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(The Consumerist)   Canceling your Bally's membership is about as easy as escaping from a Turkish prison   (consumerist.com) divider line 63
    More: Fail, Turkish prison, Bally Total Fitness  
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5389 clicks; posted to Business » on 21 Jun 2012 at 10:13 AM (2 years ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2012-06-21 09:22:23 AM  
www.horrorphile.net

I dunno, subby. If you don't have any issues seducing this guy, it should be pretty easy to escape a Turkish prison.
 
2012-06-21 09:37:16 AM  
quizilla.teennick.com
 
2012-06-21 10:09:50 AM  
When my wife's commute changed she went to cancel her Curves (a gym) membership and they gave her a terrible runaround. Excuses ranged from only a manager can do it, manager is on vacation, manager repeatedly wouldn't take/return calls, needed it in writing out to lunch at 10am, all sorts of shiat.
/csb
 
2012-06-21 10:16:48 AM  
Try cancelling your SiriusXM radio membership.
 
2012-06-21 10:19:57 AM  
When I cancelled my membership at Lifetime fitness I sent them a certified letter, called them, and then reported the credit card as lost. They continued to try to bill me and sent me vaguely threatening letters for months afterwards. Then at around six months or so they switched their tone and asked me to come back at half my old monthly rate.

/now at LA Fitness
//cheaper
///less hipsters
////cuter guys
/slashies!
 
2012-06-21 10:20:25 AM  

Tad_Waxpole: Try cancelling your SiriusXM radio membership.


Add Clear (wireless ISP) to the list. Six months after cancelling I'm starting to get collections letters.

And subby speaks the truth (agrivating story from friend, not worth sharing).
 
2012-06-21 10:22:59 AM  
Bally's has been like this for a long time now. I had a girlfriend back in the 90s that was tortured by Bally's in a similar manner. Best health club I have ever seen or heard of is Harbor Athletic Club near Madison, WI. Now, I am a member of Golds, the cockroach of fitness clubs. Poor quality, but they are everywhere. Haven't tried to cancel the Gold's membership yet, so don't know if I will get the Bally's treatment.
 
2012-06-21 10:26:45 AM  

OregonVet: When my wife's commute changed she went to cancel her Curves (a gym) membership and they gave her a terrible runaround. Excuses ranged from only a manager can do it, manager is on vacation, manager repeatedly wouldn't take/return calls, needed it in writing out to lunch at 10am, all sorts of shiat.
/csb


My grandmother doesn't speak English very well, so my wife tried to do her a favor, and called to cancel her Comcast cable.

They REFUSED. I mean they told her they couldn't cancel it. My wife was on the phone for 20 minutes, the rep kept putting her on hold, of course to either look up or ask for a counter argument.

"Look, she's 90, she is on a small fixed income, she can't afford this"

"So what about..." yeah, he kept coming back with that bullshiat. So my wife asked me to get on the phone. I'm a pretty mean sounding person to begin with. So when I got one the line, he tried to say I didn't have persmission to talk to him, which was crap because I was the one who called in for my grandmother to set up the account for her.

After I told him to just close the account...and that was my response to everything he said.

Just close the account. Just close the account.

"I can't, my computer is down."

I really wished I had recorded the conversation, it would have been great internet fodder and would have gotten the a-hole fired.

/I f-ing hate comcast
 
2012-06-21 10:32:24 AM  

Odd Bird: Six months after cancelling I'm starting to get collections letters.


Sounds exactly like the SirusXM gameplan.

I called, I cancelled. Then they keep billing me, then they start sending collection letters.

Turns out this is serious issue with them: http://ctwatchdog.com/finance/sirius-xm-consumer-complaints-continue-d espite-attorneys-general-investigation

It finally stopped after I kept trolling them about it in front of everybody on their Facebook page and as comments in their Facebook posts to all of their "fans".
 
2012-06-21 10:39:41 AM  

gingerjet: When I cancelled my membership at Lifetime fitness I sent them a certified letter, called them, and then reported the credit card as lost. They continued to try to bill me and sent me vaguely threatening letters for months afterwards. Then at around six months or so they switched their tone and asked me to come back at half my old monthly rate.

/now at LA Fitness
//cheaper
///less hipsters
////cuter guys
/slashies!


I use the report the credit card stolen trick too. Citibank never seems to mind.
 
2012-06-21 10:42:30 AM  
My wife signed up for their three year plan and six months later I was asked to work outside the country. All she had to do was fax a copy of the lease in Hong Kong to them...they cut her loose.

YMMV.
 
2012-06-21 10:42:41 AM  

Odd Bird: Tad_Waxpole: Try cancelling your SiriusXM radio membership.

Add Clear (wireless ISP) to the list. Six months after cancelling I'm starting to get collections letters.

And subby speaks the truth (agrivating story from friend, not worth sharing).


Add Verizon to that list as well. I ended up having to get the State Corporation Commission involved to close my account. I worked for weeks to get my account closed out. After a call to the SCC it was done in less than 24 hours. The bills I got from the collection agency are another story.
 
2012-06-21 10:43:57 AM  

FinFangFark: OregonVet: When my wife's commute changed she went to cancel her Curves (a gym) membership and they gave her a terrible runaround. Excuses ranged from only a manager can do it, manager is on vacation, manager repeatedly wouldn't take/return calls, needed it in writing out to lunch at 10am, all sorts of shiat.
/csb

My grandmother doesn't speak English very well, so my wife tried to do her a favor, and called to cancel her Comcast cable.

They REFUSED. I mean they told her they couldn't cancel it. My wife was on the phone for 20 minutes, the rep kept putting her on hold, of course to either look up or ask for a counter argument.

"Look, she's 90, she is on a small fixed income, she can't afford this"

"So what about..." yeah, he kept coming back with that bullshiat. So my wife asked me to get on the phone. I'm a pretty mean sounding person to begin with. So when I got one the line, he tried to say I didn't have persmission to talk to him, which was crap because I was the one who called in for my grandmother to set up the account for her.

After I told him to just close the account...and that was my response to everything he said.

Just close the account. Just close the account.

"I can't, my computer is down."

I really wished I had recorded the conversation, it would have been great internet fodder and would have gotten the a-hole fired.

/I f-ing hate comcast


I hate Comcast with a passion. Probably about 8 or 9 years ago, I had Comcast but it wasn't working. All sorts of issues. I made an appointment for service and took the morning off (it was an expensive proposition as I was a 1099 contractor and it cost me 4 hours of work). Needless to say, the service tech didn't show up. I called Comcast and said WTF!? The person on the phone apologized and said they'd send another tech out. I told them I wasn't taking another 4 hours off work so they would have to send a tech on Saturday. They replied that they couldn't do that. I told them I wanted a refund for my time. They offered me $25. I told them to stuff it and paid my bill minus 4 hours of my billable rate and got Dish Network. They sent me to collection, I sent them a bill for my time (net 90 days). When the collection agency called me I told them it wasn't a matter of money and I didn't give a damn about my credit rating...that it was a matter of principle and that I would NEVER pay that bill. They never called me again.

Fast forward 3 years...and a tree in my condo complex was blocking the dish. I sadly had to sign up for Comcast as that was the only choice at that time. 2 years later U-verse was available and I immediately switched. I called to cancel and the guy began to give me the runaround. I told him, "Listen, I know you're only doing your job. But I hate your company and the only reason I had Comcast is that you were the only game in town. That's no longer the case and I would pay MORE NOT to use Comcast. Please cancel my service immediately without any further discussion." That shut him up and he cancelled the service.

I hate Comcast more than most any company out there.

I had a Bally's membership back in the late 80's early 90's. At that time they had a contract but after it expired, they'd bill you month-to-month. I went to the Bally's and told them that I wanted my membership cancelled and I no longer wanted to be billed (I had joined Powerhouse). They gave me a hard time and I told them I would stand out front on the sidewalk with a picket saying that Bally's wrongfully doesn't let people cancel their billing. The manager freaked out and got the paperwork together...and I was never billed again.

What I don't understand is that further inciting people when they cancel isn't going to bring them back into the fold. It's just going to make them resentful.
 
2012-06-21 10:44:09 AM  
Trying to quit LA Fitness took me months... The guy told me I had to mail in a cancellation form since I wasn't in the area, and he told me over the phone that they "misplace" them pretty often, so I might have to send it twice.

/liked it till I had to quit ... would have even come back when I was in the area again... not now..
 
2012-06-21 10:50:32 AM  
Canceling LA Fitness was easy for me. I just dropped off a letter at the front desk and waited for my billing cycle to end.

Try canceling a security system contract.
 
2012-06-21 10:57:06 AM  
When I moved cities I cancelled our Lifetime Fitness membership with zero issues. I did have a choice between 24hr Fitness and a Bally's that are equidistant from my new place. I chose 24hr just because of stories like this & no contract. Also the girls at my gym are hotter.
 
2012-06-21 10:59:37 AM  

mcreadyblue: I use the report the credit card stolen trick too. Citibank never seems to mind.


Neither does Wells Fargo.
 
2012-06-21 10:59:43 AM  
**golf clap**

Two-in-one, Roger.
 
2012-06-21 11:00:31 AM  

mcreadyblue: I use the report the credit card stolen trick too. Citibank never seems to mind.


A friend of mine does this as well. She never had any problems either.

I wish I would have done this with Gold's. This is how they used to operate: they would sign you up for a yearly contract. When that year was up, they would automatically sign you up for another year. If you wanted to cancel, you would have to send a certified letter to them one month prior to your contract expiring. Tough shiat if you were two months into your contract. You have to wait another 10 before you could cancel.
 
2012-06-21 11:09:15 AM  
When we wanted to cancel our Bally's membership - we were living in downtown chicago and moving to the suburbs. There was a clause in the contract that you couldn't cancel as long as you were within something like 50 miles of a Bally's.

So we had a relative who rents out apartments in the middle boonies of Illinois draft up a bogus rental agreement.....I faxed it over....and told them "go ahead and mapquest it, we're 150 miles from the nearest Bally's"

Done.

p.s: They never checked into the agreement....didn't call the phone number....just sayin.....
 
2012-06-21 11:15:29 AM  

Tyrone Biggums: mcreadyblue: I use the report the credit card stolen trick too. Citibank never seems to mind.

A friend of mine does this as well. She never had any problems either.

I wish I would have done this with Gold's. This is how they used to operate: they would sign you up for a yearly contract. When that year was up, they would automatically sign you up for another year. If you wanted to cancel, you would have to send a certified letter to them one month prior to your contract expiring. Tough shiat if you were two months into your contract. You have to wait another 10 before you could cancel.


Heh, I said no-dice to the monthly payments and wrote a check ($200) for a year-long membership.
Two months after I renewed, they closed the facility by me. The sister facility was 45 minutes away in traffic. No longer a member...
 
2012-06-21 11:31:41 AM  
OH, BILLY
i.imgur.com
 
2012-06-21 12:19:30 PM  

Pumpernickel bread: Bally's has been like this for a long time now. I had a girlfriend back in the 90s that was tortured by Bally's in a similar manner. Best health club I have ever seen or heard of is Harbor Athletic Club near Madison, WI. Now, I am a member of Golds, the cockroach of fitness clubs. Poor quality, but they are everywhere. Haven't tried to cancel the Gold's membership yet, so don't know if I will get the Bally's treatment.


Oh yeah you will. I think Golds is even worse than Ballys. It took me almost a year to cancel my membership, and even when you finally do they still bill you for an extra month even though you have no access to the gym. When you go to cancel they can't actually cancel your membership on the spot, they have to send in an application request to cancel your membership. They say the processing time is 30 days which by that time you've already got another bill but they've already taken your membership card.

My cancellation request got repeatedly denied yet they never notified me. At first it was denied because I didn't have all the original membership cards they issued when I first signed up, I had to pay a $10 replacement fee. Then it was denied because I didn't cancel at the original gym I signed up at. Then they said no cancellation request was even sent in. Then it was denied because I didn't live far enough away from one of their gyms and had to pay an additional month's penalty before they could cancel.

Finally, I took a day off work and spent 6 hours in the lobby explaining their shady practice to anybody signing up for a new membership and when the manager confronted me I told him that I'm technically still a member of the gym so had every right to be there. Miracle of miracles they were finally able to cancel my membership after 9 months of being screwed over
 
2012-06-21 12:24:41 PM  
You all sound like a bunch of passive-aggressive pansies. Try acting like adults and I bet the world treats you better.
 
2012-06-21 12:39:22 PM  

the_rhino: You all sound like a bunch of passive-aggressive pansies. Try acting like adults and I bet the world treats you better.


Good call. I'll start by ignoring internet tough guys. You look like a good candidate
 
2012-06-21 02:15:45 PM  
This happened to me when canceling my Porsche Benz McSlabchest Center for the Advantaged membership. They begged me to stay, even offering it for free since I was in all the commercials. Yeah right, I told them I needed a gym worth paying for!
 
2012-06-21 02:26:25 PM  
Did it take subby more than 26 minutes to cancel his membership?
 
2012-06-21 02:26:47 PM  
I have to quit the gym in 26 minutes.
 
2012-06-21 02:27:42 PM  

SCUBA_Archer: Did it take subby more than 26 minutes to cancel his membership?


Shakes tiny Ivy League fist that's clutching BMW keys and a champagne glass.
 
2012-06-21 02:28:33 PM  
I need to call Sirius. Just got a bill for $225 for a year of radio. I don't really want to cancel, but I figure they'll give me a nice rate to stay on if I threaten it. Anyone squeeze any good deals out of them lately?
 
2012-06-21 02:47:58 PM  
www.yourinnerskinny.ca
/feels his pain
 
2012-06-21 02:49:59 PM  

SCUBA_Archer: I need to call Sirius. Just got a bill for $225 for a year of radio. I don't really want to cancel, but I figure they'll give me a nice rate to stay on if I threaten it. Anyone squeeze any good deals out of them lately?


The last time I called them they seemed shocked that I wanted to cancel my subscription for a car I sold. "What part of I'm not paying for someone else to listen to your service" didn't even phase them.
 
2012-06-21 03:15:13 PM  
img193.imageshack.us

Joey, have you ever been in a Turkish prison?
 
2012-06-21 03:22:51 PM  

Tad_Waxpole: Try cancelling your SiriusXM radio membership.


I bought out the lease on my car and they cancelled it for me. The thing was, I didn't want it cancelled. I even had 6 months left on a pre-paid year. For some reason they couldn't reinstate it and told me to register as a new client. I didn't.
 
2012-06-21 03:25:11 PM  
Gym's are always a pain in the ass. I had a premium 24 hour Fitness member ship and moved to an are with no premium clubs. They wouldn't let me downgrade to the level of the local club so I had to cancel it to prevent paying more for a lesser product. I still hate them and refuse to join even though there is a club in my building and it's the cheapest around.
 
2012-06-21 03:37:29 PM  
We recently cancelled our Golds Gym membership. The contract said to send a certified letter stating you wished to cancel your membership. We did that. We haven't been billed since.

I'm sure most fitness centers have a similar setup and people don't bother and think sending an email or calling someone at the front desk is good enough.
 
2012-06-21 03:39:44 PM  

TheGreatGazoo: The last time I called them they seemed shocked that I wanted to cancel my subscription for a car I sold. "What part of I'm not paying for someone else to listen to your service" didn't even phase them.


I had a great deal with a refurb XM radio from Sony - the guy who sent it back had a five year subscription. They never updated the records.
 
2012-06-21 03:44:29 PM  
I bet if you go to the manager and offer a percentage of HGH sales in the locker room they'll cancel your contract quick

/or demand 60% of the gross
 
2012-06-21 03:56:50 PM  

FinFangFark: OregonVet: When my wife's commute changed she went to cancel her Curves (a gym) membership and they gave her a terrible runaround. Excuses ranged from only a manager can do it, manager is on vacation, manager repeatedly wouldn't take/return calls, needed it in writing out to lunch at 10am, all sorts of shiat.
/csb

My grandmother doesn't speak English very well, so my wife tried to do her a favor, and called to cancel her Comcast cable.

They REFUSED. I mean they told her they couldn't cancel it. My wife was on the phone for 20 minutes, the rep kept putting her on hold, of course to either look up or ask for a counter argument.

"Look, she's 90, she is on a small fixed income, she can't afford this"

"So what about..." yeah, he kept coming back with that bullshiat. So my wife asked me to get on the phone. I'm a pretty mean sounding person to begin with. So when I got one the line, he tried to say I didn't have persmission to talk to him, which was crap because I was the one who called in for my grandmother to set up the account for her.

After I told him to just close the account...and that was my response to everything he said.

Just close the account. Just close the account.

"I can't, my computer is down."

I really wished I had recorded the conversation, it would have been great internet fodder and would have gotten the a-hole fired.

/I f-ing hate comcast


This. I recently signed up and have had no real qualms. Until the guy who came out to install the cable found out that I'm being charged 7$ monthly to rent the modem even though I bought the modem & access point at the time of registration for the service. He called home and found out that Comcast can't stop the 7$ charge, only the warehouse that sent the devices can, and that Comcast has sent them an email to inquire. Fan-farking-tastic.
 
2012-06-21 04:02:31 PM  

Sir Not Sure The Unscannable: This. I recently signed up and have had no real qualms. Until the guy who came out to install the cable found out that I'm being charged 7$ monthly to rent the modem even though I bought the modem & access point at the time of registration for the service. He called home and found out that Comcast can't stop the 7$ charge, only the warehouse that sent the devices can, and that Comcast has sent them an email to inquire. Fan-farking-tastic.


Really? Two months ago I bought a Motorola Surfboard DOCSIS 3 modem...the first month they removed the $7 fee, which was good...then I noticed last month they billed it to me again, I called. I was pretty ticked off about it, and the csr had no clue as to why it was added back on, even though the system clearly showed I had my own modem.

I'd gladly move to another cable broadband service, but there are only DSL and then Comcast in Houston. Ugh.
 
2012-06-21 04:06:55 PM  

mcreadyblue: I use the report the credit card stolen trick too.


That doesn't always work. Sometimes, "auto billing" merchants are allowed to keep billing to the new card.

I had to close an account due to fraud, and hoped my useless credit monitoring would disappear with it. No such luck.
 
2012-06-21 04:24:20 PM  
Bought a new Chevy Trailblazer in 2005, game with a free trial period of XM radio are part of the package. And by free I mean that considered you automatically signed up for it even if you refused to fill out any of the XM related paperwork at the dealership and spent two years telling XM to politely piss off and not to activate the service.
 
2012-06-21 04:56:10 PM  
Tried to cancel my gym membership they refused, I told them I would burn down the establishment, they continued being obstinate, I was caught in the parking lot in the possession of an unlit molotov cocktail and a gallon of gasoline, now I work out all day for free.
 
2012-06-21 05:11:38 PM  
www.post-age-collectibles.com

The only Bally that matters.
 
2012-06-21 05:23:26 PM  
I had just recovered from a car accident, and wanted to start getting in shape.

My company had some discount option through our health insurance, and Bally's was one of the participating gyms. There was one not a mile from my office; perfect for going in just before or just after work.

I went in, and specifically said "I do not want to sign a contract - I don't know if I'll even be able to do this. I want to be able to cancel at any time." Guy signing me up said "sure, no problem, no contract, you can cancel at any time after the first 30 days."

About 3 months go by. I had some free sessions with a personal trainer as part of the package. I finally get to see the guy the second month, and explain my situation - recently broken arm that required massive reconstructive surgery, type 1 diabetic on insulin, and woefully out of shape.

I told the trainer I wanted to start easy; i just wanted a good routine to get back in shape and not risk injury, etc.

He has me try a dynamic workout; 30 minutes of non-stop motion. I actually made it all the way through.

Then spent 2 hours throwing up in their bathroom, and about 3 days laid up in bed unable to move or eat. I think I seriously almost died.

So then I go to cancel, and they say I have a contract. I explain my conversation, they say "well, you could have cancelled during the first month." I explain I was told exactly the opposite. They said "well, we have your signature on the contract." I explain I did not read every word of what I was signing, as I went through it all with their employee in about 30 minutes when signing up. They then said "you have to have made 12 visits to cancel" or some such (yes, in 3 months, I didn't get to the gym a total of one dozen times altogether.)

I then told them to die in a fire, and they would never get a penny from me.

They threatened to sue, I searched online and told them "you guys have like 20,000 active complaints against you for contract shenanigans, so you can go to hell."

They sold it to a collection agency, I told them the same - and the same thing from them, we'll sue, garnish wages, you signed the contract, etc. My response to each and every company that the account went to (the amount owed constantly climbing) that I would see them in court.

It took nearly three years, but they finally gave up.

fark them in their giant stupid assholes.
 
2012-06-21 05:47:08 PM  

Cheesus: [img193.imageshack.us image 600x300]

Joey, have you ever been in a Turkish prison?


Well, that took farking long enough for someone to post that.

/thought this would turn into an Airplane thread
//leaves disappointed
 
2012-06-21 05:59:09 PM  
I got the run around trying to SIGN UP for a Bally's membership once.

My friend had signed up recently and was told of a promotion where if she brought in a friend (me) I could get a discounted rate and wouldn't have to pay some 50$ fee.

I go with her, ready to sign up.

Recruiter Dude: "No you have to pay the 50$ fee."
Us: "Well, we were told the fee would be waived as part of the promotion."
Dude: "That's not correct. You were misinformed."
Us: "We'd like to talk to the other recruiter please, that we met with before."
Dude: "She's not here right now."
Us: "Ok, when is her next shift? We'll come back when she's working."
Dude: "Actually, she was let go yesterday."
Us: "Are you serious?"

At this point, he's showing us forms and papers that describe membership rates, etc. I'm reading over ALL the fine print and see no mention of this 50$ fee he keeps saying we have to pay.

Me: "Show me on this form, or ANY form, where it describes this 50$ fee."
Dude: "These are the rates, and you have to pay this fee to sign up."
Me: "Show me ANYWHERE where this fee is described. I WILL pay the fee if you can just SHOW it to me on one of your forms or contracts."

He got really indignant and mad with me at this point and was muttering things like, "You're not gonna join anyways, you're wasting my time." I came in ready to pay, and who tells a farking customer they're wasting their time, when you cannot produce legitimate documentation for some fee you're insisting they pay? Not to mention the shady "Oh, that person doesn't work here anymore" bullshiat. I wanted to find a manager and tell him his retarded employee just lost 200$ in annual membership rates because he couldn't squeeze out another 50$ but I was too angry so I cursed him out and left.

I was mad at the time but now I realize that douchebag did me a huge favor in preventing me from doing any kind of business with Ballys.
/css
 
2012-06-21 06:08:52 PM  

orezona: Cheesus: [img193.imageshack.us image 600x300]

Joey, have you ever been in a Turkish prison?

Well, that took farking long enough for someone to post that.

/thought this would turn into an Airplane thread
//leaves disappointed


I checked 3-4 times through the thread the make sure no one else had posted it because I couldn't believe it. This isn't the Fark I know and love.

/reporting you guys to the Consumerist
 
2012-06-21 06:10:09 PM  
When I finally got a Comcast customer rep on the phone I told him I wanted to cancel and that the conversation was being recorded on my phone too (for training purposes). The pause was so long I thought he hung up on me. I had no problem canceling.
 
2012-06-21 06:59:25 PM  
img341.imageshack.us

/ used to be pretty much like herpes
 
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