Washington Sports Club
ConsumerAffairs Unaccredited Brand
I was a member of the WSC at F Street for about a year. It has been an awful experience. Management staff is extremely unprofessional and the management membership financial aspects is a nightmare!! The number of times I was charged to my credit card without my authorization is infuriating!! They basically stole my money! Stay away from this gym!!
At the Washington DC clubs where I have belonged for 12 years, they accidentally cut the locks off my two lockers and "threw away" all my stuff. Everything. Full size hair products, new athletic shoes, cosmetics, workout clothes, everything I had in my lockers for 13 YEARS!! I was furious that I have to buy all my stuff all over again because of their mistake, but they said THEY ARE NOT RESPONSIBLE. When I contacted their executive offices, they offered to pay for 2 items. I refused! Replace my stuff! I gave them a list of my stolen items. They are now IGNORING ME. I am now going to picket their gyms and trash them every chance I get until they DO THE RIGHT THING and STOP IGNORING A MEMBER!
I doubt anyone will read this before joining, but if you do and you still join, it is on you. I have been trying to cancel my membership for 5 months. I gave one month notice to the front desk and was told my cancellation would be processed. I was charged in June and I let it go as them taking a one month cancellation fee. When I was charged in July, I called them, wrote their office and blocked them from charging my credit card. In August they called me and said that my account would go to collection if I did not update my payment method, so I went back to their office. I sat down with the membership person, paid $150 for early cancellation and assumed it was done.
Now, I look at my October statement and they have charged me another $100 for something, $34 for something else and another $34. My only recourse is to go back to their office because of their threats to send me account to collection if I simply block them from charging my credit card. But, I didn't read the consumer reports before joining, so this is on me.
The sales people seemed well trained in an old trick to give you a "free trial" knowing that many people, if they do, won't cancel. The dishonest thing about WSC came when I tried to cancel. I explained to the sales person that if I cancelled I wouldn't be able to do it in person because of my travel schedule. She asked a manager, right then but out of my sight, if that is an acceptable form of cancellation. She said I would have to call and speak with a manager to cancel.
The last day before my deadline I called. There was a snowstorm happening, so when the phone rang for several minutes I just figured they were short staffed. No one answered but I let the phone ring until an automated message device came on and allowed me to leave a message. I left a VERY clear and detailed message explaining that I was cancelling my free trial prior to the deadline. I left my name, contact info and a clear statement of intent. Given the storm and the fact no one answered I figured they closed for several days like many other businesses had.
A week later I was billed $59.99 for a membership fee and the monthly fee. I called the local club and they informed me I had to call the New York office and gave me the number. The person I spoke with didn't care at all that I attempted to cancel and no one answered. I got the impression his job was to listen to callers and say, "no, there's nothing I can do" because that is what he told me. I then asked for someone who could make a decision on the matter and he directed me back to the local club.
I spoke with the customer service manager. I explained my attempt to cancel and that I was told I had to call and speak with a manager to cancel but no one answered. I told him I left a message after allowing the phone to ring for quite some time. He said he had no record of the call and that the club does not have a voicemail. I re-iterated that I had called and he told me he was at the club working that afternoon. In the same breath he tried to call me a liar twice. I couldn't wrap my head around why he said there was no voicemail and someone was there working but no one answered the phone.
I told him I was unhappy with his resolution, explained my wife was a member and if we couldnt find a resolve we would both be cancelling. He told me what he could do was cancel my membership for the end of the month and still charge me both fees. That is not a resolution. I told him my wife would be cancelling her membership as well. Then he told me that they make it easy to cancel a variety of ways. I told him it was explained to me, simply, that my only option if I couldnt visit in person, was to call and speak with a manager. He did not care what I was told.
I realized right then that I wasn't dealing with a business person, rather a low level sales associate. His explanation meant that he would rather gain $80 from someone who would have no future spending more, than make AT LEAST $200 from my wife's membership if she only stayed another 8 months. I read reviews online after the fact and learned my situation was not unique. There are a lot of convenient missed calls from people trying to cancel. I can't trust this company and encourage you to go next door to Gold's Gym.
My son used the Washington Sports Club when he was a student at Georgetown and after graduation in may 2014 he spoke to someone in the membership office at the club to cancel his membership, which they said had been done. We didn't notice that he was still being charged on our credit card monthly dues and when he called to say that he had cancelled 18 months ago they said he needed a written confirmation number which of course they did not give him, not mention at the time. He managed to cancel it on December 14th 2105 but because he was still considered a member Jan 1st 2016 they charged him a $42 rate guarantee charge on top of one more months dues. Trying to talk to someone in head office is impossible and as someone else mentioned it is their word against yours. Their cancellation policy stinks and is very opaque, designed to trick customers.
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To be clear, I enjoy my actual experience at my Washington Sports Club in Silver Spring, MD. It's convenient, good classes, and about as clean as I would expect it to be. My problem is with membership dues. Recently, when I went into my gym, something was wrong with my key tag. So they issued me a new one. Instead of issuing me my "Core" key tag, they issued me a "Regional Passport" key tag. I told the staff member that there was a mistake. We had specifically opted out of purchasing the regional passport membership because it was not a benefit we would use and was too expensive. We signed up for Core at $59.99/month. The staff member said we had been upgraded to Regional membership for "free" during the pricing transition in December of 2014. That was news to us. We never got any information about this so called "upgrade" and never authorized it.
I asked her what the Core membership that we originally signed up for costs now. She told us it was $30/month. So I asked them to move us back to the Core membership that we signed up for. She said the only way we could do that is to pay new enrollment fees as if we were signing up as brand new customers. So, essentially, for the last 8 months we have been enrolled in a level of service that not only did we not authorize purchase of/enrollment in, we specifically did NOT enroll in when we signed up, and we were never even informed of being upgraded to. Not only that, we can't even get access to the program we originally enrolled in without paying more fees! I attempted to discuss this issue with WSC customer services. The level of professionalism and condescension I received was unbelievable, and I was refused a supervisor when I asked for one.
The customer service representative said I should be thankful that I got free upgrade of privileges. I told her it is not free, I and my husband are each paying $30 EXTRA dollars a month for the level of service we enrolled in originally. She said it is not about the benefits level of our service, but that essentially it is about how much we agreed to pay. I told them I didn't walk into WSC and say "$60 sounds like how much I would like to pay." No, I picked a level of benefits priced at $60. Now that level of benefit is priced at $30, but I can't access it and for some reason was not automatically repriced into it.
I was also told by this customer service rep that my price can go up annual (which is specifically not stated in my contract, so also not valid). This is frankly a big pile of BS. I wonder how many other people at the gym even realize that this is what has been done to their accounts. As far as I am concerned, WSC is stealing my money for transactions I did not authorize. Frankly, I will attempt to cancel, but based on the other comments I have read, I can see that will prove problematic as well.
Challenging is an understatement. When I attempted to cancel my membership after 8 years, I had the worst experience. I was contacted via telephone and indicated I wanted out. I was placed on hold for about 30 minutes and then the call was dropped. About two months later I got another call. I made the same request. The call disconnected immediately. About two months later I got yet another call. This time I decided to visit the Gym. I had to pay four months in arrears before I was allowed to get out of the membership. The manager on duty was very helpful, but the system absolutely sucks.
I joined a month to month membership in 2012. In November 2013, I was moving away from the gym and told the gym manager I was quitting right after my cardio class. He said okay, looked up my membership and entered some information. I also sent an email to the Town Sports Entertainment website notifying them of my quit date and they responded, "We are sorry but you must notify your manager" (which I did). All the gym manager has to do is say he never received my cancellation - I have no proof of that. But I do have the proof of my email cancellation which they say, of course, is not valid.
A few weeks later, I get an email from WSC saying please update your membership. I later talked to him on the phone telling him I quit. I also sent him the email stating I quit that was returned from TSE. In January, I start getting phone calls from what I think are telemarketers. I answer one time in May and the lady asks who I am. I tell her and she says she is a collection agent for TSE and I owe $180. I could pay less if I use my credit card now and respond with a payment. I tell her to send me paper documents telling me exactly what I owe. She never sent me any information. I have been in contact with the DC Consumer Affairs Office and the AG to file complaints. They don't really seem to notice any criminal activity or don't care. Typical DC.
Apparently hundreds of similar complaints have been filed in New York, Boston, and Philadelphia - everywhere TSE operates. DO NOT OPEN A MEMBERSHIP WITH WASHINGTON SPORTS CLUB OR ANY TSE FACILITY!! They have obviously used legal angles to avoid serious prosecution or civil litigation in the past. I'm just glad they didn't get my credit card when they wanted it. However they still are acting like a mob-run extortionist outfit trying to scam what they can get. Stick with Gold’s.
Locker room on Silver Spring, is so nasty and dirty, I have been over there for the last 2 weeks around 9pm and nothing is clean. I tried already in the morning, 3 times a week and is worst, nobody cleans, when they open the club, and when they close. And the sauna is not working for almost 2 weeks. So why are we paying that much money for nothing, is like going to the LA, and the Manager is never around. Surprise!
In April 2007, I signed a 24-month contract with Washington Sports Clubs (WSC). I am their ideal member - I hardly used the club. In July 2008, I visited the club to cancel my membership because I was pregnant. I was informed that I needed a doctor's note and that my membership "ended" in April 2009. In March 2009, I moved out of state. I called the club several times and left messages to ensure that my membership would be canceled. I did not have my "contract" handy as a reference and I could not find cancellation information on their website. After several calls with no return phone calls, I assumed it was cancelled. Then, I checked my credit card statement. I was still being billed in May and June when I thought it had ended in April. There was a phone number on the credit card which I called. She said that I needed to submit paperwork to cancel the contract (which ended in April), but that she would do me a "courtesy" of canceling over the phone.
I suggested that she refund my fees for the June billing since I had called repeatedly in March and that I thought the contract’s ending was in essence a termination. She told me that she couldn't do that and that she had already extended a courtesy by canceling over the phone. I think they need to have full disclosure and easy access to information on how to cancel a membership. I was dealing with a sick child and lived out of state. I did not have an old contract available for viewing. Perhaps that is my error; however, I believe their lack of returned calls and lack of publicly available information on the terms of their agreements is deceptive. I will continue to fight the June bill on my credit card, but I think that others must be getting bamboozled as well.
On 12/28/2008, I sat down with Brandon ** to talk about getting a membership to the club for myself and my son who was also there. I specifically asked about the cancellation terms of the contract and was told emphatically that there would be no problem cancelling at any time as long as I give them 30 days written notice. He explained that on the contract, the terms for cancellation under "consumer rights", I could see how to cancel. I decided we would join. I found that I don't use the club and so I decided to write and cancel my membership. I have since discovered that the way the contract reads effectively binds me to pay for one year unless I pay a cancellation fee of $250. What galls me is the realization that I was lied to so convincingly, and that verbal commitments are worthless.
My 20-year old son was there to hear me ask specifically about the ease of cancellation at any time. I called member services and spoke to Dawn **. After she told me my contract could not be terminated without penalty until Dec. 28, I asked her to consider my June request in writing by certified mail to be an official request to terminate in December for myself and my son. She informed me that I had to wait until November to give the 30-day notice and that I couldn't cancel for him because he is 20 years old, even though the membership is on my credit card. I want out of this, but I fear there is no recourse to the verbal fraud perpetrated because I signed the contract for a year. The damages to me are that I can't afford to stay and I can't afford to leave.
I was only in DC for 6 months and told the WSC accounts guy this when he signed me up for a year membership. He said it would be no problem and no cost to cancel when the time came. I made the cancellation verbally at the gym, same as I had when I cancelled NYSC, and thought that was the end of it. But didn't check my bank statements - dumb! - and was charged nearly $600 between June and now. When I called to have the charges reversed they claimed, they did not have official proof of cancellation and would not only keep the $600 but charge me $50-$200 to cancel IF I had proof-of-move forms. The woman on the phone was pretty rude and refused to actually hear what I was saying - that if they had, in fact, mailed concrete proof of cancellation, I had already moved from DC and would not have received it, and therefore couldn't provide her with it. So I'm out around $800 total on this. These people suck.
I cancelled my gym membership because I moved from VA due to work. I cancelled my membership in May in person and submitted all the documents that they requested. I have stopped by the club twice and called about 7 times since then to see if my membership was cancelled. According to Mike, the first membership consultant that took my cancellation request form and documentation of my move, it should have been cancelled before the June billing cycle. So far I have been billed 3 more times since then. I keep calling the club and asking for the manager, Russell. I have been trying to get in touch w/ him for about 2 weeks now but haven't been able to. What do I have to do to get something as simple as cancelling a membership done?
I had switched my membership to my daughter on 11/27/01 because I am pregnant and due to difficulties with the pregnancy would not be able to use thie membership for some time.
I worked with Lenae at WSC to make the switch of the account to my daughter.
Dec 01 the $51 electronic funds were taken out of my account as usual. January 02 no funds were taken out nor were they in Feb 02. I did not realize this until early Feb and contacted the health club. They asked me to bring in a voided check to send to their corp office stating that it must just be an error with the routing numbers from my bank.
In Mar 02 they took out $80 from my bank account. I called to inquire why they took $80 and not $51 as my contract states.
To sum it up, they did'nt have a copy of my contract that states $51 a month, but had a contract that state $65 a month but that it was not signed. (To me this would mean legally they should not have taken any money out)
On Mar 12, 02 I explained to Lori the manager, that I was pregnant and on bed rest and quite upset about this mess. I admit I raised my voice and was a bit rude but Lori told me to stop yelling at her and that she did not deserve to be treated like that. Well, that only made me more furious and my blood pressure rise.
We went in circles and the end result was that I needed to show her the signed contract and that she would call headquarters to find out what's going on.
I won't hold my breath as she said the same thing a week ago about researching it.
Washington Sports Club Company Information
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- Washington Sports Club