I was scammed/tricked into signing up for 2 years
OKLAHOMA CITY, OKLAHOMA -- On July 31, I went to the All American Fitness center located on NW Expressway in OKC to see about signing up for a short-term membership. I was enrolled at a beauty school at the time of the inquiry, and I knew I would be graduating within the next month, so I only wanted to sign up for a month at a time, if it was possible.
I spoke to a man that is the Asst. Manager at the facility. His initials are D.P. I explained to him how I was going to graduate soon, and that I didn't want to sign up long term with any gym right now, so I asked him, "Is there any way I can sign up for just a month at a time?"
"We'll hook you up," is what he said.
He took me on a tour of the facilities, showed me all of the equipment, the usual, and then he took me to the office to discuss prices. He asked me if I would be interested in getting a personal trainer.
I had just quit smoking in May, and I was rewarding myself by joining a gym. I always wanted to have a personal trainer to teach me how to properly execute moves, engage my muscles/core, help me with a nutrition plan, etc., so I figured, what the heck. Let's sign up for a trainer.
He told me the trainer for a period of six weeks would be around $375.00. I then asked him how much would that be with just one month of membership. He told me that my ONE MONTH would cost me $45 dollars. Considering the membership included aerobics, a sauna and access to a swimming pool and hot tub, I assumed that was a feasible price.
I then asked him, "Since the personal trainer is a little more than one month, if I decide I don't want to continue my membership after a month, I can still come to see the trainer for the additional two weeks without reupping my membership, right?"
He says yes. Now he does "crunch some numbers" for me at this time, and tells me how much it WOULD be if I decided to sign up for more than a month. I just nod and say, okay, whatever, but I make sure he knows I'm only interested in the month to month basis.
He NEVER tells me it's not possible to sign up for just a month at a time; he never tells me that in order to have a personal trainer, you HAVE To sign up for a long-term membership.
I was supposed to be at school at 11a.m. It was around 10:50, and I stressed my concern with Mr. D.P. that I would be late to school, so I asked if I could just come back in later to finalize the membership. He says, "This will only take a few more minutes."
He goes to get the contract, and while he's gone, he has me fill out another sheet that has my personal info on it.
About five minutes later, he returns, with the contract in hand. He sets it down, he shows me where to sign for the personal trainer. I sign it. He shows me where to sign for the ONE MONTH membership. He says, "and this is where you sign agreeing you want the one month for $45 dollars." I sign it.
He then has me sign the bottom, agreeing to authorize them to use my credit card to pay for my personal trainer and one month membership. The total was $422.15. I sign it.
He takes the contract, quickly tears off my copy, folds it a couple of times, and then places it in a huge white envelope. I'm in a huge hurry to not be late to school, and I'm giddy with excitement that I have just signed up for a personal trainer... so STUPID STUPID me flies outta there without going over my contract.
I go to the gym a total of three times. Twice to work with my trainer, and once to work out on the cardio equipment. Exactly seven days later, I receive a phone call from the gym.
"Hi, this is so-and-so with All American Fitness. I'm calling to see how you'd like to set up your payment plan for your gym membership."
"What payment plan? I already paid for my PT and my month's worth of membership with my credit card."
The caller goes on to say, "Well ma'am, it says here you signed up for 24 months."
I run to get my contract, and as clear as day, on the front of my contract, there was a section that Mr. D.P. had filled out without my knowledge, where he "crunched the numbers" away from me and filled in 24-months worth of membership on my contract. He had to have filled it in before he brought the contract to me to sign.
I never noticed it when I signed the contract, because
1. I was in a huge hurry
2. I was excited and wasn't thinking I had been tricked
3. I didn't realize it at the time, but Mr. D.P. had his hand resting on the contract, conveniently over the area where he filled out the 24-month membership, as I signed it.
I told this person on the phone that this wasn't correct, that I wasn't paying for something that I never intended on getting, and that I would be at All American tomorrow at 10a.m. to get this sorted out.
I get to the gym the next morning, and I tell a lady at the front desk my name, and I say, "I was tricked into signing up for 2 years worth of membership here, and I want to talk to Mr. D.P. RIGHT NOW."
I stayed extremely calm, I didn't lose my cool, and she goes to a back office to get him.
About ten minutes later, she resurfaces, without Mr. D.P.
"Mr. P wanted me to tell you that the matter is out of his hands, and that if you want to cancel, you have to contact home office, because your three day grace period is over."
Three day grace period??? What's that??? That's something else he never told me, or else I would have read my contract first thing!!!
So I say to her, "So he won't even come out and talk to me about it?"
She just shakes her head no.
Now if that isn't a sign of guilt, I don't know what is. If he's innocent, and I'm the one at fault, then why wouldn't this man just come out and try to clear things up with me?
So I ask for his manager.
"He is the manager."
"Then who do I need to talk to about what he did to me?"
She tells me to call home office. I call home office (from my school later that day) and ask for Ms. M.W. Ms. W. is in charge of cancellations. She hears me out, gets the idea of what has happened, and then tells me she'll look into it and call me right back. She never called me back.
The next morning, I call her again, go over with her again what happened to me, and then she asks me, "Did you sign the contract? Didn't you read it?"
Yeah, I read the contract, AFTER I found out I had been scammed. I admit to her that me not reading the contract was a HUGE mistake, because it's obvious I shouldn't have trusted anyone working for All American.
"Well, you signed a contract. It's a matter of 'he said, she said' now."
I try to explain to her that yes, I was naive and stupid for not going over the contract, but when you're a busy student and mother of four, in between studying, cooking, eating and sleeping, it doesn't occur to you to make sure you read a contract you THOUGHT was legit.
She just says, "Well, we get people like you trying to back out of their obligations all of the time. How do I know you're not lying, and even if he did trick you, you still signed the contract. Simple as that."
She says she's going to call the Asst. Manager and get his side of the story, and she'd call me back. Of course, when she calls back, she says Mr. D.P. (of course) said that I knew what I was signing, and that if I didn't know what I was signing, then why did I agree to the "ALL CLUBS" feature.
All clubs??? He told me all clubs was a feature he would add on because I didn't want tanning with my month's worth of membership. He NEVER SAID it was something I had to do if I was signing up long term. He never uttered the words, 24 months or 2 years. He knew I never intended on signing up for a long term membership!!!
She didn't give two flips that the Asst. Manager at the NW Expy facility is deliberately scamming people. She just kept saying, "Well, you signed the contract. It's your problem now that you have to pay for it, and we won't drop it."
I informed Ms. W. that I would be contacting the Better Business Bureau, and that I would make sure the local news stations in OKC would hear about what happened to me.
"Are you threatening me??"
"If that's what you want to call it, sure."
I have not made a single payment to ABC Finance, the financial institution that handles money for All American. Since I never made a payment after they sent me snail mail, they took it upon themselves to take out a total of $67.76 from my Visa Card I used to pay for the original $422.15 I DID agree to.
I called my credit card, and it is impossible to stop them (ABC Finance) from taking the money out. They didn't even take out the $45 amount, because they knew if I had blocked their payments (which I did attempt to do with Visa) that they could go around it by taking out a larger amount.
I am making it my personal mission to make sure that people looking into a gym in Oklahoma City, or anywhere in Oklahoma DO NOT sign up with All American Fitness. If you do, MAKE SURE YOU READ YOUR CONTRACT!!!! I admit my fault at not doing so, but it's disgusting that someone can take advantage of someone's naivety, and trick them into something that can wreck their financial standing. I refuse to go back to the gym, even though I am technically paying for a membership, unwillingly, through my credit card. I don't want to have anything to do with such a shoddy business.
I consider this an extremely difficult lesson learned. A day doesn't go by that I'm not stressed out with the thought of what has happened, and the thought of the debt I now have due to them.
Please, if you've had the same type thing happen to you with this gym, post it here for everyone to read. Word of mouth is either your best friend or WORST enemy.