HOLLADAY, UTAH -- BEWARE Paramount Acceptance Group and AVOID this company at all costs! If you are looking for a gym membership, verify who handles their billing before signing any contracts. Avoiding this company will save you not only money, but months worth of aggravation and headaches! I'm sorry for the long story, but there's a LOT to complain about!
My horrible experience started in May 2007, in Birmingham, AL where I was living at the time. I work 3rd shift with the company I'm with. So I was looking for a gym with long hours where I could go to during hours that I was awake. I found Riviera Fitness. I did a couple of feeler sessions at the gym to see how I liked it. The staff there was wonderful, and I was more than happy to sign a contract for a membership.
The only problem for me was that I knew ahead of time that there was a good possibility that I would be moving out of the state within a few months. So I asked up front, before signing any contracts, what my options were, and if I would be able to transfer my membership if I did leave. I was told that it was easy to transfer my membership to an associated gym if there was one in the area I would be moving. Unfortunately, upon looking at the list of available locations, there were no gyms in the areas where I believed I would be moving. The manager of the gym even called to verify this information, as well as the clause in the contract which states:
"If the member moves out of town and is unable to transfer the contract to a comparable facility within 15 miles or if the health studio goes out of business and fails to provide facilities within 5 miles, Buyer may cancel by proof of verifiable address change and receive a pro-rata refund of any prepayments."
Since I did not know for certain at the time if I would actually be moving, I felt confident that signing a 24 month contract would be no problem. I was able to receive the discounted rate, and there was "no risk" of losing my money should I be transferred, because I could either transfer my membership, or cancel without penalty. I moved to Fort Myers, Florida in August. I called at the time that I was moving to verify that there were (as verified before even signing the contract) no locations in the area to which I could transfer my membership. A week or two after arriving in Florida, I faxed all of my information, along with my membership number, to the number I was given.
As I mentioned previously, I work 3rd shift. And as such, the time zone difference means that Paramount Acceptance is only open during hours when I am asleep. I never managed to call and speak to a person to verify the receipt of my fax. But since I didn't hear anything at all from them, by phone or by mail, requesting money from me, I figured that everything went fine, and that my membership had been cancelled.
I was wrong. In MARCH of 2008, 7 FULL MONTHS AFTER I HAD MOVED, I received a phone call waking me up in regards to my Riviera Fitness Membership. I thought that they were trying to offer me a promotion to join again, and replied "I don't have a membership. I cancelled when I moved from Alabama in August of last year." I was told that my fax was never received, and that I owed them money. I replied that my contract states that the contract could be cancelled if I could not transfer my membership. I was told that all I had to do was re-send the fax, and send proof of the date I moved, and that it would be taken care of. I resent the fax.
Again, I sent my fax in the middle of the night during my work hours. This time I kept my confirmation sheet showing that the fax had successfully been transmitted. I tried unsuccessfully for a few days to stay awake and call the company to confirm receipt of the fax. But, days turned into weeks, and I heard nothing from them. Again (and this is where I am REALLY kicking myself), I assumed that surely NOW everything was taken care of, as I wasn't being harassed for money.
Until the end of MAY, when I received yet another phone call. But this time stating that I would be sent to collections for my delinquency of payment. I refuted, saying that I had sent the information multiple times, and that I even had proof that the second fax was successfully transmitted. I was told that I needed to send the information AGAIN. They also claimed that I would be held responsible for the charges until the time that they received the information, regardless of the date of my move.
Not that it should matter, because I sent the first fax within a couple of weeks... but there is nowhere in the contract which states that cancellation will be effective from the date that the information is processed. NOR does the contract state that the information must be received and processed within a certain time frame after the move to avoid being held liable for charges. I was absolutely outraged.
I sent the information AGAIN, as requested, along with the second fax I sent (complete with the confirmation page showing a successful transmission), a copy of my driver's license showing my Florida address. I even went to my storage shed to dig out the dated address verification form that the post office sends to you when you move. It was about a week or so before I was actually able to speak to a person at Paramount Acceptance to confirm that my fax had indeed been received. But they were still insisting that I owed money. I asked to speak to a supervisor and was transferred to another line where I left a message explaining the issue at hand.
I was called back later, by a woman who explained to me that their faxes are processed online, and that they receive the faxes like e-mails. She actually said the words to me "sometimes the server drops them." She also said that it was my responsibility to make sure that the information was received, even though they aren't available to speak with during hours when I can talk to anyone.
I was trying to figure out why I was being held responsible for the charges, when it was clearly not my fault that the information was never received or processed. She hung up on me during the phone call. I didn't have a phone number for this supervisor, because I was transferred, and was unable to call her back directly.
I was getting nowhere. So I decided that I would try to obtain the phone records for the time when I sent the original fax, to prove that it was sent. Unfortunately, a few days ago, after a couple of weeks of asking questions, I was told that due to the complexity of finding that information (the fax was sent from a FedEx Kinkos), they would only produce that information upon receiving a court order. Since then, I've been talking with friends, trying to find out what I can do about the situation.
But imagine my surprise when I received a letter from Federal Recovery Services, Inc. stating that I had 30 days from the date on the letter to provide payment in full, or I would be held liable for all collection costs in addition to my "outstanding debt." The date on the letter was 06/03/2008. THE POSTMARK ON THE ENVELOPE IS 06/25/2008!! THREE FULL WEEKS AFTER THE DATE ON THE LETTER!!!
Of course, coming to South Florida from Utah, the letter did not arrive until 07/03/2008, which means I didn't even see it until 07/04/2008 after I got home from work! AFTER the 30 days had already passed! On a National Holiday no less, so I was unable to contact anyone to speak to regarding the matter!! I will probably have to resort to obtaining a court order for the phone records after all.
I have placed this same review on ripoffreport dot com to warn everyone who may come across this company: THESE PEOPLE ARE BULLIES. THEY FEEL THAT THEY CAN PRESSURE YOU INTO PAYING THEM MORE MONEY THAN THEY ARE ENTITLED TO BY RESORTING TO SCARE TACTICS. I am NOT going to allow them to scare me into paying them anything. I have documentation PROVING that they are untrustworthy, and they still have the nerve to place the blame on me! STAY AWAY AT ALL COSTS!
UTAH -- Read full article, explains the inner workings of how this all works. You are not the brightest light bulb. I have many different kinds of legal cases come to my desk everyday and every here and then I get one concerning Paramount Acceptance. I have done some digging, as I do not handle these types of cases, and have been given copies of contracts (which I found that the gym writes up not Paramount Acceptance).
The following is the correct information on these matters. For updating information such as billing, address, and phone numbers it is the customer's explicit responsibility to update their information and not the job of Paramount Acceptance to babysit each member making sure they are paying the bills that THEY signed up for. On the subject of auto-renewal of the contract, there is a space for a signature that is required for this before signing the bottom, so those who say they are not notified are mistaken as it is right in front of them as they are signing what they don't read.
As far as fees go it is simple, missed payments = fees, and it is your fault for missing a payment, again this company is not here to babysit you. For canceling anytime, there is no such thing with these types of contracts, don't listen to the gym representative who signs you up, they just want their commission, so read the contract thoroughly. If you want an attorney that is great because then they can look over your contract and explain how wrong you are and what a contract means in the legal system.
If you would like to contact the B. B.B. (Better Business Bureau) please do so as Paramount Acceptance has a B+ rating and after you report Paramount your complaint will be followed by a response explaining how Paramount is within the law on all they do.
Nothing shady about any of this, it is all in the contract and it would be completely irresponsible not to read it through. You may argue all you like but if you refuse to abide by the contract the account won't stop at Paramount, it will go to a separate collections agency that doesn't just use the phone to contact you, and eventually it will go to an Attorney and one day you will be at your house, work, or even out shopping and be served a subpoena containing court date. Also it will be sent to the Credit Bureau and they may not even need to notify you of this. Further refusal to pay can result in garnishing of wages and tax returns or a court ordered penalty.
It may not happen quickly but a year or two down the line when it happens after you thought it was over and forgotten it will cause more trouble than if you had just paid in the first place. The legal system may take years but it is effective and never misses a note (or you). Good examples of those having no clue whatsoever are below and have left comments to this entry. Thanks for reading.
SANDY, UTAH -- I signed up with Gold's Gym after having a baby hoping to lose the baby weight. Like many of us, the option to pay 22.00 per month sounds like steal for the slice of heaven which awaits you, a toned, lean, sexy body. We agree, sign on the dotted line, happily and stupidly hand over our account numbers. The months go by and finally the day comes when the contract is fulfilled and the reality you will never be that 18 yr old, size 00, perfectly made up, woman on the treadmill happily sprinting along. You are free.... Ha ha ha or so you thought... Let me tell you about the nightmare I am living.
September 2008- send in a letter to the Holladay UT Paramount acceptance corp requesting my contract be cancelled. October comes, another draw from my bank account. Hmmmm, this could be a possible oversight. Give them the benefit of the doubt. Send in the letter via certified mail. Get the confirmation they got it. No guessing now. It will be cancelled. I didn't give it another thought. November is drawn, December is drawn. Call them - they never got it! A certified letter. Huh, those damn postal workers always playing funny jokes, send confirmation postcards back without the company getting the letter?
**, the nice representative at Paramount, wiped his ass with the phone and told me to fax in the proof. By this time I was almost certain the folks at Paramount were just buying time till they were called into their real profession of rocket science. I humored myself faxed in the info. Called two hours later - confirmed ** at the front desk got my fax. Suspicious it would be used for t.p. I waited for the letter confirming my cancellation. Never got it. Called in again - faxed it straight to the toilet this time- even with ** saying it got there.
Got a call from the cult today! I'm delinquent in the amount of $83.00 because my draft for Jan and Feb didn't go through. ** needs me to make a payment today and my contract is, yes, still in force. They haven't gotten a cancellation. Bless **'s heart. She has no idea the Dukes of Hazard song was playing in my head with images of me driving my car up their asses. She was so violated today. Along with ** and the supervisor who I left a message for.
The supervisor line states "we will get back to you in one business day" -- you just can't hear the disclaimer that follows that with "my ass will attempt to dial the phone. If we can't or don't call you, too bad. We'll just keep ripping you off, taking your money, ignoring your requests". After all we are in a recession. I guess they are providing job security for themselves. --In all seriousness - This Company is unfair, unethical, unorganized and corrupt. I have the proof I sent in the information. So, ** and the gang. Cheers. Thanks for the inspiration.
RICHMOND, VIRGINIA -- I signed up at my local gym Gold's Gym for a personal trainer which happened to be Compel Fitness/Paramount Acceptance. It all sounded great until he started going over the payment options and pricing plan. Against my better judgment I signed the papers. After I went home and thought about it I decided It wasn't a good idea and I returned to the gym the following day (within my 3 day grace period) and signed the termination paperwork. I was told that my deposit would be refunded and no further billing would occur from my account.
Two months later I still had not received my refund of the initial 139.00 deposit and they also had begun billing for training sessions that were never started!!!! I was livid!! I wrote a letter attached a copy of my termination letter; mailed a copy to the home office as well as hand delivered a copy to the local gym requesting a refund of all funds immediately. Still this was not taken care of and I had to get my bank involved to stop payment.
4 months later, 5 faxes to Paramount and now phone call after phone call from them to me because all payment has been stopped this still has not been resolved!!! Now they are harassing me for payment! This company is AWFUL!! Stay away from them at all cost. It's nothing but a SCAM and a headache!!!
SALT LAKE CITY, UTAH -- We signed up for a 3 year membership. We were lied to about the fees involved along with signing us up for a personal trainer. Paramount Acceptance started to take automatic withdrawals out even after we sent 3 certified letters demanding they stop. We had been paid up for over three months, and they still took out fees. We had to change our accounts, then Paramount Acceptance sent us Delinquent account letters and stopped us from going to the gym. We had proven to them we were paid up but were never reimbursed for the overage we paid. DON'T SIGN UP. IF YOU DO, DON'T DO AUTOMATIC PAYMENTS.
My boyfriend and I were on a family plan. The plan was due to expire on November 7, 2007. My boyfriend moved to Canada. I asked Paramount Acceptance to cancel his part of the plan. I faxed 8 pages of documentation including his acceptance letter to Dalhousie in Nova Scotia Canada and class registration on July 12th. My documentation included my new contact information for Paramount on July 12th and explained the situation with him moving. I called on July 13th and was told by staff that the paperwork had been received and that I would receive a phone call within 5 days with a decision on the cancellation. I never received a call from Paramount.
I called them Monday July 23rd and left a message asking about the status of the cancellation. I called again on Tuesday July 24th and spoke to **. He read me the notes off my account but could not tell me what they meant. I called again on Wednesday July 25th and spoke to ** in cancellations. She stated the information had to be taken to corporate headquarters and she would take it over that day. ** assured me she would call me later on Wed or Thurs morning. I gave her my updated phone number again. No one from the company called me Wed or Thursday.
I called another person in cancellations on Thursday and she stated the notes on my account were 2 weeks old and it seemed no one had worked on the account in 2 weeks. The other person in cancellations assured me that ** would call me back. I left another message for ** on Friday July 27th but as of July 30th, I had not received any information from Paramount and submitted my complaint to the Better Business Bureau of Utah and customer service at Paramount.
I received a call from ** at Paramount finally and she stated that I needed to speak to ** at the Riviera in Madison, ** and have him re-write my contract to just include me. I drove to the Riviera in Madison on July 31st and spoke to **. He re-wrote my contract and assured me it would expire at the same time as my old plan. There is NOTHING on the new plan to indicate that it was a 24 month contract. I called Paramount on Tuesday, August 14th to ensure that my automatic draft was connected to my new account. Staff in the automatic draft section stated that my new plan was in the computer as a new 24 month plan. I told her that was not what I signed up for.
She told me to call the Riviera in Madison to speak to the Manager about the plan. I called the Manager, **, and she stated she could not help me and I needed to call ** at the Riviera in Athens, ** to correct the mistake. I called ** on Tuesday August 14th and asked him to fix the mistake. He stated he would call Paramount and then call me back. I called ** several times. On Wednesday August 15th, ** stated he had called Paramount several times but no one would return his calls. He stated he had done everything he could do and would ask the owners, Bonnie and Clay, to call Paramount.
On Thursday August 16th, I found 2 charges from Paramount on my bank statement. I called and spoke to Ms.** at Paramount. She stated my old family plan contract had not been canceled and she would cancel it and refund my money for that contract. My new contract does not have any information on it regarding it being for a 24 month term.
JACKSONVILLE, FLORIDA -- I signed my daughter up for personal training and my bank draft was taken out automatically for four months. I told my trainer my four month contract was up and I didn't want to continue. He told me to fill out a form online. Looked online and there were no forms, my daughter asked for two weeks for a form by that time it was two weeks after the four months. I faxed it in and they said I had to pay another month because it was two weeks late. I told them I couldn't get a form from the trainer until then. They didn't care. I said I would pay $150 for half and they said no. They call my house weekly and mail me bills.
I asked to speak to a manager and they said the contract is the contract, no one would help me. The guy is very rude and told me my contract is still in effect as I have not paid the total due and it will continue to get higher and higher. I have tried calling Bailey's Gym, the Sweat PT, and of course Paramount and all they say is "the contract can't be changed." I will never ever use Sweat PT or Paramount again and I will let my friends know as well.
UTAH -- The BBB has ranked Paramount Acceptance as an F. It is an F due to... Based on BBB files, Paramount Acceptance Corporation has a BBB Rating of F on a scale from A+ to F. Reasons for this rating include: 254 complaints filed against business, Failure to respond to 3 complaints filed against business, 2 complaints filed against business that were not resolved.
Do not get involved with this company! Their customer service is horrible and most of the money that is made is on making customers so frustrated they go ahead and pay the fees. Don't give in!!
SALT LAKE CITY, UTAH -- I've been back & forth trying to cancel my account through them for almost a year now. First I have to go through my agency, now I have to fax in a letter. Next I'm calling them because my account has been charged... more than once! Finding out they/he gave me the wrong account number. It's just a never ending circle. I'm back at it again and it's been 4 months after I sent 5 letters 1 email and many phone calls.
They have been rude and ignorant to me and my husband. If anything this company has rip off written all over them. People I know have nothing but bad experiences with them. Always having to ignore their calls because of harassment. And that is not because of unpaid bills. I have paid most my accounts off, thank God! I will never ever go through paramount again! And yet they still call week after week asking for more. They're blood sucking vampires and won't stop!
*As for the idiots I mean the jack asses I spoke to, sorry if you got all butt hurt. I'm sorry I didn't think about your feelings because right now my feelings are more than just hurt I'm furious! Especially at those who work at Paramount. I'm sure if they sneakily got your account number and took out money without your permission when you tried to settle this 1/2 a year ago you would be so mad you'd be calling everyone there idiots because once again I'm back at where I started, when trying to resolve this! So ya I would think they were idiotic because I have to repeat myself over & over & over & over again! Or should I call them deaf?!
And as for myself a "consumer" I would call myself an idiot for falling for your.. Should I say "tricks?" I didn't know when she told me an "update" was an actual "automatic monthly payment." Wow I'm such an idiot for not knowing, I guess you would call it, your "secret codes!" Thanks for the comment I find it more hilarious than insulting! ;D
HUNTSVILLE, ALABAMA -- I was a member of LADIES RIVIERA FITNESS whose billing was done by PARAMOUNT ACCEPTANCE. RIVIERA failed to notify me that their gym would be closing. (I was later informed that they knew this before I joined.) They lied and told all of their members that they were moving to a new building, closed the gym and told us that our new building was not complete yet, billed us for 3 months while we waited on the new gym to open. Then we were informed (only if you called and asked) that we were sold to another gym a co-ed, no tanning available, 40 minute drive from my house gym.
PARAMOUNT ACCEPTANCE will not let me out of my contract. I've been jumping through their hoops for the last 3 months (including them giving me the wrong address to send a cancellation letter to, my letter was returned... this took 3 weeks and another billing cycle.) The lady from the gym they sold us to said that several women have tried to get their contracts cancelled, but that PARAMOUNT ACCEPTANCE has not let anyone cancel. Please be warned if you do business with either PARAMOUNT ACCEPTANCE or RIVIERA FITNESS, getting out of a contract (with legitimate reason) is next to impossible.