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LA Fitness Personal Training

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High-pressure Sales of Personal Training
Posted by on
CALIFORNIA -- It's a very sneaky thing they do-physically exhaust you til you can't think, then tell you to sign because this one-time-only offer in front of you. Where should I start...

Just joined this gym after my original gym went out of business. I'm a 24 year old athletic female. I immediately made an appointment to redeem my 'Free Session with a Personal Trainer' for 6pm the following day. I show up on time and my trainer finally shows 45 minutes late. We do a rigorous session involving weighted stair climbing, lunges, leg press, etc.(for 3 days after I COULD NOT WALK, due to the soreness & tightness of my Achilles tendon, I could not flex my foot, the only relief came when I walked on tip toe. I suspect the trainer did not realize he was overworking my legs, and neither did I because I trusted the trainer) Throughout the session, the trainer, a young male, complimented my hair, told me I was "pretty" & "hot" and then informed me he and his friends love to drink & bar-hop & I should come sometime (Hmm, is he actually hitting on me...or is he trying to ensure he makes a sale?)

After my session I expressed interest in pricing, so I was taken, red-faced & covered in sweat, back to the negotiating tables. They showed me the paper with the prices listed on it & start reading it, crossing of some prices & writing in a cheaper to make it seem like I was getting a deal. I asked if I could think about it, and he replied no, this deal was too good to sleep on. Now or never. Well, it worked, I fell for it.

I swipe my credit card, go to sign the signature pad- but the pad doesn't work! So they print out a hard copy for me to sign... only then do I see the $3360 they are trying to charge the card (they only show you the weekly (not total) price, so in my exhausted stupor I asked him repeatedly "So it's $140 charge, that's all?" he had repeatedly replied "Yup!" he must have not realized I was referring to the total charge. Total charge is actually $140 x 4 x 6 )

I'm so glad they were having technical difficulties & weren't able to get my signature on that contract. I stood up & quickly explained "I can't do this after all, sorry to waste your time, I have to go" and I left.

Oh but wait, just as I get a foot out the entrance, my trainer stops me & whispers that he "could get in a lot of trouble for this"..."& don't tell the boss"... but his friend on the outside world will be my trainer for a much lower price than LA Fitness trainers! here's his phone number! I never called.

This sounds obvious but PLEASE bring your calculator & actually add it up if you're going to deal with the LA Fitness salesmen
     
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dan gordon on 2011-01-18:
I just started with a trainer at 24hr fitness. He wants to start slow. I can't imagine working you to death then expecting you pay so much. Its a separate entity than LA Fitness and just another reason I left and went to 24hr. Way different vibe and very happy to have left LA Fitness.
ok4now on 2011-01-19:
Good for you for walking and not falling for their pressure tactic. This is a common sales tactic to get your C.C. payment then lock you in with no recourse. I have been subjected to this highly unethical scam by car dealers, window & gutter sales people and carpet dealers. They force you to make a decision NOW or the "great deal" is no longer available. Reputable businesses do not do this. Keep looking.
rockfishing on 2011-01-19:
Good thing you caught it before you got scammed. As I tell my kids when dealing with salespeople. That great deal will be there tomorrow or the next day if you are dealing with a reputable company. When anyone tells you you have to sign now or you will loose whatever, then it's time to run, not walk, away. The older you get, the easier it is to say no to these scam artist.
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You Can Never Cancel Your Trainer Service in LA Fitness
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I have been being LA Fitness member for years. The only thing I don't satisfy is their cancellation policy. I have not idea why can't I do that online. I have to send an mail to their office and the letters can never be received by them. ..

I signed up a trainer service in the last May and on the second of I signed up I called that club and let their manager who helped me to sign up I want to cancel the service and at the time he said he will do that for me. I was okay about his reply and just left that away; however, on the next month I got my CC bill and found out they still charging me for the server. So, I wrote a letter to their office and let them know I want to cancel the service, and I have been waiting for few days .... never got reply back, so I decided to do that through my CC company. I did a dispute on the charge on my membership fees. After almost a month my CC company refunded my initial membership fee, so I thought LA fitness has canceled my membership for the trainer service, but I was wrong they kept charging me my monthly fee. So I did another dispute on the monthly fee, and I wait for another month, ... this time they sent me my agreement to my CC company and told them I have signed up the service that's why they charged me. So I sent an letter to them again and it was never been received again. And they kept charging me again. I was like I can never cancel it once I signed up.

After that I went to my club and asked one of their employees about that, and she said she will ask that manager for me and get back to me later. Well, I have been asking she for few times but she still said couldn't contact that manager or he is off. .. And I gave up this time. I believe she won't be able to help me too.

Recently I called their headquarters office and talked to a guy, on the first time he said he needs to locate my information and asked me leave my number and will call me back later; however, he never called me back. So, on the next day I called again and this time he can located my file, then he told me I have balance and kept telling me I need to pay, and he never listened to my explanation, so well then I have to told him I will call him back.

Now I think I can only to ask my CC company and see what can they do for me.
     
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tnchuck100 on 2011-02-07:
If you are beyond your contract expiration date you need to send your notice of cancellation by certified mail/return receipt requested. Upon receipt of the delivery confirmation you can then prove to your credit card company that any further charges are fraudulent.

However, if you are still under contract you are caught between a rock and a hard place.
a.c :) on 2011-05-19:
wow that's incredible!
just me on 2011-11-01:
contact your state attorney general's office for their assistance, especially if they have a consumer protection section.
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How Do I Cancel My LA Fitness Pro Results Body Of Change Personal Training Contract?
Posted by on
To cancel your La Fitness Pro Results personal training simply write a letter to the Better Business Bureau, and wait. Having an attorney send a letter to their corporate office also helps. These are almost always guaranteed to work if your problems are legitimately concerning (and referencing) trainer no shows, being switched trainers numerous time, harassment, stolen sessions, or misrepresentation at the point of sale (the time of signing up), such as being told you can cancel your contract at any time with no penalty or not being told effectively and directly that your contract will automatically convert to a month to month program upon completion, both of which I'll discuss next.

Very often La Fitness Pro Results sales representative will mislead you by telling you that you may cancel your personal training contract at any time with no penalty, which is completely false, (in some states) such cancellation usually requires a buy-out fee/penalty of 50% of the remaining balance and can total many hundreds of dollars. Some are in excess of a thousand. Also La Fitness Pro Results sales representative will mislead you about your contract automatically renewing. One of their 'gimmicks' in this regard is to use 'fast talk' and refer to this as your "Rate for Life Guarantee", when in effect all of their personal training contracts are set to automatically renew after their initial term (month to month).

In April 2008 (or approximate to that time) La Fitness mysteriously cancelled numerous contracts (and stopped billing) those which had entered automatic renewal, in which members checking and credit cards accounts were being billed for MANY months after their initial term, some for over a year, with payments ranging $100-$400 monthly. These contracts (payments/drafts) were mysteriously cancelled yet to my knowledge none of the funds were ever returned to the clients. This was done company wide, and was not mentioned to upper management or club management. This was a onetime thing. They did not cancel all auto-new contracts. It appears they only cancelled those who had been in auto renew for quite some time, as they let many in auto-renew at that time continue, and they still continue to automatically renew contracts on a daily basis.

It may also be possible they've decided to let all contracts auto-renew, yet set a pre-determined amount of time they would allow such contracts to continue to be billed (for example an additional 12 months), then cancel future drafts at such a pre-set time.

It was suggested to the owners of the company and their corporate brass to provide a list of ALL clients not using their personal training. This was suggested as a way of increasing customer service. This was rejected. Why? They feared that if 'non using clients' (but who were still being billed/drafted) were contacted, they would immediately become aware they were still being drafted for a contract they thought was completed and not using, resulting in people contacting their banks in order to stop electronic billing, and this could cost the company millions! As a result, the only list provide to the club is a much shorter (safe) list of members whose accounts were active recently, but who have not used their personal training in the past 30 days. Anyone outside of that time frame is not put on that list due to the reasons I just explained.

I've been told directly by the owner and "La Fitness Top Brass" their fear is having an attorney/attorney general shut down their ability to auto-renew contracts which would cost the company millions of dollars yearly.

Also their clients have had thousands upon thousands of sessions stolen by trainers, resulting in trainers fraudulently getting paid at the loss of sessions to the clients, very often with neither the client nor La Fitness even being made aware, and sessions never being restored. La Fitness is aware of the loopholes which allow their clients sessions to be stolen, but have done little to correct the problem due to cost and inconvenience. Such solutions could include a finger print system, or a signature verification system, or simply locking down accounts which are not being used.

Also all La Fitness gym members need to be made aware that their billing information (while safely hidden) has the potential to used by the personal training department to bill ongoing services for personal training without the main members knowledge/authorized signature. This has also happened numerous times, to unwitting spouses and often by underage children, using their parents accounts even with the sales representative knowledge the child is underage and doesn’t have their parents approval. Sales representative have also fraudulently and intentionally charged accounts of members for personal training services without the members’ knowledge.

If you have had problems in these areas above, you may choose to contact an attorney, the Better Business Bureau and your State Attorney General.

The owner of the company is Louis Welch (LouisW@LaFitness.com)
The owners personal 'right hand person' is Suzzie Horton cell 949-633-8072 (suzzieh@lafitness.com)
The head of human resources is Mindy Stokesberry 949-255-7236 (mindys@lafitness.com)

Rob Bryant heads the legal department. (I'm not sure but his email may be robb@lafitness.com, robertb@lafitness.com)

Some other top brass contact info:

Mike Ulliberry 'Super Duper' Regional VP
cell 480-824-3826 (mikeu@lafitness.com)

Todd McSeveny 'Super Duper' Regional VP cell 954-650-1325
     
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LA FITNESS SCAM - Stay Away From This Club
Posted by on
Rating: 1/51
HOPKINS, MINNESOTA -- I was scammed into a personal training program at L. A. Fitness in Hopkins MN.

The VP Daniel [snip] told me “I have a lot on my plate and lots of things to do.” When I spoke with him regarding my situation.

I also found out that the training manager Brett - the one responsible for my scam was terminated from the company because of his lack of integrity. I am sure there are many others out there that were scammed by Brett and other staff at L. A. Fitness.

I recommend a memebership at Lifetime - more expensive but the customer service is worth the extra $$$

I lost a lot of money. I was willing to work with them to find a resolution instead of asking for my $ back but they did not go out of their way to even care about my situation.


BE AWARE of LA FITNESS —— PAY MORE $$$ AND STAY AWAY FROM THIS CHEAP HEALTH CLUB.
     
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Personal Trainer at LA Fitness Stole my CC Information
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CASA GRANDE, ARIZONA -- I decided to get a membership at the LA Fitness in Casa Grande, Arizona and their management is a joke. I'm 19 years old and went in there to get a membership and paid $99 activation + first and last months deposit at $29.99/month. About $160. Only 3 days later the trainer I was set up with finally convinced me to get the training sessions at $25/session after texting me by getting my phone number off of my personal information. Not only was he (Mike) hitting on me and asking how many piercings I had he said I had only one day left to get the training sessions at $25/session and I would have to either call him with my cc number or text it to him. This seemed unnecessary to me, since my number was already on file. I told him I wouldn't have money in my account until the next day. After my complimentary training session he asked to see my card, he pulled out a blank sheet of paper and continued to write my entire cc number down, with expiration date and security code, and PUT IT IN HIS POCKET! When he texted me 2 days later asking when my direct deposit would go in, I told him it wouldn't matter because that I cancelled my card because of him writing my CC number down. When I called Nolan, the manager, he said Mike had told him about the situation and he would never do it again. Well I work in a hotel and if anyone ever did that that would be fired on the spot. I called Corporate twice and two different people said sorry it was past my 3 days so I couldn't get a refund. Even though trainers they hired are scumbags. He was clearly trying to do something with my CC because he felt the need to ask when I would get my direct deposit in. LA Fitness is only about sales, not about making customers happy. Try another gym, DO NOT GO HERE!!!!!
     
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SCAMMED on 2011-12-29:
CONTACT YOUR STATE'S OFFICE OF ATTORNEY GENERAL IMMEDIATELY. CANCEL YOUR MEMBERSHIP AND TRAINING SEPARATELY. YOU MAY NOT BE ENTITLED TO PAY THE 50% CANCELLATION DUES SINCE YOU ARE POSSIBLE VICTIM OF CREDIT CARD IDENTITY THEFT OR FRAUD.
LAFitnessUX on 2012-02-13:
I agree. I've had bad experience with the management too. See http://www.my3cents.com/showReview.cgi?id=18970

Sounds like nothing has changed since my experience I 2007. Stay away from LA Fitness!!!! They are scumbags!!!!!
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Predatory Personal Training Contracts
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WINTER PARK, FLORIDA -- Honestly, the gym fee is reasonable, and the staff has been friendly and professional. However, I learned a pretty important (and expensive) lesson when it came to signing a contract for the personal training. First, the "pitch" was a pretty high-pressure situation (more on this later). When I expressed my financial reservations, I was told "Don't worry about it. Just let me know if it becomes a problem, and we'll figure something out." I wish I had gotten that in writing. When the finances became a problem, I found out I was on the hook for 50% of the year's fees for canceling. Technically, this was all in fine print on the contract. I admit I should have been more careful. But, this information was not clearly conveyed during the signing, which by the way took place after an intense "trial" workout. To say I was in the right state of mind to make a major financial decision would be a lie.

Management handled my concerns professionally and assured me that the sales staff would make contract obligations clearer in the future, but obviously that doesn't do much to help me out. Ultimately, I can't fault the local branch much, and I will continue to use the basic gym membership, as it is affordable and nearby.

However, I feel that the L. A. Fitness business policies would best be described as predatory. By this I mean the "pitch" for personal training is, as mentioned previously, a high-pressure situation. This is not the fault of the individual salesperson, per se. The staff clearly follows a scientific approach to sales that involves gathering information about the client's motivations and all their possible excuses and uses this information after the trial workout to convince the client that they need to hire a personal trainer. The contract itself is designed to screw anyone who changes their mind or later finds out that they can't afford it.

The lessons here: A) Do not sign a contract unless you KNOW that it fits safely within your budget. B) Do not sign a contract unless you KNOW that you need a trainer to help you keep fit. If you do sign a contract, and later realize that it just wasn't meant to be, LA Fitness will get your money, and they will not apologize for it.
     
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Personal Training trick contract
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WINTER PARK, FLORIDA -- I join LA Fitness in July. The give you one free personal training session with there smooth talking salesman. I had put on some weight and he made me feel like I needed help to loose the weight. I was willing to do anything. I had a few sessions and was disappointed. I was hurting so much that I found it hard to come in on other days to work out. I was told I would hurt but it would get better. I just listen to what they said and did my best.

The contract was for 3 months at $200.00 dollars a month which is $50.00 dollars a week. I was see the trainer weekly. On my 9Th week I made it a hour long session because I often felt rushed. The next day I was in so much pain in my lower back. I called my doctor and was able to get an appointment for the following day. One x-ray, one MRI and an appointment with a neurosurgeon later. I knew I would not be gong back to the gym. My main priority was getting better so I could get back to work. I called the gym to informed them of my injuries and ask for a refund on my 2 last session which totaled $100.00, I was informed by the manager of the gym that I had to be disable in order to get my money back. I refused to be disable. I just thought of it as a lost. Like I said before my priority was getting back to work. I am a nurse so I need my back.

To my dismay I got my credit card bill and I had a charge for another $200.00. from LA Fitness. I thought it was a mistake. I went to the LA Fitness to clarify these charges. I was humiliated by there condescending manager who informed me that my training contract automatically renews itself if I do not cancel it in writing. I told him that I completed my contract obligation and he should me on the contract where it states "IF THIS IS A FINANCE AGREATMENT IT WILL AUTOMATICALLY CONVERT TO A MONTH TO MONTH AGREAMENT AFTER THE INITIAL TRM AND WILL CONTINUE UNTIL YOU SEND A 20 DAY WRITTEN NOTICE OF CANCELLATION VIA CERTIFIE MAIL". I never heard of such a thing. Shame on my for not reading the contract completely. I read total $650.00, $50.00 joiner fee. and I paid them the money. I was losing 2 sessions due to injury and now I have an additional 4 session that I have no intentions of using. I called the credit card company and filed a dispute and they informed me that LA Fitness is schedule to take an additional $200.00 making and additional 4 training sessions totaling 10 training sessions. I would not allow any of there trainer to touch me.

Currently I am fighting to get my money back and stop anymore deduction on my credit card. This is a nightmare! The staff was so wonderful until I signed on the dotted line. None of them informed me about the automatic renewal. Not even when I was signing the contract nor when I injured myself. This is trickery, BUYER BEWARE. I am devastated and afraid.

     
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False signature
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LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA -- When I first walked into LA Fitness to find out about prices (because the information is not online and they won’t give it to you over the phone-wonder why), the “weekend manager” sat me down and went over some basic prices, after he was finished he asked me “So how would you like to pay?” Reminder: I only went in to compare prices, and I had told him that. He was so pushy about getting me to join, I finally gave in. But that was NOT the worst of my experience with LA Fitness. I signed up for my free personal training session-which went really well-until I was basically forced to go over fees for training sessions. I decided to try a couple out, handed over my credit card and signed for what I believed to be was that fee. Little did I know that what I was signing was basically my life away! After a few sessions I decided I no longer needed training, I went to talk to the personal trainer manager about it and he informed me I had signed a YEAR CONTRACT! I about had an anxiety attack! I asked him when I did that, because no one put a contract in front of me to sign, or gave me any copies of this so called contract. Apparently when I signed for my credit card fee, I was also signing a contract. He showed me my electronic signature on a contact that I know I would have NEVER signed if I had seen it. I was so furious! I called the corporate office and they refused to talk to me. My mom even tried calling both the La Cienega location to talk to them about it, and they hung up on her! This whole process has been the worst experience I’ve had to deal with-with a gym-and I would not recommend signing any “credit card” fees with LA Fitness, you might be signing a contract!
     
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Anonymous on 2009-12-16:
So you gave in because he was being pushy? That's mistake number one. They're pushy because they make good commissions on these long term contracts. You're going to have to fulfill the contract they are not going to let you out of it. At lease you get to be one of those "cool" gym people for at least a year. By the way, good luck when you try and cancel the membership after the year is up.
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Ignorant Personal Trainers/Dirty Gym/Dirty Towels/Threat of Assault
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DALLAS, TEXAS -- I have been fit for over 20 years and belonged to many gyms and this was the arm pit gym from hell.

Trainers -
Of course, I fell for the "free" personal training used car pitch and was insulted at the ignorance of the personal trainers. I am a type 1 diabetic and not once did they ask if I had any medical conditions. After being dragged through a kindergarten level explanation of the benefits of exercise, I basically had to tell the guy, "I'm sorry, but your service isn't worth free, much less $50 a session."

Locker Room & Equipment-
Deciding to keep the membership for 90 days due to long workdays/winter weather and the inability to work out outside, I soon encountered the "wet dog" smell of the locker room that never went away. Everything seemed "greasy" and unsanitary, and no effort was made to keep the place clean. Not only that, you had to try 2 or 3 cardio machines to find one that wasn't bent, squeaking or otherwise not working. Seriously, how can it be good for you to use an elliptical with one bent pedal??

Towels -
On many occasions, they were out of the towels I paid the extra $5 a month to use and on more than one occasion, the towel smelled like it had never been washed - only dried. It is enough to make you vomit when you are working out and go to wipe off only to smell someone else's dried sweat.

Management -
I enjoy shooting basketball a couple of times a week, but the basketball courts at this place are overrun by teenage thugs from 6pm-close every night. Not an organized league, just a group of parking lot thugs playing full court indoors. I've waited as much as an hour and a half for these thugs to get off the court and even after front desk staff indicated they had received many complaints, still failed to take action.

Threat of assault -
The last straw came just last week, after 3 of us waited around and tried to squeeze in some b-ball time, only to be run over by the full court thugs as usual. This time, one of them punted a basketball at me and told me to get off the court. I said, "I pay my dues just like you, so you need to share the court." After being further intimidated, I walked out and canceled my membership immediately.

Customer Service -
I have not heard from the "Operations Manager" that was supposed to contact me about the incident. I did receive notification that my membership was canceled per my request, but that it was still active until July 20, 2009. I demanded a refund from corporate and they referred me to the "Ops Manager" at the location, who said it was his 2nd day on the job. The corporate membership moron had the nerve to say, "why don't you just try to work out at a different time of day?" I joined to avoid evening rush hour traffic, so I need to pick a time other than 6-11pm?? Did I mention that they start shutting the lights off 15 minutes before the posted closing time??

I am pretty confident this chain will be out of business soon and it suits them well. Their staff can go back to selling the used cars glutting the market and the thugs can find a basketball rim in a parking lot somewhere.
     
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Soaring Consumer on 2009-05-12:
You need to take the threat seriously and file a police report.
DigitalCommando on 2009-05-12:
Before paying anything, you are entitled to a free
walk- through to inspect the joint and that is the time you notice all the BS and walk out the door. If the place stinks, you can bet there is mold, fungus, sweat, urine and feces over every square inch of that place. But the reason you KEEP going there is because all of those nasties will help you build up a resistance to other viruses like the birdbeakalitis flu from the chang dang dynasty.
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Working for LA Fitness
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CAPE CORAL, FLORIDA -- I was a personal trainer at LA Fitness for over a year. There was some new blood coming into its own in upper management and looking for a way to make a name for themselves. After giving all I could to make a living there I was wrongly accused of stealing training sessions. I and many others with this company used a simple practice for getting paid. When someone ran out of the sessions that they were paying for, we would train them for free on that day and charge them at a later date... Most don't know or care as long as they can train when they want to. This goes on all the time, as a matter of fact I'm sure all the trainers do it every day all over the country. I learned how to do this from one of the other trainers at the gym. So as it come to pass, once this new person took over and the economy took a dive, the co. started doing research and found out what was going on. In there infinite wisdom they decided to give me the ax... I still don't know why I was singled out, maybe its because I wouldn't do all of the things they wanted me to do.(rob people blind). Well anyway, they took my last paycheck, and fed me crap about refunding sessions and taking it out of my pay. Needless to say I'm not very pleased about how it was handled, and would like nothing more than to warn anyone who thinks this is a good place to work, or even be a member of, be very careful.

This place is full of crooks, ex-cons, and people who do not care about anything other than money. like I said before once they got you your theres.... BE FOREWARNED THIS PLACE SUCKS.. ALL THEY WANT IS YOUR MONEY !!!!!!!
     
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Soaring Consumer on 2009-03-24:
Contact your state's labor board.

They have no right to deny you the money you earned on the job for reasons that have nothing to do with the status of your employment.
Anonymous on 2009-03-24:
So it sounds as if the whole "Train now, pay later" tactic was a bit shady and really a violation of company policy, and therefore you were being accused of giving free sessions. If that's the case, you have no room to complain for being let go. Doesn't make a difference if all of your fellow trainers did the same thing. It's like speeding down the road with 5 other drivers, and telling the cop who pulls you over "Well everyone else was speeding, too!" It's just not a valid excuse.

If I'm mistaken and that was actually permitted, then they had to have some other solid evidence against you to make accusations and ultimately dismiss you because of it. If they didn't, they open themselves up for some big wrongful termination lawsuits.
Anonymous on 2009-04-22:
Hey, taking your last pay check is NOT LEAGAL! They would have to take you to court or prove without a doubt that you did something and only a Judge can decide wheather you owe them or not. Go to you local labor board. It doesn't sound like they can prove anything and you deserve you pay from this crappy place. That guy was wrong that posted that they can take your pay check. Not without the court systems being involved. Companies are not above the law!!! Good Luck
Anonymous on 2009-04-22:
Not exactly true, a company can withhold your paycheck if they determine you owe them money upon termination...they do not need a court order to do so. But, you also have the right to challenge it, you should start by contacting your HR dept and ask them what your next step is.
Ponie on 2009-04-22:
'...people who do not care about anything other than money.' Evidently you're in that league otherwise you wouldn't complain about not getting your paycheck. Just let them keep it if you 'do not care about' it. By your own admission, you were giving away training sessions even though they purportedly were paid at a later time. How can a company keep their books honest and straight if this goes on? I'm sure some do it, but when caught there's usually some penalty to be paid.
Anonymous on 2009-04-22:
If you are an ordinary employee working for the company (employer is deducting payroll taxes) and not a self employed contractor then no employer in any state with or without court order can garnish/deduct an amount from a paycheck that would result in the employee getting paid less than the the state/federal minimum wage.

If you are an 'ordinary' employee as I described then report them to DOL in Tampa 1-866-487-9243.
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