And all it took was a lawsuit and a word from the Attorney General's office.
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A little too late Towne Sports...
Saw the charge hit my Amex @ 2pm on the 1st. The NEXT day I logged into my American Express account and disputed it.
By the time I clicked submit, and got sent back to "Account Management" home, I got an email that said my dispute was approved. While American Express usually auto-refunds, THEN investigates.. there is some delay. I think many American Express cardholders filed complaints so it became automatic.
2 days later, a credit appeared from American Express.
Being a card member has its privlidges apparently.
I am sure Towne Sports will cancel my membership over the chargeback. but I don't care, what they did to their employees was shitty. Planet Fitness just gained a new customer out of me because of that.
It's also good to know that Towne Sports International (NYSE: CLUB) has been tanking over the past few months. Their stock has fallen so much, and I think the management thought they could use C19 as a way to get some golden parachutes before they sold off the company.
with all the negative press and their already dire financial straits, i don't see how they survive this. Assuming they'll get bought out wholesale by a competitor, or a private equity firm will buy them for parts and strip any remaining meat off the bone before folding it.
fall flat on their face has been my silver lining to all this. Before people jump on the flame train to talk to me about "OH THE EMPLOYEES THO!" stuff it. Employees will find other work. WORKERS always do. These stuffed suits expensing their golf trips and getting huge bonuses for literally doing nothing need to get in the bread line with the rest of us. They likely won't, but they should be.
Full disclosure: My company has been swirling the drain well before this, has had recent layoffs, and as of today has continued their series of terrible decisions by raising prices on older product to push people into newer product or extort money out of them for continuing on with legacy product. Which is going to push our current dwindling roster of customers right into the arms of our *much* cheaper competition. Watching these Bentley grads fail in slow motion while collecting a check has been fun if not a great education on how to fail at business.
We had a saga with these dipsh--ts last year. My wife wanted to join just for the school year; Knowing that they have a history of not letting you go, I got a one-time card number to pay for the 9 months of membership, and we gave them advance notice of when we would be canceling. During that year we also took our kids to their gym for swim lessons a couple times and paid for those with a regular card. Not surprisingly they tried to keep charging us after our cancellation date, and when the card didn't work because the authorized limit had run out as planned, they went into their files, found our name from the swim lessons, and charged that card a $25 fee. Obviously since that was totally unauthorized we disputed with the credit card company and got a refund, at which point they sent the $25 to a collection agency. We went to the gym in person and threatened to sue the gym manager and the company unless they agreed to withdraw the collection action and they agreed, but a month later the collection agency said it was still valid. We filed a complaint with the MA AG, sent confirmation of that complaint to the gym manager (with his name on it), and finally got back an email confirming the $25 was canceled, which we sent to the collection agency and said if they continued to seek collection we would sue them under federal credit laws. They finally went away after that.
Basically, never join a Town Sports facility if you value your time, money, or credit score.
So, do we as BSC members, have any options to cancel our membership yet? There's still no communication back from the e-mails we have been given (& no other options for communication as I can tell).
BSC added the cancel option to the "Contact Us" page, linked from the very bottom of their home page (https://www.bostonsportsclubs.com). They said that they will process the cancelations entered there. Time will tell if that actually happens.
I entered a cancelation request and got a very vague form letter in return.
They didn't refund any payments from the partial closure in March or the full month payment on April 1. They probably don't have money to cover the refunds and all their debt payments and leases, utilities, etc.
I disputed the April 1 charge with Amex and they are keeping the investigation open until June which gives BSC plenty of time to invent some excuse to get that money back.
At this point in time I doubt they're even going to reopen so I figure any money I give them is wasted.
BSC took over our beloved Latitudes chain last year and has promptly run it into the ground. The small branch I used to go to went from constantly full to nearly empty (pre-COVID). I cancelled my membership (in person as required), continued to be charged and had to repeatedly dispute the charges. Finally I lost my bank card and got a new one that they couldn't charge--so they started sending me threatening emails about reporting me to credit agencies. I had to threaten to report them to BBB and the AG before they backed off. I still get "we want you back" emails several times a week. NEVER join a BSC!
I thought I cancelled my membership almost a year ago. Somehow didn't notice charges until April when my transactions slowed to a crawl. Fuck this company.
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