MOBILE, ALABAMA -- Oh my gosh - why didn't I read things like this before I joined this gym? In January of 2003 I signed a two year contract with the gym and my $39 monthly membership was drafted out of my checking account. Even though I got a divorce and became a single mother during these two years, I never tried to get out of this membership because I had agreed to two years.
Once the two years were up, I figured my contract was over, but after a couple of months, realized they were still drafting my account. I only realized this because I had opened a new checking account and had taken the old one down to just a few dollars before I closed it - and the drafts bounced. I found this out in April after I thought my contract was finished in January.
I called the billing office to cancel my account. Was told to go by the gym, get the cancellation form and fill it out and mail or fax it to the billing office. I did all of that - by this time it was May - and the billing office informed me that I had to pay the three months of March, April and May (the 26th, 27th and 28th months of my 24 month contract) before they would cancel it. I told them that I had fulfilled 25 months and would not pay another dime. I am now being harassed by a collection agency saying they want to take me to court, etc.
Yes, I should have read the fine print, but whatever happened to the customer being right? I feel that I am truly a reasonable person and if they had told me this when I signed up, none of this would have happened, but they didn't say a "two year contract, then month to month till you cancel" - they just said "two year contract". Yes, I obviously should have read the fine print, but they should also cover verbally what the contract entails, shouldn't they??
ALABAMA -- I can empathize with the person who purchased a two year membership. I purchased a membership then continued treatment for a life threatening illness. After some complications, I went to the local Cory Everson Fitness Club, spoke with an employee, and was told that there would be a couple of months between the receipt of the mailed cancellation and the time that my cancellation would take effect. I was, however, assured that the cancellation was automatic at the end of the two year contract. I opted to wait for the end of the contract. I changed banks and had only some automatic drafts (including Cory Everson) coming out of one account.
Imagine my frustration when I discovered that Cory Everson was still drafting funds each month (I did not visit the club more than five times during the initial two years). When I spoke with the manager, she was very nice and indicated that there was no record of any conversation that I had with any employee in the corporate records. She also indicated that a cancellation (before the 26th of the month) would still not stop the automatic draft from my account for the following month.
I was also asked to send my cancellation form via registered mail so that I could have a record that the cancellation had been received. I am concerned that cancellation cannot be done at the local fitness center since that is where I joined. I am also concerned that there is no record of my visit to the fitness center to cancel my membership and that a membership can be continued forever.
The manager did note that Cory Everson would turn to collections agencies to collect funds until the cancellation was processed. I will be contacting service groups, religious groups, and others who may be involved with Cory Everson to make them aware of the "two year" contract and will strongly suggest that they look at another fitness center. If they are already members, I will suggest that they get out as soon as possible.