Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Another gym member taken advantage of by Bailey's Gym in Jacksonville

Do NOT go to Bailey's Powerhouse Gym!

What do the Hotel California and some gym contracts have in common? You can check in anytime you like, but you can never leave. Granted, when you sign a contract, you should have full intentions of keeping your word. However, what if you have a legitimate reason for breaking the contract--one that is contemplated in the contract itself, but the gym doesn't keep ITS word and release you? Think before you sign the dotted line!

I assumed when I provided Bailey's Powerhouse Gym of Brunswick, GA with a prescription from the best neurosurgeon in Southern Georgia stating that I should perform NO exercise, that they would let me go on my merry way. Little did I know, this gym does not play by the rules. I faxed a letter and specific prescription to let me out of my contract to the gym manager at the time (the turnover there is incredible in itself). From June until December, the gym continued to debit my account until I finally put stop payment on the card. The ironic part: the gym was responsible for my injury in the first place!

When I attempted to explain my situation to the new gym manager, she was surly to me in front of my boyfriend and other guests. I guess eating nothing but egg whites makes you cranky. She refused my request to step aside with me and talk in private. Her loss--I explained to an interested group of onlookers how the gym assigned me to a hack personal trainer who told me things like, I had to "work through" the severe back pain squats with weights were causing me or that I had to "break down the muscle before I built it up." Later, the personal trainer would respond to me on Myspace with an insulting message calling me "lazy."

I have spoken with others who have been victimized by this gym. One of my friends was told that she could "break her contract at any time for a $50 fee." Whoever convinced her to sign apparently "forgot" to mention that this term of the contract required you moving a great distance from any Bailey's location. Bailey's then had member sign contracts and changed their policy THE NEXT DAY to let members go month to month. Nice! Bailey's must have a bad memory--because corporate told me that they had no record of the old gym manager faxing them my letter or prescription to end my contract. Corporate ignored my first letter, so I sent a certified mail return receipt letter requesting a refund of my gym fees. Corporate then called me and stated that they would not refund any of my fees, explaining, "It is your word against ours."

Very nice. This Florida based gym will soon learn that Jacksonville politics wont fly in a small Southern town. Good news travels fast; bad news travels at the speed of light. I am working on a contributing article to The Brunswick News about cutting gym memberships (in light of their ill customer service policies) in times of economic hardship. I will keep you posted if anything changes. Until then, my goal is to spread the word: CAVEAT EMPTOR!!!

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