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Gym Membership - Ripped off

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Hey guys.


My local gym run by the council ahs ripped me off and im willing to take legal action to compensate myself for all losses they have caused me but would like some advice on what to do...


On the 23rd of september i joined the gym with a friend. I filled in the application form there. Signed it and took the 1 weeks free trial without filling in the direct debit form.


After the weeks trial (30th september) I filled in the direct debit form. They told me the first month I would pay cash. Membership is £36.00 a month but I had to pay £1.75 on top for service charge.


I paid cash and the staff there filled in the staff only bits of the direct debit form and set up a direct debit date. Since my membership started on the 30th september it covered the whole of October and the direct debit date would be the 1st of november. This was told to me and is on my reciept copy ("first direct debit date: 01/11/2010).


Its been a tough month with money this month and I have maxed my authorised overdraft limit (have £100 limit and basically maxed it at £98.00 )


Then today I checked my bank account. Im over £130 overdrawn in total (£30+ in unauthorised overdraft amount)


I checked what transaction put me overdrawn and it was the gym... they took my direct debit early.


Not only have I already paid for this months gym in cash and they have taken the direct debit early when I still have 2 weeks left but its put me overdrawn beyond my authorised overdraft limit so I am now expecting bank charges for it.


It has also made me decide to quit gym because if they cant get a simple 1st payment right then why should I trust them for the many years I was expecting to go there?


What can I do about this/what results can I expect to get?


I have sent them 1 email informing them about this and a second showing screen prints of my bank account and their transaction (will also show them a paper copy when i recieve it along with the bank charge amount) which they havent replied to yet.


Is this a possible situation for a legal battle which I can win? am I entitled to get this months membership refunded? (because I dont want to go anymore due to their incompetance and the fact I cant trust them anymore) as well as the early direct debit amount refunded and my bank charge amount refunded to me? (+ some more ;) )



Edited by Merker

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hey guys,


just to update the thread.


I phoned them today,


They claimed that my DD date is the 15th. When I explained to them it clearly said on their reciepts that the date is starting from 01/11/2010 they said the guy that dealt with me is an apprentice there and made a mistake.


So now firstly its even moreso their fault, and I would never of accepted a direct debit date of the 15th since I get paid at the end of each month and have all my bills and direct debits set up for no later than the 5th of each month because I know after that date the remainder of my wages are put into my savings account or spent.


They also said on the phone that the £37.50 I paid was only good for 1/2 a months gym membership and the rest was an induction fee. Yet again i was not told that when I paid the cash but instead I was told that the £36 was for my months membership (up to and including the 31st october) and the £1.75 was a charge. So for that I signed the form confirming I accepted the DD was coming out on the 1st november (not any other date)


The other issue I forgot to mention was on the website it clearly states tennis and golf is included with the membership... however when a friend asked last week about that and they told him golf and tennis will not be avaliable as they are both closed for the winter. This was not told to us before we paid the money. It showed on the website as part of the activites my membership entitles me to and does not say anywhere on the website or in its terms that thoese services will not be avaliable at certain times of the year.


I have also confirmed with my bank that because of their direct debit I will be charged £35 unauthorised bank charge.


Would really appreciate some advice... anyone?

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You should write to them again using recorded delivery stating that you don't care what status the 'guy' is, you have a contract that states xxx and expect them to adhere to that date. You should also bill them for the bank charges as well.

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Thanks for the reply and applogies for a late reply. I didnt think anyone was going to bother to reply so I had almost tried to settle it myself.


So the main steps I took were:



Contacted them via email explaining what had happened, someone from their head office (membership admin) replied saying my direct debit date is the 15th of each month.


After I told them I have a direct debit contract that states its 01/11/10 first direct debit date and sent them copys of my bank statements they finally agreed that something had gone wrong (thus when they blamed it on the new staff member who processed my membership)


This person at head office then informed me that my first payment in cash was only for half a months gym and the admin fee for opening my gym membership (not what I was told by their staff), they agreed again their staff had mixed things up and offered to pay me back my money and give me 1 months free gym.


So instead of reclaiming it from the bank I thought they were co-operating and all sounded ok. I replied and said thats fine.


A few days later... no reply. So I email again only to get an automated message saying the person i was contacting was actually out of office until 01/11/10.


Its now gone the 1st and still no reply... hmmmm



edit... and what I have noticed is in each of the replys is previously they have CC'd the messages to another email account. After checking the name on the account its actually the service manager they are forwarding it to (hes second in line after the chief executive)

Edited by Merker

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A follow up to my post since I sent them another email last night.



I woke up to the phone ringing and being told the person from their head office tried to phone me numerous times.


So I checked my email and they had replied to my email last night.



To sum things up I basically told them that im sick of waiting and because I have lost momentum in going I dont want to accept their free month of gym but would instead want my account terminated for good and all of my money refunded (+ the bank charges when I get reciept of it) otherwise I would have to get my bank to chargeback all money they have taken.


Their email told me about the full amount being refunded to my account (£70 odd) now. I couldnt be bothered to read the rest because all I want is my cash.


I have heard it all before that they would refund me but since iv threatened to reclaim it via chargebacks im hoping they do process my money.



I do feel a bit gutted about it all because I had joined to genuinely improve myself. Until all of these problems came into play I was going 3 times a week and really feeling a lot better for going. Now its impossible to go again because I have lost trust in them and have lost the momentum I had motivated myself to gain

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