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DC, MD, and Northern VA Branches Hates Complaints
By -

WASHINGTON, DC , MD AND VA, DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA -- A year ago, I had several concerns about the customer service that was being provided to me in Bally Total fitness. (The city branches above.) My four year old had fallen in Bally's and had received a bruise on her head in the kids' club room. Instead of some Bally's workers being responsible and taking a report also, being concerned, two young female workers laughed and called my child names behind my back. Boy was I mad! I complained to their boss/Gm at the time and every since then, I had been disrespected by many of the Bally'€™s workers and, treated poorly, and even made fun of.

The workers were very unprofessional and childish in PG Plaza and, DC downtown, and in the Capitol Heights, MD and in Pentagon city and the other one in VA branches. Because of conspiracy, the head boss would switch the workers around to those branches... and when I would switch to get away from that special lady and her friend to get away from the jokes, I saw her at the other branches as well. I had got fed up with the taunting and complained about them to the main branch in CA and the CA branch had treated me with respect.

Although I had lost a lot of weight from exercising in the branches, I was constantly teased by the DC and MD and VA guys after I complained to the CA guys and about the constant name calling when I would be in there. I was taunted by some of the same female workers from DC and some new ones and, by some of their male friends that had also worked there. My mistake was complaining directly in the branch at the beginning. The district manager did not do his job because he was not fair and he lied to CA.

He took sides with the special female worker. I had to call the people from California for my issues to be resolved. What if I didn't have a phone then what? After the people in CA resolved the issue, I was harassed repeatedly by some of the workers and their associates outside of the gym location. Stalked and slandered. This had become a police issue at that point.

This was really bad. Managers were friends of some police and some military guy that worked there was and it had become a conspiracy to make me leave. I am not crazy or mental or all those things they try to say they can. They are mad because after the complaints some of them got... I just know that I got fed up and left!

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Bally's Faulty Gym Equipment
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I went to the cable weights downstairs of the gym and wanted put the rope into the hook to start my workout. It was approximately 3pm on Tuesday, November 23. I opened the hook to put rope and it was as sharp as a knife. I cut my thumb pretty bad. I immediately went to the bathroom to run water on it and put a paper towel on it so I could use it to compress the area and stop it from bleeding. There were not paper towels. They had been replaced by electric hand dryers a long time ago. I went to management, told them what happened and showed them my cut finger. The manager told me to go to some other guy that takes care of that.

The guy was doing cashier work so I had to wait for him to finish with my bleeding finger. I told him what happened and took him to the equipment so he could see it. I told him he should also disinfect it because I have AIDS and if someone else gets cut they might get infected and not know they got it from there. The guy said he would take care of it right away. I went to the locker room to change so I could go home and 10 minutes later when I got out there was no one at that equipment nor any sign posted there.

On my way out I told the manager that they should really consider putting paper towels back in the bathroom but he said they aren't going to do that for two reasons; 1. cleanliness and 2. cost. I said, alright, its your option and I left. I was going to just forget about the incident but then I thought I should at least put a review in writing on the internet so there is a written record of what happened somewhere.

If they end up not disinfecting the equipment (but I hope they follow through and do so), or there might be one or more people getting infected if they get cut just like me. I wonder how many other people might have gotten cut already and not reported it at all. If you go to Bally's Hollywood, just be careful when using the equipment. If you get cut have yourself tested for HIV two weeks after you get cut and again 6 months after you got cut just to be sure you weren't infected.

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Bally Total Fitness Cancellation and Member Services Department Sucks!
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In January 2009 I signed an eight month agreement with Bally Total Fitness. I chose to cancel my membership when the location closest to me closed. Unfortunately I misplaced my copy of the agreement so I went to the website looking for information on how to cancel. I did not find the website helpful so I called the customer service line. The day I called I held for 32 minutes. I personally feel this hold time is unacceptable. I have worked in customer service, sales and retention for about 10 years and this hold time only made me want to cancel more.

After holding I reached Anonymous on 7-29-09 and I explained to him I wished to cancel my account as well as my friend ** account. ** was added to my account in January for an additional $20 charge. Anonymous informed me that the both of us still had 2 months on our contracts and asked if I would like to make the final payment over the phone. I asked Anonymous if I would be charged a $10 fee for making the payment over the phone (I heard about this fee as I was holding).

Anonymous said he would waive the fee for my convenience so I made the final two payments on both Alissa's and my accounts. My final payment was for $65.36 and my confirmation number was 042518. ** final payment was for $41.42 and her confirmation number was 092818. At the end of my conversation with Anonymous I requested a confirmation of cancellation and final payments on the two accounts be emailed to me. Anonymous said I would get that within 72 hours.

The following day on 7-30-09 I checked my bank account and noticed that I was charged $51.42, not $41.42. I was charged the $10 that I was told would be waived. I had to call in again that day to request a credit for the $10 fee. I held for another 30 minutes that day. I spoke to Anonymous2 when I called in the 2nd time. Edward said he credited me for the $10 fee but it never appeared on my bank statement. Anonymous2 informed me that ** account wasn't canceled the day before but that he would cancel it that day. I again requested a cancellation confirmation be sent to me via email.

I requested this cancellation at the end of July. I have yet to receive any confirmation via email that either of my accounts has been canceled. On September 28th I was charged $20.71. I have been told on 2 occasions that my accounts have been canceled so why should I continue to be charged? I looked into my banking history and I was never credited the $10 ** had told me I would receive.

On October 5, 2009 I contact customer service and spoke to Anonymous3 who informed me that in order to receive these two credits I would need to wait up to an additional 10 business days to discuss the possibility of a credit with the accounting department. This is ridiculous! Anonymous3 also informed me that the reason I haven't received confirmation on cancellation is because I never mailed in a letter requesting to cancel. I was never told that it was a requirement to send in a letter. I work in client satisfaction, specifically with cancellations; I would have sent the letter if I was told that it was required.

On October 5th I also emailed Bally's Member services department requesting a call back. I did not receive a call back, instead an email saying to call manager Anonymous4. I called Jose on Monday October 12th and still had not heard back from him when I called a second time on the evening of Wednesday October 14, 2009.

In closing this has been a truly horrible experience and I have intentions on filing a complaint with the BBB. I still haven't gotten a call from accounting or confirmation that my accounts have been canceled and I haven't been credited anything so far. I also will be sharing this experience with friends, c-workers and family.

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Rejection Junkies
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NORWALK, CALIFORNIA -- I joined Bally Total Fitness in 2006. It was a nightmare. I had to pay for a year and didn't use most of it because the gym in downtown DC was more on the gay sauna side than everything else. I got tired of walking into men having sex and masturbating in the sauna and shower area. I wouldn't be complaining if I had signed up for a gay sex club, but the cruising there is way too much. Even on the floor, where the machines are located (basement, cheap looking and depressing), I noticed heavy cruising.

I went to the gym to work out. Not to hook up. As I said, I had to pay for the entire year to cancel my membership. I requested many times not to be contacted by Bally Total Fitness anymore and yet, they don't stop sending my unsolicited mail and calling me to offer deals that I am not interested in. Stay away from Bally Total Fitness! If you make the mistake of signing up for this low budget, low quality club, you will be end up with this rejection junkie following you forever!

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Terribly Dissatisfied With Fitness Center And Cancellation Policy
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Bally Total Fitness makes the process of joining one of their fitness facilities super easy. You can join online, over the phone, in person at the store... just say the word, and you are a member. This sappy story quickly comes to a screeching halt once you become a member. Once the sugary sweet employee hands you your membership card with your grainy picture on it, the customer service portion is done and over.

Other than the occasional nice guy that says hello to you at the front desk, you realize most of the employees that are hired do not care about the facility, the customers, or the equipment. The gym is often in poor condition. The cleanliness of the facility appears to be a low priority for management. The weights and equipment used by customers and trainers are dispersed throughout the workout area floors, hardly ever put up, and are accidents waiting to happen.

The gym is closed even on minor holidays and the hours of operation on the weekends are limited. Often times when a piece of equipment is out of order, it is chained up with a sign that indicates that it's malfunctioning. I'm often surprised that someone actually took the time to put up a lovely sign. However the chain & sign will remain on said equipment for days on end, like an accessory necklace or adorning belt, and the equipment remains unfixed and unavailable to customers for weeks to months at a time!!!

Worst of all, when you try to cancel your month-to-month membership (not a long term contract), there is no sugary sweet customer service representative who was so eager to help you as he did when you were inquiring about joining... rather the entire team gives you the run around telling you that you have to ask the guy on the next shift, or call the corporate office. The corporate office staff member will tell you he has nothing to do with cancellation, instead to send a snail mail for the cancellation to become official and sit and wait to find out the outcome of your request as "nothing can be done over the phone regarding cancellation".

How is it that I can join online, via telephone, in person, over the rainbow... but no one is able to help me cancel my account? I believe in never saying never, and that being said, I will NEVER join and will NEVER recommend any Bally Fitness facility EVER again.

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They'll say anything to get you to sign up!
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In March 2009 I signed up with Bally's in Matteson, IL. I was told by the representative that I was getting a month-month contract but that the monthly price would be locked in for 2 years and would be automatically drafted from my checking account every month. I made sure to ask that it meant I can cancel at any time for any reason which he confirmed. In May 2010 I went in to cancel my membership at which time they told me I would need to mail their corporate office. 6/1/10 I wrote a letter asking them to cancel my membership.

I never received a confirmation in the mail but noticed that the July fees were not drafted from my checking account and when I called their toll free number it could not find my account number so was relieved that it was cancelled and was as easy as promised when I originally signed up. But the I received a letter in Oct. 2010 stating that my account was 90 days past due and was in danger of getting sent to a collections agency. I immediately called and told them the above information and the representative then told me that he has been hearing a lot of people complaining about misleading sales people at the stores.

This infuriated me and he had no answer or explanation as to why they know about it but refuse to do anything about it and gave me my 2 options-pay the account in full to the end of my contract or pay it up to date and then go back on a month-month billing. I went in to the Matteson location and was helped by the GM-well, I wouldn't say helped as he had no care as to what happened or that his employees were misleading people. He did tell me that the account hadn't been sent to a collections agency yet so I paid the account up to date. I didn't want it linked up to my checking account again as I have no trust in the company any more.

Then last night I received a phone call from the collections department saying that my account will stay with collections until I pay the amount due to fulfill my contract and they had no report of me paying up to date at my local branch. I am soooo frustrated with this company and no one seems to care that they are messing with my credit history which I work very hard at keeping up with! I will NEVER step foot in any Bally's and the only time I will ever speak of them is to stop someone else from falling into their lies!!

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Once a nice Bally's now a "DUMP"
By -

JAMAICA QUEENS, NEW YORK -- I have been a member since 1994 of Bally's Total Fitness and this is the first time I ever had to complain. I was going to the Kew Gardens Bally's until 2005 when I decided to attend this Bally's in the Jamaica queens section because it is closer to my home. In the beginning the gym was clean and well equipped. There was always a locker room attendant. Now this gym has turned into a dump.

Their machines are always breaking down. I once got on a PRECORE and one of the foot pads completely broke off. Luckly I did not get hurt. Out of all their PRECORE machines 1 to sometimes 4 are broken. Now in the aerobic room there are barely no work out mats. Whatever mats are left are torn and tattered. The free weight racks are barely full.

Either some are missing (stolen) which are always the lighter weights and whatever weights are left the coating is falling apart or totally torn away from the weight. Now the steps for the step classes are either worn or damaged. I have taken a step class last week and I nearly slipped more than once during a class and every step I went to replace was no better. It was very frustrating to take a class and worry about falling.

Oh it gets better from here. There is a slow and growing infestation of "GNATS" in the shower area. One time I came home after using the shower at the gym and when I let down my hair I found a "GNAT" in my hair. Oh and I also must not forget about the broken latches on the doors in the toilet section of the bathroom. I had to jam my gym towel between the door to keep it close and from people walking in on me using the toilet.

In this bathroom there is about 3 broken door latches. Oh also I have seen members leave their locks on the lockers over night. I thought you was not supposed to do that because they clip them if you do. Oh I must not forget about the HUGE dirty bath towels left on the floor and the constant, daily flowing garbage all over the locker room floor. This Bally's used to be a excellent gym. I don't know what is going on with management of this gym but if nothing is done somebody is going to get sick or hurt from this gym and I see lawsuits coming.

Company Response 02/11/2010:

Thank you for sharing your comments. We want you to have a clean environment and a great workout experience at Bally.

We've contacted the area Market Manager and Maintenance Supervisor for review and follow-up.

We did hear back from both and were notified the Maintenance Supervisor was onsite yesterday and all but one machine was up - the machine that wasn't working was in the process of being repaired. We also confirmed that new Group Exercise mats are on order and should be to the club shortly.

Please be sure to communicate your concerns to your Bally club manager. Or, call our Member Support Team at (866) 402-2559 or e-mail us at memberservices@ballyfitness.com so we can document your concern.

Thanks again for your valuable feedback

Beth
Customer Relations
Bally Total Fitness

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Misled & Paying for it!
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In August of 2009 I called Bally Total Fitness to cancel my membership after having put it on hold for 5 months. The woman I spoke to (whose name I DEARLY wish I could remember!) told me that my membership was already canceled. I asked her to double check and she said yes, no problem, and I hung up the phone a happy customer.

Shame on me for not checking my bank statements while I was overseas and over the holidays, but I returned home to find that I had been charged the full membership fee for September, October, November, and December! I immediately called and was told there was no record of a cancellation of my membership in August. I explained what happened and immediately canceled, then asked for a refund for Sept-Dec. I was refused.

I was told they could do a search of my phone number for the call I made in their database which would take 2-3 weeks and then they would contact me. Still trying to remain pleasant, I agreed. It's been over 3 weeks. Today I called and (conveniently for them) my number never showed up as having called in August and I was again refused a refund. Still being polite, I asked for a manager and was given voicemail. I don't blame the people on the phones--according to their computer, I guess I look like a liar. Which frustrates me.

Point of my rant? GOOD LUCK GETTING A REFUND even if you were assured your membership was ended and Bally made a mistake! Check your bank statements because I got swindled out of a hefty chunk of money. I would have let it all slide if they had apologized and offered a refund, but this is unacceptable. Other than this incident, my experience with Bally's was very pleasant.

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Don't Sign Up. Trust Me
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As a former employee, I would not recommend signing up with Bally Total Fitness. It's a scam. All they want is your money. That's it. They don't care about what the members say. Its all about the money. Once your in a contract, its almost impossible to get out of it. They won't just let you cancel. You got to have either a doctors note, or relocate 25 miles away from a club and you got to submit evidence to show that. So much hassle.

Anytime a member submits a complaint, nothing gets done about it. It just gets read and that's it. Never gets handled. The clubs are always dirty and unsanitary. They did away with toilet seat covers. So if you want to go to the bathroom, wait til you get home. The employees at the clubs are not very nice. I was even told by one club employee that some of the club staff don't use there real name. They use a fake name.

Starting in January 2010, you have to be on automatic withdrawals or else they won't let you use the gym. They just want you on automatic withdrawals to get your money. IF you forget to stop or cancel, they will not give you your money back. They also state, once your contract is over with, you need to make a request to cancel or else you will keep getting billed and won't get your money back. In the contract, it doesn't state those exact words that you have to cancel once contract is over with. Its rewritten in a way that most people don't pay attention to it.

I personally recommend going elsewhere to like 24 Hour Fitness. At least there gyms are so clean and the employees are much nicer. You might pay a little more, but its well worth it. Plus, after a year or so with 24 Hour Fitness, your rate will go down. At Bally's, your rates go up even after being with them for so long. They just want your money. STAY AWAY FROM BALLY'S.

Trying to get a hold of a customer service representative at Bally's is almost impossible. The wait time is almost an hour. You might get cut off on the phone then you will have to wait all over again. IF you send an email, it might take a week or so to get a reply. Believe me. Just note, all the calls are recorded. So keep track of who you talk to, the date and time. So if you ever get told something, ask them to pull the call. So a reminder, stay away from Bally's.

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Who's suing them?
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MARIETTA, GEORGIA -- All Bally's really have from you is a signature and a promise to pay. No goods or services have been provided, it's a piece of paper... therefore, Bally's goes from getting nothing from the victim, to getting a hundred dollars from the collection agency when they turned over the contract. They're not out of any money if it's never fulfilled.

Bally's sued me for hundreds dollars AFTER I proved I had moved outside of their coverage area. Even the attorney of the collection agency who met me outside of the court room agreed that THEY DIDN'T HONOR POLICY PACIFICS WITHIN THEIR OWN CONTRACT but said that few people rarely get out of it. She recommended instead of fighting in court (and having it show public record against you), just make payment arrangements of nominal amounts to get rid of them, like $15 per month and they'd (the agency - not Bally's) would drop it in one year as debt settled and she put it in her records on the spot.

So for a total of $180(because she only had the judge dismiss the case instead of hearing the case) I was rid of their nasty butts. Better than putting in hours of research and trying to take them to court on my own for violating their own contract stipulations of MOVING 20+ MILES FROM ANY FACILITY and having them charge me the remainder of the contract - about $1200.

I've worked collections for many years and suggest you try for a 30% or less settlement. The agency makes money and avoids court fees when they loose because Bally's is usually in the wrong to begin with. You're only out of a couple of hundred instead of thousands, everybody is off your back and if you start the little payment quickly enough, it saves your credit (if you hadn't gone past 90 days on the original payments).

Here's the best part... because Bally's breached their own contract (make sure you have an original copy which the collection agency can provide - meaning Bally's wouldn't be able to alter it at that point - and documentation for everything that's happened to you) you can join in with hundreds of others that they've done this to and go for a class action against them at a later date. It's my turn. Any suits pending that I can join in on? Let me know. -g-

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Bally Total Fitness Rating:
Star Empty star Empty star Empty star Empty star
1.0 out of 5, based on 4 ratings and
84 reviews & complaints.
Contact Information:
Bally Total Fitness
8700 West Bryn Mawr Avenue
Chicago, IL 60631
773-380-3000 (ph)
562-484-2444 (fax)
www.ballyfitness.com
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