Former members of the now bankrupt Steve Nash Fitness World are reporting unknown and unwanted accusations of Fitness World, which was rebranded and reopened this summer.
Lisa Hansen emailed Steve Nash Fitness in March to cancel his membership, days before the company began months-long insolvency proceedings.
In June, she was told her account had been frozen and asked if she wanted to wait for some locations under the Fitness World brand to reopen, months after they closed due to COVID-19.
Hansen declined, and was told the same month that she would not be billed any further dues, according to email correspondence provided by Hansen to BIV.
In August, she was indicted by Fitness World.
“I think that’s how they got around it, because they renamed their company,” said Hansen, who had been a member of Steve Nash Fitness since 1999. “I don’t trust them. I knew this would happen and it makes me even angrier.
A number of other consumers have contacted BIV with concerns about their membership and rights.
Joshua Guidi said Fitness World accused him seven times in a single day last month. The amounts ranged from $ 2.03 to $ 31.48, and he’s not sure what they’re for.
Prior to the charges, Guidi said he spent weeks trying to get a hold of a representative from Fitness World to figure out how his membership would change following the sale of Steve Nash Fitness. After six weeks – and seven charges – Guidi says he was told he was being billed pro-rated amounts for his old Steve Nash Fitness membership. Certain charges concerned the contributions due for August and September.
“I said, ‘Well, okay, that’s ridiculous, because, first of all, I haven’t been to the gym. It’s not like I used a service and you can charge me retroactively. But I did not accept these amounts. You didn’t tell me what was going to come out of my bank, ”Guidi said.
In April, BIV reported that a number of Steve Nash Fitness members had been charged despite the company shutting down all of its sites and initiating insolvency proceedings.
Since March, Steve Nash Fitness and Fitness World have either failed to respond or have turned down several interview requests from Business in Vancouver.
Last month, Fitness World canceled an already scheduled interview with BIV. The PR agency that handles media inquiries on behalf of the company said Fitness World CEO Chris Smith would not speak to BIV if the resulting article were to include something “negative. On the company or a mention of Steve Nash Fitness, which Smith served. as CEO.
Regarding membership refunds and cancellations, the PR agency then provided the following statement:
“For former members who need assistance with a cancellation or refund, they can contact [email protected] and any problem will be solved asap. Responses can take up to five business days. For a faster response, they can also contact the club directly and ask for help from the general manager. ”
Guidi learned last week that he would be receiving a check in the mail to reimburse him for $ 108.95 in fees. Hansen successfully requested his bank to issue a stop payment order on all Fitness World charges.
On July 23, the British Columbia Supreme Court approved the sale of the assets of SNFW Fitness BC Ltd. at FW Fitness BC Ltd.
As part of the deal, the new owner of the fitness chain – which includes Smith and one of the shareholders of Steve Nash Fitness – has said he intends to honor all existing memberships and sessions.
FW Fitness assumes no responsibility for refunds for memberships and prepaid personal training sessions purchased from Steve Nash Fitness.
According to Consumer Protection BC, if a business has changed its services since signing a contract, consumers have the right to cancel their contract.
Examples provided by the regulator include a business closing or relocating, or if a certain convenience is no longer available.
The fact that several former Steve Nash Fitness establishments have closed for good can be considered a significant change.
If a consumer wishes to cancel their gym membership, Consumer Protection BC advises consumers to complete their cancellation form and send it to their gym in a manner that provides proof of delivery, such as by email or registered mail.
A company has 15 days to respond.