5 On Your Side

Five On Your Side Flexes Muscles To Help Woman With Gym Membership

Posted June 22, 2005

— Five On Your Side often talks about gym memberships and stresses how important it is to carefully read your contract. In one case, a woman had dotted her Is and crossed her Ts -- knowing exactly what her cancelation rights were, but getting the gym to do the same was the problem.

Charla Cross' life may have changed, but she has a lot to be thankful for. She has not only survived lung cancer, but she is now recovering from an additional lung surgery she had in January.

"It's just changed my activity. I've learned to slow down," she said.

Cross said she cannot do much exercise so in March, she canceled her $700, two-year gym membership at Spa Health Club in Raleigh.

"I was more disappointed that I could not go back. I was really enjoying the gym," she said.

Her contract specifically allows cancellation for disability, so Cross filled out the appropriate paperwork. Based on Spa Health Club's written policy, Cross expected the paperwork would be "processed within a week."

After a week had passed, Cross called the Corporate office. She was told to call the billing company, which told her that they do not give refunds.

"I was scared at that point thinking, 'Oh no, here we go. I'm going to get the runaround,'" Cross said.

Cross did get the runaround until she called Five On Your Side, who found Spa Health Club merged with Capital Fitness, creating Capital Health Clubs.

Part of the merger included switching some 40,000 members to a new billing company. Capital Health Clubs CEO Rick Quinn blames the switch for the problems effecting Cross and some other members.

"Anytime you do a database conversion, something is going to get lost. Something is not going to work out the right way," said Rick Quinn, chief executive officer of Capital Health Clubs.

After Five On Your Side talked with Quinn, he immediately called Cross and sent her a $670 check.

"I was very, very happy when I did receive the money and not only that -- the phone call," Cross said.

Quinn told Five On Your Side that his staff probably was confused on how to handle the issues because of everything going on, so that is why he is personally handling all customer complaints. At the time of Five On Your Side's interview, he felt confident that all customer complaints related to the merger had been addressed.


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