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missmay
28-07-2008, 03:12 PM
I'd like to express my tremulous experience with California Fitness Gym (Sunway Pyramid Outlet). I was contacted in November 2007 by a telephone promoter who notified me about winning a FREE 1 Week Trial with the gym membership. They had retrieved my contact details from a drop-box at a Coffee Bean outlet in which I had placed said card with intent on participating in a totally different contest at that time (winning a free trip to some exotic destination).

The lady on the phone told me that I could head down to their outlet at Sunway Pyramid to claim my prize. Seeing as it was late, I only managed to arrive at the place after office hours (around 9pm).

When I arrived, I told the receptionist that I was there to retrieve my FREE trial membership. She proceeded to introduce to me one of the fitness consultants. He gave me a tour of the gym. After the tour, I was led away to conduct an impromptu health check of which they asked me all sorts of questions of which I assumed was related to my health, stating that I was gravelly unhealthy and recommending me all sorts of fitness routines and packages.

As I was about to leave, the fitness consultant then took me aside and introduced me to another consultant who began telling me about a ‘fantastic promotion’ California Fitness was holding at that time. They explained to me that this promotion gave me a big discount on the current existing membership fees. I told them that I would think about it and would rather conduct the FREE Trial first. They then claimed that the promotion would be ending within 2 days time and by then I would have missed out on this ‘great opportunity’. I was already beginning to feel very anxious as it was about 11pm+. I was tired and hungry and keen on just leaving the premises, regardless of whether I was given my FREE Trial or not. Using high pressure selling tactics, they persuaded me into signing up for a GOLD CARD membership. HOWEVER, they informed me that in order to finalise my contract, they needed a credit card of which I then told them that I did not own one. The consultant proceeded to ask me to borrow one from either a friend or relative and pay them back using cash. I was then asked to make a deposit of RM120 (the amount of cash I had on me at that time) to confirm my agreement with them. They then gave me a copy of the transaction which noted that I had was required to pay a balance of RM280 in order to be able to access my membership which was to begin on 4 January 2008.

I was only allowed to return home after 12am with the signed documents and after paying my deposit. Due to the experience, I was hesitant to go back to the gym as I didn’t want to be ‘persuaded’ any further (upgrading membership etc). I went through the documents again and came to a conclusion that this membership wasn’t for me as I would not be able to fully commit myself to a long term programme. I decided that I would return to the premises later that month to revoke my membership and retrieve my deposit.

HERE is where it begins to get interesting. On the day in which I was going to revoke my membership (2 weeks + after I had signed up), I brought along a friend just in case they tried to dissuade me from leaving. I told the receptionist my intent and the reasons why I felt I couldn’t continue my membership. She proceeds to tell me that I had exceeded the timeframe in which I was allowed to cancel my membership (3-days, of which wasn’t mentioned ANYWHERE in the contract / Membership Terms & Conditions). She then stated that in order to terminate my membership, I had to pay an additional RM600+ on top of the balance that I owed them. I was mortified, as I have never even attended nor used their facilities since the day I signed up. She began giving me the run-around, stating that the senior management was not available at that time and that I would have to come back on a later date to settle this issue. Frustrated, I decided to just give up hope on ever retrieving my deposit and left; treating it as a valuable learning experience.

A few months pass by, and I was beginning to move on with my life. I’m then told by my parents that California Fitness has been sending me notification letters to my hometown address insisting that I pay them the fees that I owed. Seeing as the contract’s timeframe had already lapsed, I figured it was a miscalculation on their side and that the contract was now void. However, this was not the case as they began SMS-ing me occasionally for six months straight saying that I needed to pay my debts. I found this odd as they were charging me for services that I had never used as well as for a membership of which was never finalized.

The FINAL STRAW came this month when they sent me 2 messages stating that if I did not pay the outstanding fees they would proceed with legal action. I’m terribly stressed out by this whole ordeal and am unsure as to what steps I should take in order to rectify this situation. My friends tell me to just ignore it, saying that it is unlikely that they would actually go through with the lawsuit. Others say that I should make a report with the National Consumers Complaints Centre and write to the tabloids about this ordeal. I’m even considering to just pay the outstanding fees just so for peace of mind and for them to stop harassing me.

siew.wai
28-07-2008, 07:54 PM
HI missmay,

I think you should proceed to complaint it to NCCC. I trust that this gym centre con lots of people d.

by the way, in future, try not to pay any 'deposit' if you are not sure whether u joining or not. and their promotion is on going whole year. not just 2 days.

anyway, do updates us.

vtecman
14-10-2008, 04:08 PM
Please do not succumb to especially lawyer threats! I received such threatening letters from a lawyer from Penang demanding I withdraw my complaint and insinuating I was an idiot and so I am responsible because NO REFUNDS was printed on receipt. I later found out from my cousins staying in Penang that it was written by a very puny sized male lawyer. Just like you, I put a deposit but they wanted more even though I never used their service.

gomobile2008
14-10-2008, 08:44 PM
I was recruited as True Fitness at Jaya33 last time for a month.
they use this kind of technique to get sales even before
the fitness center open.

after calling over the phone, and persuade some "victim"
to come, they start using the Sales "technique" to hard sell
really hard sell...

i was very frustrated with the way True Fitness treat my prospect.

You are definitely not the only "victim".

I wonder should government do something on this kind of people?

True Fitness use the "7 days FREE pass" to "con" people
to sign up on the day they come to pick their "pass"
very unprofessional.

True fitness suppose to really give the customer a 7 day try
before asking people to sign up, rite?

missmay
15-10-2008, 06:38 PM
I've already replied to the lawyers letter. Am just waiting for a response (crosses fingers)

I appreciate everyones support towards my predicament. I've learnt my lesson and I that hope my experience will enlighten others and make them think twice before signing on the dotted line, even if it's 12 midnight :(

So, let's all berpakat and say 'tak nak' to gym membership!