After joining a Gym (Xcel Fitness) approximately 4 years ago for a one year membership of monthly automatic bank withdrawls, my membership expired sometime in early 2006. After checking my bank statements in September of 2008 I was stunned to see that Xcel Fitness had started withdrawing money from my account again in July of 2008.
This was interesting since I had not been a member for over 2 1/2 years. After many attempts to contact someone regarding this matter I finally had one of their employees tell me that the new computer system implemented in July of 2008 had started withdrawing this money in error and the problem would be dealt with immediately.
Upon checking bank statements in October, I not only discovered that the withdrawls had not stopped but they were making 2 - 3 withdrawls a month. I contacted the gym again and they said that unless I could prove I was not a member there the withdrawls would continue until December and my contract would be terminated. I asked them to prove that their was a contract and they informed me that the records had been lost so it was my responsibility to prove the contract was only for one year and had been terminated. Their explanation for the multiple withdrawls were "contract renewal fees" which made absolutely no sense since I was not renewing any contract. I went to my bank and they said that they would try and put a stop payment on the withdrawl but said it was likely in vain because the gym would change the amount of withdrawl to make the transaction go through. This was exactly what happened the following month. The Gym lowered the withdrawl amount so the transaction would be approved and then billed me 2 more times. After talking to the Gym again they said that they would guarantee I would be billed only once more for the month of November and once for the month of December and then my "non existent contract" would be terminated and I would be refunded the money.
Well as it turns out I did only get billed once more in November but after getting billed twice within the first 10 days of December I withdrew all money from my account to prevent any more December withdrawls and contacted the Gym again. They had no explanation and agreed it was unacceptable and I would be contacted right away by accounting.....no phone call. It is now January 8th, 2009 and after putting money back in to my chequing account to pay car payments etc. I have been billed again by Xcel Fitness III. Now it seems the company is no longer accepting my calls. I wanted to put my story out there so that others will know how this Gym operates.