The Fitness First Scam Continues!

So, I thought that after posting this, the whole Fitness First saga would have been over. You know, like those epic side-quests that you don’t really have to do but you do cause it’s easy/you get a side benefit kind of quests? Well, as it turns out, this is not a minor side quest at all. It’s turning out to be a single Quest that has a time limit. So what happened?

My brother got a SMS on Thursday telling him that he owes money for his Fitness First membership. We both went @@ at that, because by right, we had terminated both our accounts on November 19. You know what? Here, have a letter I’m writing to the NST and Star Editors:

Dear Editor

I joined Fitness First in February with my brother. Due to billing disputes, both my brother’s and my subscription were terminated, with the blessings of the Curve’s General Manager, Amanda Cook.

Cue December 5 2010, when my brother got a call from the Fitness First main callcenter that he was overdue for his RM215 monthly membership for DECEMBER 2010. When we terminated our account on November 19, 2010, we received verbal assurance that our subscriptions had been terminated, especially my brother. Ms Cook even apologised that my brother was having such issues with Fitness First.

Yet this is still happening. We’re sick of wasting time and petrol to drive to Fitness First the Curve to settle this matter, as it’s taking up way too much time. I don’t understand why, when even their own system shows that we’ve changed billing accounts (my brother switched from sharing my Maybank account to his own RHB account), it’s my Maybank account that’s still getting charged.

Our billing dispute began several months back. In September, my brother and me both submitted forms to change our billing details. My brother’s Fitness First subscription was to deduct money from his own account instead of mine. The first time we tried to do it, the changes to his account was not reflected, so my brother resubmitted the form the second time to another bank.

Imagine our shock in November when I discovered that my Maybank account had been deducted for payment. I called up my brother and checked with Fitness First Curve. The deduction had been made for my brother’s Fitness First subscription, which was erroneous because it should have been deducted from my brother’s RHB account instead.

We then proceeded to visit and email Fitness First about this matter. It took two weeks including a complaint to a local daily for Fitness First to set up a meeting with Fitness First the Curve’s General Manager, one Amanda Cook. At the meeting on November 19, we were informed and shown on the computer’s screens that not only were my brother’s account detail changes ACCEPTED, but they had been UPDATED to deduct from that account. The best part?

The entry after that? It showed that a deduction had been made from MY Maybank account.

At this point in time, Ms Cook offered to terminate both my brother’s and mine memberships (something we had been requesting since the whole fiasco began) and assured us that we would not be hearing from them again. Our subscription would be effective 1 December 2010, and to be on the safe side, we were asked to sign the termination forms, which we did. It would seem that didn’t work out either.

I’ve taken the precaution of cancelling all auto-debit instructions from Fitness First to ensure they cannot deduct my account. Only time will tell whether Fitness First will honour it this time.

8 Responses

  1. Tsubasa December 5, 2010 / 4:38 PM

    I’ll not go for this centre if i want to join a fitness centre. Poor thing you have to go through all these. :( *pats and hugs nao*

    • Naoko Kensaku December 5, 2010 / 4:40 PM

      *huggles* I took the precaution of cancelling my auto-debit standing instructions. Now to see if that will work.

      • Tsubasa December 5, 2010 / 7:35 PM

        Hope it works for you!! *prays*

        • Naoko Kensaku December 5, 2010 / 8:29 PM

          Thank you dear! *showers blessings*

  2. vspirit December 6, 2010 / 4:21 AM

    i guess it’s time to go back to the days of good ol’ jogging in the park. hope things get settled for you soonish so you can do just that. >.<

    • Naoko Kensaku December 6, 2010 / 8:48 AM

      Hahah, I hope so too! Kinda worried about jogging in the park though as apparently my area’s not safe to do so. :s

  3. Brandon January 26, 2011 / 5:12 PM

    Actually, someone just gave me an excellent idea to this problem. It may not be much help to us in the short term, but it will definitely serve as a cautionary tale for those who are yet to be “conned” by Fitness First.

    1. Get the full name, contact, and (discrete picture) of the higher Fitness First representative that you talk too.
    2. Note as close as possible what is said to you, the promises made, etc. Put it down in a point-by-point format.
    3. Publish it on your blog or the local news paper.

    For example, in my case since the club manager refuse to divulge his full name or refer me to the higher authority – please find the name and picture of Shaun Measday, the Fitness First managing director of Malaysia. (Ironically, the memberships consultants that left the Fitness First also discretely told me that it is the “unofficial” policy of Fitness First to wear down the customer as much as possible when it comes to canceling their membership so that they eventually give up – and this is stated in not-so-many-words by the managing director).

    Managing Director: Shaun Measday

    Photo can be obtained from:
    http://biz.thestar.com.my/news/story.asp?file=/2009/4/18/business/3642516&sec=business
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