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LA Fitness Not Honoring Bally's Memberships.

LA Fitness not honoring contracts with customers.

 

A new LA Fitness center opened in Totem Lake this month, but many members say calling the new club "Elite" is just a way of forcing members to upgrade their memberships and to eliminate the old Bally's contracts that LA bought out.

LA fitness took over Bally's contracts. Some members had purchased lifetime and fixed rate memberships years ago. LA Fitness is trying to get out of the old contracts by calling their new club an elite center, even though it is nearly identical to their other local fitness clubs. The new club provides towels, but that seems to be the only difference between the Bellevue and the Totem Lake club. Members are being asked to pay an additional $5 per visit, or to give up their old Bally contracts and pay much higher fees to attend the "Special" new club.

Before you sign up for any membership at LA Fitness, find out how they treat their customers. Buying into a long term contract with LA Fitness may not be a good idea given their obvious stance on honoring contracts.

Lawsuits have been filed by local consumers against LA Fitness, and more are sure to follow. Buyer beware at LA Fitness. See: http://www.ezfacility.com/News/2012/01/Bally-LA-Fitness-Being-Sued-by-Members

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

K October 26, 2012 at 01:47 AM
Actually, Bally's let you bring in your family for family swim, kid above 14 could play racquetball, Bally's actually had a running track. Bally's had a snack bar and a store area to purchase clothing, socks or a lock for your locker. The hot tubs at Ballys had more vigorous and relaxing bubbles in the hot tub. Bally's had indoor tennis courts at some of the facilities.. that LA Fitness seems to have closed down. I am pretty sure clubs with indoor tennis courts in the membership make bally's better than la fitness. How often in rainy seattle are there indoor tennis courts? Ballys had better toys for the kids in the daycare. Sooo... a few televisions and a juice bar that isn't even open yet don't make it 'better'. It is just different. A few televisions and towels don't make it 'better'. Some people paid huge premiums to get locked in at better rates that they have been faithfully paying on for years! Those premium and rate are what LA Fitness bought. LA Fitness should honor those plans!!!
Nancy Cunningham October 26, 2012 at 02:19 AM
I called the Better Business Bureau about the Kirkland LA Fitness Club. They aren't even a member. I contacted the LA Fitness in California and that club is a member, but when I looked them up, they had over a thousand complaints in the last year alone. I'm not feeling too good about this. But it looked like that location actually responded to complaints and handled people...once they complained to the BBB. When I called the Attorney General's Office and asked how to make a complaint about LA Fitness, the person immediately said, "The Kirkland location? " and that made me feel pretty sick. I was told to go online to file a written complaint. Guess that's where I will start. I remember years ago I went to a car dealership to look at Fords in Kirkland. When we got there, people were picketing the dealership. We were given a copy of the BBB rating for that place, and they had over a thousand complaints. We bought a Chevy in Bothell.
Ron Olson November 04, 2012 at 05:29 PM
Latest update on LA Fitness: The LA Fitness Club had their grand opening over the weekend. A lot of people that held Bally Memberships were there. There was a lot of confusion about the Bally's contracts. It seems like every member had been told something different. Some were told to sign for a new LA Fitness card and LA Fitness would honor their membership voluntarily. Later, that member found out that their signature wasn't just for a new card; it was for a new contract! Then, the club refused to give the member a copy of the contract. Some Bally's members were NOT told that LA Fitness had bought out Bally's. These people thought Bally's just closed, so they bought a new membership at LA. Some people had long time Bally's contracts with dues of $13.00 a month, and those people were told that the old memberships were being phased out...phased out? By Whom? LA Fitness is legally obligated to honor all of those Bally’s contracts. This story should be investigated because there were at least 30 people at the club on Saturday that were totally confused about the LA Fitness buyout, and LA Fitness staff has not been very open and honest with their customers.
Ron Olson November 05, 2012 at 04:15 AM
Many people purchase club memberships and then don't return after the first month or two. They do not get a refund of their initiation fee. Some people stay on for many years like I did. I paid $450.00 for initiation 18 years ago, and at the time that seemed like a ton of money. The point is that a contract is a contract. LA Fitness found no problem upholding their right to collect money if the customer didn't fulfill their end of the deal, and members are only asking for the club to do what the contract says. LA Fitness elected to build new clubs when rental sites were cheap like they are now as opposed to keeping the old clubs open. They did not ask members, they just closed the old club, and built new. I was OK playing on a dirty court, swimming in hair, and getting athlete's feet, because the price was good. So I bought a Chevy, paid for a Chevy, and used the Chevy for 18 years. It got old and rusty, the seats were torn and it burned a little oil, but it was transportation, which was all I needed. Then one day the dealership took the Chevy away, and parked a BMW in my driveway and said, "Here's your new car, and by the way, here's your new payment.". I said....nice car, but I didn't order it. No deal.
Dale Knapinski November 05, 2012 at 08:31 PM
Update: The Kirkland LA Fitness club manager did a good job of trying to resolve my membership issue. However, it took contact with the district manager to come to a reasonable resolution to my membership issue. I consider my issue as resolved, and it is my understanding that LA Fitness is working with other members to come to an agreement that is fair to the club and to members. I will post further updates later in the week. Dale

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