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24 Hour Fitness Scam - could be repeated in MV

Original post made by Buyer Beware, another community, on Aug 18, 2008

Aug 18, 2008 6:06 pm US/Pacific
Moraga Gym Members Take Complaints To DA
Reporting
Jeanette Pavini
SAN FRANCISCO (CBS 5) ―

We've been reporting that a 24 Hour Fitness Club in Moraga is now a Super Sport Club. What's the difference? Higher monthly rates.

That's about it according to members who say the amenities don't measure up to the Super Sport Club described on the company's web site.

"Basketball courts, we don't have that. Racquetball courts, we don't have it. Pool, spa, whirl pool, juice bar, tanning facilitates -- we don't have any of that here," said Rich Phifer, a 24 Hour Fitness member.

Members like Phifer think 24 Hour Fitness named the gym a "Super Sport Club" just to hike the rates. He, like many other members, bought lifetime contracts to lock in low rates. Now, 24 Hour Fitness said they have to pay more for the new gym, or go somewhere else.

After our report, dozens of members took their complaints to the Contra Costa County District Attorney.

"One of the things I hear from consumers is, 'Hey this is a bait and switch. Where we were promised one thing and now I'm being forced to either drive to Walnut Creek or pay $10 more.' And that does go to the issue of fairness," said Steven Bolen, Contra Costa County Deputy District Attorney.

Bolen is working with 24 Hour Fitness to make sure they honor their agreements.

"What we're doing right now is just trying to evaluate the contracts people signed to see if the contracts were being adhered to," said Bolen.

Bolen said one option may be to get members "grandfathered" in, so they can use the club without a fee increase.

"We want to get this resolved one way or the other within the next 30 days," said Bolen.

In a statement, 24 Hour Fitness said, "24 Hour Fitness has been in contact with the Contra Costa County District Attorney's office regarding member requests for access to our new club in Moraga. We will continue to respond to any requests for information and communicate with our members on this issue."

Comments (8)

 +   Like this comment
Posted by Ned
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Aug 20, 2008 at 7:46 am

Good information. Who approved this new club? Makes you wonder if our activist city council may have let this one slip by while they focus on carbon footprints.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by John D.
a resident of Monta Loma
on Aug 20, 2008 at 8:22 am

Defintely BUYER BEWARE! I just read this and called the club and evasive doesn't even begin to describe the responses I got. THis after 12 years of membership!!!! You'll have to upgrade your membership but won't say by how much, they don't know if the other club will close after the other one opens, to cancel your memberhship you supposedly have to go and talk to one of their counselors first. Hilarious. Where can I find a good lawyer?


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Jerry
a resident of The Crossings
on Aug 23, 2008 at 2:31 pm

When it comes to customer service, 24 Hour Fitness sucks!! There is no advertised or published membership fee, when you call to get information they will not disclose fees on the phone. They ask that you stop by. When yo do go to get information, the front desk staff know nothing. You are then asked to come back between 8-6 when there is a membership counsellor!!


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Alfred
a resident of The Crossings
on Sep 12, 2008 at 9:28 pm

Less than 4 months ago, I was told that my pre-paid membership would be grandfathered to the new Mountain View Super Sport Club. I would not need to do anything or pay extra for upgrade.

Today, I reported to the new club and was told there is no grandfathering as the old club is not closing. Now, I am told I will need to pay $20/month for use of new club.

This club changes rules as they please!! Poor communication and lousy customer service. If you are thinking of joining a club - go elsewhere.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Julia
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Sep 13, 2008 at 2:12 pm

Here's my experience...

I expressed my concern several times to the Manager (old club)that for such a large club they need to have two rowing machines (especially since the one they have is usually under repair). Also, brought to their attention - the lousy condition of rest rooms several times.

No action was taken on either. I decided to take my business elsewhere.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Pam
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Sep 15, 2008 at 8:20 pm

I agree with earlier post. Grandfathering was a hoax. I went ahead and upgraded to see if I like the new super sport club. While the new club looks fancier with all toys and whistles, it has no daylight. Kind of dull and depressing. I will switch to the old club after my first month at the new club is up.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Jack D
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Dec 27, 2009 at 7:23 pm

This is a breech of contract with this super sport BS. I would join a class action Lawsuit for what they are trying to do.

I was told my lifetime membership included all clubs at time of purchase regardless of what they call it, its still a 24 hr fitness. They may get away with this with new members but they can't with existing ones.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Jack D
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Dec 27, 2009 at 7:24 pm

This is a breech of contract with this super sport BS. I would join a class action Lawsuit for what they are trying to do.

I was told my lifetime membership included all clubs at time of purchase regardless of what they call it, its still a 24 hr fitness. They may get away with this with new members but they can't with existing ones.


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