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Premier Fitness / Unauthorized billing

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Premier Fitness
We've just gotten a call today from Michelle, Stephen Walters law office. I was told that I owe them 865$ because I did not cancel my membership back in 2005. I laughed at first. I told Michelle that there was no notice of renewal, there was not even a single call. I had a one-year contract with them and they were withdrawing money from my credit card.

After one year withdrawals stopped, end of story. They call me in 2009 to tell me that I owe Premier money, give me a break. First of all, there is 2 year limitation period for smal claims court. I mentioned that to Michelle. She told me to go talk to them and I did.

After I talked to the reception, then to a manager and two other managers. They called the head office and were told the same thing I told them - 2 year limitation period on these claims and one cannot sue after 2 years period is over.

Then they said they can reduce it to $374 and give me one year free membership. That was pretty ridiculous. On FIVE occasions they asked me to give me a tour of their facilities, all at the same time when I was trying to tell them that I will never use their services again and that 'no, thank you' means just that.

At the very end they told me to give them my lawyer's contact details and that their lawyers will contact me. I just laughed at their face and left.

I'm very happy that I found this forum. On monday I will call the Law Society and consumer protection organizations. Don't believe when they threaten to take you to court. It costs $200 to start a claim in small claims court, this is without legal fees which will amount to more than one or two hundreds of dollars.
Good luck to everyone with fighting this scam.

I'll keep you updated, although I'm pretty sure that after I call Law Society, no action on their side will be taken. If someone starts a class action against Premier, I will definitely join it.


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N  19th of Mar, 2010 by 
Agree Disagree 0 Votes
I am having the same problem, and I am refusing to pay but I'm afraid of ruining my credit. It has been 3 years can anyone tell me if premier fitness has taken them to the credit bureau?

Thank you
N  19th of Mar, 2010 by 
Agree Disagree 0 Votes
I'm having the same problem with premier fitness. Its been 3 years and they still threaten to take me to collections, can they really do that, and who can you call to see if they can charge you for a membership you never used?
N  7th of Apr, 2010 by 
Agree Disagree 0 Votes
I have similar complaints about this place as everyone else here. When I signed up, they made me pay two weeks in advance. Similar to last months rent. When I cancelled my membership after the one year, I was supposed to have the last two weeks free, right? HA! First of all, I spoke to Janet over the phone to cancel and she said everything was fine and done. TWO MONTHS LATER, I was still being charged. So I call to speak to Janet, and she does not return my phone calls for WEEKS. Finally I call, and almost get a little nasty, and I get to speak to Janet. She admits that she remembers speaking to me, and said she did her part by submitting a cancellation request to head office on my behalf. She says she will investgiate and call me back. It has been a month and a half, and I have still not heard from her. Good news is, the billing stopped. But, I had to cancel my credit card. I called her today and of course she is unavailable, but will call me back. Yea right. Not holding my breath.

Moral of the story, make sure you read all contracts/fine print. No matter how long it takes.
A  8th of Apr, 2010 by 
Agree Disagree 0 Votes
Premier fitness needs a class actions suit brought against them. They are not a reputable business and their practices should be considered illegal. Not sure why they are not!
A  3rd of Jul, 2010 by 
Agree Disagree 0 Votes
My name is Chris, Premier calls me everyday. I bought a one year membership threw my work to join with them. After nine months they told me I had to renew my membership. I was like "no, I have 3 more months." Well you can't get in the gym without it. Luckily I asked my credit card to send me a new card with different numbers.
Or they would have billed me $155 month with personal trainers and everything like that... They want me to pa them a $1, 000 to cancel it. Fu-- that...

So, I bought one at LA fitness. And they treat you so much better, $20 a month.
N  22nd of Aug, 2010 by 
Agree Disagree 0 Votes
My name is Erin and we are having the same problem. My husband and I joined 3 years ago and satyed for about 3 months. It was a 30 min drive from our house and the more we went the more we hated it. I knew we signed a 1 year contract and had to get out of it. The manager at the time said he sold our membership to someone else, took our cards and said not to worry. Will sure enough they kept billing us and when we went in to talk to the manager it was a new guy and we asked again for a canellation number for the credit card company and he wouldn't give us one. We told this to the credit card company and they tried to contact premier fitness and after 3 months with them getting no reply they dropped all the changes and let us canel the card. Over a year later we got an e-mail saying we owe 598.33 we tried to call, left many messages, went to the gym again to talk to them and yet again a new manager who said he couldn't do anything and no one I mean on one ever called us back. Then another 8 months later we get a second e-mail saying we now owe 1433.28 with a different persons name and number on the e-mail. Again we tried to call and left messages and no one returned our calls. Now another 10 months later we got a letter in the mail from yet again a different person saying we now owe 2217.57 and they will be sending us to steven walters law office and the intercanada credit. The letter also said they have been calling us but we've never recieved one phone call. We called them yet again and left a message and that was 2 weeks ago and no one has called us back. Then 2 days ago we got a letter in the mail from frederick scott turton law office which tells us to pay premier and deal with this matter in order to avoid further legal action and "Do not contact my office or send payments to my office" There is not address or phone number on the letter which seems very strange to me. So we called again and final someone answered the phone. A guy who's name does not appear on any of our letters or e-mails. We explained to him our situation and he offered us to pay 50% will my husband was really mad at that and said we do not owe you anything and we'll be seeing our laywers on Monday and hung up. I'm going to look into this 2 years for small claims thing. I hope you guys are right then I can just let all this go because it's a royal pain in the a**
A  7th of Jan, 2011 by 
Agree Disagree 0 Votes
I've had 2 separate memberships to Premier here in St. Catharines (limited choices in the city). The 1st was in 2007. I couldn't believe the sale's pitches! While I was told about the sign-up fee (I don't even understand how they are allowed to charge...what's it for anyway?) I was not told that there would be a manditory $105 'assessment fee' (the gym in my home town had the OPTION of making a thorough program for you: you paid $50 and you got a card in a filing cabinet with your program options based on your physical assessment). Of course I didn't get anything like this at Premier...they want you to be dependant on their trainers - the company only cares about money.

Anyway, the payment for the assessment fee bounced on my one acct that only my rent plus gym payments came out of...I had no reason to keep an eye on the acct 'til the 1st monthly payment and rent was due. Then, without any letter informing me of the problem, about a month later, when the monthly fee was to come out and my rent, they took out the $105...my rent bounced and I didn't have extra money to compensate. I was so angry that they were able to to just go into my acct like that without notifying me (I was short for my car insurance once and the company called me and I had to take the payment into them...they weren't able to just go in and get their money). How is Premier able to do this? It's so wrong.
Anyway, after months of hell trying to get the problem resolved (they had a high turn over rate for managers...one promised fee training sessions or spa servies but she was gone after a couple of months and 3 others followed) I cancelled (no problems). Because I really needed to get control over my health, I decided to try another location Dec. 9th 2010. I was told that going in and paying monthly wasn't an option (I had explained what had happened before - they did waive the sign-up and assesment fees). Eventhough I said that I wanted to have payments made monthly, I was told that it was better to go by-weekly in the beginning. Well the payments were coming out all over the place and that was a problem as I'm on a strict budget. In January, I went in to change to 1x/mo. I explained that I needed to know the exact payment dates; I was told that it was usually on the 1st of ev mo. I thought this would work like how all my other electronic payments work...by 12pm on the specified date; if it falls on a holiday or Sun then the next business day after. I soon discovered that this isn't how it works with Premier. While the payments were taken out on the 1st in Feb and Mar, they started to come out all over the place from then on - always before never after...1 wk to 2 wks ahead!!! I got mad and spoke to the acct mannager who was equally frustrated. After a few weeks, she was told by head office that they couldn't give me an exact date. Bull pucky! All the other places I deal wiht give me a date (she left the gym a few months after). After an unexpected NSF, I told the manager that I wanted them to take my bank info off their records. I had anawlful time getting him to allow me to come in to pay (he wanted post-dated chqs) I just found this chain to be greedy and with little care for its members. Individuals working at the gym aren't the problem though as they have little control over the way that the corporation operates.
A  3rd of May, 2011 by 
Agree Disagree 0 Votes
Hi my name is Teresa, I am going through something similar with Premier Fitness. I joined in August 2010 and purchased a family membership with my brother. We payed debit but were also asked to provide a void cheque. They said that it was for admin fee and facility fees. Whatever, anyhow along with our membership they threw in some personal training sessions just to show how much more you would achieve in your workouts with a trained professional at your side. We said sure we'll try them out. Well, I guess those personal training sessions were NOT free. They started withdrawing 95.00 every two weeks from my brothers account, he did not notice this until he checked his statement in January! they took more then $800.00 from his account. He contacted the bank telling them that he did not authorize these withdrawls. The bank understood because apparently they were getting similar complaints from customers. Now I get a call from Julietta saying that I owe them $2000.00 for unpaid personal training sessions! excuse me I did not sign anything to agree or accept personal training sessions! They said that because I am in their system saing that I am approved for something, that I must have signed a consent form. I'm like what the heck! prove to me that I signed a piece of paper saying that I want personal training sessions. She said that they don't have the paper work at the location and it was probably at Head Office and that it is really difficult to contact them in regards to my claim. I told her she is not getting one red nickel from me and that this company is commiting fraud. She said that If I don't pay them I would be sent to collections. This is completely illegal. Anyone have any suggestions as to what I should do? I don't have this money nor did I agree to these terms. Help!
N  26th of Jul, 2011 by 
Agree Disagree 0 Votes
Hi, my name is A.M, my cousin canceled his membership back in march 2010 by providing the gym with a cancellation letter, however the gym did not cancel the membership. Despite numerous attempts to solve the issue with Premier, they still did not cancel the membership. Every time he attempted to speak with the managers, all he was told that they could not do anything and he had to prove that the letter of cancellation was in fact given to the manager. Long story short- He has now received a letter from Frederick Scott Turton Law Firm and letter from a collection company called "National Credit Recovery Inc". It's strange that the letter from the Law Firm has not address and phone number. Well. we are making some documents to send them to the collection company and hoping to resolve the matter. If nothing works out My cousin is willing to sue premier fitness and any other company involved in the harassment. If anyone interested to file a law suite as a group feel free to leave a post and I will later release an email address for more indent conversation on the subject.
A  18th of Aug, 2011 by 
Agree Disagree 0 Votes
I cancelled my Premier Fitness membership back in March 2008 due to an illness that I developed. When I called Premier to cancel (from my hospital bed) I only received the run around and was transferred every time I opened my mouth to verbally cancel my membership. At the end of it, I was exhausted and at my wits end. I contacted my bank, and my bank manager told me that Premier was into some illegal schemes regarding over-billing and continued taking of dues. At her suggestion, I stopped payments for anything to Premier but allowed Premier to take the remaining installment payments, from my credit card, to pay for any remaining balance owing on personal training sessions. Since then, that particular credit card has been cancelled.

In late 2008, I received some sketchy collections notices after those credit cards payments were finished with Premier (inconsistent amounts and contact information for people who did not work at Premier Head Office or with phone extensions that did not exist etc.), on and off, until last notice and last straw in late 2009. A former fitness trainer, that I still have contact with, told me to ignore the notices that Premier could not send people to collections because they were heavily in collections themselves.

Today, I got a call from NCR demanding $378.00 (notably, letters from Premier before then would range from $950-1340). I called my lawyer and he informed me that they had no grounds for collections as any remaining claims by Premier were beyond the 2 year statute of limitations for collections activities.

I also advised NCR that I would be pursuing further legal action if this collection activity continued, gave them my lawyer's name and contact information and they were remarkably polite in contrast to the first call placed today.

I also googled NCR and found MANY complaints regarding both Premier and NCR for harassment and extortion. I also found out that National Credit Recovery Inc is a fledgling collections agency who really doesn't have the clout to report anything to Equifax or TransCanada. As well, the manager of NCR pretty much gave up fighting with me once I told him that Premier was outside the 2 year statute of limitations for collections activities.

If this continues, I will be taking my lawyer's recommendation to sue both Premier and NCR with slander of my credit rating and for personal damages. I called NCR to follow up and spoke to a manager. He told me he did try to call my lawyer but my lawyer wasn't in. As well, I told this NCR manager that I would be seeking damages and I was told, by this manager to "get in line because I wasn't the only one wanting to sue Premier". What does that tell you about both Premier and NCR!

Ironically enough, when I signed up in 2007 I wanted to pay for my full year up-front and with cash, but was told by the manager at Premier that they did not allow it...wow, I know for the next time...beware of any business who doesn't accept up-front cash payments!

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