So I joined LA Fitness back in September (late August maybe? Doesn't really matter) because I had just moved the area for a new job and the "fitness center" at my apartment complex turned out to be a treadmill and bowflex in a 12x8 room.
I also signed up for a personal training contract, because I *thought* I had a decent paycheck coming in and I could use the extra push in my workouts. Turns out my supposed salary was a figment of a very sick man's imagination, but that's neither here nor there and certainly not the fault of LA Fitness.
I knew when I signed up that this pretty expensive training was a CONTRACT, for a year, and I was OK with that. Contracts are something I understand. My regular just gym membership was month-to-month, but the training was a 12-month deal. Again, at the time, not an issue for me.
The issue came when about 3 1/2 months and most of my savings later, when I realized that my "boss" was a manipulative person who never had any intention of paying and literally only wanted to milk me for all I was worth financially and professionally, I wanted out. Out of the "job" and out of Virginia, because I couldn't afford to keep paying both my and his share of our rent (we were trying to start an organization. I know I made a poor choice and now I am living with that.) So, I started getting things in place to leave, which included closing my bank account, making sure my name was removed from ANYTHING that had to do with the organization, etc.
Of course, one of the places I had to cancel at was LA Fitness; there isn't a branch close enough to where I was moving to for transferring my membership to be worthwhile. The receptionist at my branch was very helpful, she gave me the letter that I had to mail the main office and that was that.
The training memebership, though, is now giving me a headache. At the time, I was told that the only ways I could get out of the contract was to buy out the remainder for 50% of what was owed, provide a doctors letter saying I had become too injured to continue a training regimen, or provide proof of address change more than 25 miles from my home club. I made a photocopy of my proof of address change from the Post Office and mailed it off. I got a confirmation email stating that the letter had been received and that at the end of the term it would be cancelled instead of transferring to a month-to-month like it normally would.
Wrong answer, guys. I don't want this cancelled in October, 2011 when there isn't an LA Fitness within miles of my house, so I called the gym I initially joined at, where the guy tried to tell me that I had misunderstood him, and that the only way I could cancel before end of term was if I was moving so that I wasn't in 25 miles of any LA Fitness. We went back and forth on the phone for a bit, eventually, he conceded that he may not have specifically said that, but that that's what he MEANT to say, so it still applied. No. You specifically told me 25 miles from "my home club". After several minutes of this, he admitted he may have misspoken and agreed to "make an exception to the policy" and make sure my training contract was cancelled. All good, right?
Hahaha, wrong. One other thing I should mention is, the LA Fitness dues came directly out of the bank account which I closed when I left Virginia since there are no branches of that bank here in Boston. So, even if they tried to keep billing me, they weren't going to get any money, so I kind of put it at the back of mind and focused on more important things, like getting my life back together.
Cut to last month, when I got a phone call saying they hadn't been able to process my dues. I explained to the woman on the phone that no, I had cancelled the contract because I moved over 400 miles and therefore they have no reason to try and bill me. She agreed and said she would make a note in my account. Perfectly pleasant, easy peasy.
Cut to THIS MORNING, when I got another call saying they were unable to collect the dues on my account and I owed a balance of blahblah. I explained, as politely as I could given that it was before 10 AM on a Sunday, my one day off, that I had already had this conversation with someone, and that I had moved 400 miles and cancelled the contract. And she said, no, you only cancelled the regular membership. The training is a CONTRACT, she told me. You can't just CANCEL a CONTRACT. That's great, sweetie. I know how contracts work, too. That's why, when I cancelled, I send in all the proper documentation as laid out for me by the person in charge of those contracts at my home gym 4 months ago. That's also why the other person I called said she was putting a note not to call again on the account. Which apparently never happened, either, or else YOU were lying about there not being a note on the account.
Oh, I have to call my home gym and sort this out with them? Well that's great, only, I've done that twice already. I shouldn't have to do that a third time; it should have been done correctly the first time. Or, at least, the second time. So lose the snotty attitude about CONTRACTS. And don't EVER fucking call me before 10 AM on a Sunday EVER again.
Tl;Dr LA Fitness tries to collect on cancelled account, calls before 10 AM on a Sunday morning, lied about having made proper notes in my account and copped an attitude with me about how CONTRACTS work.