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.
NORTH BRUNSWICK -- Let me start off by stating that I recommend staying as far away as possible from this horrible establishment. The employees here are liars and they will try to trick you given any opportunity (especially the staff manager; **). They are in strong competition with the other local gyms (i.e. LA Fitness) and will tell you anything to tie you down in a contract. If you must sign up here, make SURE you read all the fine print. DO NOT take into account ANYTHING they say to you if it is not on paper. They will lie to you as they lied to me and others. These people are liars and cheaters and have built a business with dishonesty at its core.
Now here's a brief summery of my experience with the gym: Upon signing up I specifically asked the Staff Manager, **, whether I would be able to work out on weekends in the WOW location in North Bergen. I stressed that this was of great importance to me because I live off campus here in North Brunswick and spend most weekends at my parent's house in North Bergen. ** assured me that I could work out in North Bergen. “All they have to do is give me a call, I tell them its okay and you can work out there, it's completely up to me,” he said. He told me that I would be able to do this anytime during my membership and it didn't even matter that I got a basic membership.
Hearing this, I happily signed up. I went home on the weekend and was told that I could only work out in that gym for 30 days (consecutively). In a word; I was lied to by this “staff manager”. At this point I thought I would just go and cancel my membership, but this was far from what occurred. To make a long story short what followed was about 2 months of emailing the headquarters, complaining, negotiating with my credit card company and being told to wait constantly. These people will hold on to your money like their life depended on it and will not give it back unless they feel it is absolutely their only option.
I have never dealt with such a group in my life; they run their establishment more like a mafia and work on a policy based solely on greed and the lack of morals. In a word, BE VERY CAREFUL if you are considering signing up to this establishment. I recommended from it completely. Good luck.
TINTON FALLS, NEW JERSEY -- I have never had a company piss me off as much as Work Out World. I posted about them in the past when I have had a horrendous time canceling, only problem is that they are right next to my house and the gym itself is pretty good. I need to work out to keep the weight off and if the gym isn't right near my house I just don't go. Anyway I just got an offer for $19.99* a month with no initiation fee* and according to the ad you can now cancel with 30 days notice instead of 90.
So I called about the asterisk's because I'm a glutton for punishment. Here's the deal, you need to make an appointment to sign up again. They don't give any info over the phone. That sounded suspicious to me so said I would make an appointment only if he answered 3 questions.
Q: What does the asterisk by the 19.99 mean? A: 12 month commitment.
Q: What does the asterisk by the $0 initiation fee mean? A: There is no initiation fee, just a $37 paperwork processing fee! (This wasn't on the flier or the e-mail)
Q: What does it take to cancel? A: After your 12 month commitment is up you can give 30 days notice by filling out a form.
Follow-up Question: So all I have to do is stop by the desk and fill out a form and leave it there? A: No, you have to send it certified mail to our corporate office.
My response: Wait a minute, I have to wait until my 12 months are up before I can give my 30 days notice? Isn't that really a 13 month commitment? And why can't I just fill out the cancellation paperwork and give it to you guys in sales? Surely if you can manage all the paperwork to sign me up you can also manage the paperwork to cancel it couldn't you. The answer - "No it's only a 12 month commitment, you just can't give notice to cancel until after you've fulfilled your commitment. We can't accept your cancellation paperwork here because it would be way too much paperwork for us."
At this point I went on to explain that there was no way I was getting out of there paying for less than 13 months until he finally agreed. As for the paperwork fee he said every gym charges one, I'll have to check cause I think there are a couple of new gyms in the area. They are just a scummy company to deal with, it's all roses, apple pie and deceit until they get your credit card info, from that point on they just treat you like garbage to your face.
RED BANK/MIDDLETOWN/SHREWBURY, NEW JERSEY -- I signed a 2 year contract with WOW... They claim I signed a 3 year contract... I have been asking for a copy of my contract for 9 months but they can not produce it. I stopped paying and they sent my account into collections... I contacted them for a copy of my contract and it sounds like they all went on fire in a fire that took place in their office ...So they can not prove I signed for 3 years but they say I did. I offered to come to an agreement just to beat the headache and they act like it is my fault they lost my contract and my billing information.
They have been nothing but rude and snide to me... I would have to say it has been the worst gym experience I ever had... They will not speak to me direct only over email and they will not provide me with my contract and they sent me into collections for future payment that did not even happen yet. Please be careful when you go near this gym. Plus I took a friend to work out with me once. They hated the gym's layout and they harassed them over the phone and email to sign up... They had to threaten to sue before they stopped harassing them. Be careful and stay away from WOW.
Since then I have been at Retro Fitness...nothing but a great experience. They are not mean, rude and sneaky like WOW.... I suggest everyone stays away from this place. Working out anywhere else is a better call. There is a reason their dues are so cheap because they rip you off every chance they get (not to mention they overcharged me on 3 different occasions...and when I brought it to their attention they made it seem like it was my fault... Sorry I check my statements and I don't like being ripped off).WOW should stand for Worst of Workouts.
I got a membership at a newly opened WOW in September of 08. The salesman was telling me about what a GREAT deal I was getting, spending 350 dollars down and 19.99 a month each for my boyfriend and me. He said we were getting such a great deal because we were presales. The salesman and the man whom I now know to be the manager also told me I'd get a card in the mail two weeks before the gym opened.
A couple months passed and I drove by in December and noticed that the gym WAS open, but I had not received anything in the mail. I went into the club and got my card, but the gym had already been open for a month! When I complained, it was just the same old "Too bad, you should have checked earlier," deal. I just thought, you know, whatever, at least I have my membership now.
I was out of work and desperately needed money the first time I went into the club, so I applied for childcare. I got an interview about a week later and one of the managers asked if I could start that night, promising me an hourly rate of $8.50 an hour. I agreed.
Within the first month, I started to get to know some of the people a little better. It turns out that my managers live together, one who is 20 and one who is 23. You're supposed to be at least 18 to work in the childcare center. However, one day, two 17 year old girls walked in. How did they get their job? They walked in to work out and the 20 year old manager offered them a job.
The one who is only twenty is having parties at their house, inviting girls who work in the childcare center, two of which have children. At the house parties, they drink and smoke weed, all of these people being under 21. My 20 year old manager will ask one of the 18 year old girls to go everywhere with him. They'll go to Wal-Mart and be gone for a ridiculously long time, such as 2 hours, and come back empty-handed. I've heard girls talking about having sex with him.
And warning to all parents who think that your children are actually being taken care of by qualified CPR/first aid certified people - THEY'RE NOT!!! I am the only person at this WOW location to have my CPR/AED for the professional rescuer certification!
WARWICK, RHODE ISLAND -- I joined Workout World first in 2004 for a fee of 19.99 a month and 60.00 down. The term contract lasted for 1 year. During that year I moved to an entirely different state, and provided Workout World with the correct documentation of my new address, as the terms of service stated it was necessary to cancel a contract. I sent those items out on April 1st, 2005 with 6 months still left in my contract. After repeatedly calling, they "never received the documentation," and I was charged the fees when I lived over 200 miles away.
Being the naive person that I am, I chalked this up to my own bad luck or some sort of mail accident. I moved back to Rhode Island in August of 2006, and being a health nut, I re-joined Workout World, as it is the closest gym to my family. I signed a contract for 29.99 a month for two years, and never missed a payment. My contract expired in August of 2008, and today, March 5, 2009, I am reviewing my bank statements and find that Workout World has been charging me 19.99 for the past 6 months.
After speaking with a customer service associate, she informed me that underneath your signature on the Workout World contract there is a section for you to initial. Apparently you are initialing a "contract extension" which allows Workout World to withdraw 19.99 (not even the price I was paying per month) from your account despite the fact that you signed up for a 2 year contract.
I was advised to again, send a written request to stop the service (which should have been stopped 6 months ago), and now I am awaiting a response about the "lost email" or "lost documentation" that they need in order to stop me from being charged again. The woman said this will take a MINIMUM of another billing cycle. Workout World is a SCAM! The employees get paid on commission, and therefore do NOT take the time to explain to you that you are automatically enrolled in a lifelong contract. I beg you, workout elsewhere. It's not worth your stress.
NORTH BRUNSWICK, NEW JERSEY -- I have been a member of the gym for over a year and referred a friend to join and I would pay for my friend's membership. I went with her to sign up on Saturday, February 7th, and was quoted a price for the full year by the WOW employee. The WOW employee incorrectly put in the information in the system. Three employees tried to figure out the mistake that had been entered in the computer and we waited for an additional 35 minutes, while the 3 employees were dumbfounded and had to call the manager to figure out what to do. They told it should be fixed by Monday, or Tuesday, at the latest.
When I returned on Tuesday, no one knew what I was talking about and the employee who had initiated the membership had been let go. Again, I wasted another 30 minutes, explaining the situation and the employee was clueless.
The next day, I returned and the manager was aware of the situation and alleged that he could fix it. But, then when I went to pay the remaining balance, the manager quoted a completely different price than the employee who had written up the contract. The manager was very unprofessional, rude, and defensive, and made comments about the incompetence of the employee who had written up the contract, etc. and told me that my only option was to cancel because he refused to honor the price that had been quoted to me.
The quality of customer service at WOW-North Brunswick, is terrible and horrendous. The employees seem to be "winging it" half the time and you can not have confidence that they will follow through on what they have promised. The manager was extremely rude and patronizing and I was appalled that in these economic times, someone representing a company would encourage a paying customer who just referred another client to them to cancel and stop doing business because they refused to make amends on a mistake that had been made by their own direct reports.
I would NEVER recommend that anyone join WOW-North Brunswick because of the misleading practices to get people to sign up for memberships, employee incompetence, and the disrespectful and condescending attitude and demeanor of the general manager.
BRICK, NEW JERSEY -- Last May I purchased sessions at Work Out World in Brick to get ready for my upcoming October wedding. I had moved, and was attending WOW while finishing out my contract with another affiliated gym when I bought the sessions, a package of 30. In July there was a fire in the club, and it closed. It was reopening in Fall 2008...then December 31st, 08...then in November I found out it was closed permanently. I started to try to contact them to obtain a refund for my 18 unused sessions ($1.080) and SURPRISE! They don't have a customer service phone number, just a form to submit on the website.
I finally got an email response December 16th, and a phone call shortly after. They told me my options, and I opted for a refund. I was told they would process it and either mail me a check, or I could pick it up at a neighboring WOW facility. Almost a month went by...nothing. I emailed them again, and the response I got was "Hi Jamie, what was the name on your account?". Nothing since. I've tried calling other work out worlds, I get nowhere. They tell me there's no corporate or customer service number, to go on the website, or that they can't help me. I need to contact the Brick location. THE BRICK LOCATION BURNED DOWN.
I called the Ocean location a few weeks ago to ask about my sessions, and I was told that my membership was cancelled on the 31st of December and that my sessions were gone. He said "They might let you have them back if you sign up for a new contract." So IF I GIVE THEM MORE MONEY then they MIGHT let me redeem the THOUSAND DOLLARS I already gave them. I have yet to hear from them.
I located the extension for the owner and left him a message. I am beside myself, I've been ripped off in a big way, and can get through to no one. I filed a claim earlier with the BBB, but judging by WOWs history on there, I bet it won't get me far. This is criminal.
Update: I've been told I can get my refund, but this is the policy: "The Personal Training refund is calculated based on your used sessions being valued at the Single Session Price and then subtracting that Total (sessions used multiplied by the single session price) from the Total Package Price you paid. The balance of that calculation would be the Personal Training refund due you."
So basically, they're refunding me for the amount of the sessions I used, not the balance of what I didn't use. If I signed up for a new contract and used the sessions I'd be able to redeem the full amount. I want nothing more to do with this company. I'm done. It's $360 less than I was expecting/hoping for, but I'll take it.
SHREWBURY, NEW JERSEY -- I am writing this letter in hopes that someone will expose the unfair and illegal tactics of the gym WOW located in many towns in this area. My brother and I became members in Aug. 2005 at the Ocean, NJ WOW. It was a 3 year contract that we agreed to. In Aug. 2008, I called to cancel and was told I had to go on their website and print a cancellation form, send it certified with a return signature.
I was then informed that it would take 90 days to process our paperwork (the paperwork was mailed to the Brick, NJ WOW) and we were responsible for paying our monthly dues of about $50 for the next 3 months. We reluctantly did this. They received our paperwork September 5, 2008. My brother's membership was canceled in December 2008.
I, on the other hand, was charged on January 5, 2009. I called them and was told I would receive an email with a "resolution." They informed me that because I referred some friends to the gym and they joined, I extended my contract for another 6 months!!! This is NOWHERE in my contract and I did NOT sign anything regarding this extension.
They refuse to credit my account and told me that I am not eligible to cancel until Feb 2009 and I must go into a WOW and start my cancellation process!!! I ALREADY did this in September 2008. I then started researching the internet and was shocked to find out how many people have had major complaints with this company.
They even received an "F" from the Better Business Bureau for billing and contract issues. My brother also contracted MRSA from the Tinton Falls gym.
After seeing a specialist, we found out there have been other confirmed MRSA cases in which people got it from the Tinton Falls and Ocean WOW. Anyone reading this should tell everyone they know that WOW is a scam and should NEVER EVER join this gym.
EAST BRUNSWICK, NEW JERSEY -- Stay Away from all Workout Worlds! The contracts and business practices of Workout World are ambiguous, deceiving, and dishonest. I have been a faithful member of WOW III for over two years. I signed my 1-year contract on 12/14/05 and was told that when the 1 year was up that I would automatically go to a month-to-month membership.
I am moving on July 1, 2008 to Mays Landing, NJ and therefore decided to cancel my membership with WOW. I was told that I had to give a 90-day notification of cancellation, meaning that I would be forced to pay for an additional 90 days. I couldn't cancel at the gym. I had to fill out a form online and send it certified to Brick, NJ. Furthermore, in order to have the 90-day period waived, I would have to provide a proof of address (a utility bill, etc.), at which time they would search the area for a WOW within 25 miles of my new address.
If there were none, the 90-day period would be waived, if there was, the 90 days would still stand. I tried sending my renter's insurance policy as proof of residence, but they wouldn't accept it. They know very well that anything they ask you for are things that take at least one month after your move to get! The consolation that was offered by the rude girl on the phone was “well even if you have to wait a month, it's better than 90 days”.
Even if I do send in one of the 4 things they are asking for, chances are they will find one of their “affiliates” within 25 miles of my new address and still be forced to pay for this unwanted gym for the duration of the 90 days. It is not about the money, but as I have seen from all of you, WOW has done this to many people and it is JUST NOT RIGHT. The WOW customer service is uncouth and unprofessional and they refuse to help you in any way. All they want is your money and I have no choice but to give it to them.
If anyone is as fired up about this as I am, please email me at **, because I would be happy to exercise my right to freedom of speech and freedom of assembly and demonstrate in front of the East Brunswick Workout World. All the members at WOW should know the scum they are dealing with!