In mid November 2010 I joined at the Westchase location of Lifestyle Family Fitness. Fabian was the salesman that assisted me with joining. I ended up agreeing with getting a Basic membership. It was explained to me by Fabian how anytime you join the gym there is a 30 day money back guarantee. As long as you used the gym at least 1 time per week in the first 30 days you could cancel and get your money back "hassle free".
I have since learned that "hassle free" means being lied to, and treated poorly by Lifestyles customer service.
After the first week of going to workout at the center I realized that it was not for me and I knew I was going to cancel. I did what I had to do to fulfill my commitment and went to the front desk to cancel. I was told by the rep at the front counter that I had to "call to cancel". I did just that and I received confirmation from the rep on the phone that I qualified for the refund and that it would take 30 days. I even received confirmation emails of my cancellations.
I called on January 10th to the customer service number and spoke to "John" I explained to him I just wanted to check the status of the refund. He asked me if it had been 30 days since I cancelled and I said no. It was about 25 days since I cancelled. His response was "we don't check at all until 30 days". Then he ended the call. This should have been a sign of worse things to come.
On January 18th I called and "George" answered the phone and told me that because I had the basic membership I do not qualify for a refund. He told me that a letter was sent to me but it was returned to them. I asked what was sent to me, and he replied with "I didn't send you anything". I was in shock of his response, how rude it was and disgusting that Lifestyles would even have someone like that working for them. George verified that my address which was correct, and then put me on hold. He came back only to tell me that "Lisa Schmooer" who is a manager rejected my refund because I had the basic membership. I asked to speak to her, and he said she was not there, I asked for a transfer to her voicemail and was told that she did not have one and she would have to call me back.
I find it absolutely disgusting on how this is being handled. Just to make sure I was not incorrect in what I thought about the refund, I called the gym I joined right after I spoke to George. This time I confirmed with Lindsey at the front desk that with the "basic membership you get the 30 day guarantee with refund".
This lack of caring, completely rude customer service and the fact that I have to write this letter at all is ridiculous. I am wondering how many others have been treated this way by Lifestyles.
I am currently the wellness ambassador at Aetna's Tampa office which just fewer than 500 employees report to. I send out a monthly newsletter pertaining to health and wellness and coordinate when fitness centers come into our office to discuss their packages to employees.
My next steps if this situation is not corrected will be to advise the Aetna employees in the Tampa office to stay away from Lifestyles due to their shady business practices and horrible customer service. After that my next step will be to report this to the BBB, Consumer Protection, ripoffreport.com, bussinessreporter.org as well as the local news stations and newspapers.
This all may seem like a lot however when you look at it from a consumer's point of view and how poorly I have been treated then this course of action is clearly understandable.
Feel free to contact me at either the email or home address listed below.
Monetary Loss: $95.