Consumer Complaints and Reviews
I joined Bally (when it was Jack LaLanne) back in the mid 1980s as a lifetime member. I used the gym on 86th Street in Brooklyn and then most recently on 32nd street in Manhattan. Bally sold their memberships to 24 Hour Fitness, but somehow my membership was sold to Tapout Fitness on 32nd Street in Manhattan. This was done without any notification and that location is no longer convenient for me. Tapout Fitness charged me $237 for a 1 year membership. When I tried to cancel my membership they told me that auto renewals were on and that I couldn't cancel unless I came in. I've tried calling and emailing, but no one responds.
I became a lifetime member of "Scandinavian Health Spa" in 1981, paying $500.00 with an $81.00 annual renewal fee. That club was located in N. Olmstead, OH. In 1984, it closed. "Bally" had purchased Scandinavian Health Spa clubs, & was building several new facilities. Brookpark, Westlake, & Broadview Hts., OH.
I went to a Bally facility in Strongsville until the Brookpark Club opened in 1985. I don't remember what year "Bally Total Fitness" bought "Bally". In 2012, members noticed that long-time employees at the Brookpark OH "Bally Total Fitness Club" were replaced. (We found out that "Red Fitness" was operating the facility). I went online to pay my yearly lifetime membership fee of $81.00 + tax in January 2012. I discovered the site would not allow me to pay my membership. The web page automatically sent me to a Debt Collection Co., where I had to set up an account which then allowed me to pay my membership fee.
The sale of the club was never verbalized to me, or any of my fellow members. I went online & researched Bally & discovered a Class Action Lawsuit in a Federal Court in Chicago, IL had ordered L.A. Fitness who was the parent company, to sell numerous Clubs. Why? Employees of these Clubs were double-billing & collecting membership fees from THOUSANDS of members. Then, in 2014 the Brookpark facility was under another owner. "Fx Fitness". I again went online to discover that only 4 former "Bally Total Fitness" turned "Red Fitness" had become "Fx Fitness".
In August, I drove into the parking lot & noticed only one vehicle parked. I could see a letter-sized notice taped on the inside of the entrance door. It read "This facility is now closed. Your membership has been transferred to Fx Fitness located at ** Broadview Rd. in Broadview Hts." I was in shock. I'd went to that location many times, but due to the traffic I preferred the Brookpark location. When I went online in January 2015 to the collection company to pay my annual membership fee, I was again required to set up a new account with a company called "www.myiclubonline.com". My new annual fee is $99.00.
The information listed with my membership about the terms are not the original terms of my contract. The original terms allowed me to use any Scandinavian Club turned Bally turned Bally Total Fitness. Now I can only use one of 3 area Rx Fitness Clubs. I don't know how many other people are affected by this, but their contracts had to be affected as well. I NEVER set up Autopay for paying fees except to a utility company or financial entity.
I learned many years ago in dealing with a company that won't stop automatic payments to simply report your credit card or checkbook as stolen or missing. IT'S A SMALL PRICE TO PAY FOR NEW CHECKS. MOST CREDIT CARD COMPANIES WILL SEND YOU A NEW CARD FREE. And you must respond to a debt collector in writing. I ask them for their FAX number, or send a certified letter which they have to sign for. You would most likely have to provide a copy of your contract, so don't throw it out!! I think many Ohioans were ripped off & you must report your issue to the State of Ohio's Attorney General, Michael DeWine in Columbus. I'm looking into that. I found an online link, with a form to file a complaint.
I have also been a lifetime member since Bally's was known as Jack LaLanne in New Jersey. I have been paying my dues since the 80's annually despite the fact I have moved to Florida in 98' and have continued to pay my membership regardless of the fact that there were no Bally's available in my area in hopes that they would expand and possibly come to my area? I was paying my bills and recalled that I had not received any notification regarding my membership dues yet, when I began my search I found that Bally's had sold out to 24 hour Fitness Clubs??
I was not aware of that nor was I made aware of the fact that when I went onto their website I found it would not read my account as an active member since 1987! I became alarmed and came across the complaints by others who too are victims of some sort of disregard for these Bally's/Jack Lalanne memberships! Can I please get some advice and phone numbers to report this fraud since I have been paying annually for a membership that I cannot even contact the company and be recognized!!
Membership contracts that were taken over by 24 hour fitness and are now invalid at both clubs. Like most of the complaints with people who bought lifetime memberships in the 80's from Jack LaLanne/Bally's under a contract, I ran into a problem this year when I walked into a NYC Bally's to pay my yearly fee and my account/membership didn't exist anymore in their system. I was told that my membership was now a 24 Hour Fitness membership and I should go there to my local club. So I went to my newly built 24 Hour Fitness and found out my Bally's membership number wouldn't work and on top of that I was to pay what would come to a 900% monthly increase in my Bally's membership. So I walked out and called the Bally's NYC Club back to get a phone number to track down who has my contract and what's going on.
I called what was a membership services outsourced company that is responsible for collection of fees, but they didn't have any information of my membership or my name. This wasn't their fault I realized...they just are operating under a new membership system with no ties, access or knowledge to the system prior to the takeover. Back to calling 24 hour fitness corporate and trying to get some answers. Forget their membership services number...I waited an hour on hold listening to music before hanging up. Sent an e-mail to corporate asking for a response from their legal dept. familiar with contract law in regards to NY State. I then followed up calling a different number on 24 Hour fitness site on buying or renewing membership.
I got a person, explained the situation, and left a warning I would go to the New York State's Attorney General's office with complaints as you see here enough to warrant seeking an injunction on new memberships until they deal with the contracts/memberships they acquired from Bally's. I said I won't be calling again, but would wait for a response from my e-mail. I was passed onto a supervisor, she was able to locate my Bally's contract and Bally's membership account. I got a verbal that would be followed up with an e-mail that they would honor the wording in my contract and my price. My suggestion to those of you in the same position, explain your situation, be firm, and if all else fails, contact your State's Attorney General's office. If they receive enough complaints, they will look into it. Better yet is to know others with similar cases and to work as a team for resolve.
I'm a former employee there. I enjoy working out so I liked it. Like many gyms, you had to write a letter to the billing company to cancel your membership. Bally billing was a nightmare, but the gym staff wasn't crooked. The clubs in Syracuse, Binghamton, and Albany aren't even corporate (never were). It sucked getting yelled at because someone thought I was the owner of some big conglomerate, meanwhile I was working part-time. I gotta say I met a ton more lazy people than I thought existed in my town. I used to pay more for Planet Fitness than most people paid at the mall.
I always felt for the managers. I had restaurant experience prior to working there so I'm used to people complaining over nothing but I had friends from high school lie about stuff just to get out of a $20/month membership. The worst is the lie on YELP about how the manager Pete could cancel a membership. He had no control, neither did any of the staff. It's amazing how many people I know that I personally handled the cancellation procedures to, only to see them away from the gym and find out they never mailed the letter. Then somehow, it's my fault? Whatever you do, if you are looking to cancel your membership, don't follow that girl's advice. I actually knew her from the mall before she moved. Her directions are totally inaccurate. Sad. If you want to cancel, just mail the letter.
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I have been a member of Bally Total Fitness since the Mid 80's. A couple of years ago the club near my home closed down. Because I was am a lifetime member I kept paying my yearly dues in hope that a new club would open near me again. Finally I decided this was ridiculous, and tried to call to see if I could my membership on hold because there are no clubs near me. I spent about an hour and could not even find a good number to contact this company. I finally reached a number (773-380-3000) with a recording that said it was the corporate office, but it was closed. I have not been notified that they have gone out of business and do not even know how to contact them. Yet they keep taking my dues every year. Does anyone know what is up with this? I guess I need to cancel my membership but I have no idea how to, since I cannot reach them.
I too was subjected to some pretty painful sales tactics, but feeling reassured by the imagined safety of cancelling if I changed my mind, I went ahead. They, too, took my signature first and afterwards printed my contract which was different from my verbal agreement with them. They said they couldn't revise it or write in something for me at that point. Feeling pretty awful and reading the reviews I immediately decided to cancel immediately as formally and kindly as possible. I immediately called my credit card to block them. I don't know if my success with this depended how many days it had been? (One day only).
Well, then I typed up a letter using reviewer-recommended template **, added my own additional spin on it about having talked with a junior associate who may not have done a proper job etc and sent certified to a couple headquarters I checked as best I could online. I tried to maintain a positive assertive tone. I received my refund on my credit card about a month or two later.
I imagine this isn't the only such business that requires a letter for cancellation though I have little experience and I wish none did. I would imagine less pressure during sign up and being able to see the contract first would build up trust. I will keep copies of records as I always do. I just wanted to add how relieved I felt after having seen all the negative reviews that I saw some success in cancelling. I wish the best for Bally.
Ok so I joined Bally in May. When I joined I was promised to be put on a nutrition program and my trainer told me he was a nutritionist. I was also promised to have my weight and body mass index checked every month (only happened once when I signed up). I'm a skinny female. I only signed up for abs and a booty. I can say my trainer was great and helped me gain a booty, but I gained a little stomach as well.
My trainer kept telling me to eat any fatty food no matter what it is because in order to gain muscle I have to gain fat. As previously mentioned that helped tremendously for my booty and legs. They are stronger than they have ever been, but all the unhealthy eating has lead to a stomach and now it's harder for me to get abs. I've recently started to have a few health issues from working out so some weeks I haven't been showing up to the gym. My trainer charges me weekly and charges me even when I don't show up one week. I don't think that's fair that he gets paid whether I show or not. I want to cancel my membership in its entirety, but judging from the reviews it's hard or damn near impossible to do. I'm stuck in a hole.
My membership has been transferred 3 times & premiums increased dramatically. My first year's premium was over $500.00 dollars, with a RENEWAL FEE OF $75.00 ANNUALLY. Bally took over my premiums increased each year thereafter 1988.
I have been a lifetime member since 1988. I checked my account and Bally changed hands to Ultimate Fit ABC. They are taking money out of my account monthly and I have not received any correspondence that they changed their name or were bought out. I don't even have a number to call to cancel my account or to question what is going on. No notification has been sent. I think there should be a class action lawsuit against this company... Does anyone have the number to call?
Updated 12/5/2015 - I decided to cancel my lifetime membership in 11/2015. I was tired of the monthly fee going up. I went to the Crossgates mall store and spoke to someone at the desk. I asked how to cancel the membership. He told me to write a letter to Bally informing them of my cancellation. He told me to send the letter certified. I did what he said. Then just now I checked my bank account statement and Bally under Ultimate Fit ABC took out 10$ monthly fee from my account in December 2015. I tried to call the center with no avail. The phone rings and rings. I am pissed that this company took money out of my bank account without authorization. It is not right and they should be sued.
24 hr Fitness bought my contract from Bally's total fitness. When I walked in 24 hr fitness to get a new card, I found out that first they don't use cards anymore, but they can't find my account after being a Bally's member for almost 20 years.
I purchased a lifetime membership with Jack Lalanne in the 80's and that contract was bought by Bally's. I have relocated from NY to NC and now I am told that my membership is worthless, when the selling point was that you can use the gym anywhere in the country. Now 24 hour fitness nor LA fitness will honor this contract and I am told that I can only go to gyms in NY. This is a total scam and I hear class action suit!
Bally sold my contract to 24 Hour Fitness. I received a letter and later a letter for renewal with a 30-day notice. I called 24 Hour Fitness to find out what clubs were available and was told I could use almost all the 24 Hour Fitness clubs. NOTE: The only reason I kept my Bally's membership was when away from home I could use the local club.
When I logged onto the website to pay the membership fee it said I only had privilege at one club, a club about an hour from my home. If I wanted more privileges the membership would have to be upgraded. Calling the Customer Service number was told I had privilege only at former Bally clubs. Asked how could I identify them and that was difficult. Asked for a letter stating I had privilege to clubs other than the one on the website and was told they could not do that. Really, thought Bally Fitness was bad but 24 Hour Fitness seems worst.
I purchased a Bally's Lifetime Membership in Sheepshead Bay NY back in the late 80's with annual fee of $85. Moved to FL in 1991 and continue paying annual fee due every November, until LA fitness acquired Bally Total Fitness Clubs in Florida on December 2011. No notice was sent about acquisition and since I purchased my membership in NY (excluded from acquisition) I was left without a gym in FL. I was able to contact Bally's customer service on January 2012 and was told that they can refund $85 annual fee and sell my Lifetime membership to someone. Really???
Went to Bally Total Fitness with my fiancé, located in Albany NY Crossgates Mall, but actually reside in Florida. Came into town one month ago to shop at the mall walked by Bally's. They offered us free guest passes for a week to work out at their gym. The trainer that gave it to us knew we were from out of town. Explained it to him. The next time we came in town we would use it.
Well, we came back the following month and forgot our passes, so immediately we called and spoke to associate and explained that we forgot our passes, we are from out of town once again, and specifically asked “if we could come in today to try your gym out for free.” She said “no problem.” We drove 30 minutes there and when we arrived we went to the front desk, told the manager behind the counter what the lady said to us over the phone, and he replied "yea yea," and VERY RUDELY said "If you're not from around here you have to pay."
We turned around and walked away but didn't appreciate the way he spoke to us. VERY UNPROFESSIONAL! So decided to call Bally's to ask for the manager's name that spoke to us to complain to corporate about our experience. Manager got on the phone and my fiancé explained to him that we are opening up a spa in the area and we're interested in signing up but after our experience at the front desk that we are going to make a complaint.
He mocked my fiancé and said "what are you gonna open up 50, 60, 100 spas?" Being a smart Alec, my fiancé, said "just give me your name please because we are going to write a bad review.” Manager then says "ohh a bad review? Wow," as if it didn't matter one bit to him. In conclusion this was the most UNPROFESSIONAL establishment we had ever set foot in!!! The manager should absolutely be fired. Hopefully after talking to corporate they will look into this matter and get rid of the problem.
Bally's has been harassing me for 10 years for a gym membership I used for a month. They wouldn't let me cancel after misrepresenting a personal trainer to help me for my 3 year membership. The guy told me for 90 dollars a month I get 5 one hour sessions with a trainer so I agreed to the deal. A few weeks into the deal the personal trainer (who wasn't really helping me at all), I said "I haven't used up my 5 sessions for this month do they roll over to the next?" He said "Oh now you only get 5 sessions for the 3 year period."
I just got scammed & the guy I signed the contract with said I was bound to the contract. He misrepresented it to get me to sign. Now 10 years later they wiped out my bank account last week & snatched my state taxes. I just filed an objection to garnishment motion yesterday to get them off of me. Bally's total fitness should be ashamed of themselves ruining people's lives instead of letting the contract go.
I joined Bally Fitness center in Greece NY 1984 for a lifetime membership and a yearly membership fee of $99.00 a year. The Bally in Greece NY closed and no one was notified and I paid for a lifetime membership. I also had worked out with a professional trainer a few years ago. I want compensation or I will call BBB and see an attorney as this is not good practice when you have Bally in other parts of the state and other states.
I had an account, they told me it was monthly, but 19 months ago I wanted to cancel my account, and they told me that I have to call their office number which I did to no avail. And now they are charging me for the 18 months. And mind you, I blocked them from my account because it was difficult to deactivate their membership plans.
In 1984 I paid the price for lifetime membership. Bally closed their last door here in Rochester without any notice to me. Come to find out, the office is gone. I know all but the Rochester club was purchased by LA Fitness and 24 Hr. Fitness. I have no idea how to find out what I can do with my membership. As I mentioned, I have paid my dues since 1984. My search will continue. If there should be a class action lawsuit "I am in". I am very unhappy.
I haven't been to bally fitness over a year, yet they are still taking funds out of my acct. I have tried unsuccessfully to call to cancel.
A former client added me to his lifetime account more than 5 years ago... I only pay $99 a year. I paid my $99 on December 2014 and have, ever since, only used the gym once due to personal reasons. Yesterday I went to the club. I went the first time, the one on 32nd street, in New York just to be told that they couldn't find my information. I gave them my member number, my name, email, cellphone and NOTHING. Showed them the letter stating that I paid for the full year with all the praises and welcomes.
They explained to about how 24hr fitness bought most of their clubs and although they were not affected, they can't still honor for me to continue to go. They let me use it, but told to get my affairs in order. The customer service number they have on the email is long go. I contacted another number and after going over and over the same story with someone and she telling me "you have to call the number on the email" I just had to hang up. I am ready to take this to the court. I hope some bad ** lawyer can take us under his wing and win this one for us. It's a total scam. I still have 7 months left.
For the last two years we have received letters from collectors and damaging our credit for an account we never had. We never heard of Bally's until we started receiving collection notices. We have tried to contact this company by sending documents phone calls and nothing seems to work. My husband is 70 years old and bad legs - no way could he belong to a fitness club. We would like to resolve this matter as soon as possible.
I'm finding it impossible to get any information on the closing of my local Bally's gym. I prepaid 2015 member fee and now there is no club. Can you tell me if I have lost gym privileges to the gyms that took over? Can I get reimbursed if not? Out of courtesy for my 30 year membership you would think they would have the courtesy and professionalism to send the loyal members information without going on a witch hunt trying to get a representative to advise! I'm in NJ. It is not feasible for me to drive to New York. I was/am a lifetime member. This isn't fair, please HELP.
My granddaughter works in Crossgates Mall. Not only is she only 17, I feel she was misled about the terms for being a member. She tried to cancel and she is being told it will cost $99 to cancel her membership so a $25 monthly fee continues to be deducted from her account that she hasn't used not even one time Bally Total Fitness is using deceptive practices to get people to join and I wouldn't be surprised if I learned that my granddaughter is not the only victim. My granddaughter said they never gave her any paperwork or anything so I can't even provide a membership number.
In 1984 I paid the price for lifetime membership. Bally closed their last door here in Rochester without any notice to me. I understood I could transfer my membership once. I decided to sell my membership as there is still a Bally website up and as far as I knew there are Bally Fitness still in NYC and NJ. I called the office and purchased a transfer packet for $30. Advertised my membership and had a sale within a day. Called the office back with a question, was put on hold for at least an hour, hung up, called back the next day to find "no ring, no busy, no answer". Come to find out, the office is gone. Needless to say, "no sale was made". I am now reading that LA Fitness has purchased Bally memberships in certain areas. I have no idea how to find out what I can do with my membership. As I mentioned, I have paid my dues since 1984. My search will continue. If there should be a class action lawsuit "I am in". I am very unhappy.
I was a member of Bally for about two years. I started working for them December of 2014. Everything was fine until I voiced an opinion about a coworker. I was immediately fired because of the fact. Since then I have been threatened, and rude comment have been made about me or towards me. I cannot simply walk pass the place without feeling uncomfortable and anxious. I should not be made to feel like this.
I have been a member for over a year and canceled my membership. Now they are charging me double every month and can't answer any of my questions. I called my gym but they don't even have the phone number for the corporate office. This place is a joke and would never tell anyone to join Bally's.
Bally take double the amount each month or more than the contract amount and their customer service is inadequate. They gave me a poor excuse about the person in charge was out with an injury and the fee was the yearly fee but when I asked about the other transactions or overpayments, the employee couldn't answer me. I think it's a scam to be allowed to take funds that are not contractual without a penalty or even lawsuit if it's happening to other members; which I'm sure it is.
I was a Bally total fitness member when I learned 24 hour fitness took over through my trainer who I worked with at Bally's. I had to stop training when I learned about my pregnancy as I was high risk. If I used my training it would have been a complete waste of money since I couldn't do much of anything aside from low intensity work, which would be mostly cardio and light weights. I can do this on my own, and don't need a trainer for this.. I wasn't notified by bally's or 24 of the take over and when I tried to get my sessions transferred, the manager of the gym said my sessions were expired and there was nothing he could do.
I paid a ton of money for my training contract and my last payment was less than a year ago for this contract. I seriously just want to use my training. I don't know what I have to do to get this transferred, but bally's just took my money and ran! So not cool.
I am a Bally's lifetime member and have a contract where I pay $60/year. Every time I want to use a Bally's facility, I have to pay for membership (with a slight savings) because I am told that it is now called Bally's Total Fitness (slick). Anyway, the last 2 years they haven't sent me a bill. Last year I took a walk (it was near my job at the time) to Bally's and paid for the lifetime membership without a bill. This year, I'm trying to call all their 800 numbers and all are disconnected. In other words, without me paying for the year, I forfeit my lifetime membership. I have no invoice being sent and no way to get in touch with them.
Bally Total Fitness Company Profile
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