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!
TINTON FALLS, NEW JERSEY -- I found it extremely easy to join at my local Workout World Gym, but find it alarming at how difficult it is to terminate my membership. I tried to quit in person, but was told they can only accommodate signing me up at the local site, that any terminations must be handled via email, and only via email, through their offices in another state.
So I complied and sent an email informing them I am ending my membership and to cancel my current contract which I had fulfilled in remaining a member for several years. I only received a cryptic message that there was approximately a $46.00 credit on my account that had to be used and then they would end my membership. Well, several months later, while I am still being billed each month for membership I find out that I failed to complete a termination form. I explained how they failed to ever send one to me, and they are the only source of such a form, so how the hell was I supposed to have completed one.
They had me re-email my termination request to their offices and they finally sent me the form, ALMOST SIX MONTHS AFTER my initial termination request, and then they informed me that upon receipt of it they would continue to bill me for 90 days to comply with their rules for quitting the gym.
I contacted American Express, Amex, who looked into this, and recently sent me a letter claiming they held in my favor based upon copies of the emails I had sent and the dates involved of the clear intent to terminate my membership months ago so they stopped any further payments from being charged to my account, only to find that now the gym is going to charge me "late fees" for not making my obligated payments for these last 90 days! Why did the 90 days not begin upon receipt of my initial email?
Amex thought it should have based upon Workout Worlds failure to send me any clear instructions on how they were going to handle my request, and contacted me saying I am to follow up with the vendor for they have yet to receive ANY contact from Workout World despite their attempts at speaking with staff.
The only bright spot in this is a nice manager, Theresa, a the local site, who seems to be trying her best to resolve this unfair mess, yet it appears even Workout World does not play well with its own management staff, for she too is having difficulty in having their "main office" understand how unfair this process is to the gym member who entered into the membership in good faith that both sides would be held to the contract and the "spirit" of the agreement, that upon completing a minimum membership period you would be able to walk away if you choose to with the same ease that they processed your joining the gym.
ROBBINSVILLE, NEW JERSEY -- I visited the registration trailer at the construction site of the new Work Out World on Rte 130 South in Robbinsville NJ. The staff were initially very courteous and friendly, one sales person gave his pitch and explained that, as incentive to signing up before the place is even finished, I get a coupon for $100 off the initial sign-up fee. At the end of his pitch he presented me with three different programs available, with different prices. This was all handwritten in ballpoint pen on a plain piece of paper, which seemed a little strange to me.
I asked if there was a brochure or someplace where this was all written down so I could think about it, and he said he could write it down for me, but if I didn't sign up right then and there I would lose any chance of getting a discount! I explained that I had only come in for information, and that I was not prepared to make any decisions today, but he explained that they (the sales staff) are not allowed to extend the time limit. You have to sign up on the day of the visit.
I told him I did not appreciate being pressured into something I wasn't ready to commit to, and I handed back the coupon. He tried to backpedal, asking how long I needed to think about it, would a day be enough? Or two days? Something just seemed suspicious, like if I thought too long about it I'd see the catch or figure out the flaw.
MASSACHUSETTS -- My daughter is a college student and she wanted to join a gym for 3 months to keep in shape for the soccer season. She told the sales person that she would not need the membership after the 3 months because she would be back in college, playing soccer and would have no time to go to the gym. The sales person assured her that the best and cheapest way to go would be to sign up for a 24 month membership. All she would need to do is call a toll free number to cancel. It would only take a few minutes and she would be cancelled, NOT!
At the end of the three months she called to cancel. They told her she couldn't unless she had moved more than a certain distance away and if there was any gym (not even theirs) within 25 miles, she would have to go there! She went there to discuss things and got nowhere. They continued to charge her debit card an additional $200 dollars until my daughter cancelled the account to get them off her back. She paid for 6 months. Now, they have her in a collection agency trying to collect for the additional 18 months. ($638.84) Massachusetts General law, Chapter 93A, deals with Unfair and Deceptive Trade Practices.
Basically it's against the law for a sales person to knowingly make false statements, misrepresent, in order to induce a consumer to engage in a contract. It is a misrepresentation and it's against the law. There are damages and they could be triple if the court really wants to slap this company for unfair and deceptive trade practices. Anyway, they haven't heard the end of this angry parent.
WORCESTER, MASSACHUSETTS -- Joined the gym the day it opened. Seem fine, but slowly became worse. Very young people work there that don't like to work too hard. Paper towels are supposed to be at different stations to clean machines. Lots of times they are out of towels, etc. Always asking them to replace it. Women's locker room, filthy. I was told men's just as bad. Lockers are never cleaned and you never know what you are going to find in there. Jacuzzi has not worked now for 2 weeks, pool is freezing and dirty.
The sauna is the worst. I purposely left behind empty water bottles and wrappers to see if it would be there the next day, it was. I use only the treadmill if I can find one that works. They have a lot of machines, but the TV or machine doesn't work. I try out about three different treadmills before I can find a decent one. They sit there and are never repaired. I want a refund for my last month payment because it's been a waste of time going there lately.
EDISON, NEW JERSEY -- At least a collection agency would be fairer than WOW and settle at a 10% instead of paying 100% of money that was ILLEGALLY billed to your account!! Even if you follow the rules you get screwed don't wait--get out ASAP by plugging the source by closing your accounts so they cannot continue to withdraw money. People with severe in injuries can't even get out of the contract. WOW are gypsies that steal for a living=money demons!
I am also one scammed client who sent both registered mail and return receipt requested and certified mail return receipt and said I have to send it again in spring 2014, when actually in contract it states if you even send it at minimum--well I sent it summer/fall 2013. And they said they cannot cancel it and I have to send it again in 2014 when I already sent notification=$80+ (why should I spend more money when they have already stolen thousands from my family!) And still NOT receive any acknowledgement when we follow their rules, but I am sure they will call when they don't get money from me!
Thousands of dollars for a family lost just because we want to be healthy! They claim "jersey strong" but really support making "jerseyans weak". This is only a fraudulent club that cheats dumb, unsuspecting people. The only way to stop them from stealing your money is to close your accounts!! It may ruin your credit, but at least they can't continue to steal your money!!! Let's sue WOW in NJ!!!
WALL, NEW JERSEY -- Work out world's cancellation policy and general customer service is horrible. I joined at $5 a week and was told no problem to cancel. It turns out that a certified letter is required on top of that they charge for an additional 30 days. I joined for only a few months and had to stop for health reasons and they charged me an annual fee on top of the regular fee which was never Bally disclosed. Most of the gyms have very young people at the front desk and many have no customer service training which reflects the overall character of Work Out World.
I was charged a maintenance fee on top of my monthly fee with no warning at all. I understand it is in the very fine print of the contract. When you are signing up they give you the details of all the fees but make sure they leave that part out. I was talking to an ex-employee that told me they do that on purpose.
I just had three friends join and they told me they were not informed either. When I called Middletown today the person that spoke to me said it should have been mentioned when signing. I said it was not and he said, "Well that is your word against theirs," and I said, "well I had another person in the office with me, and they did not hear it." I have until next April for my membership to expire. I think their practices are very unprofessional and you should post your complaints anywhere you can.
I sent out a memo in my company and posted a bulletin in the lobby of a very large professional building.... and this will continue until they treat their customers with more respect.
MIDDLETOWN, NEW JERSEY -- When I signed up with Work Out World I paid $100+ in order to have a recurring payment of $32 per month. When I realized I was overpaying quite a bit (after one year) I asked to change my monthly rate to $10 per month as advertised on billboards and other outrageous LOCAL billboard marketing campaigns for this particular franchise location. When I asked to begin paying the "Basic" package of $10 as explained on billboards, they explained I had to pay another $100 in order to have the recurring payment of $10 because it was a different package than I signed up with.
I explained if I had this "basic" package option from the beginning, I would have purchased that versus this VIP package I am stuck with. They said there was no such "Basic" package one year ago, that it has begun very recently. I explained I do not use the "day care", hence no children, do not use the classes offered and do not go to any other locations.
I asked the Work Out World customer service office to make an exception and they communicated with the owner of the franchise. This owner declined, therefore, I am leaving. ALSO 10% of the machines here are ALWAYS being fixed which means you cannot use them. I will be going to Retro Fitness since Work Out World has screwed up their customer base and will not help transition their old customer base to a fair rate their NEW customer base is entitled to.