Does anybody read these?

Sunday, July 23, 2006

I'll probably get sued for this...

I use my blog for good. If one person reads this and heeds my advice, it'd be worth it. It just seems fair. And besides, I really don't think certain people want to screw with me.

Back when I was really serious about losing weight, I joined the gym. Curves is not really a gym. The Y was inconvenient. The other gym in town was way too expensive.

So that left Bally Total Fitness.

And I bet you know where I'm going with this. I heard all the Bally's stories. I knew. But it was really the only option. It was a great deal and I honestly was fitter than I'd ever been in my life. So, at the time it was worth it. It was an expense that I felt was necessary, so I made it happen.

When I moved to Ohio, there was no Bally's but I knew I wasn't staying there indefinitely. So, I kept paying figuring that it'd be easier than trying to cancel and getting something else later. I know it's not easy to cancel your Bally's membership.

Only a few months ago, I found out there was no Bally's in Nashville. Can you believe that? They wanted me to go to the Knoxville club, but that's a bit inconvenient. So, I told them I'd make a one-time payment on my credit card to clear up my fees and send them what they needed to close out my account.

Maybe it got lost in the mail, but I'm beginning to suspect that really they are just big fuckers who like to steal people's money. Because after that one-time payment on my credit card, they kept charging my bank account for fees for an account that was supposed to be canceled.

After months of this, I finally talked to a chap who gave me a new list of things to do to cancel my account, all of which I did. And allegedly my account was closed July 3. Not exactly sure why they are still charging my account on July 17, but regardless I am running out of money and I am beyond pissed that these jerks would steal money from me. Not that it's really a big surprise, but still...

And I refuse to be like EVERYONE else who's ever worked out at Bally's and cancel my bank account to stop them. That's not fair to me. It's not fair to all the folks who legitimately get paid from my bank account.

Anyhow, who knows how this story will end. But seriously people, you'd rather be fat than sign a contract with these folks. I wouldn't ever work out there again. I wouldn't recommend their club to my worst enemy. They are assholes and they have very shitty business practices. I wish I would've had more options in Detroit. I wish the second I'd moved to Ohio I would've told them to shove their gym membership up their ass. Because now here I am with no job and I'm trying to fight with them over them taking $40 I don't have and they aren't entitled to.

A friend of mine manages a credit union and she says I need to contact my bank tomorrow and file an affadavit of fraudulent activity against them, which I intend to do. I also intend to tell everyone who'll listen to not do business with them. They just don't have any rights to screw people over the way they do.

But honestly, I should've just canceled my bank card like anyone else would do. So once again I get screwed over for trying to do the right thing and standing up for myself.

Sometimes I wonder if it ever ends...

4 comment(s):

That stinks. I had this similar but not so similar thing happen once when someone stold my debit card number and used it for Playboy. Yeah. That was awkward when I went to the bank to ask what this 29.95 was that kept showing up on my statement. But anyway..I think that my bank just refused payment and it went away.

Good luck...and just for you I will never use Ballys.

By Blogger Anne, at 7/24/2006 6:27 PM  

I'm glad I never got a membership. I knew it was bad when I asked them for a price over the phone and they said, "you have to come in." I thought, "what the heck, then I can get a price and maybe its worth it." It was a harrowing experience. Then the guy gave me the big spiel about how "most people who walk out that door without making a decision to join never come back, it's not that they don't want to, it's that life comes up and they get distracted." I felt like if I didn't join that gym I was doomed to a miserable, sedatary lifestyle for the rest of my living years and I would never workout again in my life. Then I realized I could find some other way to work out and didn't have to join that group. It made me feel better, although I still got calls from the guy months later . . . until, that is, I cancelled my phone, but that's another story.

By Blogger Christabelle, at 7/25/2006 3:53 PM  

Laura, I am going to be canceling my Bally Membership in the next few months... What I read on your blog only makes me cringe... any suggestions?

By Anonymous Anonymous, at 7/25/2006 11:19 PM  

I wish I had pointers. Be persistant. And do something I wish I'd done, which is watch your bank statement like a hawk (or wherever they debit your dues from). A lot of people (by a lot I mean everyone else I know who's ever tried to cancel Bally's) just calls Visa and tells them whatever card they're using has been lost. Not technically ethical, but of course they've stolen $160 from me so far.

I am not taking their shit and but I haven't heard from them since I sent yesterday's email. Stand your ground and get nasty if you need to. Make copies of all your correspondence. I have cc'd my financial institution on all of it.

Watch your credit report too. I guess some folks have said they had trouble financing a house because of Bally's negative reporting.

Honestly, everyone needs to just tell them to piss up a rope. Now that I've been dealing with this for several months now, I honestly wish that I'd never joined, and I used to love going to the gym everyday. At the time I thought it was the best $43 I could spend, but now that I'm flabby and they keep taking my money for a club that's in a different time zone, I don't see the value.

Good luck! Threaten them if necessary. Document everything (certified mail, email, copy everything you send them) and I'll say a little prayer they aren't assholes the day you cancel.

And if all that fails, "lose" your VISA card. That's what I should've done, probably. Not like Bally's could do any harm to my credit. LOL.

By Blogger Laura, at 7/26/2006 12:38 AM  

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