The worst Customer Service Possible
CALIFORNIA -- I joined Bally back in 2003, and I have been constantly disappointed since. Being a college student at the time, I hardly lived in the same location for more than a year, so I got the premium membership that allowed me to use other clubs. My initial club was of decent quality, but the other ones had ceilings that dripped when raining, poorly maintained equipment, and a host of other problems. Most of it did not bother me too much, but when I forced to cancel my contract since I had to move to China for work, that is when the real frustration came about. Their rules state that as long as there are no Ballys within 25 miles of your residence, you are allowed to cancelled given that you send in the documentation and a $50 check. I did just that, with the check, I sent my employment contract, a copy of my residence permit for China and a copy of my one-way e-ticket to China.
I ignorantly thought that everything was taken care of, but I was wrong. 1 month after I have been in China, Bally charged my account for the usual monthly payment. After waiting on the phone for at least 15 mins (nobody can get a hold of a representative by phone for anything less than 10 minutes with Bally), I was told that my documentation was insufficient. Apparently, a residence permit that is recognized by both the Chinese and American government (or any other government for that matter), is not enough for Bally Total Fitness. I had no idea that they were above international government institutions. So I grudgingly sent even more documentation.
Four months later, my parents tell me that they received a notification from Bally's that I need to pay $77 for the pro-rated fees to completely cancel my membership. When I called them to ask what is the meaning of this, I once again had to wait on hold, this time over 20 minutes. During the course of the conversation, the representative asked me whether I had my membership card and than asked if I had my contract. Apparently he is not aware that Bally Total Fitness requires members to send in both their contract and membership card along with the notice of cancellation.
I have been a member of other gyms before, and with each one, all I had to do was go to the counter and tell them I want to cancel, and that's it. But with Bally, I have never had so much frustration in my life. There are so many other choices for fitness, I strongly suggest not signing up with Bally.