WALTHAM, MASSACHUSETTS -- When joining gym they said I could cancel at anytime with no hassle. But to cancel I had to go to gym in person, call ABC Financial, write them an email and then still wait 30 days and in my case the annual fee $49.99 was charged even though I was no longer a member. Very dishonest. Charging for a yearly due when I will not be a member for that year. I guess if you're a Shyster lawyer it makes sense.
WALTHAM, MASSACHUSETTS -- It is very easy to join this gym, but they will rip you off when you cancel. Sign up in seconds online, but to cancel you must go into the gym, then call ABC Financial and tell them you want to cancel and then email or mail them that you want to cancel. All three things are required and they still won't cancel for 30 days (so they can charge you for another month of service). And in my case, my annual fee came in the 30 days, so I also had to pay $50 annual fee. NEVER JOIN THIS GYM!!!
ROBBINSVILLE, NEW JERSEY -- The entire WoW franchise is absolutely horrible and one of the worst scams I have ever encountered. They lured me in with a $1 down payment on a 12-month contract, with a full VIP membership for only $25/month... however, after I had completed school and moved away, they would NOT let me cancel my membership. Their website says that they will allow membership cancellation before the contract finishes out if the member has moved somewhere with no WoW gym within 25 miles...
Well, I'm in NC, and the closest WoW is hundreds of miles from me. Yet despite me sending them the cancellation fee + a filled out form for membership cancellation by certified mail (another cost out-of-pocket), they would not allow me to cancel.
There is absolutely no way to get in contact with their main office. They have no phone number, fax number, or email address. I had half a mind to go to their corporation's main address and walk in to complain since I couldn't contact them in any other way. If you ever have a problem, the workers in every gym will only be able to tell you that they "sent an email" to the corporate owners through their own system, which I doubt is ever actually checked or responded to.
It has been 3 YEARS since I last lived in NJ, and I just got another phone call TODAY saying that they were sending my information into a collection agency & the credit bureau if I didn't pay them over $300 to compensate them for my (already canceled for over 2 years) membership!!! DO NOT EVER JOIN A WOW. Their gyms might be nice, but the customer service migraine that you will get might just kill you.
RANDOLPH, MASSACHUSETTS -- Well the reason why I chose to join WOW was probably for everyone's reason why, CHEAP PRICE! My wife and I entered a payment of only $10/month each with no contract (thank goodness). So of course we could not do a complimentary workout for a day or even a week, as most gyms would do to see if you like it. It's basically you either sign up or don't. So after walking around the place we said "what the heck. let's sign up because not only was it cheap but also it was so close to the house," which if we wanted to, could walk there. That could save us money on not only the membership but on gas as well. And of course the 24 hr helped a lot also.
So we signed up and I am a big guy, muscular guy, but I am not the type of person that will look at every woman in there. I am very serious about my workout and I like to get in there, put on the headphones, and get out. But then I would constantly have other guys always ask me questions and blah blah blah. Anyway, if I was not working out with my wife when she would go in there on her own of course you would have every guy look at her and she felt uncomfortable when I was not there, and I did not blame her. So she canceled her membership after being there for a week or so. O by the way the WOW location is in Randolph, MA.
Her cancellation went smoothly b/c I guess we were not under contract but then here came mine. My cancellation went smoothly but after being on the phone for so long saying I was the next caller and then all of a sudden I exceeded the max hold time of 9 minutes and then got disconnected. But after countless tries I finally got through to a representative named **. If you live in the Northeast, see if you can get the representative named **. She canceled my policy. Sent me a letter within 5 minutes and it is canceled. Now I'll just have to wait and see if they bill me again so I made sure I saved the letter.
For those of you who do cancel make sure you have them send you a confirmation email of some sort or see if they will give you a reference number. If possible try to stay on the phone with them and be by your computer and wait for the letter to arrive to ensure they sent it. Because if not, you may be waiting for something that will not arrive and then have to try to call, which could be a disaster.
So I guess I cannot say I had a horrible experience with the cancellation of my membership, but I can tell not only from the posts here, but by their attitude that it is a complete ring around to try to cancel if you are under contract. I hope for those of you who do have a contract get out of it smoothly. For those of you who are thinking of joining, even though I did not have a terrible experience, I wouldn't sign up again. Listen to the post!
EDISON, NEW JERSEY -- I went with a free pass on the first day to the Menlo park mall facility in the month of Jan, 2010. I thought the facility was good and I was trying to ask details to the person there. Unfortunately, I don't remember his name, but he was a big Mexican guy with a dark tan skin and very little hair. He wanted me to join the gym on the same day by hook or crook. I told him that I will be out of the country for the next 3 months until end of March and will come and join from April. He said that if I join the same day, he would give me a discount on the enrollment fee which is $150 of which I would pay around $80.
Also he said that I would be charged only $9.99 for the first 3 months as I'd be out of the country. He promised me and I signed the contract. Before signing the contract, I asked him what is the procedure for terminating the contract. He said that we can look at it later and not to worry about it. But I forced him to tell the procedure. He gave me the website and asked me to go through the process and said that it's very easy and not to worry as he would make it easier for me if I wanted to terminate.
Finally I've signed the contract and I left the country. When I saw my credit card statements, I was charged with $37.45 instead of $9.99 what he promised for the first 3 months. I immediately wanted to cancel the membership for the same reason and also I've moved to another state. I called the facility and requested to cancel my membership. They replied in a very rude manner that I cannot cancel the membership until the end of the year. If I want to cancel, I should provide them with a proof of address change and then they can cancel the membership. They wanted me to do everything online and by mail.
I tried going online and looked at the procedure. It was the worst and meaningless process ever. We have to pay 10% of the total contract price + enrollment fee+ membership cancellation fee+ yearly maintenance fee. I again called the facility and this time someone replied softly. I again forgot the name of the person. The person asked me to visit the facility with the proof of address change and I visited the facility from another state with my credit card statement. There is a lady who thought that she owned the gym. She replied in a very reckless manner.
She said that she will not deal my issue and again I've to do everything online. This is completely wrong from what I was told on phone. I told her the same conversation. She said that no one in that facility would reply like that and I'm just building up a story. I was pissed and I left the place and again the next day I called the facility so that some other person would answer the phone. This time I asked his name. His name is ** and he told me to visit the facility again with my credit card statement.
I've again visited the following weekend. He took a copy of my credit card statement and asked me to mail the cancellation form. I did the same and I got a response that I would be charged 10% of the total contract price from the day I joined the gym+ enrollment fee+ cancellation fee+ yearly maintenance fee. The gym fee was $37.45 per month and they multiplied it by 12 months though I paid fee for the first 5 months they don't care. Below is the response I received from an agent.
The 10% is for the total contract price. The amount is broken down as: Enrollment fee of $93.09. Membership dues of $37.45 x 12 =$449.40. 30 day cancellation period $37.45. Yearly maintenance fee $37.45 Totals $617.39 x 10% = $61.74 divided into 3 payments of $20.58. The 1st payment starts on the next draft which is 6/1.
So, it doesn't matter even if we pay the entire enrollment fee or any fee for the months you were enrolled in. They just charge you 10% on the entire contract and other stupid fees. This is the worst experience I ever had. The management is very ruthless and arrogant. They don't know how to take care of customers. They just force you to join the facility at any cost. If you say that you don't like some of the equipment, they even can promise you that you don't need to pay any fee until you were satisfied. But again you will be charged for every billing cycle. I advise you to think twice before you even talk to any one there. I would never recommend any one to join WOW!
I was a WOW member for a long time, the first scam is when you change your card information and you do not change it at the Gym ABC financial charge $20 fee and if they can`t take money out of the account they keep on trying, I had to pay 120 dollars within a week in fees. The other scam happened in August 2009. I enrolled 5 members of my family in my account for the awesome 9.99 deal.
The agreement with the WOW representative was that we had to pay $70 for each member $50 enrollment fee and $20 for the first and last month. Since they explain everything to us they asked us to sign the contract for a year so we did. The first fiasco happened 1 month after the agreement. They charged me an extra $49.99 for no reason.
When I called ABC financial, their history report stated that I had insufficient funds which was not truth. I had 130 dollars but I lost my statement and the bank couldn't give me any info from 2 months back, so I couldn't do anything. And I always make sure I have enough money in my bank account to cover the $70 dollars a month I had to pay for me and my family. When I checked my account on October 16 2009, I had $100 dollars enough for the month. But when I checked my account the 26th I was -356 NEGATIVE. I went to the bank. They told me there was nothing they could do other than changing my card information.
And since I had a contract with them I would have to talk to them. So I did go to the WOW gym to talk to the supervisor. And they told me that when we signed the contract we agreed to pay $39.99 lock fee after 3 months of membership to locked the $9.99 dollars a month for each member. I told them, "I HAVE 5 WITNESSES THAT KNOW THEY NEVER TOLD US ANYTHING ABOUT THAT CHARGE AND BEFORE WE SIGNED THE CONTRACT THEY WENT OVER THE CONTRACT WITH US." (telling us that what we were signing here was just one year contract, the 2 payments for 9.99 1st and last month and the $50 dollar membership fee).
Now since we did not see that hidden fee in that huge contract with really small letters. And they were acting like they were going through the contract after 3 months I had to pay 249.95 Lock fee for 5 members and 175 to the bank for overdraft charges, everything is a total of $424.95 dollars. I told them to look at it from a business point of view, is not the main purpose of a business to have their customers happy. We would be members with them forever, instead they rather lose 6 customers and ruin my credit.
This is so unfair. What would you do? You wouldn't want to have business with that kind of people and cancel the membership right! Sure we signed a contract which means each person had to pay 100 dollars on top of everything else or that are going to be taking the monthly payment for a year. Now let's say, "f... this I am not going to give them any money", that's exactly what I said and I changed my card information. Well in my case imagine WOW and ABC financial trying to take money from my account for 6 people and charging extra 20 dollars every time they can't take the money. Now can you picture what would be the debt in one year.
OCEAN, NEW JERSEY -- On January 19, 2009 my son and I visited WOW-Ocean Township to join the gym. I sat with an associate, looked at the plans offered, and proceeded to complete paperwork. I gave the sales associate my debit card to pay the initiation fees for me and my son but BEFORE I signed any contracts my husband called me and asked me not to make any contractual commitments at that time.
When the associate returned I told him that we were not going to continue with the membership and asked for my debit card back. He told me unfortunately he had already run the initiation charges on my card. I said, "OK, can you just reverse the charges." He informed me club policy is that I would have to wait 30 days for them to issue a refund to me by check. I told him that didn't make any sense and to please refund my card. He said that was not their policy. Mind you, I AM NOT A MEMBER of WOW - I NEVER signed any contracts.
So, on January 19th I called the club to see if my refund check was there. I was told they received the request January 26th and the 30 day countdown started from that date. I called the club February 26th to see if the check was there. I was told it was not and the accounting department was backed up. I was assured the check would be there any day and that they would call me as soon as it came in. They also offered to send the billing department a "help ticket" to see where the check was.
To date, seven "help tickets" have been sent on my behalf and yet no other info other than in takes 30 days for a refund has been sent back to the local club. So, I have called about five times in the past week, and today I was told the billing department has received my request for refund as of March 4th and I have to wait 30 days from March 4th to receive my refund. Mind you, I AM NOT A MEMBER of WOW.
They are ripping me off for over $250. I have asked for the phone number to the billing department and all I am told is the sales associate has to contact them using the "help ticket." Apparently there is no headquarters or main office for me to contact. What is even worse is the sales associates are on the front line and have to deal with irate customers (I am sure I am not the only one). Not only do they have sleazy business practices but they treat the employees unfairly as well by having them defend unfair customer service tactics.
I need suggestions, if any, as to how to get my money back. I called my bank and will be completing a "Revocation Form" to prevent them from taking any additional monies out of my account. For your own good, DO NOT even walk in the front door of this place unless you have a lot of disposable income to burn.
ROBBINSVILLE, NEW JERSEY -- My husband and I decided to join the new Workout World location in Robbinsville, NJ. While meeting with the sales rep, it became clear that WOW does not provide printed pricing information. The prices we were given were handwritten on the back of a brochure. We repeatedly asked for brochures with pricing information printed in it and were given brochures on our way out. There were no prices listed therein. Also, in reading the back of the contract, we learned that WOW has the right to increase the dues rate every year.
The sales rep had specifically told us that this rate would be locked in for us for life. When we pointed out the discrepancy to him, he just shrugged and said they never raise the price. I countered that, legally, we wouldn't have a leg to stand on if they did because the contract reserves that right for them. Another shrug and a brief speech on how it's a family-run business followed. We should have left at that point but, since we really wanted to join a gym, we didn't.
A few weeks later, after doing some more research and discovering that WOW is the most expensive gym in the area, we decided to terminate our contracts. The gym was still under construction and not set to open until New Year's Eve so, per our contract, all we had to do was sent a certified letter canceling.
We did that and followed up a week or so later with a call, at which time a rep confirmed receipt of our letter and said it would take 2-4 weeks to refund our money. It only took them 3 days to charge us the first time. Also, the contract said our money would have to be refunded in full within 30 days of receipt of the letter. To make a long story short, they lost our paperwork. I had to go to the sales trailer personally to deliver another letter and fill out a cancellation form. At that time, I pointed out to the rep that we were within a week of the 30 days. He said the head of accounting would handle it personally.
Eventually, I was able to get in touch with a customer service manager, who advised me a check had been cut the week before for my refund. Why it takes them a week to mail a check is beyond me, especially when I'd requested a refund to my credit card. She also told me that the $30 per contract processing fee was not refundable. I pointed out to her that my contract said no such thing. In fact, it says membership card fees are not refundable, and we'd never been issued cards.
Another week went by and we were now past the 30-day limit imposed by the contract. I emailed one of the owners and later found that my email was forwarded back to the customer service manager I'd been dealing with. After several calls to her, half of the money was refunded to my credit card. Another call and several days later, the rest of my money was refunded. The time my husband and I spent on getting these contracts cancelled was extraordinary - over a month total. We were routinely given conflicting information from the staff and, had we not taken it upon ourselves to keep on top of them, feel certain they'd still have our money.
The fact that they could not adhere to the terms of their own contract is appalling. I would strongly recommend that anyone considering doing business with this company READ the contract thoroughly before signing it. The staff clearly does not know, or, in some cases, care, what the contract says. And, though this comes as no surprise, the Robbinsville location is STILL not open, although it was supposed to be 3 1/2 weeks ago.
Please never join WOW. I joined my daughter a few years ago and when she moved away for college I put her membership on hold. When I realized she would no longer use it I sent a cancellation request via certified mail. They emailed me to say I could not cancel the membership while it is on hold and I had an outstanding balance that needed to be paid before I could cancel. My husband promptly paid the balance and we sent another certified letter requesting cancellation of the membership. We were under the assumption that the matter was resolved.
A year later we received a collection letter from a law firm representing WOW stating we still owed 158.95. It was in my daughter's name and I feared her credit would be ruined!!! So my husband promptly called law firm and spoke to an attorney who is supposed to be collecting so called debt for WOW. He basically told my husband he had reviewed our account and knows it was paid along with 490 other accounts. WOW is trying to collect on. He said their contracts are basically ironclad and almost impossible to cancel.
He then recommended we lodge an official complaint with the prosecutor's office. It is pretty scary when the law firm in charge of collections for WOW tells you to lodge a complaint. To make matters worse I am now trying to cancel my son's membership since he is away at college. I sent a cancellation request via certified mail and then received an email from them saying "you can't cancel because the account is on hold and there is an outstanding balance." BLAH BLAH BLAH!!! How could there be a balance if I pay by automatic withdraw and never received a statement. It is dejavu all over again.
FREEHOLD, NEW JERSEY -- My wife and I went to Work Out World at the end of September to switch from Retro Fitness and take advantage of their classes and the advertised 14.95 rate a month. A sales representative helped us and explained to us the whole "process". The deal was the it would be 1.00 down each if we did the 14.95 a month rate but had to refer two people. We explained that we are coming from retro only charging 19.99 a month and we paid zero down and were not interested if we had to pay anything up front and if the costs was more than 20.00 a month.
He said he understood and wanted us to join so he said he would get the people for us. Meaning, when individual people came in to join under the standard non-promo deal, he would simply add them to us as our referral. We of course questioned this but he insisted they do it all the time so we agreed. He charged us our 1.00 each and said we will see the 14.95 for the November billing cycle. Three weeks go by, so my wife called to see if everything was OK and if he got the referrals but was told ** was fired.
The general manager basically said we were lying and we had to pay the full amount. WOW billed us 54.95 twice in October aside from the 2.00 we OK'd the day we signed up. [The GM] did say she would contact corporate and ask if we can get this rate since it really not our fault but never called us back or took our calls. On 11/8/10, I called and of course the GM is no longer there and the new manager referred us to the website to complain. No corporate number, they won't cancel our account and they are just nasty all together. I already blocked them from billing me in the future and will go to court if needed. DO NOT JOIN THIS TERRIBLE PLACE!!