Jun 6, 2012 9:00 AM
TUCSON - The News 4 Tucson Investigators is teaming up with the Better Business Bureau of Southern Arizona to protect consumers like you.
Each month we'll bring you The News 4 Tucson Investigators/ BBB Alert so you'll know what is trending out there and what to watch out for.
In our first BBB Alert we warn you about the potential pitfalls of gym memberships.
Judith Franklin was a member of Fit Center at 5th and Craycroft for 10 years.
Last September she renewed her one year contract for $400.
But the tread mills came to a dead stop when Fit Center went out of business.
"And they would not refund or honor, I mean they would not refund or make any payment back toward that $400," Franklin says.
Several former members, including Franklin, filed complaints with the BBB when they couldn't get that refund.
"The main thing to look at here is, when you are signing a gym club membership you really need to look closely what's in the contract," Nick LaFleur with the BBB. "What rights you have, how easy it is to actually cancel that membership because often time it can be very hard."
Some former Fit center members were led to believe Fit Center was bought out by another local business Mid-Valley Athletic Club & Wellness Center. Why couldn't they offer a refund? The Investigators talked to Carloyn LeCocq who is co-owner of Mid-Valley.
LeCocq provided this response via email:
We did not pay any monies for the memberships nor did we receive any monies for the memberships. We offered for any and ALL members to transfer over here. IF they were prepaid for the year then they got a year of membership here. If they were paying a certain rate month to month, that rate would remain the same. We did all this in anticipation of retaining the memberships after their time from FITCENTER expired.
Mid-Valley tells us hundreds of former Fit Center members are happy at Mid Valley.