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.
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 their infinite wisdom they decided to give me the ax... I still don't know why I was singled out, maybe it's 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 you're theirs.... BE FOREWARNED THIS PLACE SUCKS.. ALL THEY WANT IS YOUR MONEY!!!!!!!
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 month's 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 (**) 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 **, the manager, he said ** 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!!!
I have been being LA Fitness member for years. The only thing I don't satisfy is their cancellation policy. I have no 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.
KATY, TEXAS -- Everyone who pays by credit card at LA Fitness should read this review. Warning! If you sign your name on a credit card authorization device at LA Fitness, you may learn later that your signature was transferred electronically to a 12 month services contract of which you had absolutely no knowledge.
My son signed up for a special college student summer membership (3 months). Prepaid, no problem. He decided to hire a personal trainer for this time period as well, was quoted a fee $xxx per month and he was told this would be billed monthly. He signed a credit card authorization device for automatic payment and enjoyed his summer session at LA Fitness.
Come September, LA Fitness made another automatic charge against his credit card. He inquired and was told that he had signed a 12 month contract for the personal trainer. They emailed him a copy of this contract which had his non-legible signature that had obviously been obtained from the credit card authorization device. La fitness never told him he was signing this contract. They never presented him a copy before or after he signed up for the monthly trainer.
He never verbally agreed to this commitment as he was never aware of it not to mention that he had just prepaid for three months of club membership because he was returning to college in a different city after his summer at home. He told the local LA Fitness manager this story and they said he was obligated to keep paying and he could call the head office to resolve. He tried to call several times, sent a registered letter and never heard back.
He initiated a dispute of this charge with his credit card company. And fortunately his credit card company was able to contact the local manager and they agreed to waive the buyout of this contract... No more charges. For this I am grateful the local manager eventually did the right thing. Be aware that your credit card authorization signature may be used without your knowledge for purposes that you do not intend.
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!
MESA, ARIZONA -- I joined LA Fitness back in 2007 with my husband. I had been having heart problems since the year prior and as a result, I had stopped exercising and over the year had lost my strength. So, we decided to set up our free consultation with a personal trainer. I told him I was having heart issues and that I needed him to start off easy with me. He agreed, so we signed the contract. We soon found he did not care at all about customers with special needs.
We went over the booklet he gave us (to keep track of workouts), did a weigh in, BMI, etc etc... At this point he was polite. He gave us a run down on what we could expect from our workouts, and it sounded like a good start for me. Just walking on the treadmill brought my heart rate to 140-150. Our first session went well.
The next one was to focus on the lower body. So we went right into the workout. There came a point when I told the trainer that I couldn't do much more that day. He laughed it off and went on. Not to long after, my legs refused to continue and I fell on the ground. I tried to get up a few times, but I couldn't! He said he understood and would take it easy on me! I told him I needed to stop but he ignored me. So there I was, sitting on the gym floor, unable to get up and feeling thoroughly humiliated.
I don't remember how long I sat there before. (With my husband's help) I was able to get up and to a bench. I was aware of the people who were watching and could get out fast enough. With wobbly, weak legs, we then had to walk home. It took about a week before I could walk without shaking and falling. The next week, we went to see him again. This session was the arms. He did the same thing again!
This time he laughed at me when I said my arms were too tired to lift the weight again. He said to keep going till we finished that set. OK only 10 reps left. Not to bad, right? With 5 reps to go, I could not lift the bar at all. My trainer lifted it and had me "hold on to" the bar till finished. Again I felt humiliated by him.
I weight lifted before I started having health issues, and the first rule I was ever taught was to know when to STOP! That's how injuries happen... Besides the trainer who thought my condition was amusing, the gym was nice. I will never be going there again.
CALIFORNIA -- Having confronted LA Fitness Center Corporate office and the Reps at the Torrance office for the 2nd time, we came to a conclusion. We feel that everyone should be warned if they think of joining LA Fitness Center. First off, be prepared to bargain with them on membership cost when you decide to become a member. It is like going to a car dealer and buying a car - the old way. If you don't know how to bargain, you will end up paying twice as much as the guy that knows how.
Next, be prepared to sign a 3 or 4-page contract with all sorts of hidden clauses/fine-prints that will nail you for sure. Don't trust their Reps, they will tell you what you want to hear, and at the end of the day when you want to stop for whatever reason they will tell you that you signed the contract and so you are 'screwed'.
So, what should you do if you decide to sign up for a personal training program? Do NOT sign any contract with them. Do it month by month so that you can cancel any time without being hooked for an entire year or more if you are not careful of what you are signing. Once you signed, considered yourself screwed. You can NEVER stop no matter what your problem is, broke a leg, move out of the country, etc. Their contract works only one way, to rob you legally.
Our suggestion to those young men and women who is interested in becoming a member is to find another gym if you can, there are many other gyms out there that you can join that are a lot better than LA Fitness. LA Fitness Center has the worst scam system. Good luck, we hope that people read these complaints before they become a member rather than after like most of us did.
SCOTTSDALE -- I went to receive my free personal training session on a Sunday and the personal trainer worked me excessively only to make me feel out of shape and so I would sign a contract... When I was doing this I knew it but still I wanted to sign a contract because I really needed help on this..
After I signed the contract, not even 5 hours later and after I spoke to some friends about it, I went back to cancel it, but then I thought about it and asked for a downgrade (about 60 dollars less every month)... Two days later I used my first session of the new downgraded contract, however when I was given my refund, about 70 dollars were missing and they said that I used a session that costs 70 dollars on the first contract (before I downgraded it)... So in short, I paid 309 dollars for the first contract, cancelled it within 5 hours, and received another contract (which I never signed by the way) for the same amount of sessions but for 249 initial fees....
Well that first training session fell on the 309 contract because the stupid trainers purposefully procrastinated on canceling the contract so officially my contract was cancelled 5 days later, and my refund was never 309, it was 250. Because that one session I used came out of the refund and because according to customer service I was still on the first contract.....
So I am canceling the new contract and putting a block to LA Fitness transactions on my bank account, and since I did not sign the new contract I have no obligation to do anything.... Don't trust these guys .... and by the way, I called customer service and the guy was extremely rude and cursed at me after I did not accept his explanations (he told me "Sir, what part of using a session of your first contract don't you understand? Why don't you ** off and have a nice day???: and then he hang up...... E
xtremely unprofessional, and they kept pointing me to the gym management and the gym management to customer service and so around in order to solve this problem "Please contact customer service" then I would call them and they were like "Please call you Gym management" and I would do so and around it would go....
DON'T SIGN ANYTHING WITH LA FITNESS they are really stupid, and by the way on that first session they will make you feel like a scumbag that has no fitness in order to make you sign something, you know get you down morally and like I said, I was aware of this, but I only signed up because I needed guidance on getting started but after all this mess I don't want anything to do with LA Fitness at all..
HOPKINS, MINNESOTA -- I was scammed into a personal training program at L. A. Fitness in Hopkins MN. The VP ** 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 ** - 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 ** and other staff at L. A. Fitness.
I recommend a membership 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.