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Life Time Fitnessbeware

Hundreds of LifeTime Fitness (LTF) members have been shafted! When LTF first started they offered a Founders Membership (FM) with a permanent fixed monthly membership fee. A FM was expensive, but it promised a great long term ROI plus a great resale value if LTF succeeded. As I understand it, about 1, 000 such memberships were sold by LTF. An LTF membership can be privately bought/sold with a transfer fee paid to LTF, and all benefits of the membership go to the new owner. In the mid-1990s, I bought one from a member who was moving out of Eagan. I long ago recouped my investment through paying a much lower monthly membership fee. The resale value of a FM has also been increasing, because normal monthly membership fees have been increasing while the FM monthly membership fee never increases. As I understand it, a FM is/was worth as much as $4, 000. Well, not any more.

Supposedly, two LTF members filed a class-action lawsuit against LTF, claiming that a FM entitled them to use LTFs newer premium club facilities under the same fixed fee. LTF says all FM owners were given a chance to opt out of the class-action lawsuit. I'm not an attorney. I have always thought the only reason to opt out of a class-action lawsuit is to reserve the right to bring your own lawsuit over the same dispute. I have always thought the worst outcome for the plaintiff would be nothing and the best outcome for the defendant would be nothing. Wrong! I'm told there was a negotiated settlement in this case. The plaintiffs were damaged and the defendant (LTF) benefited. Some, or most, or all, current FM owners (including me) were much better off before the settlement. I'm told I have to accept the outcome, even though I never agreed to anything.

The settlement apparently states that current FM owners can use any LTF club facility under the same fixed fee. However, if a FM is sold, the new owner is subject to different terms. The new owner can use *some* LTF club facilities at no additional cost, but *most* LTF club facilities would not be available without additional fees. I believe LTF started here in Eagan, and I would guess that the largest number of FM owners use the Eagan facility, but the Eagan facility is *not* among those that a new owner could use. Further, the list of LTF club facilities that a new owner could use is subject to change at any time. A potential FM buyer could not use the Eagan facility and could not be sure that any other currently available facility would remain available to him/her. The appeal of a FM to potential buyers has been destroyed. The resale value of a FM has been trashed!

LTF says the settlement forces them to hose current FM owners like myself. A customer service representative admitted to me that we got screwed. Do you really think they have sympathy for us? The settlement means LTF will gradually eliminate Founders Memberships from their member base, which increases their revenue. They have effectively stolen the money from us! Two different LTF representatives told me LTF did not sue itself (implicitly admitting it might appear that way), but I have to wonder about the motives of those who initiated the class-action lawsuit. I wonder if they are LTF stockholders. I wonder if they have some connection to the ownership. The whole situation really stinks, and I'm deeply suspicious. Some, or most, or all, current FM owners (including me) took it in the backside while LTF came out smelling like a rose.

Responses

  • Je
    jenajoy22 Jun 08, 2016
    This comment was posted by
    a verified customer
    Verified customer

    I am looking at purchasing a founders membership and am trying to find something to help me gauge what the price should be for this membership. Any guidance would be much appreciated.

    0 Votes
  • Te
    teddykgb001 Mar 15, 2011

    I am in a similar situation and would like to know if there are others who would like to try to find a different resolution to this. I purchased my founders membership while the class action was going on, (apparently) unannounced to me. I was never told of this or given the option to get out. If you are interested, contact me at teddykgb001 (at) yahoo (dot) com.

    0 Votes
  • Po
    pobarjenkins Oct 14, 2010
    This comment was posted by
    a verified customer
    Verified customer

    Thirty days is really not that unreasonable. Some gym memberships require sixty days.

    0 Votes
  • Ki
    KingAmall Oct 14, 2010
    This comment was posted by
    a verified customer
    Verified customer

    Well, here is something to think about for those who contemplate membership in Life Time Fitness - CANCELATION or MEMEBRSHIP suspension notice must be give 30 days ahead otherwise they will charge you a full month of service. Now, let's think about in the context of real life and economy. How many of you plan 30 days ahead to get in any kind of trouble - such as loosing job, or accident, or for that matter a business trip that requires you to leave on a short notice for a relatively extensive period of time...??? Apparently, according to the idiots atLife Time Fitness that's how life works... We have the luxury of clearly seeing the future 30 days ahead of time... I tried to notify Life Time Fitness approx 17 days ahead of time - which was still good 10 days before the current month membership was to expire that I need to put the membership on hold for one month ( October) because of my trip oversees... Apparently it can't be done - period... And the best reason they can give me is: BECAUSE THAT'S OUR POLICY... I tried to reason with them, pointing to the fact that it is better for them to accommodate my needs then loss me as a customer - especially since I will have to pay the $10.00 fee anyway for the month suspension... Apparently two independent idiots in charge, in two clubs do not see it this way... They prefer that I quit than to work with me. Not even the argument that I have been with Life Fitness since 1998 would help. Oh, they also don't get it that today people have choice -as a matter of fact many of them... Few years agoLife Time Fitness in our area was only one of few places... Today, there is LA Fitness, little clubs on almost every corner, multiple Belli's Location and so on... Each one of them offersmembership significantly cheaper than Life Time Fitness... And judging by the sign outside, offering no fee enrollment, and multiple open house time - Life Fitness is hurting for clients - perhaps more in this Metro Detroit Area than anywhere else in the country... But again - that does not matter... They would rather let you go and compromise some idiotic rule - which by the way needs to be legally review - because the last time I checked the law - it is illegal to charge someone for the services not provided... How then is it legal to charge a additional month ofmembership if the person can't be there...????

    Anyhow - people be warn of this little hidden hooks in the contract and check different clubs before you sign anything with Life Time Fitness... Remember, you have choices - lots of them, and in today's hurting economy those places are hurting financially just like you and me... The least they can do is to revise they idiotic rules to make life easier for the customers... But since the customer only matters when they want you money - this is what we all get... And it make absolutely no difference that " other clubs do the same" - as it was explained to me... If 100 people do something wrong that does not make it right - period...

    I know there are many more frustrated people up there because of the same issue... I encourage you to post your frustration and perhaps consider a group law suite... Maybe that's the only way to get through those ***'s heads...

    0 Votes

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