New Life Fitness World - Columbia, SC / Consumer beware!
My complaint is against New Life Fitness Center, Two Notch Road, Columbia, South Carolina. Here's my story:
I thought that Jamie, the manager, was explaining to me a month-to-month plan in June 2006 when I first joined. A coworker of mine had introduced me to New Life and told me about their month-to-month plan. That's what intrigued me. After all, in front of the building it says, "month-to-month". They didn't mention that all that meant was that you can pay month-to-month, not that you can have a membership month-to-month. I did a foolish thing.I signed what I understood to be a month-to-month membership, entrusting in the words of the salesman to be the words of the contract.
When I did not go nor pay for a couple of months, I found out that I was locked into a 12-month contract and that until I paid up, I could not use the facility. I saw that I wasn't going to win and, true, it was my fault. So I stepped up to the plate and paid it off.
To make matters worse, I inquired with a young representative (not the manager this time) about having my husband join on my membership but only for the remainder of my contract so that I would have someone to go with. I remember specifically making that my criteria. "Yes", we can do that", he said. I specifically told him that I did not want my husband's contract to go beyond mine because I did not know whether I wanted to extend my contract once it expired. "No problem, he said." And, I specifically remember him asking me how much longer mine was etc. It all sounded like it was going to work out just right. So, once again, we signed.
Well, mine expired June 2007. Assuming his did too, and not being happy with the facilities at Two Notch Road in Columbia, my husband and joined another health club. Five weeks later, I learned that New Life Fitness Center was continuing to take money out of my checking account for my husband's membership (which we understood had expired).
The very next day (Sunday after church) we went to the health club and explained our case to the girl at the front desk (she asked what was wrong since no one else was there and she wanted to help us). She listened to our situation and was very kind and empathetic. She then told us that somebody had made a bad mistake and the New Life would do the right thing. The next day (Monday) my husband went to talk with Jamie, the manager, who told my husband that my husband would need to contact the corporate office, but if he had any problems with the corporate office, to let him know.
So my husband and I drafted a letter to the corporate office explaining the situation. Today at work, a girl named Tammy (she refused to give me her last name) called my office and made it clear that I signed a 12-month contract.period. I had her contact the manager (like he said, "have them call me if you can't get anywhere with them"). Later Tammy called me back and said that Jamie said that he never told me anything about having my husband less than a year. To that I said, "Of course he didn't, because he wasn't the one that signed my husband up." I then tried to get the name and phone number of the owner of the Fitness center. After several tries, Tammy gave me his first name, but absolutely refused to give me his phone number. As a matter of fact, she was threatening me about ruining my credit because I wanted to talk to the owner, and when she saw that I wasn't going to give up, she hung up on me. I then contacted my husband and asked him to go talk to Jamie. So my husband drove a second time to the fitness club to talk with Jamie in person.
At first Jamie DENIED even talking with the corporate office until my husband said, "Well, Rita said that you DID talk with the corporate office." Then he admitted he did, and proceeded to tell my husband that he can discuss it with the area director who will be in town next week.
It's a lot of passing the buck, and even though I'm at fault for the legal part, I'm sick and tired of companies getting away with this type of scamming. It's a "I gotcha" attitude. They tell you anything. Once you sign, they've gotcha, and there is absolutely no accountability for their misrepresentation of the service. Money isn't the issue with me. Like I said, my husband and I turned around and joined a different fitness center. It's the dishonest business practice that doesn't hurt just me, but every tax payer in this country. We've got to start fighting this type of unaccountability and exposing companies for what they really are. CONSUMER BEWARE!!!
Rita Seaton Columbia, SC