The Lower Quote, As If You Didn't Know, Is By Richard Dawkins, Son.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Premier Fitness Sucks Balls

Here is a video from CBC's Marketplace exposing questionable fee collection practices (and business practices in general) by Premier Fitness. I had a bad experience with Premier Fitness and figured that now would be a good time to share. Below you'll read a series of emails detailing how I tried to get my money back. They are numbered for clarity.

NUMBER 1
August 3, 2010

Ms. Bhatt,

I have a problem that I would like addressed. In this letter, I will explain the problem and then I will propose a solution that I believe will leave both Premiere Fitness and me satisfied.

In February of 2009 I joined Premier Fitness at the (location deleted) When I filled out the paperwork I specifically asked the manager at the time if the membership rolled over automatically into a new year once the initial membership was complete and pointed out that I did not want this. I wanted one year and then would decide whether or not I would renew. She said that this was the case. I do not remember her name. In the subsequent months my wife joined the gym which gave me a free month added to the end of my year. In February 2010, the payments stopped for the "free month" of March, but then began again in April. I was annoyed, but assumed it was a minor glitch and that the auto withdrawals would stop very soon. I should have been more aggressive at the time in pursuing the matter, but I waited until late May to call the Oshawa location to cancel my membership formally. The employee said that I had to personally go to the gym to cancel as it could not be done over the phone. I went to the Oshawa location on June 3, 2010 and filled out the paperwork to cancel my membership. The girl at the counter assured me that the situation was handled and that the final payment would take two weeks and that the last withdrawal would be on June 11, 2010. She gave me a copy of the Request Form where I noted the last payment date and the "manager's authorization" signature seems to say "Lucy305". The June 11 payment came out as she said, and then another came out on June 24, 2010 at the normal $18.11 rate.

At this point I was very angry and called the location again. I spoke to a manager named Adam who told me that the previous girl I spoke to had not been correct when she said that the last payment would be on June 11, but that it took 30 days to stop the payments and even then, there were no guarantees. He told me that the last payment *should* be on July 2, 2010 (billed to me on July 8, 2010 at a new, higher rate of $19.49 because of the HST being initiated).

The July 8, 2010 payment came off my VISA, and then another came off on July 21, 2010. It is this payment that has prompted my letter to you as it seems that no one at the Oshawa location knows what they are talking about. That is the story and here is my proposed solution: Because of my slow response to the continued withdrawal of money from my VISA (even though I made it clear to the original manager that I did not want my membership to automatically roll over into a new year), I am only concerned with the money taken from me from after June 11, 2010. This date was to be the last time Premiere Fitness had access to my account and the fact that the employee made a mistake is not my fault nor my problem. I would like the money taken from me from that date refunded plus an additional fee. This fee is for my time, which amounts to - and I am being conservative in my estimate - three hours spent on the phone and going to the (location deleted) to deal with a problem that should never have existed had the original manager done her job. This does not take into account the annoyance and stress of dealing with this on top of normal life problems and duties. I bill at seventy dollars ($70.00) per hour (equal to my work hourly rate) which would make the total refund amount $267.09 (achieved from $70 x 3 = $210 plus $18.11, plus $19.49 x 2).

This solution would let both parties walk away from this situation with some semblance of satisfaction - your company would have my entire year of membership dues, all of April and May, plus the June 11th payment; and I would feel like you at least took my complaint seriously and dealt with it for a very minimal cost to Premiere's bottom line. I await your response and thank you for your time and attention in dealing with this matter.

Sincerely,

Michael McCarron

NUMBER 2
Date: August 4, 2010 at 6:40 PM
Subject: Re: Membership Cancellation & Payment Complaint

We have received your E-mail, Manish Vyas(Ext 2251) is going to contact you to resolved your membership issue ASAP.

Thanking you

Hina Bhatt
Customer Service Manager and
Account Receivable Supervisor
Premier Fitness
Corporate Office


NUMBER 3
On September 6, 2010 at 8:44 AM Norma wrote:

Sorry for the delay at responsding I will go over your file on Tuesday when I return and contact you then as to what compensation premier can do

Norma botelho
Premier fitness

Sent from Norma Botelho's iphone

Begin forwarded message:

From: Manishin Vyas
Date: August 4, 2010 7:11:03 PM EDT
To: Norma -
Subject: Fwd: Re: Membership Cancellation & Payment Complaint

Attn: Norma

CANCELLATION

PF041214

JUNE 3, 2010 - CANCELLATION Request

NAME: MCCARRON MICHAEL

STATUS - OK DUES MEMBER IS ASKING 3 PAYMENTS REFUNDS + 3 HOURS @ $70.00 PER HOUR ($210) KINDLY DO THE NEEDFUL.

Refer attached EMAIL from Member

Regards.

Manish
Ext. 2251



Norma


NUMBER 4
On September 7, 2010 at 4:37 PM Norma -
wrote:

Michael,

Please be informed that we are in the process of the refund for all the payments that got charged against your account after July 3, 2010 (30 days recession period). In regards to your second request for money back for your 3 hours that has not been approved yet. I wanted to get your refund out to you as soon as possible. If we approved the second refund I will send it at a different time.

Norma Botelho
Premier Fitness


NUMBER 5
Date: Fri, 17 Sep 2010 15:43:16 -0400
From: Norma Botelho
To: (my email address)
Subject: Re: PF041214 mICHAEL mCcARRON

Please be informed that your refund cheque will be ready for pickup from the Oshawa club on Monday if there is anything that I can assist you with, please do not hesitate to contact me.


NUMBER 6

On 2010-09-27, at 9:42 PM, Michael McCarron wrote:

Ms. Botelho,

I will be picking up the cheque you mentioned in your last email as of tomorrow (September 28th). After checking my bank account and counting seven withdrawals from July 3rd, my expectation is that the reimbursement should be for $136.43 which is $19.49 x 7. The last withdrawal of these seven was made by Premier Fitness on September 24th, which was a full week after your last email - can you tell me exactly when your company will stop taking my money without my consent? It does not seem like a difficult thing to do; just tell whoever it is who schedules the withdrawals to stop. It can not be more than one or perhaps two emails at most to get that done.

I await your contact to let me know when I can expect the cheque for my time spent dealing with your company's unprofessional and unacceptable delays in stopping the withdrawals. That amount remains - for the time being - at $210.00.

Michael McCarron


NUMBER 7

From: Norma Botelho
To: (my email address)
Subject: Re: PF041214 mICHAEL mCcARRON
Date: Mon, 27 Sep 2010 22:00:47 -0400

I will make the correction to the refund

I don't understand why it was not cancelled

I will make sure it is corrected tomorrow

Norma

(note: I went to the club to pick up my cheque and the manager was not there. No one at the club had a key to her office. This meant I had to leave and return when she was there which, due to my schedule, was the following day. More hassle and more time wasted. No one at the club could give me a satisfactory reason why no one else has/had access to the manager's office when they knew I was coming.)

NUMBER 8

On 2010-09-28, at 4:57 PM, Michael McCarron wrote:

Ms. Botelho,

It takes quite a bit for me to get angry but your company and you have succeeded in getting me to that point.

As per my last email, I was expecting a cheque in the amount of $136.43 (that number being $19.49 {the bi-weekly due amount} x 7 {the number of unauthorized withdrawals by your company}). The amount that the cheque was for when I picked it up today was $97.46. This is a difference of $38.97 which you still owe me for the dues taken - at this point I'm almost willing to say "stolen" - from me without my consent. We agreed to the amount of $136.43 as you can see from your last email where you said you would, "...make the correction to the refund", and yet it was still incorrect. What am I left to think? Either you do not know what you are doing and are incapable of making a simple phone call, email, or fax; or you are knowingly trying to defraud me. I prefer to think the former.

At this point I am requesting that I deal with someone above you in the chain of command because I am tired of correcting mistakes.

Please pass all of our correspondence to the next person who can get the correct amount of remaining refund ($38.97) to me in addition to the cheque for the three hours of my time ($210.00) wasted dealing with people who cannot do their jobs.


Michael McCarron


NUMBER 9

From: Norma Botelho
Sent: Tuesday, September 28, 2010 5:22 PM
To: Michael McCarron
Cc: Yasmeen Mian
Subject: Re: PF041214 mICHAEL mCcARRON

I will also forward you to Yasmeen Mian

I will have her contact you

Sent from Norma Botelho's iphone


NUMBER 10

From: Yasmeen Mian
To: (my email address
CC: Norma Botelho
Subject: RE: PF041214 mICHAEL mCcARRON
Date: Wed, 29 Sep 2010 08:07:45 -0400

Good Morning Michael,

This is in reference to your recent request to Norma. Norma has adjusted the additional payment of $39.00. This will be reimbursed by another cheque sometime this week. I apologize for the inconvenience, I have ensured the account is Cancelled, and no further payments will be debited from your account. There are no further monies owed to you after this reimbursement.

Thank You.

Yasmeen Mian

Database Manager

Premier/Mademoiselle Womens Fitness

Corporate Head Office

905-602-9912 Ext 2221


NUMBER 11

From: Michael McCarron
Sent: Wednesday, September 29, 2010 9:07 AM
To: Yasmeen Mian
Cc: Michael McCarron
Subject: RE: PF041214 mICHAEL mCcARRON

Ms. Mian,

Thank you for your reply. I will be checking my account to ensure that no further payments are taken and will pick up the correction payment from the Oshawa Premiere Fitness on Monday October 4th. It is very disappointing that you and your company feel my time is worthless with respect to the mistakes and incompetence with which I have been forced to deal. I will never enter a contract with any business that uses this company to handle its finances again and will advise any friends/contacts to refrain from doing the same.

Michael McCarron


NUMBER 12

From: Yasmeen Mian
To: (my email address)
Subject: RE: PF041214 mICHAEL mCcARRON
Date: Wed, 29 Sep 2010 09:14:14 -0400

Michael,

My intention certainly was not to imply this at all. I would like the opportunity to make things better for your experience. Could we offer some free time in lieu of the time spent?.. Please hold off on picking the cheque up on Monday. I don’t want you to go out there until I can be guaranteed it is there. I am awaiting the cheque… Please stand by for the timing of pick up on the cheque.

Thanks

Yasmeen Mian

Database Manager

Premier/Mademoiselle Womens Fitness

Corporate Head Office

905-602-9912 Ext 2221


NUMBER 13

From: Michael McCarron
Sent: Wednesday, September 29, 2010 10:55 AM
To: Yasmeen Mian
Cc: Michael McCarron
Subject: RE: PF041214 mICHAEL mCcARRON

Ms. Mian,

Intentionally or not, the implication of nothing further being owed to me is what I stated. I do not wish to spend more time, free or not, in the place that has caused the amount of annoyance Premiere Fitness has to me.

I will await contact from you before I pick up the reimbursement cheque from the gym.

Michael McCarron


NUMBER 14

From: Yasmeen Mian
To: (my email address)
Subject: RE: PF041214 mICHAEL mCcARRON
Date: Wed, 29 Sep 2010 10:57:02 -0400

That’s fine, I’ll be in touch.

Thanks

Yasmeen Mian

Database Manager

Premier/Mademoiselle Womens Fitness

Corporate Head Office

905-602-9912 Ext 2221

My final cheque was picked up and was for the "correct" amount of thirty-nine dollars. The quotes are used because so much of my time was wasted on dealing with this annoyingly incompetent company that I feel I am certainly owed the hourly fee I requested. There is no way, in my opinion, that these charges are taken from people by mistake. It is my opinion that Premier Fitness does this on purpose because they know the statistics; they know that most people join a gym at the beginning of a year and go for about a month, then stop. They know that if they get billing information and give the client a "deal", they can charge the client a bi-weekly fee that is small enough to not really be noticed. They also know that most people, after ten months or so, won't miss the $40/month (approximately) that they've been paying for the last year without using the facilities.

I'm not saying that this is what they do, I'm saying that this is my opinion of what they do.

It has been my experience that the owners of Premier Fitness want money above all and make their employees do their jobs in such a way as to ensure that they get the most money possible.

In my opinion, they suck. They suck balls.

3 Barbaric Yawps:

At 19/6/11 9:05 pm, Blogger Caltiki said...

I feel your pain.

 
At 24/11/11 10:34 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Funny... I had the exact same issue with the exact same gym! AlsO they have horrible customer service!

 
At 15/9/14 11:28 am, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Im at the kettering location on woodman drive in dayton ohio and theres a chubby empliyee here named christy who is rude to everyone, acts like she is in some position of authority over people and should not work here at all!

 

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