MIDDLETOWN, OHIO -- DO NOT UPGRADE TO BLACK MEMBERSHIP UNLESS YOU ARE ABSOLUTELY SURE you want it forever. You will be charged the full amount of a new membership to downgrade back to a normal level (in my case, this is $39). Don't get me wrong, Planet Fitness is a great gym. They have clean facilities with plenty of exercise equipment choices and their friendly policies make even the most novice of gym-goers feel comfortable. However, their business practices leave something to be desired.
When I decided to upgrade, thinking I would use other gyms while travelling for work, I specifically asked about downgrading back down to a regular membership in case I didn't use the Black level as much as I hoped. I was told that it was no obligations, it would be free and easy to go back. Not so. When I went in to my home gym to downgrade, I was told it would be $39 to go back to a regular membership. I won't bore you with the details of the conversations, phone calls, and trips to other gyms I've made (and there's more to come) but this is still not resolved. This is an egregious example of poor business practices and intentionally misleading consumers.
HOUSTON, TEXAS -- At the Planet Fitness at 1960 and I-45 in Houston today. I was going through my normal workout which includes one last set of dips as a "cool down" before I shower and leave. I went over to the "360" area to use the dip bars and there were three women on the far side of the area using the medicine balls.
I started to move the dip bar to the proper height and one of the three (who it turned out was a "trainer") ran over and said that the dip bar was off-limits because she was training. I asked her how I was interrupting her training when none of her "class (2 people)" was anywhere near the dip bar.
She stated that the whole 360 area was off-limits and reserved because she was present. I have been there when there have been group classes of 8 to 12 people all using the stations on the 360 equipment and would not dream of trying to "break in" to the group for a specific exercise, but when there were only 3 people in the whole area and it was not clear that one was a trainer, or that they were "having a class" her response was totally rude and out of line. I told her that she was being totally unreasonable and left. Planet Fitness is cheap, but the trainers are very far from professional. I guess you get what you pay for.
DERBY, CONNECTICUT -- BUYER BEWARE! This company is there to suck your money! It costs 58 dollars to cancel membership and automatically renews for 39.99 plus your next monthly fee of 22 dollars so they get you coming and going. No refunds so I will report them to BBB. Customer service at this Derby CT center is hideous and the person who answers the phone has a nasty mouth. New Haven was at least nice and professional when I called to complain. The customer is always wrong here. Don't bother. Find another gym that bills professionally - it should even be legal! AND NEVER GIVE THEM YOUR DEBIT CARD!
ORLANDO FLORIDA -- Stay away from Planet Fitness, they offer you a contract, you honor it, then they rip you off, in other words commit fraud, they continuously take fees out of my account DESPITE the contract ending! When I finally realized what they were doing I called my bank only to find out today, they called Planet Fitness who said I never went into the gym to cancel the contract!
Sorry but I thought a contract meant something! My bank took their side rather than refunding me all my money plus overdraft charges! So the moral of this story is BIG BUSINESS sides with BIG BUSINESS! I've had my bank account for years, paid thousands in fees, yet they stick with Planet Fitness and their fraud against the average American people, thanks TD Bank. Oh and Planet Fitness in Orlando Fashion Store, YOU ARE THIEVES, FRAUDS AND RIPOFFS! You told my bank I have to come in to make you stop stealing from me, so ok, I will see you tomorrow. Oh and so will Channel 5 News!
OKLAHOMA CITY, OKLAHOMA -- I went into my local Planet Fitness to join after leaving Gold's Gym. I liked the ads and so I stopped by to take the tour. When we got down to terms, I discovered that they charge via EFT from your checking account each month. I was expecting to use a credit card for monthly billing, but they declined. This is a deal breaker for me. No one gets access to my bank accounts but government, prospective employers, and other banks.
I contacted Planet Fitness corporate and their response was one of general disdain. They explained how it's more convenient (for them) since checking account numbers don't expire and how I would never be billed for late fees if my credit card expired (I've never been billed a 'late fee' by my bank for a charge on an expired card). They also tried to convince me how their charging practices are 'geared towards' Payment Card Industry (PCI) standards. What they did not say was that they complied with PCI standards. When I left Gold's, I thought I was leaving behind all of the billing shenanigans. Guess I was wrong. No thanks, Planet Fitness.
EAST RIDGE, TENNESSEE -- CAREFUL if you sign a contract with Planet Fitness. I had a one year contract and about 3 months before it expired I sent a letter to them telling then NOT to renew it. They called me after they received the letter and said my contract was not yet up. I acknowledged that and told them to not renew it at the end of my contract. They agreed.
About 8 months after my contract had expired, I realized they were still billing me. I sent a follow-up letter stating I wanted my account canceled and a refund. No response. So after 2 more months of billing I called them and the person answering the phone would not let me talk to a manager but told me they cannot cancel it without a “certified letter”.
I said that makes no sense, PF acknowledge receipt of my cancellation letter and they never said anything about not being able to cancel it without a Certified letter. This is just a way for them to keep collecting monies. I filed a complaint with the BBB and if not resolved, we will go to Small Claims court. BE CAREFUL. There are lots of clubs that don't require a contract.
FORT WORTH/GRAND PRAIRIE, TEXAS -- Being a true fitness person you are use to the gimmicks that people use to sell memberships. However this was not the case. I just had a employee who had no ideal that he was giving me straight lies because he believe his lies as well. Upon speaking with management to get my money back or even put the money taken from me towards cancelling my membership they stated "I am sorry for the inconvenience and the employee giving you the wrong information but we cannot do anything for your situation."
As a business owner that would never be acceptable and that is exactly why people do not want ever want gym memberships. Planet Fitness is not the place to go... I REPEAT PLANET FITNESS IS NOT THE PLACE TO GO! It sad when a business does not take account for their employees they hired.
MILWAUKEE, WISCONSIN -- My husband and I belong to the Southgate PF in Milwaukee. We have different memberships and have never had any problems with billing in the year we've been there. The place is unbelievably clean. We have belonged to the Y, Snap, and a private club over the last 25 years, and PF is the best of them. The equipment is also always in good condition and repaired quickly if there's an issue. The staff at Southgate is always friendly. The members are a wide range of age, culture, size, and fitness experience. The environment is very judgment-free.
It seems the complaints about PF I've read can be boiled down to bad employees. Also, I asked about my son joining and they clearly said 13 is minimum age. It's 10 bucks a month people. Relax. If you want more than what they offer go to another facility. If you live on South Side of Milwaukee, give PF Southgate look.
HORSEHEADS, NEW YORK -- I signed up my son for a new membership as a Christmas gift. Rather than billing my bank account, they billed my son's account (account information from his previous membership) causing overdraft and fees associated with the overdraft. The staff member clearly made an error. When I contacted the facility, the manager suggested that my signature was enough to authorize them to debit my adult son's account. I have contacted the attorney general. Apparently fraudulent billing and incompetent staff are an integral part of the no judgment zone.
DAYTON, OHIO -- Planet Fitness will have you believe they are a no stress no hassle affordable club to exercise without the pressures often associated with other clubs. Of course that's until you see your bank statement! A friend and I both joined the club on Lyons Road in Dayton approximately a year ago. Unfamiliar with their billing practices neither of us had our checkbooks with us at time of sign-up. I returned to the club the following day and provided the young man behind the counter with a voided check. Several days later when my friend and I returned to the club together I was approached once again with the request for a voided check for billing.
I made every attempt to explain to their HIGHLY trained staff that I had previously provided said item and witnessed the check being attached to my membership form. The "clerk" continued to batter me (wonderfully enough now in front of other club member) stating I had not provided a voided check. In the interest of preserving my dignity I presented them with yet another voided check. (Funny how I use my checking account perhaps 6 times a year and suddenly used it twice in 4 days... )
Nevertheless, time goes by and yes I did utilize the club. But to my absolute amazement I recently discovered that Planet Fitness has been charging me for the monthly membership and the annual fee for my friend's account as well. I think it is reasonably safe to assume at this point that Planet Fitness accounted for both the first and second voided check. Interestingly enough they, again in their years of industry leading experience, decided to attach it to what would seem ANY membership documentation.
Easy fix you say? Try absolutely not! Trust that what their member services facing management team is lacking in proper management and documentation skills they do not make up for in the customer service arena. So I turn to their corporate offices to help resolve this matter.
To my amazement I was told to forward an email to their INFO address and the local owner or district management team "MIGHT" contact me soon. SOON????? What does that mean? If this is the same group of local professionals that hung up on me telling me there is no way they could have charged me for another members fees, then I am not any better off than I would be in the absences of the email.
For the record, I tried to no avail to show my bank statements as proof of the debits to my account and again was told, "no way this is on our end. It must be on your bank side!" The local auditing expert for Planet Fitness was missing one major puzzle piece, the REFERENCE NUMBER (GENIUS) is your companies!!! So I made every attempt to explain it to this manager that my "bank" records the reference number from the "seller's" P.O.S. system and captures the information for proof of sales transaction. Further, the "bank" cannot generate this for the debits.
The net net of this is, I too run a business and my network spans far and long. I have every intention to utilize all resources and social media forums to provide Planet Fitness with the publicity it so deserves. All of this of course, before my scheduled appointment with first my attorney then the Ohio Attorney General's office. I would wager that there are other members that have also had billing or payment concerns left unattended to by this company.
I would be more than happy to discuss this matter with the local owner and or district management member. Please be completely prepared to resolve my issues up on conclusion of the meeting. A.) I expect 100% of the costs of the "other member" refunded back to me starting February 2014 to current including the mid-year annual fee. B.) Remove and return to me the voided check form the other member. C.) Remove and return to me the voided check from any documentation in my membership file (as I no longer trust your billing practices). D.) Lastly, cancel my membership to your club without any penalties.
I will relieve Planet Fitness of all responsibilities thereafter. Member 512 Lyons Rd., Dayton, Ohio branch.