This is one of the worst organization in America. What a crap company. I called them up on 2nd Feb to cancel my subscription. My next billing date was 4th of February. They said they will cancel my subscription. But I was charged on 4th February I called them again, they said I did not give them enough time to cancel the subscription and they will not be refunding my balance. 2 days are not enough in this electronic age!! And I can't even mention how rude the customer service lady was; this was my first experience with such a customer service in America. I do not speak English so fluently, so I felt she was insulting me by the way she was talking.
I have called up my bank as well to cancel the auto pay option and do not pay them. I cancelled the subscription because I was moving from Seattle to San Diego. Bally is right around the corner but I prefer to go 3 miles to another gym and pay a little more and get a little more respect.
CALIFORNIA -- My boyfriend signed us up for what we thought was a "no commitment" membership at a gym in Mass with 1 free guest pass for 3 months last Christmas. It was one of the worst mistakes he could have made. If you actually read all the ever so tiny fine print the contract is for LIFE (with a few small exceptions (death, serious illness, moving 25 miles away from the gym etc.) Do a Google search on "Bally Scam" and you will find thousands of hits. They use a lot of "bait and switch tactics". They never let most people out of the scam. There are reports of deceased folks being charged a monthly bill.
The only way they claim you can cancel a membership is via their customer service line in California. This is a joke and nothing gets resolved. Luckily we got the attorney general and Better Business Bureau involved and then things finally seemed to shift after several months of work, letters sent by certified mail and phone calls. It appears that we were finally able to cancel our memberships. We changed the credit card # that we gave them and reported them to the credit card company as well. Here is a link to the template we used for our "30 day Demand letter": **. Stay away from Bally gym and spread the word!!
I have seen numerous complaints online against this company about how they give members run-around when members request to cancel membership and how they manage to keep charging customers' account. I wish I researched this company before I got my membership.
In my case, I specifically informed the employee before signing up that I do not want a long term contract. The employee took my information and gave me a multiple page contract to sign. He never told me that he is making me sign a 2 year long contract. After few months of membership I moved to another city and Bally location was not convenient for me in my new city. When I called their customer service they informed me that I am bound by a contract. I informed them about my initial conversation with the employee when I signed up; but they chose not to hear me. So, I cancelled the payment through my credit card company.
Few months later I got a call from collection agency. When I explained how they deceitfully had me sign the contract, the collection agent told me they get that complaint a lot (Therefore I am not the only one they cheated). Yet, nothing could be worked out in terms of acquitting me from payment responsibility. I would like to know who I can legally report it to so that legal action can be taken on behalf of consumer interest.
ONTARIO, CALIFORNIA -- My daughter while only 17 went down to the Bally Total Fitness center in Rancho Cucamoga, CA with some friends who wanted to sign up. The sales employees of Bally's talked her into signing up and when she told them she was only 17 they said "no problem". They took her contract and changed her date of birth by one year to make her 18.
Because they claimed they never received proof when I scanned her birth certificate and driver's license and emailed it to them I also faxed it and US mailed it. The calls stopped for four (4) months and then they started again. My daughter received a phone call from the Bally Total Fitness collections department the evening of May 24th. She returned the call by my suggesting just to see what Bally Total Fitness wanted still after we thought her contract had been canceled.
A rude man who would only give his first name (**), not only threaten my daughter with a collection agency and her credit report but challenged her to take any kind of legal action she wanted. There must be something or someone who can stop a company like this? I've tried the organizations below but no one seems to be able to stop them.
So I joined Bally's in 2004 with a 3 year contract (which is what I agreed to.) So after 2 years later I decided to add my 2 children to MY MEMBERSHIP so I thought. Again no big deal. So in 2008 my membership contract had been up for quite a while so I decided to cancel the membership altogether because I was no longer using it on a regular basis. They had sent me an add a member to my membership in the mail and wrote on that that I would like to CANCEL my membership. That was in June of 2008. I noticed a few months ago (June 2009) that I was still getting charged $20 a month on my bank account and wasn't sure why.
So that following week I called their 800 number and waited what seemed like an eternity to talk to someone. I finally talked to this girl and explained the situation. She confirmed the cancellation in June 2008 but that my children were on their own contract and that I did not cancel theirs. I told her that was ridiculous that they would be put on their own membership when they have no way of getting to the gym without me. I explained to her that the way I understood things they were being added to my own membership. Why else would I think differently right?
So she put me on hold talked to her supervisor and came back and said what she could do for me was credit me back to the beginning of 2009 (in the amount of $101). I said that would be great and I thanked her for that. She said the credit would take about 10 business days and it would go right back to my bank account. So I waited at least 14 days, checking my account regularly for this refund to be applied. That never happened so again I called to find out what was going on (another eternity waiting).
Spoke to a guy who was very nice and explained to me that the reason the refund was not issued was because my children were put on their own 3 year contract which I was not informed that on the first call I made. Apparently when the girl got off the phone with me realized this and put in her notes that we had gotten "disconnected" and hadn't finished our conversation. Total BS because she asked me at the end of our conversation if I had any other questions and I confirmed with her that the refund was going to be applied to my bank account and she said yes. I thanked her for her help and the call ended.
So asked to speak to a supervisor and he gladly did so. She explained to me that I was legally bound by contract to pay it off. I told her that I understand that but it should have been brought to my attention when I called the first time or either a call back or letter in the mail letting me know of this. But received nothing. I told her that it was not my fault that their CSR did tell me of this. She didn't want to even listen to what I was saying and kept saying that she could not do anything. Asked to speak to her supervisor and again this lady proceeded to tell me the same thing and started accusing me of not keeping track of my own checking account.
They were not willing to work with me on anything. After that phone call I decided to file a complaint with the BBB. Then this amazing thing happened!! Bally's agreed to give me my refund almost in full!! (just shy $10) The BBB sent me a response from Bally's and what they were agreeing to do for me and I had an opportunity to respond back. I agreed to the refund and also said that if their customer service had been more effective there would not have been a complaint filed. I believe that the people working in the gym and signing people up need to go over the contract more efficiently so that the person signing the contract knows exactly what they are getting into.
I will never go back to Bally's or recommend them as a good gym to go to. My gym was clean and the people that worked there were very nice but I'm very big on customer service since that is what I do on a daily basis and I expect a reputable company to offer that. Not to question me as a customer when I'm making a valid statement on their screw up. So be careful when adding someone to your own membership because they will be signed up for a 3 year contract even if it's your small children who can't even drive themselves to the gym. :) Thanks.
ALBANY, NEW YORK -- I sent a certified letter to cancel my memberships to them and they should have received it on July 3rd. So, when I was charged on July 28th, that was OK for them to take because I was told it takes 30 days to process but now they charged me on August 28th. I should have never have done business with them at all and now I am stuck with them for life. :(
SAN JOSE, CALIFORNIA -- I was very disappointed with Bally Total Fitness. The customer service are very rude. They are very nice when you want to open the account with them. But it's really hard for you to cancel the membership. For my suggestion, don't ever sign any contract with bally because they always go by that. Especially for a personal trainer please don't sign any paper or automatic payment. They removed your money from your account even though you did not using their service at all. You obligated to pay the balance and if you do not, they report you the creditor to collect the money and ruin your credit.
My suggestion, don't ever sign any contract with them. They really don't know how to handle a business and doesn't know how to talk to their customer. They always fight over the phone. They took my money for $966 with only one lesson and there is no way I can get my money refund unless I am permanently disabled. Even though you are sick, have a heart problem you still can't get your refund back. You need to continue the service until your heart stop breathing, I guess.
Even though the personal trainer not good and don't help you at all you still can't get your refund. You still have to take the lesson with another personal trainer. What a trick! Basically cheating their customer by giving an empty promise. ** they are bad customer service, and fight on the phone with me. They should know how to solve their customer problem to make them stay but they did not, they said something that made you unhappy. I don't like to write a review but I really not happy with their service and I want everybody should know Bally Total Fitness not a good choice and I want them to know that they have to be careful before signing the contract.
PHILADELPHIA, PENNSYLVANIA -- Everyone, look out! I went to Bally's over the summer (June 2003) looking for a gym membership, and asked to see their price list. They said "Sure, sure - Come on in and sit down." I was led by a representative into a little room and "small-talked." I'm in sales, so I should have known right away he was trying to con me. Plus, I've seen people given a credit contract with them before. I said, "Look. All I want is the most basic membership. I DON'T want a contract, credit, or any penalties for cancelling." Verbatim. "Are you sure you have a month-to month membership now?" He said, "Absolutely! It will cost a little more per month than our credit contract, but you can cancel anytime."
Anyway, this guy assures me, (a salesperson in a moment of stupidity), that I am being signed up for a month-to-month membership. He said he needed my social security number because of the Patriot Act. I gave it to him. Bad move. I'm applying for a mortgage now (Feb 2004), and just found out that I am actually borrowing $1,500 from them for three years, and my $45 "monthly fee" is actually a loan payment! I never thought I'd be thankful for my recent injury - but my doctor's note cancels this contract. Watch out folks. These are pros.
MIAMI, FLORIDA -- I have been trying to cancel my member for the past 6 months because the Bally's facility is under severe construction. I do not feel safe entering the building and there is no end in sight to the construction. I've waited almost 2 years for the construction to be complete and it's only getting worse. Bally's policy is to force their members to exercise at another conveniently located clubs.
The other clubs in my area would take approximately 1 hour in traffic to commute which is not a reasonable request. The club that I signed up for is directly between my commute from home to work. Also, a main reason for joining the gym was to use the pool which has been closed due to construction. The manager, **, agrees that I should be able to cancel my membership and explained that he gets these complaints all the time but he does not have the authority to cancel a membership. He explained that the Regional Manager would call me but I never received a call.
The corporate office has not returned any of my calls, which you are placed into a 30 minute queue each time you call, or letters. After waiting to speak to a representative for 45 minutes in March, I was told that they would stop the auto-debit to my credit card but continue to charge me and send my account to collections. They told me my credit would be destroyed so I better keep paying.
I've contacted the Better Business and it seems like there is no one that can get through to these people. I've never experienced such poor customer service in my life. All I want is my membership canceled and my dues returned. Given the club is not operational and the lack of customer service I've received I don't see how this company is still in business. Do not join this club!
FREMONT, CALIFORNIA -- My fiancée and I have been members of Bally Total Fitness for 2 years which was the term period we agreed within our contract. For 2 years we committed ourselves to $54.00 a month between the two of us. At the time we made the agreement we were under the impression, by the recruiter, that once our contract was up we would end up paying a little under $30.00 per month. At this point we felt the contract was tolerable and had no problem signing the contract. Now I will say the first year of the contract we committed ourselves off and on but the last year we would work out faithfully.
I heard complaints from co-workers about how they got screwed by Bally's but I avoided the subject since I had no major complaints. When our contract was up we believed we were going to save money since we were told the monthly payments were going to be $30.00. My fiancée even called customer service just to verify that their records show the same agreement, which of course, it did. So we're going to the gym contract-free with no worries, then we saw our bank statement and noticed Bally's was taking out $60.00!!! My fiancée then called customer service stating the discrepancy, but they were rude and basically told us to look at our contract and then call them back.
We turned our apartment upside down looking for our contract. No luck, but 3 weeks prior when my fiancée called everything seemed up to par. Why would we pay more than what we were paying when were on contract??? We called to cancel our membership and to refund our $60.00 since we strongly felt we were being treated unfairly and my fiancée wasn't going to have it any other way. :) They said they'd look into it. It's been a week and it's still being "processed." Bottom line if you plan on joining Bally's, read your contract carefully, ask questions and don't believe everything they feed you. I am very disappointed on how this company treats their members.