk pressures our clients to buy a massage. They become unrelaxed after the high pressure. My idea is why should we press so hard for memberships. If you like us you wlll be back. Even the ones with memberships sometimes don't come back for awhile and I will let them catch up by doing two hour massages. I am really sorry about the inconveniences and I do truly hope that the corporation can help the young lady above who had a bad experience on her birthday and get her money back.

  • Cu
      22nd of May, 2015
    0 Votes

    I go to Massage Heights (Westchase location) in Houston, TX. I'm about 5 months into my 1 year contract, which I was not even slightly pressured into. The lady at the counter politely asked if I would be interested in a membership, *after* my first massage. I have received a total of 5 massages from 2 different therapists there, both very skilled and professional. Both therapists strike a good balance between being friendly, and not talking too much. My experience there has been very pleasant. I expect to use all of my massages for the 12 months. If I decided to cancel my membership, I would do it in person and get a confirmation of cancellation in writing, just in case. It isn't that I distrust Massage Heights' business practices. It just seems like a smart practice for any type of membership where your credit card can be charged.

    Second thought - It is wrong to knowingly mislead people but unfortunately, some people still do it.
    Everyone should be aware that theses are businesses - offering a legit service for MONEY. It's a contract and you are entitled to what the contract specifies in writing, and nothing more. Read the contract not matter what. The individual helping you, by "explaining" the contract, in ANY membership based business, may or may not be honest. They may be new, and perhaps not trained very well, or completely understanding the facts themselves. It's too bad, and companies should not permit it, but the #1 thing you can do is protect yourself. When you're about to sign a contract authorizing monthly charges to your credit card... this is no time to be lazy. Do the reading. It's your signature, not theirs. Take some personal responsibility, learn from this and read the paper next time. ;-)

  • Ll
      1st of Oct, 2015
    0 Votes

    I am currently having a similar bad experience with a Massage Heights in Atlanta.
    I went in last Sept/Oct for a sports massage for marathon training. First one was good and while cashing out I was asked if I want a membership. They explain to me the details of it, really selling it to me, and I go ahead and do it. Since I consistently do long endurance sports events I thought it would be a great idea. Wrong...worst idea EVER.

    So I use it for 5 months just fine and then I run into some financial stress and I call in to try and cancel my membership. I'm thinking there will just be a cancellation fee...nope, you actually cannot cancel your membership unless 1) You move away and are not within 25 miles of a Massage Heights or 2) You have a doctor's note saying you can no longer receive massages. Okay, I ask is there anything I can do in this case to help my situation. I'm told I can freeze my account for 6 months so that's what I do.

    First month in, the still charge me full price...uhm no, it's supposed to be $10 during the freeze time. So now I'm having to talk between employees and managers to get this resolved. I finally talk to the head manager and she refunds me account the difference. I then speak to her about my remaining contract term so that I FULLY UNDERSTAND all components of what I have left to pay. Please note I'm speaking to a MANAGER! I am told I will finish off my 6 month freeze term and will then have 2 months left of my contract to pay. So that when my account is unfrozen I only have $120 left in payments. Seems simple right? I double and triple checked with the manager since it was indeed my fault I didn't read the contract thoroughly enough in the first place...I wanted to make sure I understood it this time. She assures me I will only have the two months left.

    Fast forward 6 months, my account becomes unfrozen and they want me to make an appointment. I ask them to first verify my contract will be ending in 2 months (as stated previously) and that it is not set to automatically renew. The employee checks and she states my contract still has another 6 months to play out! I'm flabbergasted!! I was SPECIFICALLY informed by a MANAGER that I only had 2 months left after my freeze period. If a manager doesn't understand my contract and terms, how am I supposed to? There is literally no way for me to cancel my contract except to try and find a doctor now who will write me a note.

    I am so incredibly frustrated with Massage Heights. Throughout this whole experience every time I have spoken to an employee or manager they have been less than helpful. I realize it was my mistake to not understand the terms, but I tried speaking to a manager afterwards to better understand them and I become misinformed! When I bring this up, I am offered no apologies or consolation of any sort. This has been a very frustrating experience I would not hope for anyone. DO NOT SIGN A CONTRACT WITH MASSAGE HEIGHTS.

  • Do
      29th of Jan, 2016
    0 Votes

    I work as a therapist here in Canada and I can say we call these places 'massage factories' for a reason: punch in punch out do as many as you can and sell, sell, sell. It's terrible. 50 minute treatment except if you have an elevation, note the language, not an 'add-on' as they would persuade you to believe, no this takes away from your massage time with a spa treatment that quite frankly, doesn't have any significant therapeutic effect that can't be done without taking from your massage and your wallet. Hot stone? Hot towels instead, ask the therapist to use them on troublesome areas and get the relief of deep heat without paying for some rocks...

    PS to the person who said DEEP TISSUE and got 'pet' (we call that a 'fluff' massage) I believe you wanted DEEP PRESSURE. Not all deep tissue work involves a lot of force (common misconception). I myself use a deep tissue technique that is very gentle and not very firm at all but it manipulates deep structures. Next time ask for a therapist who does deep pressure not tissue and you shouldn't run into this problem (at least as much)

    My training (Ontario) groups RMT's as health care professionals, most places don't or aren't regulated like a few provinces up north. Here, we abide by the Regulated Health Care Practitioners Act (RHCPA) giving us far more credibility and 'rules' to be professional. Here's a quick example, at Massage Heights your client file is left outside the room. In a public hallway, with people walking by. There's some pretty important personal information on there isn't there? Not their concern. At the Christmas party I attended, I heard a gentleman from corporate call people 'guests' Guests?! This isn't a hotel, it's suppose to be healthcare! Guests! I almost laughed out loud. They're CLIENTS or PATIENTS. UGH! I should explain I work in an unregulated province (it's got oil) so it's funny to see places like this that can do what they do because there's no regulating body to ensure for the public that the profession is professional. When you're unregulated there's a lot of things that are done that are no no's. Take for example students. In a regulated place, they aren't allowed to earn money while a student. They work in student clinics through school but can't collect money treating, even at discounted rate. Why? Because they're not fully trained or ready to handle whatever gets on your table. Would you want a person who's studying medicine, and hopefully will pass, to be trying to figure out what's wrong with you? Probably not...

    Bottom line, don't go to these places. They totally overwork and underpay their therapists, hence the large turnover. It's funny when clients ask how come everyone I like ends up leaving? Because eventually the therapists realize they're getting screwed, and they didn't even have dinner bought for them...

    I'm all for affordable massage for people, it's beneficial for the mind, body and the spirit. But let's keep it about the treatment and less about the sales, therapists are here to be of service to you not be servants for you.

  • Kl
      11th of Nov, 2018
    0 Votes
    Massage Heights Franchising - Appointment Cancellation
    Schertz
    Texas
    United States
    massageheights.com

    Today was the second time that I have had a scheduled appointment canceled. That is two appointments canceled in the past four months. I would like to cancel my membership without a penalty and the retreat manager told me that I could not do that. I am extremely unhappy with the service and would like to cancel my membership!

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