I joined Extreme Fitness in September of 2004 when they were advertising a special. I signed up for a year membership and about $200.00 per month in personal training sessions. All this was changed per month to my American Express card.
In December of 2004, I was transfered from Canada to an office in California. About 2 days before Christmas in 2004, i went to extreme fitness and cancelled my membership. I was told that since i signed a contract, i couldn't get out of it normally, but because of my circumcstances, they would let me out of it, providing I provided proof that i would be moving for work. I provided extreme fitness with a copy of my offer letter, as well as a letter from the relocation company which was managing my move. They copied both and informed me that the membership had been cancelled.
In April of 2005, i received a call from AMEX saying that i owed about $1000.00 and they were going to cancel my card if i didn't pay (on a card that i had already cancelled in January after leaving Canada). When we dug into it, it was discovered that Extreme fitness had continued billing me for the membership and the training sessions. After many phone conversations with Extreme fitness they refunded over 900.00 to me and once again, cancelled everything for me. (or so i thought).
In September of 2005, I received a bill from AMEX because E.F. had billed me for my membership from the month of August and i currently owed them $52.00 (Once again, on a credit card that doesnt' exist.). I once again, called E.F. and explained that I had already cancelled my membership twice before and that this should not be going on. The odd part is that, from April until July, E.F. had not billed me, now suddenly, they were starting up again. Unacceptable, I called AMEX and explained the situation and told them that E.F. was illegally billing me and that I had been unsuccessful in getting them to stop. Amex agreed that I would not be responsible for paying the charge and that they would open an investigation into E.F.'s billing on the AMEX card. I also called E.F. again to cancel and was assured that it was taken care of.
In January of 2006, I received a letter (at my house i keep in Canada stating i had another late payment with E.F.). I flew home in early February specifically to deal with E.F. and went to the Whitby location, explained what was going on and talked to a guy in the office and he went through and cancelled my membership again. I was not asked to pay anything at this time, after all, i had cancelled a number of times already.
Today (June 4, 2006), I received a call from E.F. again, stating that I owed for 5 months of membership that had autorenewed in September 2005 until January 2006 ($200.00). I explained this again to the girl in the membership department and her response to me was you can either pay it or it will go to collections and affect your credit report. Which is basically extortion on their part. I have been the victim of their billing practices 5 times now. And it makes no sense.
They claim everytime that i cancelled just my training session in december of 2004 (but why would i keep a membership to gym that's 3500 miles away?? ) And they have had 4 chances in the past 1.5 years to cancel the remainder of the membership at my request. Each time they haven't. And WHY did they autorenew a membership that by that point had been cancelled 3 times???
Extreme Fitness is going the right way for a class action lawsuit. This has been nothing but a constant source of stress and anxiety for me for 1.5 years now and i have no reason to believe it will end.
Never join extreme fitness, never fall prey to their advertising, and hope that the whole business folds eventually so that no one else can get sucked into their billing practices.
Santa Clara, California