Bally Total Fitness - Page 3

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1.2 out of 5, based on 6 ratings and
92 reviews & complaints.
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Cancellation of contract
Posted by on
This is one of the worst organization in America. What a crap company. I called them up on 2nd Feb to cancel my subscription. My next billing date was 4th of February They said they will cancel my subscription. But I was charged on 4th February I called them again, they said I did not give them enough time to cancel the subscription and they will not be refunding my balance. 2 days are not enough in this electronic age!! And I can't even mention how rude the customer service lady was; this was my first experience with such a customer service in America. I do not speak English so fluently, so I felt she was insulting me by the way she was talking.
I have called up my bank as well to cancel the auto pay option and do not pay them. I cancelled the subscription because I was moving from Seattle to San Diego. Bally's is right around the corner but I prefer to go 3 miles ti another gym and pay a little more and get a little more respect.
     
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Truth about bally
Posted by on
The following is my experience with Bally.
Most of the staffing is rude, including but not limited to maintenance, management, personal trainers. Most of the staffing is not only caustic,
but they are not helpful. They are professional liars and will tell you
that the air conditioning is off because it is broken and will be working
soon. When in fact, the air conditioning will be off the entire summer so
they can save money. The rest rooms are a battlefield of germs. With toilets not flushing and bathrooms untidy and dirty. The lockers do not
get cleaned either. Cleaning is not in their vocabulary. Forget about
customer service, that is not in their vocabulary either. When you call
corporate you will get someone different every time. You should not have
to call corporate for anything anyway. The Bally center you are a member in should be able to solve any and all problems. DO NOT SIGN UP AT BALLYS.
     
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Alain on 2011-01-30:
You can give their corporate HQ in Chicago a call at 773-380-3000, but I'm not sure it will make a difference.
Beth W. on 2011-01-31:
Thank you for your valuable feedback. We want you to choose Bally because you think it’s a great value and we want your experience to be positive. We're sorry to hear we missed the mark.

We will be forwarding your comments onto our Management team for review. Thank you!

Beth
Customer Relations
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Don't Become A Member Of Bally Total Fitness
Posted by on
CALIFORNIA -- I went to Bally's on a quest pass, and before I could step foot on any exercise machine they called a worker up front to take me in an office and get me to become a member. He was going over all the "so called perks" and convinced me into signing what I thought was a month to month deal. I asked him over and over "this isn't a contract right?" and every time I asked he said "NO". Come to find out after $2,300 dollar bill I had signed a 3 year contract unbenoced to me. I tried to cancel the membership and was told the only way to cancel is if you have medical reason why you can't work out and a doctor has to write them a letter. I was so pissed because I was totally lied to. By the way I only worked out twice with the membership. So I advise to not sign anything no matter what they try to tell you. It's a total scam because they know nobody is going to sit and read all the pages and understand exactly what there talking about. I have spoken with several people who Bally Total Fitness has done the same thing to.
     
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Beth W. on 2011-01-06:
We want our members to be happy with their membership terms and options. Please contact our Member Support Team at (866) 402-2559 or via email at memberservices@ballyfitness.com so we can answer any specific questions you have.

Thanks!

Beth
Bally Total Fitness
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They'll say anything to get you to sign up!
Posted by on
In March 2009 I signed up with Bally's in Matteson, IL. I was told by the representative that I was getting a month-month contract but that the monthly price would be locked in for 2 years and would be automatically drafted from my checking account every month. I made sure to ask that it meant I can cancel at any time for any reason which he confirmed. In May 2010 I went in to cancel my membership at which time they told me I would need to mail their corporate office. 6/1/10 I wrote a letter asking them to cancel my membership. I never received a confirmation in the mail but noticed that the July fees were not drafted from my checking account and when I called their toll free number it could not find my account number so was relieved that it was cancelled and was as easy as promised when I originally signed up. But the I received a letter in Oct. 2010 stating that my account was 90 days past due and was in danger of getting sent to a collections agency. I immediately called and told them the above information and the representative then told me that he has been hearing a lot of people complaining about misleading sales people at the stores. This furiated me and he had no answer or explanation as to why they know about it but refuse to do anything about it and gave me my 2 options-pay the account in full to the end of my contract or pay it up to date and then go back on a month-month billing. I went in to the Matteson location and was helped by the GM-well, I wouldn't say helped as he had no care as to what happened or that his employees were misleading people. He did tell me that the account hadn't been sent to a collections agency yet so I paid the account up to date. I didn't want it linked up to my checking account again as I have no trust in the company any more. Then last night I received a phone call from the collections department saying that my account will stay with collections until I pay the amount due to fulfill my contract and they had no report of me paying up to date at my local branch. I am soooo frustrated with this company and no one seems to care that they are messing with my credit history which I work very hard at keeping up with! I will NEVER step foot in any Bally's and the only time I will ever speak of them is to stop someone else from falling into their lies!!
     
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Anonymous on 2010-10-19:
I say a lot of things in the heat of the moment too, and really mean them, at that moment. Good luck to you.
BEJ on 2010-10-19:
It does not matter what they tell you. What matters is what is written in the contract.
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Once a nice Bally's now a "DUMP"
Posted by on
JAMAICA QUEENS, NEW YORK -- I have been a member since 1994 of Bally's Total Fitness and this is the first time I ever had to complain.

I was going to the Kew Gardens Bally's until 2005 when I decided to attend this Bally's in the Jamaica queens section because it is closer to my home. In the beginning the gym was clean and well equipped. There was always a locker room attendant. Now this gym has turned into a dump.

Their machines are always breaking down. I once got on a PRECORE and one of the foot pads completely broke off. Luckly I did not get hurt. Out of all their PRECORE machines 1 to sometimes 4 are broken. Now in the aerobic room there are barely no work out mats. Whatever mats are left are torn and tattered. The free weight racks are barely full. Either some are missing(stolen)which are always the lighter weights and whatever weights are left the coating is falling apart or totally torn away from the weight. Now the steps for the step clases are either worn or damaged. I have taken a step class last week and I nearly slipped more than once during a class and every step I went to replace was no better. It was very frustrating to take a class and worry about falling.

Oh it gets better from here. There is a slow and growing infestation of "GNATS" in the shower area. One time I came home after using the shower at the gym and when I let down my hair I found a "GNAT" in my hair. Oh and I also must not forget about the broken latches on the doors in the toilet section of the bathroom. I had to jam my gym towel between the door to keep it close and from people walking in on me using the toilet. In this bathroom there is about 3 broken door latches. Oh also I have seen members leave their locks on the lockers over night. I thought you was not supposed to do that because they clip them if you do. Oh I must not forget about the HUGE dirty bath towels left on the floor and the constant, daily flowing garbage all over the locker room floor.

This Bally's used to be a excellent gym. I don't know what is going on with management of this gym but if nothing is done somebody is going to get sick or hurt from this gym and I see lawsuits coming.
Company Response 02/11/2010:
Thank you for sharing your comments. We want you to have a clean environment and a great workout experience at Bally.

We've contacted the area Market Manager and Maintenance Supervisor for review and follow-up.

We did hear back from both and were notified the Maintenance Supervisor was onsite yesterday and all but one machine was up - the machine that wasn't working was in the process of being repaired. We also confirmed that new Group Exercise mats are on order and should be to the club shortly.

Please be sure to communicate your concerns to your Bally club manager. Or, call our Member Support Team at (866) 402-2559 or e-mail us at memberservices@ballyfitness.com so we can document your concern.

Thanks again for your valuable feedback

Beth
Customer Relations
Bally Total Fitness
     
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Misled & Paying for it!
Posted by on
In August of 2009 I called Bally Total Fitness to cancel my membership after having put it on hold for 5 months. The woman I spoke to (whose name I DEARLY wish I could remember!) told me that my membership was already canceled. I asked her to double check and she said yes, no problem, and I hung up the phone a happy customer.

Shame on me for not checking my bank statements while I was overseas and over the holidays, but I returned home to find that I had been charged the full membership fee for September, October, November, and December! I immediately called and was told there was no record of a cancellation of my membership in August. I explained what happened and immediately canceled, then asked for a refund for Sept-Dec. I was refused.

I was told they could do a search of my phone number for the call I made in their database which would take 2-3 weeks and then they would contact me. Still trying to remain pleasant, I agreed.

It's been over 3 weeks. Today I called and (conveniently for them) my number never showed up as having called in August and I was again refused a refund. Still being polite, I asked for a manager and was given voicemail.

I don't blame the people on the phones--according to their computer, I guess I look like a liar. Which frustrates me.

Point of my rant? GOOD LUCK GETTING A REFUND even if you were assured your membership was ended and Bally made a mistake! Check your bank statements because I got swindled out of a hefty chunk of money.

I would have let it all slide if they had apologized and offered a refund, but this is unacceptable. Other than this incident, my experience with Bally's was very pleasant.
     
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Ytropious on 2010-02-05:
The only thing I can think of his why would your membership be magically canceled? It sounds like an automatic renewal type thing.
Anonymous on 2010-02-05:
I have never heard of any gym, anywhere, where you could cancel over the phone. In most places you can't even cancel at the gym. You have to send it in writing to the billing company.
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Don't Sign Up. Trust Me
Posted by on
As a former employee, I would not recommend signing up with Bally Total Fitness. Its a scam. All they want is your money. That's it. They don't care about what the members say. Its all about the money. Once your in a contract, its almost impossible to get out of it. They won't just let you cancel. You got to have either a doctors note, or relocate 25 miles away from a club and you got to submit evidence to show that. So much hassle.

Anytime a member submits a complaint, nothing gets done about it. It just gets read and that's it. Never gets handled. The clubs are always dirty and unsanitary. They did away with toilet seat covers. So if you want to go to the bathroom, wait til you get home. The employees at the clubs are not very nice. I was even told by one club employee that some of the club staff don't use there real name. They use a fake name.

Starting in January 2010, you have to be on automatic withdrawals or else they won't let you use the gym. They just want you on automatic withdrawals to get your money. IF you forget to stop or cancel, they will not give you your money back. They also state, once your contract is over with, you need to make a request to cancel or else you will keep getting billed and won't get your money back. In the contract, it doesn't state those exact words that you have to cancel once contract is over with. Its rewritten in a way that most people don't pay attention to it.

I personally recommend going elsewhere to like 24 Hour Fitness. At least there gyms are so clean and the employees are much nicer. You might pay a little more, but its well worth it. Plus, after a year or so with 24 Hour Fitness, your rate will go down. At Ballys, your rates go up even after being with them for so long. They just want your money. STAY AWAY FROM BALLYS.

Trying to get a hold of a customer service representative at ballys is almost impossible. The wait time is almost an hour. You might get cut off on the phone then you will have to wait all over again. IF you send an email, it might take a week or so to get a reply. Believe me. Just note, all the calls are recorded. So keep track of who you talk to, the date and time. So if you ever get told something, ask them to pull the call. So a reminder, stay away from Ballys.
     
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goduke on 2009-08-13:
Disgruntled ex-employee, huh?

I know tons of folks who work out at Bally's and absolutely enjoy their experience. But they also aren't folks who have signed up and then 3 months later decide that they don't like working out and try to get out of the deal. They have committed to long term health goals. Maybe that's really the issue.

I've never really seen a club (and I've used 24 Hour Fitness) who really "cares" about the members. They take your money, they give you a place to work out, and they'll let you buy all sorts of extra stuff if you want to.

And I've also never seen a club who has a contract which actually ends. Every one I've ever seen kicks right over to a month-to-month contract. Just like cable. Just like cell phone.
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Who's suing them?
Posted by on
MARIETTA, GEORGIA -- All Bally's really have from you is a signature and a promise to pay. No goods or services have been provided, it's a piece of paper... terefore, Bally's goes from getting nothing from the victim, to getting a hundred dollars from the collection agency when they turned over the contract. They're not out of any money if it's never fulfilled.
Bally's sued me for hundreds dollars AFTER I proved I had moved outside of their coverage area. Even the attorney of the collection agency who met me outside of the court room agreed that THEY DIDN'T HONOR POLICY PACIFICS WITHIN THEIR OWN CONTRACT but said that few people rarely get out of it. She recommended instead of fighting in court (and having it show public record against you), just make payment arrangements of nominal amounts to get rid of them, like $15 per month and they'd (the agency - not Bally's) would drop it in one year as debt settled and she put it in her records on the spot. So for a total of $180(because she only had the judge dismiss the case instead of hearing the case) I was rid of their nasty butts. Better than putting in hours of research and trying to take them to court on my own for violating their own contract stipulations of MOVING 20+ MILES FROM ANY FACILITY and having them charge me the remainder of the contract - about $1200.
I've worked collections for many years and suggest you try for a 30% or less settlement. The agency makes money and avoids court fees when they loose because Bally's is usually in the wrong to begin with. You're only out of a couple of hundred instead of thousands, everybody is off your back and if you start the little payment quickly enough, it saves your credit (if you hadn't gone past 90 days on the original payments).
Here's the best part... because Bally's breeched their own contract (make sure you have an original copy which the collection agency can provide - meaning Bally's wouldn't be able to alter it at that point - and documentation for everything that's happened to you) you can join in with hundreds of others that they've done this to and go for a class action against them at a later date.
It's my turn. Any suits pending that I can join in on? Let me know. -g-
     
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goduke on 2009-07-17:
How did Bally's violate the contract? I missed that one.
Soaring Consumer on 2009-07-17:
According to this review, Bally's never provided services to the OP and violated the clause where you are released from the contract if you move and you are over a certain distance from any Bally's gym.
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Bally Total Fitness Are Money Grubbers
Posted by on
This entire company is the lowest of the lowest class you can get. I have had memberships at two other fitness clubs and never had the experiences I had with Balley. First of all I paid extra for the daycare to take my 8 and 10 year old. The daycare workers were terrible. There is no way I would leave an infant or toddler in there daycare. My children were old enough to tell me what was going on in the room when none of the parents were around including yelling at the toddlers and cursing at the older children. From that point I know longer took my children to that daycare. I continued to use the gym until I ran into some financial hardships over the past year. I signed a one year agreement and when I called to cancel the auto drafts from my account I was told that I couldn't cancel because I had signed a 3 year contract. I told them that I didn't sign a 3 year contract and that I wanted a copy of it. I was told that it would cost me $10.00 for a copy of the contract. This company has known customer service and were down right crude to me when I told them that I could not continue to make the payments. The representative Alicia was absolutely the worst and continued to argue with me about my financial situation. I asked if they had any way that I could cancel because of my financial situation and she told me yes, that I had to pay a $50.00 fee to cancel early plus the remainder of my contract amount of $500+. Oh and she would give me a discount of 20%. Gee, thanks. I continued to ask if there was any other reason that I could qualify to cancel and she began to lecture me about how she is not going to give me any reasons that I don't qualify for.

If this company were to be more hospitable I may have cancelled and came back to them when I was able to afford it because that are the closest gym to my house but between the gym cleanliness, the daycare and there service I would not recommend ever going to this gym and I surely wouldn't sign a contract or take my children to there daycare!
     
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Soaring Consumer on 2009-03-21:
I suggest that you file a police report about the daycare. I think that is considered child abuse.
Principissa on 2009-03-21:
Are you serious? You need to report this to management and Child Welfare. Those people clearly do not need to be left in charge of those poor kids.
Annieb140 on 2009-03-21:
I reported to the manager and she said she would take care of it. When I went back the next week both of the daycare workers were still in there with the children that my kids had been complaining about.
Principissa on 2009-03-21:
Then you need to take this to a higher level and report it to corporate and child welfare. Those people do not need to be in a job that places them around small kids if that is how they are going to behave around them.
Soaring Consumer on 2009-03-21:
Now that the rest of the review is posted, I can see the part about the fraudulent extension of your contract.

In addition to Child Protective Services, I recommend that you contact your state's Office of the Attorney General's Consumer Protection Division ASAP.

If you signed a 1 year agreement, and a 1 year agreement only, they have no right to fraudulently extend your contract for another 2 years and demand payment, and then furthermore when you question it, they demand money to see a copy of a contract, that probably does not exist. If anything, they will claim that you gave them the $10 to "approve" the new contract.

Don't do it and don't pay them. The Office of the Attorney General is there to investigate these types of practices and help you.
Annieb140 on 2009-03-21:
Thank You for your recommendations and advice I will look into that.
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Upgrade Scam
Posted by on
NEW YORK, NEW YORK -- My boyfriend gave me a membership to Bally Total Fitness last year. (He's been a lifetime member for over 20 years, and the rate is unbelievably cheap.) So we go to the location nearest my house - which was totally ghetto. People just hanging out, talking and trying to pick each other up. The machines were on top of each other and everything was cramped into one tiny room. No towels and not much to be desired as far as the classes went. Reluctantly, I got my membership card and promised that I would try it out.

Fast forward another month, I haven't gone to the ghetto gym. I look on their website and then notice that they have two "Sports Clubs" near my office. I call one up and go by for a visit. I'm very happy as their facilities are much nicer, more equipment, better spacing and of course towels. I sign for the upgrade - which is about $20 per month. But I figure okay.

So NOW they have changed everything. No longer to they offer towels (since December). They put up some sign saying that people were stealing them - then switched to say that it was due to economics. Now I have to drag around all day long with my wet towel (I go to the gym before work when it's less crowded.)

My boyfriend decided one day to try a different location while he was away on business. They said it was a Sports Club and gave him access for one day, but said that if he wanted to go again it would be a flat fee of $180. WHAT THE HECK!!! A flat fee of $180 when I'll be paying $20+ for the next three years.

So I called them up to complain and see if I could get a refund. After waiting the requisite 25 minutes (I truly think they do that as a ploy to get you to hang up), I spoke with someone. She said to me there was no way to get out of the contract that I had. I told her that I would wind up paying almost 4x the $180 fee AND I'm not even getting the towels anymore. (Trust me, that was one of the selling points when I signed up.) She said there was nothing I could do, as I signed a contract.

Well, this is not over. I will continue to try to get out of this one way or another.

Heck, I think I may just switch us both to NYSC and call it a day.

UGH!

     
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