The Fitness Center for women is local, small gym that's currently moving to a new location. Generally, the staff is very pleasant and polite, and they help you with everything, take free measurements for you and all. The trainers are VERY nice and polite. The owner, however, is anything but.
I signed up twice --- the first time before I had gone to college, and had enough free time to commit to a schedule. It worked out fine until I had to cancel due to financial problems (I enrolled in college and could no longer afford to be in college and to afford the $<url removed> membership fee, so I had to cancel.) I did this legitimately, by paying the $99 cancellation fee after about 5-6 months. After that, since I was in college, I did not attend the gym for about 2-3 years, until this summer when I had about 3 months to sign up again, this May (my new contract actually began 5/29/13).
So, I thought fine, I can afford this until I get a stable income after graduating college (I am graduating this year.) However, as the months passed on, I noticed another charge on my bank account for $<url removed> in ADDITION to the $<url removed> which was already taken out. I was fully aware of the yearly $<url removed> fee, which had already came out, but this was something else. This extra charge was explained to me (much later, I might add) and the staff of the bank as an "insufficient funds" charge. The $20 "insufficient funds charge" + $<url removed> - $46. I called the gym the very day I noticed the charge, and immediately asked to speak to the owner, however she was on vacation at the moment and they said I needed to wait for a week until she got back.
This was not acceptable due to the fact I had missing funds in my account at the moment, and I could not wait for the owner to sort it out with me. I am a college student and need EVERY cent in my account, and I do not account for such errors like "double billing" and other things that would cause my account to go into the negative. And I don't think it's fair to bill me twice, since Bank of America assured me this WAS the gym's error, not theirs, because I had enough funds in the account at the time this mysterious $<url removed> appeared. How was it an "insufficient funds charge" when I had more than enough in my account?
I had to call my bank and file a chargeback for the extra amount of the $46. Bank of America explained this charge as a merchant error, and the bank refunded me the amount. The gym owner very rudely stated when she called today, that she disputed the charge against her company, because it was "not her error" and said that the bank is going to retract the refunded amount from my bank.
The owner, Kristie, was VERY rude and didn't seem to be very understanding of the problem. She insisted that she "did nothing wrong", and when I mentioned i'd like to cancel out of pure frustration and because I was moving out of town soon (and would be signing up with a much cheaper gym) in addition to all the trouble this has caused me with the bank (with overdraft fees and calling both the bank AND the gym to no avail), she informed me (or rather lied to me) about not being able to cancel.
On the very back of the membership agreement, it states that you CAN cancel before your contract ends, by paying a $99 cancellation fee. She blatantly lied to me on the phone when she called and told me that I not only can I NOT cancel, but that "the option to pay the $99 was no longer available" and said very condescendingly" "you signed a contract". Well yes, I signed a contract, because i've been at this gym before, AND because I read that you can cancel before your membership ends if you need to, by paying $99. She also tried to rope me into "freezing my account" which is much cheaper, but EXTENDS YOUR CONTRACT. So nope, that wasn't an option.
After she explained about how she runs a business and all the faxing a paperwork she now needs to do because of her company's billing error, she also made it seem as if she was doing me a favor somehow. She said that "as a courtesy", I could continue using the gym! wow! I get to use something i'm being billed for, in addition to dealing with your billing errors! cool! what a favor! how gracious.
Also she took the time to mention to me on the phone today that "I was afraid when you signed up again, because you had a history of this." Meaning, she resented the first time I canceled. Very, very rude. I am so displeased with the service I received.
December 08, 2013