Gold's Gym International, Inc Complaint - Avoid Signing Up At This Gym At All Costs - Go Elsewhere
LOS ANGELES, CA, CALIFORNIA -- AVOID SIGNING UP AT THIS GYM AT ALL COSTS – GO ELSEWHERE
I forgot how much gym salesman are like car salesman until I went to Gold's Gym after I got one of those 30 day free trial membership ads in the mail. So I decide to go in on the very last day before it expires, the day before Thanksgiving. Of course, this is the day they are having their “big sale” that they only have once per year, offering “the best prices all year long,” or at least according to the person I spoke with on the phone. So I need to get home to my girlfriend because pizza is on the way, and who likes cold pizza. So I figure I can probably get through this in about 30 minutes. Boy was I wrong.
My very first question to the sales representative Braille was, “Do I have to pay anything up front for the 30 day free trial” and he answered “No.” And my second question was, “Do you offer a month-to-month plan” and he said “Yes.” I went onto explain I have a history of joining gyms and getting bored after a couple months, and while I'm hoping to change that, I want only a month-to-month contract. I made it very clear throughout the entire time he showed me around the gym, and once we sat down for his high pressure sales tactics that I only want a month-to-month contract.
So Braille sits me down and the high pressure sales begins. He says the normal rate is $79.99/month, they usually offer a deal of $59.99/month, but today, and today only, he's gonna give it to me for $39.99. I also tell him I want to sign up my girlfriend, so he says normally it would be $49.99, but he'll take $10 off and give it to her for $39.99 as well. So I think, ok great. And he said, if I decide I don't want the memberships, I can call him during the 30 day trial, and he will "rip up" the memberships. So then he asks me to sign the computer (a little signing mechanism), and he never showed me a contract before signing.
BEWARE: At no time did Braille tell me I was being locked into a 12 month contract for a total of $479.88, that there was a $100 cancellation fee in the first six months, or a $50 fee in the second 6 months, nor a $29 facility fee due on July 5.
So he prints out the contract, hands me a folder, and I seem to be almost on my way, except he needs to charge my credit card $1. Just wanting to get out of there and home to my girl, and pizza, I say ok. While he's gone, I start reading the contract and notice these fees. So I ask him about the cancellation fee, and he says, oh, you just have to give 30 days notice, you just pay a month ahead, and you get to work out for that month. So I asked him about the $100 fee in the first 6 months, he acted like he didn't know what that was, and preceded to tell me not to worry about it - I even crossed it out in front of him on my contract.
So I get home and start thinking about it, and realize, wait a second, we had an oral agreement when I signed the computer, which was month-to-month and no cancellation fees. From what I understand, oral contracts in CA are enforceable by California civil code 1620. So I write Corporate and Management at that gym a letter saying all those fees are null and void. And Friday, when my girlfriend and I go to the gym to work out for our 30 day trial, the Director of Sales, and the General Manager, Brian F. sit down with me.
The Director of Sales extremely apologized and said she gets “very emotional” about these things, that her reps are supposed to disclose all fees before signing the contract, and she doesn't understand how this happened. I stay strong saying I want a month-to-month for a year with no cancellation fees. Of course they both say the contract comes from corporate and they can't alter it, but that she'll cancel it as of now, still give us the 30 day trial, then if we want, we can sign on their terms (not the terms of the oral contract we had). She says the contract is for 11 months continual, as stated on the bottom of the contract. She pulls out a calculator, and lo and behold, $39.99 x 11 is only $439.89, not $479.88 as said in the contract. So I get home and realize, there's something truly funky going on here. Even the Director of Sales and the General Manager can't make the sense of their own contract.
This whole ordeal took over an hour, my girlfriend got upset at me, and I got home to cold pizza. Anyhow, I am left with this thought, which I believe to be legal - Braille an employee of Gold's Gym and I had an oral contract when I signed the computer, that did not include any cancellation fees or facility charges. Therefore, I have a right to a month-to-month contract with no cancellation or facility charges - and this is what I plan to fight for. I see there is someone else on Yelp who had this similar situation – a salesman lying to him about cancellation fees. If you have experienced this at Gold's Gym, please contact me so we can discuss a class-action lawsuit against them. Also, if you are a lawyer, let's discuss a class-action lawsuit against them.
----Yelp up to here.
As of now, I've sent numerous emails to the Dir. of Sales and Brian and neither of them answered me. I directly asked the Dir. of Sales:
“By contract or practice, was I able to cancel our memberships within the 30 day trial, or only within the 5 day rule? What I mean is, let's say I never wrote that letter and we never spoke and called Braille (or any representative there) on December 24 and said my girlfriend and I don't want to do the contract, that I want to cancel. Would he (or someone else at your gym) have canceled the contract, or told me I was locked into it?”
And she of course never answered my question and actually had the audacity to have Braille call me to answer it. Um, why would you have the salesman who outright lied to me call me instead of handling the situation yourself. The Dir. of Sales is clearly incompetent as a Director of Sales and was clearing lying herself when she said, “I get so emotional over these things.” If she was truly “emotional” then she would uphold what Braille told me and offer me a contract with no cancellation or facility fees; she would get on the phone with Corporate, explain the situation, and make that happen – or Brian would. Neither have because they clearly uphold what Braille does and clearly train their sales reps to lie and do whatever it takes to get you to sign that contract and make their commission (I believe I saw a computer screen that said Braille made $22 commission off of both of us for signing those contracts).
Salesman and Management - high pressure sales tactics, liars
Gym itself - quite nice, great selection of machines
SUGGESTION: I'm sure there are better gyms around, since we know these guys use high pressure sales tactics and outright lie to your face, avoid them and spend your money elsewhere.