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WOW Gym and ABC / WOW and ABC financially scammed me out

1 United States Review updated:

I joined WOW gym in 2003 and joined my boyfriend also on my credit card in 2004. When I joined wow, I signed a contract and agreed to make payments to ABC financial because that was the company that wow chose to collect membership dues through. ABC financial has scam after scam, and I felt violated by wow since I came to get a gym membership, not intending for wow to give a company like ABC financial the opportunity to continuously scam me by making excess charges to my account. This is what ABC was doing and according to them this was legal and was actually in my contract that I signed with a wow in front of a wow supervisor who never bothered to inform me of this. When my credit card (like all other members' credit cards) expired and I automatically got a new card in the mail and activated it, it had a new expiration date. This is a normal occurance with credit cards and no other company I have ever dealt with has penalized me for it. The numbers are the same... only the expiration date has changed. That month and every month after, ABC charged my account an extra 20 dollars... so my statement would have a 39.99 charge (19.99 dues plus 20.00 fee). Now, my boyfriend's membership fee was doing the same thing. Our billing dates were different, so ultimately my card was being charged two additional 20.00 fees per month for several months. ABC wanted to do nothing about it since they say I agreed to the terms in my contract. I still don't know if that is true. Also, randomly throughout the year this extra 20.00 fee would show up the same way. ABC told me that I had insufficient funds at those times. Surprisingly,I actually could prove that on those specific dates, there was plenty of money in my account. The way that they finally corrected my account made no sense and I got so frustrated and gave up. I have spoken to others who have had this problem. See, the purpose of the fees is because a business cannot collect money due when it is due, but ABC always collected the money just plus 20.00. And when my card expired, the reasoning behind the penalties was that they couldn't process the transaction. But they did process the transaction but added 20.00 extra on both memberships each month. When I moved, I canceled both accounts on my credit card and both WOW and ABC financial scammed me out of 2 months dues as well as last month (which was already paid) for both my membership and my boyfriends. Any person reading this should beware of both companies... they do not do fair business. Their only corporate contact number is a voice mail, and so far, nobody has returned my calls. If this has happened to anybody else, I would be willing to take action as a group.

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  • La
      29th of Jan, 2007
    0 Votes

    I completely agree with you - both these companies are completely unprofessional, and are out to scam anyone for as much as they can.

    I have had a similar issue with them:
    I signed a year contract, paying $20.oo a month. When the year was up, I moved in with my fiance who owns a house. When I called to cancel my membership, since the closest WOW gym is about 20 miles from my house, they practically treated me as if I was a slave to them and would not be able to cancel without paying a ridiculous amount of fees.

    First, they said I needed to have a lease in my name, which isnt reasonable since my fiance owns his house.
    Second, they said I needed to get a new drivers license with the new address. Since I travel weekly for business this would be a big production and would most likely take months to do, since I would have to rearrange my schedule and take off. Since my license doesn't expire until 2009 I don't feel this is fair. In the meantime I would get charged by ABC for as long as it took me to come up with the license and sent it to them.
    I asked if they would accept a confirmation of the move from my employer or if they would accept any credit card bill.
    They said no.
    Third, they said I can only cancel if the move puts me somewhere outside of 30 miles from the gym. Now this point I feel is absolutely INSANE. What if I wasn't satisfied, but still remained in the same location??? This is where the feeling of being a "slave to the gym" comes into play.
    I do not think this is legal, and I am going to talk to a lawyer about it.
    Fourth, the only way to cancel would be to provide this information by mail, to Arkansas. They need you to give them 30 days notice - meaning 2 more payments. Which, since I closed my bank account, equals the 20 dollar charge plus an additional charge of 20 dollars each month.

    Needless to say the person I enrolled with only told me that I would have a sign a cancellation form and settle any outstanding debt to cancel with the company. That is obviously not the case.

    When I called ABC Financial they were extremely rude and didn't care at all about my situation.

    I was lied to by this company, mistreated, and I feel totally victimized!

    I plan on calling the Attorney General's Office, and filing a lawsuit against WOW and ABC Financial.

    Anyone planning on joining this gym better plan on being a slave to them for life. B/c you wont be able to cancel the membership without paying a LOT of money.

  • Bi
      5th of Apr, 2007
    0 Votes

    WOW uses shady tactics and you have to wait too long to use their bottom of the line equipment and the dumbbells are too big, they should stick with the old fashion. Also, if i want to cancel my membership they should let me. I also dislike that WOW's juice bar supplies creatine (cheating supplement) for only 1.00. The staff and owners should encourage a person to get big or in shape a proper healthy way.

  • Je
      2nd of May, 2007
    0 Votes

    WOW !! Well I have a lot on my hands now. Right now I am going through something similar. I too am with ABC financial and getting withdrawn on a monthly bases for a contract with Powerhouse Gym. The only thing about my case is that I don't have a problem with Powerhouse Gym the problem is that the owner of the one here in El Paso, Tx West franchised his Gym to Planet Fitness a $10 gym from one day to the next with out warning ! So several of the members from the Powerhouse contract including my self are being told that we can not cancel the Powerhouse contract, we would have to pay the $124.00 a month no matter what ! So I called ABC financial to let them know what was going on and I did not want them to with draw from my account anymore for a different gym. They said they have not heard of anything about this and that the Owner has not notified them of any changes. So basically that we are pretty much out of luck. I refuse to be a scammed by these gyms and I will get this resolved !!!

  • Jo
      9th of Jun, 2007
    0 Votes

    Yes once again another person. I am in the military and I am still being billed 80 dollars a month, YES 80 [censored]ing dollars a month over a year after I CANCELED with proof of joining the military. This company is ridiculous and they will be sued.

    Some tricks you will have to look out for with ABC-

    1) After complaining they wont bill you for a few months, then pick it back up again, especially for military deployments.

    2) They will start charging inconvenience charges.

    3) Some how they find your account if you claim card stolen.

    4) They make many empty threats

    5) They are completely useless over the phone

    6) WOW will not help in any way.

    7) The last month's payment you paid in the beginning will not be taken in to consideration and you will be charged again.


    Pray that I take all their money because I will be trying.

  • Da
      17th of Jun, 2007
    0 Votes

    I totally agree, ABC peak fitness is the worst company I ever dealt with. My contract was for a year, and It was suppose to end last March... When I called them to cancel my membership they said that the needed a 90 days noticed very unfair since I signed a 1 year contract... Now they just take $25 dollars a Month and I don't even live in the same state anymore. SCAMERS!!

  • Je
      18th of Jun, 2007
    0 Votes

    I can not believe how bad this business is. I am moving away (more than 30 miles!) to live with my parents. They require proof of my move but they won't accept my valid id because the issue date is still from 2004 - the DMV just gave me the same license I had when I left. It’s valid until 2015 so it's perfectly valid. Also, ABC is not understanding of the fact that I do not have any bills in my name - I have a cell phone and CC statements, which they won't accept. Only utility bills or a lease agreement is acceptable which I don't have because I’m living with my parents. It’s so ridiculous, I can't believe it. What a scam and sleazy way to make money on regular people. Had WOW gave me a hint as to hard it would be to cancel, I would never had joined. Of course, they said it would be no problem.

  • Ma
      8th of Aug, 2007
    0 Votes

    ABC Financial scammed me in the same way. I paid in full and in advance for an 18-month membership to Irving Fitness, a neighborhood gym within walking distance. After 12 months they went out of business. Even though I had 6 months of unusable pre-paid service, I thought, "what the heck". I will just count it as a loss and forget about it. Bad decision. 6 months later I noticed my debit card was charged $25 for ABC Finance- Irving Fitness. I called, assuming that we could clear it up over the phone--Wrong! They told me that (according to my contract) I bought a lifetime membership and after the 18 month I was obligated to pay a monthly charge for a gym that no longer existed--indefinitely! Yes, I contacted the OAG and the BBB. I posted a complaint on

    Yes, I would be interested in a class action. Evidently, they've been pulling this scam for years. They must be stopped!

  • Ro
      29th of Sep, 2007
    0 Votes

    I too Iam continuing to be a victim of the WOW,ABC ###. I signed a 1year contract which ended 10 months ago I went to the waltham Branch and signed the forms with my wife and daughter to terminate the contract because we were moving. We were assured by the manager that everything is OK that was one year ago. Until now they have continued to get money from my bank account. I have called and talked to ABC .WOW and apparaently there is nothing I can do to stop them. I have since moved and live sixty miles from Waltham but that is not enough Iam being robbed in broad day light

  • Ri
      3rd of Oct, 2007
    0 Votes

    I canceled a membership with Gold's Gym in July. I called the 800 number for ABC and they said I needed to send a letter. When I sent the letter, I assumed I would get billed one more time and that would be it. I looked at my account today to notice they continued billing me. I called customer service and they said the cancellation letter needs to be sent by certified mail. This was not explained when I called in June, yet they had record of receiving my letter. In return they claimed to have sent a letter to my old address even though I explained in that letter that I moved. I also told them to call me with any questions and provided my phone number! They did nothing but keep billing me.

    I signed up with a Workout World gym in July, and coincidentally ABC handles their billing as well. They can see that I moved and that I have 2 gym accounts open, but it doesn't matter at all. I tried to explain what happened and they told me they would play the recording of the conversation where I was told the letter needed to be sent certified mail. After being on hold for 10 minutes, the woman comes back on the phone and says she will call me tomorrow with the recording. Is anybody willing to take class action against ABC Financial. They can expend the resources to collect on people if you don't pay a bill, but if you try to cancel the right way and make a mistake, they don't show good faith. I'm highly upset with them.

  • Ma
      16th of Oct, 2007
    0 Votes

    I am having similar issues with ABC Financial/Omni Fitness Club of Augusta, Ga 30909.

    When I first got transferred to Augusta, Ga with the Navy in May 2003 I joined Omni because it seemed that's where most people went. I signed a 3-year contract with them figuring that I was to be stationed here for 4 years, so no big deal. My contract was up with Omni in July 2006 and after that it was to go to a month-to-month payment basis. After my contract was up in July '06, it took me a couple of months to get around to sending in the required letter of cancellation. So, I sent in my letter in November '06. I didn't get charged anything from my account. However, 3 months later, in February of 2007, I got a letter from a creditor stating that I owed Omni Health and Fitness/ABC Financial $87 or 3 months of membership. I naturally assumed that this was a mistake and contacted the number on the letter.
    I explained to the woman at the collection agency that I had satisfied all terms of my contract with them and that I was not going to pay them another dime. She even tried to "settle" with me for half of the "past-due" amount, but I refused. I told her I was disputing this and that I refused to pay. She acknowledged what I said and told me that she, in turn, was going to have to contact their partner-ABC Financial-to clear things up. I asked her what the next step was that I was going to have to take and she told me "nothing". "We don't have a practice of calling people that don't owe us money, so if we don't call you, consider the issue resolved." I asked her how long I should expect things to take and she told me to wait a few weeks. So, when March 2007 comes and goes, I figure everything has been resolved.

    Big mistake. October 12, 2007 comes and I get a call from the same creditors--EIGHT MONTHS LATER. I'm informed that I still owe the same $87 to Omni. I had a rude man call me and tell me that it was my credit on the line and that they were going to continue calling me until things were resolved. I told the man that I had disputed this 8 months prior and I wasn't going to pay anything-especially now. He told me that he only works for the collections and that I would have to take this up with the gym-because he's only there to get the money. (As of today I have received 2 calls a day since Friday from them).

    Friday, immediately after getting off the phone, I drove the 15 miles into Omni to speak with someone that could help me. I spoke with the General Manager-Will. I explained the situation to him and he told me that I would need to speak with their accounts manager who will return on Monday. I wasn't able to make it there on Monday-so I went today (Tuesday). The "accounts manager" wasn't there-again, so I, AGAIN, dealt with Will (GM). He informed me that he can't and won't do anything for me unless I provide a certified letter/delivery confirmation receipt. I told him that this issue had been resolved in February through their client Vision Financial Services (the creditors) and that any receipts or proof I had, have been thrown out. He then treated me as though all of the burden of proof was on me and that it's out of his hands since it has already gone to collections.
    Wait a minute--the creditors just told me that they couldn't do anything about it, that it was up to the gym to deal with it. And now the gym is telling me the exact opposite? I smell a SCAM!!!

    He informed me that since I was "unwilling" to provide him what was required (the certified letter receipt) that his hands were tied. He also wondered why I "didn't bother" to follow up with the creditors in March. My first point, is that I'm more than "willing" to provide the information required, but a reasonable human being can't expect anybody to keep a receipt for a "resolved" issue. Secondly, I feel it's not my responsibility to have called back the creditors to make sure they resolved things with ABC Financial. I had checked ABC Financial's website where I had an account previously and I wasn't located in their system anymore. So, reasonably, one would expect that things were over. Even Will-the GM, told me TODAY that I should still have an "active" account with them if I had gone to collections.
    In conclusion-ABC Financial/Omni Health and Fitness and any gym/health club that may be associated with ABC Financial are nothing but con artists hiding behind the guise of being a reputable gym that are trying to fleece their members a little bit at a time. They're hoping that people with just shrug their shoulders and say 'eh, it's worth $87 to have this problem go away'. I won't give them the satisfaction.

  • Sa
      24th of Oct, 2007
    0 Votes

    I am in the same boat as many here. I was simply told at an LA Workout (part of ABC Financial) that I could simply cancel my
    account by showing proof of relocation (no one ever said that it had to be a particular mileage) and paying a $100 cancellation
    fee. Now, ABC has rejected my request to cancel because I live within 25 miles of a club (take into account that the club is in a city totally out of my way and packed with traffic). They lied about other existing locations (They are now closed! Go Figure!) when I signed my contract, and I am now stuck paying $44 a month for a club too distant to go to. DO NOT join a gym associated with ABC FINANCIAL.

  • St
      30th of Oct, 2007
    0 Votes

    Total scammers! Avoid! I agree 100% with all the deceptive practices above. Work Out World (aka WOW) and ABC Financial are running a total scam!

  • Mi
      5th of Nov, 2007
    0 Votes

    It makes me feel a little better to see that I am not the only one who has been completely taken advantage of by WOW. For those who have moved and tried canceling their contract, even a copy of the lease is not acceptable.

    I moved from New Jersey to Philadelphia, PA because of school. I will only be living in Philadelphia for one year until I graduate, and then I intend to move back home. Before signing up with WOW, I told them I was moving to Philly for school, and I was shown a large list of Philadelphia gym locations to which I could switch my membership. The only reason I joined WOW was because of the large list of gyms I knew I could transfer my membership to.

    After moving to Philly, suprise suprise, there were only two gyms I could transfer my membership to. The list I was originally shown was for members who were traveling, and could temporarily use these gyms. The REAL list of gyms I could transfer memberships to consisted of two gyms: one too far away for me to commute to, and the other one was conveniently located right next to my apartment. I thought I was lucky, till I found out that gym was no longer affiliated with WOW. Not only did WOW mislead me to believe I could easily transfer my membership to a large selection of gyms, their actual list of gyms was not up to date.

    I decided to cancel my membership, which sounded like a simple process when I originally joined up. One option was to send a cancellation request with a proof of address change, and option two was to pay three months subscription. I sent a fax with a copy of my lease and a letter of why I needed to terminate my contract to the proper number. Two months later, I was still being charged a $50 monthly membership fee. When I called the gym to inquire as to why I was still paying, they told me my cancellation request had been denied because they could not accept the copy of my lease. I was told that I need a license to prove my change of address. This is ridiculous considering I am only temporarily living in Philly, I don't own a car, and it will take time(which costs money) to get a new license in a different state. I might as well just pay the three months fees. Since I have already paid two months after requesting cancellation, I asked to pay the remaining month's fee and be done with everything. Of course things couldn't be this easy. Since I had not requested to cancel my account by paying three months worth of fees (I had requested by change of address) I now have to put in a new request for cancellation, and pay three more months of fees. I tried inquiring about a reasonable solution to this mess, but was told it's not possible. I was than told to put in a new cancellation request, and was rudely reminded that there were other phone lines waiting to be answered.

    Only after sending my mother, who implied she could take legal action, did the manager of my branch call me back to try and work something out. She was much nicer this time around, and asked me to mail her copies of bills or letters that I am receiving at my new address. She than said she would try to work something out with corporate(or whoever is in charge), but was almost positive it would not work. I have yet to find out if I am going to have to pay another three months to rid myself of this gym.

    In total, I have paid well over 300 dollars in fees to this gym so far, and have only been able to use it for one month. These scams need to stop. I thought my last gym screwed me over, but that seems like cake in comparison to what WOW is doing right now.

  • Ty
      7th of Dec, 2007
    0 Votes

    This is the worst site ever:

  • Sq
      11th of Dec, 2007
    0 Votes

    Hello, everyone.

    I work for ABC Financial, and I process cancellation requests on a daily basis for most of the above mention clubs. A lot of you seem to be confused as to why your cancellation requests are denied and/or prolonged.

    Unfortunately, we do not have much say in whether we are able to terminate a contract. We are contract by health clubs do their "dirty work". A lot of times when someone signs a contract, they are misled by a club employee - mostly on contract terms/length and cancel procedures. I have hear from many customer service reps that people always call in, and when they are told they can only cancel due to moving or disability, they say "well, the gym told me I was month to month" or "I was told I could cancel anytime". This is true, but there is more to it.

    We are given a list of "acceptable documents" from the club to accept. Whether it be a lease agreement, utility bill, bank statement, drivers license , whatnot -- if certain criteria is not met, then we can not cancel. A lot of members send lease agreements that don't show their full address. How are we going to tell that "123 Main Street" is in a different state - or x miles away from the club, without the lease providing a city or state? A lot of utility bills only show street addresses. I think a lot members are upset because they are providing the RIGHT type of documents, but those documents don't meet the criteria to cancel.

    By the way, most of the newer contracts (2004 and newer) with WOW - you pay your first and LAST months dues up front. So, whoever claims that they are still paying for 3 months of dues after providing sufficient proof of relocation is full of it.

    Most contracts require a 30 days notice. This is not an ABC policy, but a policy that is outlined in the members agreements. It may not be ethical or moral, whatever you want to call it - but it is in your contract, so it is legally binding. Not even the best attorney could override this. However, like I said above, some clubs require you to pay your last months dues at enrollment, so this is normally not an issue, especially if you're a WOW member.

    You can file a complaint with the BBB, but before you do, just make note that we are BBB accredited for a reason. Most complaints are dropped and/or satisfied because the member just lacks common sense... or just doesn't know how to interpret a contract.

    Sorry if this comes off as a negative response, but I just wanted to help clear some things up. If you have any further questions please respond and I'll try my best to answer in an honest way. Remember, all contracts are different, so before you sign your John Hancock away, make sure you READ EVERYTHING and point out anything suspicious to the person trying to sell you the contract. They can always mark out (and initial) any clause, or write any special clauses into your contract. Normally there are 3 copies of an agreement. One copy stays at the club, one goes to the member, and we get the other copy. This way, there are no discrepancies.


  • Sq
      11th of Dec, 2007
    0 Votes

    By the way, regarding the transfer thing - this is also something in your contract.

    Most contracts state that you may cancel your agreement if you move X miles or more from the club, OR ANY CLUB AFFILIATE. If we find an affiliated club that is within an X amount of miles from your home, the transfer is mandatory.

    Come on guys, do you honestly think we make this crap up to make your lives a living hell?

    It's all in your contract, which is probably sitting in a drawer since the day you joined the gym, collecting dust. It might shock you if you actually got it out and read it.

  • An
      1st of Feb, 2008
    0 Votes

    I would like to close my account with you. I find that you're expensive compare to the gyms in my area and your staff at the west hartford, ct location are not very friendly, also I never receive any news letter or member ship information from you. I am a hard working single mom and I refuse to give my money to someone who doesn't show good customer service. Please cancell my membership with this Gym as of 2/1/08 and I will stop payment on my account, if you have any question you can contact me at 860-913-8395

  • An
      1st of Feb, 2008
    0 Votes

    Please cancell my membership, I dont go to your poorly kept GYM and $31 is way too much plus it smells bad I cant work out and hold my breath.

  • St
      3rd of Mar, 2008
    0 Votes

    File a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission with abc financial. I just did, the more people that file complaints the more likely they will be shut down. I am fighting Vision Financial Corp. because of ABC mistakes. I had to end my contract because of moving outside the state. I did send a copy of my new driver License to ABC financial. via mail which is stated in the contract. I was then to recieved a bill for 20% of the balance of unpaid dues. I recieved a bill about 2 weeks later for a past due membership fee's. Now in their contract it states that it can take up to 40 days for them make any changes so I figured that they didn't process my request yet. Then that was it. I never recieved any thing else from ABC financial. 3 months later I recieved a letter from Vision Financial. So I called them up and they told me that ABC financial never recieved anything. I asked him how the hell did you get my new address and phone number. They letter you sent came right to my new address so you must have gotten it off my driver license and the letter I sent you. Well, he didn't like to be wrong so then he when into I had to read my contract. What the [censored] didn't know is I work with contracts every day. He told me there is a 60 cancellation notice. I told him there isn't, not on the permanent relocation clause.

    I am still fighting this so we'll see what happens

  • Th
      19th of Mar, 2008
    0 Votes

    This is all so crazy. Before you sign your life away read the contract. i found that all of the cancel procedures were included on my contract and all the fees. Even a part that says my club can increase my monthly payment amount after my contract renews, without notice. I didnt believe it until i read it myself.

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