Personal Finance

Locked: Gym threatens with collection

  • Last Updated:
  • Aug 18th, 2019 3:29 pm
Tags:
[OP]
Jr. Member
Jan 17, 2016
124 posts
13 upvotes
Southwestern Ontario

Gym threatens with collection

I was on a gym contract (which I highly discourage anyone to ever sign) for one year, and I had cancelled my gym membership with a letter a long time ago. Now, over a year later, I received an email from the gym which says that I owe the gym money (they didn't cancel my membership) and that they would submit my file to a collection agency. But they don't have my address, only my name. Is it possible for a collection agency to impact my credit profile if they don't even have my address? What can I do to protect myself?

Here's the timeline:

-> In February 2018 I asked to cancel my account by email or by a voice message. They ignored that request, but I assumed in good faith that my account was closed.
-> In April 2018 I saw one or two withdrawals from my bank account by the gym. So they didn't honour my cancellation request.
-> Immediately I contacted my bank and put a stop payment and reversed the two payments.
-> Then I contacted the gym and asked why they didn't cancel at my request. They said I had to fill out some form... so they have clearly ignored my request from February 2018 and kept collecting payments.
-> I filled out the form and sent it to them. They confirmed the cancellation.
-> Then they saw the reversed payments and reversed the cancellation.

Thanks.
Last edited by automorphism on Aug 14th, 2019 4:23 pm, edited 2 times in total.
Share:
102 replies
Sr. Member
May 16, 2017
680 posts
671 upvotes
Well, obviously they have more than your name, since you received an email.

Without seeing the contract it is hard to say whether you have a point or not, I've seen and heard enough of these to know that people frequently don't "cancel" in accordance with the contract and end-up owing months or years worth of fees. Some of the most anti-consumer and barely legal contracts out there are for gym memberships - just don't ever sign-up for one that obliges you to anything except for the current month's fee.
Deal Fanatic
User avatar
Mar 23, 2008
9535 posts
5949 upvotes
Edmonton
automorphism wrote:
Aug 13th, 2019 2:09 am
I was on a gym contract (which I highly discourage anyone to ever sign) for one year, and I had cancelled my gym membership with a letter a long time ago. Now, over a year later, I received an email from the gym which says that I owe the gym money (they didn't cancel my membership) and that they would submit my file to a collection agency. But they don't have my address, only my name. Is it possible for a collection agency to impact my credit profile if they don't even have my address? And if so, can I say to the collection agency that I have no idea about this gym and that this is a mistake? How can they prove otherwise? Just curious.

Thanks.
How can they prove otherwise? Presumably when you set up the initial contract, you signed it and they would still have a copy of it. The real question might be "How do I prove that I cancelled it?"

And they don't need your address to send something either to a collector or to report to a credit reporting bureau. That's the job of a debt collector; to track down someone and bug them till they pay.

Your best bet is to either call the gym back, tell them you cancelled it a long time ago with your letter, and tell them to leave you alone. Either that, or just ignore it, and watch your credit report closely. If you start getting calls from a debt collector, you can demand that they send you the documentation on the debt they claim you have, and your local Consumer Affairs department will spell out the rules they can follow. If something appears on your credit report, you can file a dispute with that reporting agency.

C
Sr. Member
User avatar
Mar 9, 2012
673 posts
266 upvotes
automorphism wrote:
Aug 13th, 2019 2:09 am
I was on a gym contract (which I highly discourage anyone to ever sign) for one year, and I had cancelled my gym membership with a letter a long time ago. Now, over a year later, I received an email from the gym which says that I owe the gym money (they didn't cancel my membership) and that they would submit my file to a collection agency. But they don't have my address, only my name. Is it possible for a collection agency to impact my credit profile if they don't even have my address? And if so, can I say to the collection agency that I have no idea about this gym and that this is a mistake? How can they prove otherwise? Just curious.

Thanks.
Where is your proof of cancellation? If you don't have that it's GG for you.
[OP]
Jr. Member
Jan 17, 2016
124 posts
13 upvotes
Southwestern Ontario
skunkyjosh wrote:
Aug 13th, 2019 4:14 pm
Where is your proof of cancellation? If you don't have that it's GG for you.
I sent them a form in electronic format by email as I had moved to a province in which there was no gym of this brand. But they obviously did not process the form as they also wanted a proof that I moved away, despite my contract had expired a long time ago. If there is karma, these gyms should really go bankrupt pretty soon. Which I hope they will. Regulators should really pay more attention to gyms' practices as they are borderline scams.
[OP]
Jr. Member
Jan 17, 2016
124 posts
13 upvotes
Southwestern Ontario
CNeufeld wrote:
Aug 13th, 2019 3:38 pm
How can they prove otherwise? Presumably when you set up the initial contract, you signed it and they would still have a copy of it. The real question might be "How do I prove that I cancelled it?"
I sent them a cancellation form in electronic format by email as I had moved to a province in which there was no gym of this brand. But they obviously did not process the form as they also wanted a proof that I moved away, despite my contract had expired a long time ago. I also just recalled that they didn't process my cancellation request because I didn't pay them for two months during which I hadn't visited the gym as I moved away. I wasn't on a contract at that time any longer so I didn't have to pay for membership. You may say that it was my fault that I just used common sense and didn't re-read the contract more carefully, but I was extremely busy with important things of life and I didn't think a situation like this would even be possible. So I'm wondering do I have some recourse to protect myself now?
CNeufeld wrote:
Aug 13th, 2019 3:38 pm
And they don't need your address to send something either to a collector or to report to a credit reporting bureau. That's the job of a debt collector; to track down someone and bug them till they pay.
They have my old address, an address before before before my current address.
CNeufeld wrote:
Aug 13th, 2019 3:38 pm
If you start getting calls from a debt collector, you can demand that they send you the documentation on the debt they claim you have, and your local Consumer Affairs department will spell out the rules they can follow.
Will this happen before they send collection information to the credit profile? What chance is there that I will get useful help from the local Consumer Affairs department?
CNeufeld wrote:
Aug 13th, 2019 3:38 pm
If something appears on your credit report, you can file a dispute with that reporting agency.
Is it very likely that I will be able to dispute this successfully?

I'm also wondering what kind of moral qualities people working at the gym have. If I were them, I'd definitely not try to persecute someone who moved away and stopped paying after one-year contract expiry. I'd just stop respecting myself if I did it like that. Are they psychopaths?

Thank you for your reply.
Last edited by automorphism on Aug 13th, 2019 5:05 pm, edited 3 times in total.
Deal Fanatic
User avatar
Mar 23, 2008
9535 posts
5949 upvotes
Edmonton
automorphism wrote:
Aug 13th, 2019 4:47 pm
I sent them a form in electronic format by email as I had moved to a province in which there was no gym of this brand. But they obviously did not process the form as they also wanted a proof that I moved away, despite my contract had expired a long time ago. If there is karma, these gyms should really go bankrupt pretty soon. Which I hope they will. Regulators should really pay more attention to gyms' practices as they are borderline scams.
Did you get any acknowledgement from them that they had cancelled your membership?

C
[OP]
Jr. Member
Jan 17, 2016
124 posts
13 upvotes
Southwestern Ontario
CNeufeld wrote:
Aug 13th, 2019 5:02 pm
Did you get any acknowledgement from them that they had cancelled your membership?

C
No, maybe I was too naive and was taken for a ride. What can I do now? The main problem for me is not even money but that I feel like I'm being extorted and if I pay to the gym then this will be akin to paying ransom to terrorists. Is there some recourse I can have?
Deal Fanatic
User avatar
Jan 9, 2011
5193 posts
5085 upvotes
Vancouver
Do you still have a copy in your email outbox of the cancellation notice you sent them?
18% = GTA residents as a proportion of Canada's total population
97% = chance that an RFDer lives in the GTA when he posts something location specific, without giving a location

Were you hit with surprise customs/import fees on an Amazon.ca purchase?
[OP]
Jr. Member
Jan 17, 2016
124 posts
13 upvotes
Southwestern Ontario
Kiraly wrote:
Aug 13th, 2019 5:15 pm
Do you still have a copy in your email outbox of the cancellation notice you sent them?
I just checked -- yes, I do. They didn't seem to deny that I sent that request, but they were saying that they wouldn't process the request until after I've paid them the fees for the two months before I sent the cancellation letter (I had already moved out of the province by then and my one-year contract had expired a long time ago by then as well). So they kept adding balance to my account every month despite their knowledge of my moving out and sending the cancellation request. What kind of a person does one have to be to do that? I'd certainly not do that as I'd hate myself for that. I don't understand.
Deal Addict
Feb 4, 2010
1858 posts
916 upvotes
I bet this is Good Life. They're thieves ...this is how the make money. Have you spoken to someone over the phone as to why they didn't cancel membership - did you show your sent mail? What are they saying? Try to be polite as possible (fake it)...as the saying goes you get more bees with honey than vinegar. How much is your "debt"? If they do send it to CA you can try your luck disputing it with them but avoid if you can. What I suspect the gym will do is reduce the debt but they will want to get some money...like I said unethical thieves, this is how they make money.
[OP]
Jr. Member
Jan 17, 2016
124 posts
13 upvotes
Southwestern Ontario
hierophant wrote:
Aug 13th, 2019 5:26 pm
I bet this is Good Life. They're thieves ...this is how the make money. Have you spoken to someone over the phone as to why they didn't cancel membership - did you show your sent mail? What are they saying? Try to be polite as possible (fake it)...as the saying goes you get more bees with honey than vinegar.
This is Anytime Fitness. I didn't have any such problems with Goodlife Fitness. I spoke to them on the phone last year, I thought it was all over with them. Maybe they got a new manager who is reviewing files and is trying to persecute "debtors". They told me on the phone last year all the same narrative -- that because (depiste my not being on a contract anymore) I didn't send them the cancellation notice 30 days sooner (despite my having already moved to a province where there is no gym of this brand), they wouldn't process my cancellation request and would keep adding balance to my account every month. How sane is that? I think legally maybe this is not an extortion, but this is extortion by definition.

I'm wondering now if I can have any recourse. I'd prefer to spend more on a litigation rather than "settling" an extortion balance like this. Just because I would really lose some respect of myself if I did pay this kind of a ransom. And who wouldn't?
Deal Addict
Feb 4, 2010
1858 posts
916 upvotes
automorphism wrote:
Aug 13th, 2019 5:34 pm
This is Anytime Fitness. I didn't have any such problems with Goodlife Fitness. I spoke to them on the phone last year, I thought it was all over with them. Maybe they got a new manager who is reviewing files and is trying to persecute "debtors". They told me on the phone last year all the same narrative -- that because (depiste my not being on a contract anymore) I didn't send them the cancellation notice 30 days sooner (despite my having already moved to a province where there is no gym of this brand), they wouldn't process my cancellation request and would keep adding balance to my account every month. How sane is that? I think legally maybe this is not an extortion, but this is extortion by definition.

I'm wondering now if I can have any recourse. I'd prefer to spend more on a litigation rather than "settling" an extortion balance like this. Just because I would really lose some respect of myself if I did pay this kind of a ransom. And who wouldn't?
Most of them are the same. Do you have the original contract? Not sure how they can continue to bill you even now...doesn't seem legal. Maybe call Sean O'Shea or what one of those news channels?
Deal Addict
User avatar
Dec 16, 2015
1519 posts
1028 upvotes
Canada
You sent in your cancellation form (thats your will to cancel). The ball’s on their court. We dont babysit them to process the cancellation...thats their job.

You can sue for not doing their job properly and for harassing you as a result of their negligence.
[OP]
Jr. Member
Jan 17, 2016
124 posts
13 upvotes
Southwestern Ontario
hierophant wrote:
Aug 13th, 2019 5:37 pm
Most of them are the same. Do you have the original contract? Not sure how they can continue to bill you even now...doesn't seem legal.
I think I probably have the original contract. It said that one would need to send a cancelaton request 30 days before cancelling. But I was not on a contract after the 12 months since I singed the contract had passed. So what was there to cancel in essence? Even if we suppose there was something to cancel then why does that have to prevent them from stopping adding balance to my account? I think that's quite wild.
hierophant wrote:
Aug 13th, 2019 5:37 pm
Maybe call Sean O'Shea or what one of those news channels?
Thanks, I'll find out who he is.

Top

Thread Information

There is currently 1 user viewing this thread. (0 members and 1 guest)