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Fittingly Mad: I Want Out of This Relationship... relationship with my old gym, that is.

Has this ever happened to you? You join a gym and at the end of the term of your agreed contract, you decide to cancel your membership and try another gym. Simple, right? WRONG.

Turns out that when you sign the papers to join some gyms, you are signing your life away. I am not going to name names Gold's Gym Crunch Liberty, but I have found that the process of canceling my gym membership is one of the hardest things to do, ever.

Here is how it went down. When I called to cancel, they told me I needed to cancel it in person. When I showed up in person, they told me I needed to send a certified letter (who sends certified letters anymore?). When I sent the certified letter my credit card still got charged for a good 6 months after canceling the membership. It came to the point where I had to just cancel the card that was being charged. In fact, I wouldn't be surprised if they were still trying to charge my card to this day.

I've heard many other stories just like my own and it just does not make sense to me. Why do gyms make it so ridiculously hard to cancel your membership? Did I miss something here? Gym memberships should not be this binding. I would really appreciate it if gyms could just take a cancellation for what it is, a simple cancellation, and leave the hard feelings at the door.

Bonus points if you can name the television show (no longer taping) that had an episode on this very same problem where one character can not get out of his gym membership so he brings along a friend to help.

NYC9781532 NYC9781532 9 years
Before canceling my NYC Crunch gym membership I went online and read that they keep billing you. So I close my account and... They send me an email today saying I haven't paid! I call in and they don't even have me, like a cancel member! They what I copy of my cancellation. So how come they can call their 14th street gym and tell them to send it? Is true! they keep billing you!
mlmoreno47 mlmoreno47 10 years
Ross and ended up with a joint checking account. That episode is classic!
itsa-bitsa itsa-bitsa 10 years
Yeah, it was Friends Chandler tries to quit the gym so he takes Ross with him to help him quit and then Ross ends up signing up as well. So then they go to the bank nd tell them they want to quit the bank. I've seen this episode a million times and when I cancelled my last gym membership I actually said, "I wanna quit the gym." :)
sparklestar sparklestar 10 years
I was in a 10 month contract with Dragons (LA Fitness) here in the UK. I call them up to cancel 2 months before the end of the contract and they tell me that I would need to pay £100 to get out of it. Hmmmmm.. £100 or wait 2 months? So I wait the 2 months and call them up like 4 times before I can get the confirmation letter saying that my membership will end on the 30th April 2007. It was like PULLING TEETH. The gym basically was in a DISGUSTING state and they were refurbishing the women's changing rooms for like a month and we had to change in the men's (one toilet, light was broken in it) so I got fed up with it and decided to cancel. I've since joined Fitness First and can recommend them. They are really nice and I've had no problems at all with them.
krisua krisua 10 years
Oh FitSugar I can hear your agony, a very familiar situation but yours sounds already outrageous! Did you get the money back that they were taking for the extra 6 months after you already had quited????
rainonme224 rainonme224 10 years
I don't have any stories but I know the show is Friends!
rubialala rubialala 10 years
It's illegal for them to continue charging. I recently received a refund from my old gym (24 Hr. Fitness) because these two girls filed a lawsuit and they won and the gym had to reimburse everyone who filled out the paperwork to participate in the lawsuit. So I filled out the paperwork and then like three years later I got a check in the mail. Now I do it through my work and when you quit, payroll just doesn't pay them anymore and also doesn't deduct it from my paycheck. That's the best way I think.
pixelhaze pixelhaze 10 years
Are you serious???? I was thinking of joining crunch, but now I'm totally freaked out! Is this even legal?
misogi misogi 10 years
My dad had a really big problem with that...I think it was Gold's Gym that kept charging him for months after he canceled his membership. I think it took him about a year to get the whole issue settled. :(
rgrl rgrl 10 years
Friends! I was thinking of that episode even before I read the question.
lizzylu49 lizzylu49 10 years
After all of the horror stories, try this method: I belonged to a Gold's in CA. My company built a brand new gym for employees, so about a month before I was ready to give it up my membership I sent a letter (yes a letter) to Gold's a month before I was ready to quit (right after I was charged the latest dues). It said something to the effect of: I wish to terminate my membership as of (insert date). Please confirm receipt of this letter. Contact me if there are any problems, otherwise, I will assume that this matter has been resolved. After that, it was done! No extra monthly charges assessed, nada.
juiceejuice juiceejuice 10 years
yeah, it definitely was Friends. as i was reading your post, I totally thought about that episode. Yup it was chandler who wanted to cancel his membership, but couldn't do it alone, so Ross went with him. then once they're there, a hot rep convinces Ross to join as well. so they're both stuck with memberships and they decide to cancel their accounts at the bank. to which, joey comments that they went be bank buddies anymore. well, they go to the bank and find it difficult to cancel their accounts as well, since there is a hot lady helping them out. eventually, chandler and ross, instead of closing their accounts, they end up with a joint checking account. isn't it sad that i remember to such detail? i know, but i have this odd thing, where i remember the most useless things. sucks about the membership. that had always made me vary to join a gym.
ddene5713 ddene5713 10 years
this sucks for my friend b/c my friend put hers and a friends gym membership on her credit card. i've been noticing that our friend isn't going often and so i know my friend whos credit card is being charged will soon have to deal with this. hah.
kendallina kendallina 10 years
There's a clause in my gym contract that I can stop my membership if I move somewhere where there was not my particular gym within 25 miles. In March that happened, so I followed the instructions on the contract to get out of the membership (write to a certain address stating the above) and I went above and beyond what the contract stated by including a copy of my records of changed address from the DMV web site just in case. The financial institution for the gym calls my former residence (where my parents still live) and tells my mom that I need to send proof to them such as mail with my new address sent to me by a credit union (I don't belong to one), a voter's card, or any from a list of a bunch of other random things. I try to get my voter's card immediately, but the silly Election Commission here likes to take their time. So, it is now May and I am still trying to get out of the darn contact (the gym, which I stopped attending years ago - my bad - mind you). I sent the voter's card in once I got it during the month of April and I still haven't heard anything. I am going to be livid if I see this month's membership fee debited from my account, considering my voter's card is even dated as registered on March 6! *Sigh*
kimbit kimbit 10 years
I once belonged to the Y for a year after I thoguht my membership ran out, since I had thought I had only joined for a year, this was before online banking, so I didn't realize that they were still taking money out of my account. I think that they should be more explicit when you sign up for a year, that it is not just 1 year, it is your whole life or until you cancel.
andiself andiself 10 years
Definitely Friends... I had the cancellation issue with Bally's, Gold's and Crunch. It was nearly impossible to get out of the memberships. I had to send in certified letters, visit them directly, issue stop payments, call and harass them to stop charging my card. It was a MESS. Now I belong to a local gym that I love. Jack LaLanne and Tony Curtis used to work out there!
cheersdahlin cheersdahlin 10 years
I think it was seinfeild too....
thehabra thehabra 10 years
Oooh.. I remember that episode..Friends, right? It's pathetic that I know that.
purrtykitty purrtykitty 10 years
it's FRIENDS, it's FRIENDS!! Chandler brings Ross to help him "quit the gym" and then Ross ends up joining!! I love Friends, so hilarious.
grizzbabe grizzbabe 10 years
I still can't let the dire frustration of cancelling my gym membership to Crunch fizzle out and die. I'm still angry as hell at those guys. It's like you sign over an arm, a leg, your soul as well as your entire bank account for a gym membership.
ashleylynne ashleylynne 10 years
Oh this has happened to me. Wound up to get out of it i had to get a letter from a doctor saying I couldn't exercise.
GeorgiaCharlotte GeorgiaCharlotte 10 years
It's Ross? Oh weird, I don't remember that at all. At least I'm not alone in memorising Friends episodes. I don't do it intentionally, of course...
SU3 SU3 10 years
:ROTFL: I remember that episode. Ross ended up joining as well because of the spandex lady and then they tried to cancel their bank accounts... haha
Running-Bunny Running-Bunny 10 years
Ohhh Georgia you beat me to it!!! "Oh yeah, gym member. I try to go four times a week, but I've missed the last 1200 times" Oh Chandler!! But it's Chandler and Ross....and I had too much time on my hands in my first year of university and watched too much Friends.
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