How to cancel your fitness club membership

Fitness clubs are skilled in getting you to sign a contract and preventing you from cancelling. Their expertise is sales, not sports.

I recently heard from a young lady, Seema, who was approached by Extreme Fitness when leaving a movie theatre. She came to the club for a one-month free trial and was dinged for a year’s worth of payments.

Ontario has a 10-day cooling off period to cancel a fitness club contract without penalty, but Seema was told she could cancel in two weeks. When she did, she was too late.

I helped her fight the unfair deal and win a release from the Extreme sales tactics. See her story below.

Please pitch in with your own examples of sleazy pitches and the successful tactics you’ve found to win your release.

96 thoughts on “How to cancel your fitness club membership”

  1. Hi Ellen, I hope you can help me out!

    I bought a Team Buy coupon for Extreme Fitness for 2 months for $24. After going in to use it, I was pressured to sign for a year to receive the promo price. (I said no and they still signed me up for it.)

    I was told I could cancel at any time and had 10 days to cancel without any reason.

    It is day two and I went back right away to tell them I didn’t want it. I just wanted to use the two months I paid for. I signed and have copies of the form saying I canceled it.

    However, right after, I was approached by the manager, who was very intense and very in my face, asking why I wanted to leave. He said that he would give me 30 days to decide and still keep that price. I told him I didn’t want that.

    I’m really worried, after reading all of these stories, about what is going to happen, as the cancellation form says pending on it.

    Are they allowed to not approve of the cancellation within that 10 day period?

    Please help!!

  2. Hi Ellen,

    I hope you can help me and my brother out. I stupidly signed up for Extreme Fitness Bloor with my brother, because they said they had short term plans for the gym.

    We both signed up for the $58 per month deal, and they said there was a free training session. I am a student at McMaster university in Hamilton, and won’t even be in Toronto starting September, and my brother is going overseas indefinitely.

    I didn’t go to it because of a scheduling conflict, but my brother did, and he was signed up for fitness classes for a full YEAR, despite his continued refusal to get them. When he went back, he was told that he couldn’t cancel it.

    I am really worried right now because I only wanted to use this gym until September, and so did my brother. I want to cancel the membership RIGHT NOW because I am so offended by their business strategies.

    I don’t even know where to start because the managers refuse to meet with us or even tell us HOW to get out of the contract!

    I knew we should’ve read the fine print, but didn’t realize that there was a back page containing all the unfair clauses that give Xtreme an advantage.

    Please help!

  3. Hello. I got ripped off by Extreme Fitness today at the Sheppard and Yonge branch. They told me I won a 1 month free membership and asked me to come today to claim my prize.

    The sales person whom I talked with for some reason got me to sign the contract, without clearly telling me that it was a 1-year contract. He even told me that I could cancel ANY TIME but should give them 14 days to process it.

    I did not know that I had to finish the WHOLE year before I could cancel. I was even talked into paying for an initial downpayment of $89.27!!! It was all so rushed. He didn’t even give me time to read the contract. I didn’t know it was what I was getting myself into.

    It’s only been a day, so I am going to cancel my contract (10 day cooling off period). My question is, I noticed that he seemed to have purposely typed in my adress wrong on the contract. He did not even care to type in my full name. I am wondering if it will affect at all the cancellation of the contract, since he might find some loopholes around it.

    Please help me. 🙁

  4. I am having similar problems to those above. I signed up for an Extreme Fitness membership, but I have problems with my knees. The club manager told me to bring a note.

    I showed him a diagnosis that a specialist at a foot clinic gave me, outlining the problems in my feet and legs. He said the note should say I have a serious medical condition, inhibiting me from working out for at least a year.

    I asked my family doctor about this. She said that it is illegal for her to tell a minor that he cannot exercise. So it is impossible for me to get the note.

    I can’t go back to the gym because the pain prevents me from getting the most out of my membership and they will not let me cancel.

    Please help me out 🙁

  5. Hi, I also have the same problem. I am 16 years old and I signed up for Extreme Fitness (Sheppard-Yonge location) with my mother.

    They charged us a lot more than they were supposed to. We talked to the manager about this and he said the problem WAS fixed and we were going to get the money back in a few weeks.

    It is now a few weeks later and we got charged again… What can I do? Cancellation of the credit card would cause these fraudulent people to block my membership card and we will lose even more money. Please help me out, someone!

  6. Hi Ellen, like many victims on here, I also fell for their one year trap after buying the two months trial coupon from Teambuy.

    The sale manager told me I was able to cancel at any time. Lo and behold, a couple of weeks later I called him again, asking him to cancel my membership, and he bluntly said he didn’t have the authority to do so.

    I emailed the general manager, explaining my situation. The next thing he tells me is, “Sorry, I can’t cancel your membership at this point”.

    Really? You’re the genernal manager of this gym (Yonge and Dundas). If you don’t have the authority to do so, then why are you one in the first place?T

    I’m so fed up now. If I knew better, I’d never even buy the coupon from Teambuy in the first place. Ellen, what should I do?

    Thanks

  7. hi ellen, i have same problems as other victims (i wish i somehow would find this site sooner so i would be aware of what i was putting myself into).

    i signed the contract on may 13th, so it’s been 3 months now. i haven’t gone to gym since last month and talked to the manager (yonge and sheppard). i wanted to cancel it but he said no, i couldn’t, since it’s a contract.

    i have been told i could cancel it any time during my free months. i signed for 7 nutritionist sessions (he forced me to) and 4 personal trainer sessions.

    i just went once to the personal trainer and canceled others, but they charged me and said i have only one personal trainer left. i went to 4 of my nutritionist sessions.

    it clearly didn’t work and i was just wasting my time. since i didn’t have job, i told them that i’m just trying all that, then i will cancel. they lied and told me no problem and got my credit card and charged me.

    it’s $85.88 plus 32 dollars for the trainer and nutritionist. i really want to get out of it. PLEASE ELLEN help me.. 🙁

    i wanted to go today and show them that i’m moving away, just to hope that i will get out of the contract. i didn’t go to gym for a month now and don’t know what to do.

    i haven’t cancelled my visa yet or blocked the extreme fitness. i am begging for your help, Ellen.

    my dad is angry to pay that much and with me not having job it is rough. also my college is starting soon and my brothers blame me that it was my fault doing it at first place and i have to deal with it.

  8. My friend Misty bought an offer from Groupon, offering 1 month of membership to Extreme Fitness (at Yonge/Sheppard) for some fixed price.

    When she went to the gym, she was cornered into an office. Instead of allowing her to use her membership, they kept bugging her and wasting her time until finally she was told that she had to sign a contract just to use the gym.

    Well, they changed the date on the contract for the “cancellation period” or else she will be automatically charged. She disputed with the general manager numerous times, explaining to him that she just wanted the 1 month offer which she paid for using Groupon.

    The general manager couldn’t care less, and told her that she cannot get out of the contract, which stipulates that she owes them around $800-900 for the year membership she doesn’t want. Also, her gym membership doesn’t even START until August 2012, and that is still 2 weeks away!!!

    I told my friend to call VISA and tell them to block charges, but VISA said they can’t block individual merchants. They told her to call Consumers Protection.

    We looked for Extreme Fitness’ head office but found it listed as being at their Thornhill (on Yonge Street) office. However, their website has no contacts and I cannot find any numbers to anyone specific in the organization.

    I also asked my friend to contact the Better Business Bureau, although I am not sure Extreme Fitness is part of that. In addition, I told her that if the charge does come up on the VISA, to call VISA and dispute the charge.

    I mean, her credit history will be dragged through the mud because of these Extreme Fitness sleazeballs, especially if they try to enforce it and continue to harass her to pay if she cancels or disputes the charges.

    Thanks for having this blog, so at least people will be aware of this scam! I asked her to call Groupon, but do they even care? Does Groupon have any liability for the services offered through their website or do they have no problem offering scam artist services? That will only ruin the reputation of Groupon as a legitimate source for discounted offers, especially when everyone can see that they have no problems working with scam artists like Extreme Fitness.

    Finally, I asked my friend, if all of this doesn’t work, to seek out a lawyer or take them to small claims court. Somehow she has to fight this, considering that she has not used the facilities of the gym under the period of the contract, was “tricked” into signing it in order to be allowed to use the Groupon offer she bought, and was not given appropriate notice/time or opportunity to cancel it as it stipulated in the contract.

    These Extreme Fitness monsters must not be allowed to continue!!! Please HELP!!!! Contact me and I will forward the email to my friend who is desperately trying to get out of this scam!

  9. Hi Ellen, I’m in the same position as William and many others. I moved to Toronto about 3 months ago and was shopping around for a new gym in the city.

    I purchased (purchased being the key word, since this is not a free trial and still costs money) a 2-month trial for Extreme Fitness through Groupon.

    I was offered a promo rate of $33 every 2 weeks if I signed with them for a year after the promo. I thought $60 a month still seemed high for what I actually use at a gym, but I was assured by their business development manager that if I got the full year membership, I could cancel it at any point before the end of my 2 month promo and I would not be bound by the yearly contract or billed for any charges.

    If I decided not to sign up at the end of my 2 month promo, I would no longer be eligible to get the discounted price (their regular price being $130 a month – pretty steep!!!).

    So I signed up with the comfort that I’d be able to change my mind in 2 months and, you never know, I might like it so much that I’d consider staying. I’d be able to safely discontinue the contract without penalties, given the verbal agreement between me and their representative.

    Nearing the end of the 2 months, I felt that although the facilities were nice, I did not use 90% of their services or equipment. Rather than continue with such an expensive membership, I decided to exercise my right to cancel the agreement.

    After a couple of tries, I was finally able to get hold of their sales manager, who proceeded to tell me no such note exists on my file and since their business development manager (conveniently) no longer works for Extreme, I was bound by the contract and there’s nothing he could do for me.

    I got really frustrated with the situation, being in a new city without a job and now stuck with a contract I didn’t want and couldn’t afford. So, I decided to move back home (about 600 km. away from Toronto).

    Luckily, I was able to get hold of the general manager at Extreme (the Yonge and Dundas location where I had signed up and worked out). I told him I was moving back home. He said, “OK, fine, I understand,” and proceeded to fill out the cancellation form based on relocation.

    We both signed all the paperwork, stating the membership is cancelled as of the end of July and they can’t charge my credit card (which they do have on file – a prerequisite in order for me to sign up – stupid on my part for giving it out).

    I’m all ready to grab my form and walk out of the office. Then the GM says I can’t have the copy until I pay for the 2 months in which I used the facilities – in cash.

    I don’t carry that kind of cash on me, so he told me to go get the money and come back and the form will be waiting for me. I feel like I was just bullied and blackmailed 🙁 .

    I haven’t returned with the money and have no idea what to do. I called a different location to check on the status of my membership/account and they did tell me the cancellation is in effect as of the end of July. However, I still don’t have the written copy and I don’t want them to charge my card for something I physically don’t have access to.

    Any help or suggestions would be greatly appreciated!

  10. Hi Ellen,

    Just like many people on this blog, back in February I bought a Groupon deal for a two month pass. I went to the Thornhill location and showed them my Groupon.

    They brought me to the office and start selling their package. I told them many times I wasn’t sure about my job situation and I can’t commit to anything right now, because I may need to move to the States for work.

    I recalled I signed some paperwork, but he explained it was some normal procedure and needed to be done to activate the Groupon.

    I was in rush, I signed and I left right away, didn’t even stay there for a minute. I have never gone back, never used their facility and haven’t got a membership card for access.

    I got a call from AMEX today (July 31st) telling me I have been charged $33 in April, $22 in May and $84 in June.

    I wasn’t aware of these charges because my AMEX account was already closed in February for other reasons.

    I was really surprised they can still charge me! But apparently they can, even when my account was closed.

    I thought it was a quick fix, just some miscommunication between Groupon and Extreme Fitness.

    I gave Extreme Fitness a call today and the person told me I signed a one year deal. The contract (if it was a contract) was signed 6 months ago. He knew exactly what happened without checking and told me I have to wait till December to cancel.

    I then I knew I was trapped and desperately need some help!! =*(

    Your help would be greatly appreciated!

  11. Lke many of the people here, I signed up for a two month Groupon.

    I had mentioned to my rep that it was my first time with a gym and that I simply wanted to try out the facilities and classes with this two month trial deal and see how that goes first.

    I have a number of health issues, so I wanted to see whether I’d like the facilities and classes and whether it would help my health.

    I repeatedly stated this to emphasize that I simply wanted a trial.
    Because my full-time job is extremely demanding, plus part-time school, with all my medical treatments and associated expenses, I could not find the time, energy or finances to continue with the membership.

    Stupid me. When the rep had me sign the paperwork and asked for my credit card, I gave it to him.

    At first, I was reluctant and told him I’d rather decide after two months whether that was necessary. But what he told me led me to the impression that it was the required procedure for the trial and I could always cancel before the trial period ended.

    I went to that office to talk to the manager today. He told me that I had misunderstood and that it was all my fault that I’m now stuck with the one year agreement.

    I feel like I’ve been totally misled by the sales rep and Groupon for the deal. It now seems like it was a trap. You sign a 1 year deal under the notion that you’ll be able to cancal.

    I have never gotten a membership card (nor was I told about it). I had a bad experience even for the inital assessment, when the person made me wait close to an hour in the evening and tried to pressure me into signing up with him for personal training. (Thank goodness, I didn’t after seeing the cases above.)

    Now there’s no way to cancel the contract. When I pressed about presenting a medical note, he said that unless you’re terminally ill or you assault one of their employees, there is no way out. He offered me the membership card, which I thought was a slap in the face.

    Now faced with thousands of dollars in anticipated medical costs, I’m wondering how I’ll be able to pay all this. Who knew trying to get healthier would only land me where I am now? So depressed.

  12. Like so many people here, I am also getting the runaround from Extreme. This is new to me, as I have never had any difficulty in cancelling a membership with other franchises, and definitely did not give my customers a hassle as a club owner.

    The following was submitted by email. I would appreciate a contact name and email if anyone has one, so that I can further distribute my letter.

    =====================

    To Whom It May Concern:

    I am a current member of Extreme Fitness. I have a multi-club membership, but purchased my membership and began training on or about Sept. 12, 2011 at the Yonge and Dundas Street club.

    I was on a secondment for 4 1/2 months, working in downtown Toronto, a long ways from my residence in Cobourg, Ont.

    I was assured at the time that if my secondment ended and I did not get full-time employment in the area, I could cancel my membership with no additional fees or penalties.

    Fortunately for me, I was able to secure full-time employment downtown. The hours are long and the VIA Rail schedule to Cobourg is unforgiving, so I have not had much time to use the club this calendar year.

    In keeping with my original one-year commitment, I have paid my monthly dues by American Express for the past 12 months. But I do not wish renew my contract.

    I have attempted to provide notice since the beginning of this month. I have called the club and spoken to front desk staff and asked to speak with a manager or salesperson.

    To date, despite numerous attempts, I have never spoken to anyone beyond the front desk. I have left messages and been assured that my call would be returned without any result. I have even been abruptly and rudely hung up on.

    As a former independent gym manager and owner, I am appalled at the discourtesy shown to a current member in good standing when he wishes to cancel his membership.

    During the period that I was attending the gym, I had nothing but good things to say about the reception, sales and training staff, as well as the facility as a whole. This last month has changed all of that in a very negative way.

    To be clear, please accept this letter as notification that I do NOT want to renew or continue my membership. Do NOT charge my American Express for any further monthly fees, or the charges will be declined or disputed.

    I will not be attending at the club location to discuss this with anyone, but I do expect a communication from the appropriate person by phone or by email upon receipt of this notice.

    Regards,

    Andy

    (and all appropriate contact info)

  13. Update:

    I just received a call from Sam, the general manager at Extreme Fitness – Dundas.

    He apologized sincerely for the lack of response and has cancelled my membership effective immediately.

    Thanks very much.

  14. Hi Ellen, I have a similar problem with Extreme Fitness to your first blog poster’s on this forum.

    I bought a voucher for a 2 month membership with Extreme. When I went to redeem this voucher, I was falsely informed and misled into signing a 1 year membership agreement.

    The Rep told me that in order to process the voucher, I had to become a member and sign the membership agreement. I was hesitant as I did not want to sign any contract.

    I told him I only wanted the membership for the 2 months that I had already paid for through Living Social. He assured me that, apart from the initial 10 day cancellation period, I would also be able to cancel the agreement within the week before the two-month voucher-activated membership period ended.

    This would allow me two different time periods in which I would be able to cancel my membership. So I signed the membership agreement on those grounds.

    However, when I went in today, Aug. 25 (a month before the two-month period ends) to inquire about my cancellation, wanting to see whether I can cancel the membership now, I was told by the same Rep who initially signed me in that my 10 day cancellation period was over.

    I have been locked into a 1 year contract since after the 10 day cancellation period. He demanded that I “read the contract!”

    When I reminded him of the verbal agreement we had, that I would be able to cancel within the week before the end of my two-month membership, he disputed it.

    I do take responsibility for signing this contract, taking the Rep’s word for all his promises, but I will not be able to use Extreme Fitness for longer than the 2 month time period that I signed up for.

    I definitely do not have the money to pay for what they will start charging me from Sept. 26, 2012, to July 31, 2013.

    I never intended to sign up for any membership, let alone a full 1 year membership with no option to cancel, beyond the two-month voucher I paid for through Living Social.

    On Monday, Aug. 27, I will be sending by registered mail and fax a Notice of Membership Cancellation to the Dunfield Extreme Fitness (where I redeemed the voucher), explaining what has happened in order to cancel the agreement as a result of unfair business practices.

    I have already emailed them this at the following emails:
    tasop@extremefitness.info
    astephens@extremefitness.ca
    jmirrlees@extremefitness.ca
    marketing@extremefitness.ca

    I fear these attempts to cancel the agreement will be futile as I’ve read many stories online of Extreme Fitness being unresponsive and dodgy.

    I wonder if you, Ellen, will be able to help me bring this to their corporate level attention.

  15. Just like most of people in here, my family and I are victims of so called Extreme Fitness too. But at least they haven’t taken money from my account yet.

    My father doesn’t live in Toronto. He wanted to come and visit me for a month. He saw the Groupon ad and bought it online.

    When he came here, he went to their location at Yonge and Sheppard. Obviously, a guy his age who’s not familiar with all the scams was an easy catch for them. They never told him about the one year contract and all the payments.

    After one month, we went there since my dad wanted to transfer the second month of membership to me. That was when I realized everything!

    I’m new to Canada. I was stunned when the general manager told me that there is no way to cancel the contract. And my poor dad, who was supposed to fly back home, was very stressed out.

    I got everything under my name so I would take care of it. My father had to leave in a very bad condition for a very long flight.

    The next day, I went there and all I got was a bunch of lies. I left there knowing that it won’t be over easily.

    It all happened on Friday, so I’ve been looking up everywhere to find a way to cancel this membership.

    I’m going to send emails to all the email addresses of Extreme Fitness, since they don’t have any head office or customer service.

    I have to block my cc from any transaction since I read that they will find a way to take the money from my account. The thing that scares me is that they are taking money from my dad’s account 🙁

    I also want to make a complaint to the consumer ministry, explaining everything. Their irresponsible act endangered my father’s health and I won’t give up on it easily.

    I wish there is a way to cancel the contract.
    Thank you
    Roja Neyestani

  16. My friend was scammed BIG TIME as well. Her situation is very similar to what most of you have been through!

    She was lied to by the manager of the fitness centre and when she tried to talk to the general manager name Gorg. He was so rude to her and hung up on her.

    My friend tried cancelling the membership the very next day and they wouldn’t let her do that at all.

    Please, please don’t step foot in this poor excuse of a gym. Stay away and tell everybody you know.

  17. And this whole ordeal with Extreme Fitness continues as I add my own story to this growing number of concerned entries.

    It’s been about a week or so days of chasing one decent representative from Extreme FItness to help me figure out why my Credit Card was charged a fee of $110.50 (on September 4th) for personal training sessions that I had already paid for in FULL to one Kian Rahmani, who overlooked and took the payment, on August 7th 2012 at the Richmond location.

    This is the email I wrote to Kian on September 6th after looking at my credit card statement:

    ———————————————
    Hi Kian,

    I just left a voicemail message with Chris McLoud this morning regarding an amount that was charged to my account for $110.50. I am emailing you as well because you were the person who took the last transaction of my remaining personal training sessions owed.

    I don’t have access to a fax but attached is an image of the receipt you provided me with the remaining total of $441.99 for my training sessions. I was given the impression by you that this would be the last of any Extreme Fitness transactions taken from my account for any personal training sessions, and yet another amount was taken September 4th for $110.50 (second screenshot attached).

    If needed, I have a log of all the Extreme Fitness amounts taken from my credit card which amounts to the total of my contractual obligation for personal training session payments.

    I have also reported this to VISA and they will be taking necessary precautions to make sure Extreme Fitness is blocked from my account.

    However, this amount needs to be remedied and taken back. Can you please give me a call immediately (647-***-****) or respond to make sure that your accounts personelle take this amount away and give me an explanation of why this is happening?

    –Soleil
    outsidesphere@gmail.com

    —————————————————–

    Following this email, I called the Richmond and Bloor locations to inquire about this amount but couldn’t get a hold of anyone, much less Kian. I would ask when would be a good time to call back, but the front-desk wouldn’t give me a straight answer, though to be fair, they were always polite and empathetic.

    I appreciated the empathy, truly, but what I need more is to get a call back (any response!) and have the situation remedied. Why must they make it so difficult to leave in good terms? In my case, I willingly paid every single expensive cent I was obligated to pay, but their records “show otherwise”.

    Steps I took immediately after suspecting this situation might turn for the worse:

    1.) I filed a complaint with the Better Business Bureau of Canada (my complaint is linked here:
    https://mwco.app.bbb.org/complaint/view/1261240/c/372w93

    2.) Called VISA to cancel my account

    3.) Disputed the amount with VISA – to do this, I also needed to fax in my correspondence with Kian and the receipt or payment I made to my personal training session amount. The dispute could take up to 90 days to go through and as long as 2 months (or more) to be remedied)

    4.) Called the Toronto police (go to their website and call the non-emergency number) to flag Extreme Fitness for potential fraud (It turns out they can’t really do anything because this is a “civil matter”. The law enforcer who took my call was kind enough to tell me ways to approach the matter, but everything he said, I had already done — ie cancel credit card, and contact the BBB. If needed, he said to go to Small Claims Court, but I’d rather avoid that.)

    5.) Since I am now in Vancouver (this is the reason why I had and wanted to pay everything — from my membership fees to personal training sessions — was so I could leave in good terms with Extreme Fitness), I had to ask my partner (still living in Toronto) to visit the Richmond location in person and try to get a hold of Kian. I wrote a letter of authorization, authorizing my partner to take care of the situation on site for me. He was able to speak to a person named Ryan, who said that he had to clear the situation with Kian himself. When asked where Kian was, he said that he was “away for the weekend and would be back on Monday.”

    I called that very Monday (today actually) to try and get a hold of Kian, and (no surprise here) he wasn’t there. I asked my partner to visit the location again (that would be tomorrow – Tuesday, August 10th). We’ll see what happens…

    Today, I googled Extreme Fitness and landed on this blog; read all the comments, and wanted to share add this to the list, perhaps in hopes to get some aid or some more suggestions as to how I can get my money back.

    Tomorrow, I will try calling head office. I googled their number. If it’s accurate, head office is 905-709-1248.

    Any help would be much appreciated. I will post another comment to update anyone who opts to read this particular entry.

    Thank you.

  18. Update:

    After a few more phone calls and 2 more trips, made by my partner, to the Richmond and Bloor locations of Extreme Fitness, I finally heard from Kian on Sept. 13. I was more than surprised to have heard from him that morning because I had already lost hope.

    He asked (as if not knowing) what he could do to help me out. I summarized my situation to him (again) and he sent off an email to his supervisor to inquire about the deduction taken from my account. He explicitly said in his email to his supervisor that I had closed and paid off everything.

    ————————————————————–

    From: Kian Rahmani
    Sent: Thursday, September 13, 2012 11:29 AM
    To: Ashley Whyte

    Hi, this person paid off the balance and shows a negative balance of $398.11, but she got billed on Sept. 4th.

    Can you see why? Looks like again it wasn’t applied to the right agreement, can you fix that please? I don’t know why this keeps happening.

    Thanks

    Her account should be paid off completely.

    ————————————————————–

    Since Kian was my only known contact for Extreme, I had been harsh with him throughout this whole ordeal, because I did not know why I was always getting billed or why my account was mishandled. It seems, from the tone of his email above, he also did not know why it was happening.

    There is definitely a disconnect between the people that deal with customers up front at Extreme Fitness and the people who process any gym membership or personal training session transactions. This is a problem and their system needs to be reworked.

    About one and a half days after Kian sent the email, I was flooded with relief when I heard from another representative (perhaps working directly from head office?) who verified that the money they took from my VISA would be fully reimbursed.

    ——————————————————

    Sent by: Paula Dow pdow@extremefitness.ca

    Hi, please see below. The club has been dealing with Soleil and has resolved the situation. The refund will be issued tomorrow.
    If further assistance is required please let me know.

    ——————————————————

    I called VISA on Monday, Sept. 18, to verify that the amount was received and that was the end of this nightmare.

    I found it funny how this Paula person worded her email…”been dealing with Soleil”. How professional.

    I have included the names in the email that I quoted on this comment for anyone who is (or will be), unfortunately, going through the same ordeal.
    – Ashley Whyte
    – Paula Dow

    Perhaps you can call head office and dial either of these two names in their hidden directory list. The number for head office again is 905-709-1248.

    When I tried calling head office at one point, I was without any names, and it ended up just being a waste of my time.

    I do think that people who don’t go above and beyond to get their money back from gyms that have such outdated, messy and unprofessional accounts/management systems like Extreme Fitness will get “screwed over” in the end (to put it bluntly). It shouldn’t have to be this way.

    Without Ellen’s help, my partner’s support, contacting the BBB and cancelling my VISA account to stop unwanted transactions, I would most likely be seeing more money debited from my account.

    I’ve learned a huge lesson in all of this, though. I’d probably be better off owning my own gym equipment and not trusting any large gym corporations with money.

    Don’t EVER hand over your credit or client card info to these corporations. Perhaps, ask to pay in cash instead (http://www.cbc.ca/marketplace/gymripoff/).

  19. I too have fallen victim to Extreme.

    I got handed a 10 free sessions coupon on the street. I went in to redeem the coupon and was tricked into signing a year’s membership. They told me I could cancel at any time.

    I used the gym facilities for a month and then I could not afford to pay the monthly fee, but they would not let me cancel my membership without a penalty. So I cancelled my credit card to prevent them taking my money.

    I never returned to the gym. This was October 2010. Yesterday, I received a final notice letter from a collection agency, saying I owed Extreme $770 and I had neglected to make restitution on this bill.

    I have moved around a lot since I joined the gym and obviously, I did not update my address with them. I don’t know how they got my address.

    I only used the gym for one month and paid for that. I was not able to keep up the payment and I couldn’t get out of the contract. Now I have a threatening letter from a debt collector saying I owe $770.

    Is there anything I can do? I am very stressed. Please help!

  20. Oh, if only I had researched this before buying that WagJag deal!

    I went in to the Danforth location to redeem my voucher, only to be tricked into a year long contract. I was told by the membership person that because I had the voucher and I worked for a big corporation, I didn’t have to pay for 6 months!

    Imagine my surprise when they started taking money out of my account the following month. So, where was the 2 months membership I was entitled to in the Wagjag?

    I signed up for personal training because I thought it would be worth it. Obviously, I had sucker written all over me because I was pushed into a 70 hour package. Not only that, I was never credited for the 2 hours from Wagjag.

    After 2 months, I moved to a part of the city that does not have a location near me. On the TTC, it was an hour to get to the closest location.

    I decided to call and ask about my options and was told I had to come in, they would not deal with me over the phone. I tried to explain that I couldn’t and the staff member was extremely rude to me.

    So, one day after work, I decided to go in… only to find out that no one was there to talk to me. Only one staff had the ability to cancel my personal training and he wasn’t in. I was given his number to call and I was never able to contact him.

    I waited a couple weeks and went in again.. to find he was not in AGAIN.

    I can’t go back there. I need to cancel my membership but I have no way to go back there. I know they’ll start sending someone asking for the money soon, which I don’t have.

    I paid for a voucher and never received what I paid for. THEN the staff gave me attitude and the run around hoping I would give up.

    I can’t afford this membership any more. Why was I able to cancel so easily with other gyms but not Extreme? Don’t they realize that customer service is #1 in their business?!

  21. A month ago I started shopping around for a good gym to join. I went into Extreme Fitness on the Danforth, as it was close to me, and asked about their membership deals.

    I was told I could have a 10 day free trial if I signed up for a membership and gave them a post-dated cheque and a void cheque for payments on a year membership. I was also told that I had a 10 day grace period in which I could cancel the membership and no fees would be charged to me.

    I went only to one ‘assessment’ appointment. After being pressured and fast-talked into a year’s worth of personal training on top of the membership fee that I would have been paying, I decided to terminate the contract. It was well within the 10 days. That was 3 weeks ago.

    Fast forward to today. I checked my bank account, as the balance seemed a little low, and saw that almost $200 had been taken out of my account by Extreme Fitness.

    I immediately called and emailed the sales rep I had been talking with and asked for a refund. Luckily, I have a trail of emails with this rep where he confirmed that my membership had been canceled and that no payments would be taken.

    Unfortunately, I already feel that he is trying to give me the runaround, as he has stated that my refund ‘may take some time.’ They have basically stolen money from me, because these payments were never supposed to come out of my account in the first place.

    He is no longer returning my calls or emails. I tried to call the head office, but their whole phone system is automatic and doesn’t give me the option of talking with an operator. I have no idea what my options are for getting this money reimbursed to me.

    Isn’t there some kind of class action suit that can be brought against them? At the very least, we should put some kind of regulations in place to prevent this from happening further.

  22. I am having a similar issue and I am beyond furious. I have been nothing but calm, level headed and nice to Extreme Fitness employees regarding their mix up.

    I am just being strung along, even though I had one of their top managers shake my hand to assure me that the matter would be taken care of. That was weeks ago. He is currently ignoring my e-mails and phone calls.

    I was told that if I canceled before Sept. 28th, I could simply walk away and get my money back. I called on the 26th to speak with someone about canceling and was given the runaround, so I decided to come in on the 27th in person to do it.

    I waited an hour to be seen. Then, I was told that the money had gone through and that there was nothing they could do.

    Well, there absolutely was something they could do, they just failed to mention it. I called my Visa company and they said that they could put a stop on the payment if they had Extreme Fitness’ agreement. I had 15 days to do this. That was Sept. 27th.

    Here we are, several e-mails, tons of phone calls and $500 later, and I still do not have my money back. I am a student who is saving to get married next fall. I cannot afford this and I am beyond furious. I will NEVER join a major gym again. Ever.

  23. Hi Ellen, I’m in the unfortunate scam of Extreme Fitness as well. My situation is echoed among all the previous posts and I’m desperate to find a way out.

    In June, I was approached by a girl who was handing out a “raffle” for a free membership for a year at Extreme Fitness at the John and Richmond location in downtown Toronto. Despite my boyfriend’s advice to ignore them and keep walking, I decided that it wouldn’t hurt to fill out the information.

    Less than a week later, I got a phone call that although I didn’t win the grand prize, I’d won 3 free months at Extreme Fitness.

    After discussing it briefly with my boyfriend (who told me to ignore it considering my family’s financial situation), I went in. I was determined to get the 3 months free without a contract or leave.

    Needless to say, it didn’t work out the way I had planned. When I went in, they immediately started taking down my information (such as my diet, health activities, etc.) and began planning my personal training.

    I was vehement with them at first that I wouldn’t sign my credit card information over by any means. They started telling me that they’d offer me a “one time” student pricing (they even photocopied my student card) and throw in multi access for a “mere” $67 a month on top of the 3 months free that I had “won”.

    I asked if I could think over the terms and give them a reply the next day and they said no. They also said that I couldn’t leave until I had toured the facilities, even if I hadn’t signed the contract.

    I explained my situation, since I was considering out of province work. And since I was working a minimum wage job while in school, I couldn’t afford the rates.

    I also explained that my father was partially disabled and my mother was on the brink of unemployment.

    I got the manager to write down a rate that I could afford and guarantee that I would be able to cancel or hold payments on my membership without cancellation fees if I moved or something happened financially.

    He said yes, wrote it down on a piece of paper, and gave me his business card to contact directly if I wanted to cancel the 10-day-trial.

    Unfortunately because I had scheduled this seemingly short meeting before work, I quickly signed the contract and forgot to ask for the papers — which he conveniently didn’t add into my “fitness portfolio”.

    I’d like to add that my contract doesn’t even have my correct name on it. The person who put together my fitness contract accidentally put my middle name (which is only on a few of my identifications) as my last name. My last name is not on any documentation with the gym.

    We then scheduled my first “free” personal training session for a few days following. When I got there, they convinced me that I “had to have personal training or else my membership would be useless” and started figuring out how many sessions I would need over the year to reach my ideal goal.

    At first, they settled for 128 sessions and went down to get me a membership card. I was verbally told (and now I realize wrongly) that the membership “trial” was now void and I could no longer cancel my membership with Extreme Fitness.

    Distraught that after only 3 days I was now caught in the full-year contract, I scheduled my next personal training session to make use of the money that I was now bound to pay.

    After a couple of months, I started receiving ridiculous charges from Extreme Fitness for the personal training. It was nothing within the realm of what the manager had quoted. Turns out what he said were monthly payments were actually bi-weekly payments, which I unwisely overlooked when I signed the contract.

    I went to talk with someone to reduce my sessions to the minimum amount (apparently 52 sessions) so I could somewhat manage the payments.

    By August, my father began having medical complications and my mother’s employment with Zellers was terminated. I was to help my parents financially while going to school part-time and working.

    I immediately stopped attending my personal training sessions and scheduled a meeting with the manager to talk about my personal situation and what had been promised me when I originally signed the contract.

    Unsurprisingly, they had forgotten what they had originally promised me. And despite the fact they were sorry, they could not cancel my membership.

    I asked what would happen if I could no longer afford the membership payments and they said that they would send credit collectors.

    I got the manager to hold my payments on my membership and personal training for a month, while I tried to sell it via Kijiji (with no luck).

    I have already paid $967 to Extreme for 4 months of membership. This is clearly a cost I could not initially, and even more so now, afford.

    Ideally, I would want my money back for the personal training sessions I didn’t use, but I desperately want to just get out of the contract and nothing else.

    I have researched the Consumer Protection Act to no avail. The only leg I can stand on is the fact that my last name isn’t on the contract and therefore it’s potentially not binding, subsection 30 (1).

    I need help. All the money that would otherwise go to helping my parents financially and my tuition is going to a gym membership and personal training that I haven’t used in over a month.

    Please look into my problem and find solutions or give suggestions on how to tackle it.

  24. Hi Ellen,

    After reading this blog I wish I had done more research into gyms before getting involved with Extreme.

    Like many others on here, I purchased a Groupon. When I went into the Pickering location to redeem it, I was told by Andrew Fraser ‘duty manager’ that the only way for me to activate the Groupon was to sign up for the full membership.

    I was hesitant but he assured me that I had one month to test out the facility. If I didn’t like it, then I could cancel the membership and use the Groupon until it expired.

    Here I am less than a month into this contract. I went to Extreme to cancel, but shockingly, they resisted. At first, he denied ever saying that I could cancel within the one month period.

    As the discussion progressed, I was told that the reason I didn’t qualify for the cancellation was because I didn’t attend twice a week for the first four weeks. I was short by one visit. He then printed off a ream of fine print – the first time I had seen it for me to review.

    I am at a loss on what to do now. I simply cannot work out at this gym. Aside from the fact that the cost is way beyond what I can afford, the men at this gym are more aggressive than at any place I have ever been in my life. They are constantly staring at you, trying to pick you up or telling you what you are doing wrong.

    I have never been so uncomfortable in my life. It is border line harassment.

    Please any advice or tips would be greatly appreciated!

  25. Hi everyone, I just wanted to update you on my success story!

    The day after I wrote my original post, Ellen was in touch with me regarding my Extreme Fitness situation. Ellen personally put my situation/case directly in front of someone with power at Extreme.

    Within 24 hours, it was resolved!!

    They claim that there was no “misrepresentation” on their part (personally I found that part a bit funny – especially after reading this blog). No apology was given.

    However, I couldn’t be happier – my membership has been cancelled!

    I will still monitor my credit card statement for December and January just to be on the safe side.

    I am absolutely thrilled. I cannot believe how quickly this was resolved. There is no doubt in my mind that the fear of Ellen was what prompted them to take such quick action.

    Thank goodness we have someone like Ellen fighting on our behalf. A million thank yous!

    Michelle

  26. I am just getting started on the cancellation process with Extreme & am unfortunately not encouraged by a lot of these posts. I am also getting the run around already.

    My situation is slightly different from most & I don’t know if that’s better or worse.

    I’ve been a member for about 3 years now & have really only been using the gym for personal training sessions.

    The only reason I’ve stayed this long is because I love my trainer, but it’s just getting really inconvenient for me to go. I used to work right near the North York location, but changed jobs & I lived near the Richmond location, but have since moved.

    After my training session last week, I asked at the front desk whether I would need to make an appt to talk to someone in member services & whether it would need to be at my home gym. I was told yes for both.

    Since I haven’t had the chance to follow up until today, I called my home gym ahead of time to ask about making an appt. I was told I wouldn’t have to & to just stop by any location at any time today.

    I went to my home gym anyway just to make things easier (or so I thought) & was told neither the general manager nor the assistant manager were in today & they’re the only ones who can do the cancellation.

    I was told when to come back, but that I should come early because there are always a lot of people waiting to talk to them. Even if no one else is waiting, I’m anticipating some other excuse as to why they won’t be able to see me.

    I’ll wait all afternoon if I have to, as much as I don’t really want to waste my time. We’ll see what happens.

  27. i was tricked into a continuous billing membership. Tthey told me it was specific for foreign students, like me and my friend, and that I could cancel at any time. I just needed to present proof of my way back to my country and that was enough.

    Well, when things changed a bit and I had an emergency back home, for which I had to fly back immediately, I went to the office at the gym to cancel my membership. I’d been going only for a month. I also had to cancel my English classes and other things.

    The staff was very rude to me. I found this funny because when I went the first time to get a membership they were so polite and treated me well.

    In this case, all the opposite. I thought Canadian people were not like this. I don’t know what to think any more.

    I dont know why they don’t want to cancel my membership. I’ve been trying for two weeks now and they don’t answer my emails, phone calls.

    I am very disappointed, and after reading this blog, I’m quite scared. What can I do? Is there some place that we can go and complain??

    This isn’t fair, please help.

  28. Oh, I was forgetting. I also presented a copy of my plane ticket and they told me that this wasn’t enough!!!!

    I don’t know what else to present, so I can demonstrate that I AM LEAVING THE COUNTRY.

    The problem is that the credit card I used is my sister’s and she lives here, but I don’t. This Friday, I’m flying back home and I don’t wish to leave her with this big problem because she is going to kill me.

    Please please help me. I dont know if I am treated like this because I’m from another country. It’s not fair. Please, Ellen!

  29. Hi Ellen, I can’t believe I let this happen.

    I bought a WagJag membership to Extreme Fitness for 2 months. When I met with Ken Keo, the General Manager, I did ask why I had to sign a contract or give them my credit card number when I just had a two month membership through WagJag.

    The general manager convinced me no money would be taken off unless I continued on with them and that I could cancel with them any time, just giving them 2 weeks notice.

    Signing this contract would give me the special deal of $29.50 biweekly. All I would have to do is let them know by Dec. 6th if I would like to continue on at the gym and then I would still get this special offer.

    I thought the assessment was to just get me started on the equipment and set me up on a program, but they convinced me to get a personal trainer. I thought I could afford 12 sessions and it would work out with my two months membership. And I am enjoying the sessions with my PT.

    A friend warned me about them and so I pulled out my contract. Sure enough, it does say I have to let them know by Dec. 6 (somehow that date seemed appropriate) if I was going to cancel. The things he told me verbally were completely different from what’s in this contract.

    I am an idiot. Why didn’t I read that contract???

    I talked with Ken Keo yesterday and he was going to talk to his boss about it and get back to me. I haven’t heard from him yet and he’s not in till noon.

    I can’t afford to spend $60/month for a year! What can I do?

  30. It’s been two (long) days and it looks like everything has been cleared up.

    I received a call from Declan Boyle from head office and after we talked, he told me he would make sure that I would not be locked into this contract. I could continue my two month Wagjag membership with the personal training sessions until January 11th.

    He was very personable and encouraged me not to feel uncomfortable at the gym. Even told me that the General Manager would be moving to another gym. AND he did say he would put this in writing….and I will READ IT!

    I can’t tell you how relieved I feel. Yesterday, I was utterly miserable. Today, I’m smiling.

    Thanks to Toronto’s super hero….Ellen Roseman!

  31. I have been dealing with this same issue for 5 months now.

    I tried a free 10 day trial and cancelled on day 5. They said I needed to cancel my personal training first and I did, then my follow-ups from the membership department and the GM Andrew went unanswered.

    One month later, membership emailed me and asked why I was cancelling since he thought I’d said they had excellent service. I had mentioned we’d been discussing my cancellation for a month now and it should have been done.

    I then saw a charge for $163 on my credit card and was told it had been too late to stop payment, but it would go toward my membership cost. I mentioned I should no longer have a membership and was told “that’s for you to deal with with that department”.

    The next 2 months I was charged $73 on my credit card. 3 months later the $162 was refunded and a month later I had to call and ask why the other 2 charges hadn’t yet been refunded and threatened to go to the BBB. I was told it was a different department that dealt with that…one month later and still no refund…

    I called head office accounts payable and left a message…2 weeks later (i’d sent emails to the GM Andrew Wolfish as well) I finally received a response and he claimed he had spoken to accounts payable and tried to return my call (no missed calls or messages on my voice mail). A week later $73 was reimbursed.

    I haven’t even mentioned how I sent PDF files (30 pages) of emails sent to them as well as my bank statement to prove they were wrong.

    Today I e-mailed asking where my last refund was and why it wasn’t added with the other (I inserted a copy of my bank statement showing the transactions again). I was told 2 people had looked at my file and seen that the charge bounced back.

    I told Andrew it had been 5 months and I was getting extremely frustrated and was considering legal action at this point and also informed him I was posting this on here as well as a few other sites.

    Suddenly 5 minutes later (all other checks etc…took DAYS or WEEKS) they saw that yes indeed they had charged me. I will now apparently have a refund by Friday, which is incredible considering the first time I asked for my money back I was told it would take weeks.

    Never again will I fall for this…never mind the overdraft and interest charges on my credit card because I wasn’t expecting these charges. A total of $428 was taken from my card.

    I’m a Goodlife fitness member now…couldn’t be happier.

  32. I signed up for the 10-day trial at the Pickering location. On day 9, I cancelled with Customer Service rep Fatima, along with my cousin who cancelled as well.

    Since July, they have been charging my credit card every two weeks. Now my credit card is over my credit limit.

    I have been calling every month to speak to someone about this. I also don’t even live in Pickering, I go to school in London, Ont., and do not have access to attend the gym.

    I didn’t even get a swipe card, nothing with my name on it to get into the gym.

    Now they have sent me to the collection agency because my credit card company stopped accepting the charges.

    I called and spoke to the manager Andrew. He said there is no way I can get my money back because apparently I did not cancel.

    I HAVE NEVER USED THEIR GYM. Teir customer service rep Fatima did not give me cancellation papers.

    NOW I AM IN DEBT and they will not give me my money back. What do I do?

  33. This is our recent incident with Extreme Fitness at North York, ON (4950 Yonge St.). Our last meeting was on Tuesday evening, 5th Feb 2013.

    I recorded our conversation and we also have an email conversation about how much my brother owed them. If it’s not paid, my brother’s account will be sent to collection agency.

    People at Extreme Fitness that we dealt with:

    – Al Edamian (General Manager)
    – Jeff Melis (Director of Operations, Sales Manager)
    – Kyle Muckian (Manager of Health Centre Services)
    – Jeff Holtzman (Assistant General Manager)

    After several attempts to cancel Extreme Fitness membership during the 10-day cooling off period since Dec 16, 2012, my brother was very stressed and frustrated. He met with Jeff Holtzman multiple times before Christmas (still within the 10-day cooling off period) and Jeff assured him verbally that it was cancelled.

    On one occasion, my brother was about to be given a paper receipt of cancellation. The manager said the printer didn’t work and asked my brother to return another day, assuring him that his account will be cancelled.

    My brother’s account has since been charged biweekly with the membership fee AND a personal trainer. The total is more than $4,000 per year.

    My brother asked my wife to accompany him to meet Jeff Holtzman on Monday morning, 4th Feb 2013, to resolve the issue. They talked to the general manager, Al Emadian, who treated my wife and brother rudely and called my brother lazy (yes, he used the word “lazy”).

    Al Emadian asked for the full 1-year payment, but my brother declined. Al required written proof of the cancellation and the meeting was fruitless.

    On Tuesday evening, 5th Feb 2013, I accompanied my brother to meet with Jeff Melis to cancel his $3,000 personal training agreement, which “accidentally” stayed active. Jeff said he wouldn’t charge a single cent and would happily cancel his personal trainer agreement if my brother had written proof that he did indeed cancel it.

    I told Jeff that he sounded very sincere, but at the same time he made us jump through hoops. After a 40-minute talk (sometimes we both raised our voices) in Jeff’s office, I convinced him that my brother doesn’t have the financial means to cover the $3,000 a year personal trainer. My brother is still a student and he’s never used the personal trainer service, even once.

    After, we met with Al Emadian, the general manager, to talk about cancelling his membership. He responded with a flat no and focused his attention on asking multiple times how we would like to make the outstanding payment. He was very rude with both of us and made it abundantly clear that he cares only about the payment.

    Al made it clear that he wanted to talk only about the payment and nothing else. I heard stories that some members could cancel their membership early with a small fee. But Al said there is no early termination when I asked him about it. He kept asking, “How would you like to make the payment?”

    Extreme Fitness should include the early termination fee in the membership agreement and make it very clear. I think $200 or 20% of remaining membership fee is appropriate – it is common in the telecom industries.

    The managers at Extreme Fitness are experienced but unethical sales people, good at getting people sucked into signing a contract. But when we try to end it within the 10-day cooling off period or after the 1-year contract ends, they make us jump through hoops. And after all the headaches with our credit cards being charged to the limits, we might have to deal with collection agencies.

    I am thinking of sending a complaint to the Ministry of Consumer Services about non-disclosure. There is no early termination outlined in the membership contract. Also, the 10-day cooling off period has been almost impossible to exercise, not to mention the difficulties people are having when cancelling their membership after the 1-year period has come close to an end.

    http://www.sse.gov.on.ca/mcs/en/Pages/Cancel_a_Contract.aspx

  34. In reference to an incident at Extreme Fitness at North York, ON (4950 Yonge St.), one more person at Extreme Fitness that we dealt with:
    – Kerry Huntley (Manager of Health Centre Services)

  35. Nowadays, smartphones are widely available and a free recording app can be downloaded and installed on your phones. Use it when you come in person.

    If writing to the business still does not resolve the issue, you may file a complaint against them with the Ministry of Consumer Services on Ontario. You cannot make a formal complaint by phone or e-mail. You must complete the Ministry’s complaint form.

    Here is the formal procedure from the Ministry of Consumer Services website:
    http://www.sse.gov.on.ca/mcs/en/Pages/Complaint_Steps_to_File.aspx

  36. I can’t believe how horrible this fitness club is. The other day I received some EXTREMELY poor service from a woman at the Hwy 7 location in Woodbridge. (I signed up at the North York location in August, but live near Woodbridge.)

    I had to change jobs so I needed to switch my user location from North York to Woodbridge. At no point did anyone indicate to me that if I had an issue I would need to see someone at the North York location.

    I have been out of the country for the past month and had to freeze my account, which was no problem at all (I froze it from Jan. 15-Feb. 15). Since the woman was able to do this at the Woodbridge location, I assumed all of my information was available to the representatives there.

    I returned and began using the facility in Woodbridge on Feb. 19, as well as during the week, and I did not have anyone stop me from entering the facility.

    On Feb 23, I went to use the facility and was told there was something wrong with my account. I had to talk to a woman in the office about it.

    The moment I stepped in the office, she was very catty. She took my member card and said that I had not been making payments on my account from Jan. 30 to Feb. 13.

    I told her I had been using the gym during the week and she said, “well, sometimes at the door, they don’t even look at the screen.” This is not how I suspect Extreme Fitness trains their employees.

    I informed her that I make all payments on my Visa on time and have never gone over my limit. She responded extremely rudely and said it wasn’t her problem. I needed to take it up with someone else at my home branch, which she said is in North York.

    Given that I live near Woodbridge, going to North York is clearly out of my way. She did not seem to be interested in helping me or offer any other options.

    I asked her if she could call the North York location to see what was going on and she said no. I had to go there myself.

    I told her she was being very rude and not handling this very well at all. She rolled her eyes at me and said I had to make the payment or leave. I left very annoyed and surprised at how poorly Extreme Fitness treats their members.

    I called my Visa company when I got home on Feb. 23 and was told there were no charges from Extreme Fitness between Jan. 30 to Feb. 13. I asked if there were any charges that were declined, but the Visa rep said Extreme Fitness did not attempt to charge my account at all on those dates.

    I am very displeased with the way my account has been handled and told my Visa company that I do not wish to make payments toward Extreme Fitness until I speak with someone at the head office to figure this out.

    I was told by the Thornhill office to email a man named Gord. I did so on Feb. 23 and have still not received a reply. I called today and was told he’s not in the office at the moment.

    I have been working out at multiple gyms around the GTA for many years and have never experienced such poor customer service ever!

    I joined this gym hoping that I would have a positive experience. But over the time that I have been an Extreme Fitness member at the Woodbridge location, my experience has been absolutely horrible.

    I know that I registered for a year membership (which is the only package I was offered) but ultimately, I would like to cancel my membership and just move on.

  37. I cannot believe the poor customer service skills employees have at the extreme fitness.

    I joined extreme fitness, my first gym membership thinking I would have a good experience.It used to be close to my work place therefore I joined it and I made the biggest mistake going there.

    I walked in to ask about the gym, I was given only the option to sign up for the contract. Nobody told me there is a one week or two week or even 1 month free trial as it says on their website. I did explain to the man this is my first time joining gym, he did not ask me if I would like to try it for a short period of time and see how it goes before I sign up for it.

    I was given a free trial trainer for 2 sessions and after I could cancel it if I wanted to within those 10days. I spoke to my trainer I told her I like her, but I have to cancel it and she said you would have to talk to the health adviser. I tried to get a hold of her by phone calls and it did not work so I decided to walk in the gym I spoke with her at the entrance near the door. She was in a hurry she said to me she would put it on hold for me as later on it won’t be available it’s a promotion. I said okay that’s it end of the story. Without any explanations of what hold is.

    After some time i get a call from the gym, the lady said to me I have an outstanding bill; every 2 weeks I get charged 65$ for the trainer which I do not even see and on top of that $30 every 2 weeks in general. When I was about to sign the contract, the man told me it would be 60$ a month a little less. The lady who called me said to me there is no such thing as having your personal trainer sessions on hold and every two weeks you get charged 30$ some months are not 4 weeks only. She also told me she will give my number to the health adviser to call me, nobody called me and I decided to call myself.

    I tried to talk to the man who gave me my contract, and the health adviser but every time you call the gym at the interchange location they are busy, when you ask them to call you back, you not receive your call back.

    There are so many gyms out there who are way better and cheaper than extreme fitness. I decided to join this gym thinking I would have a good experience, but it turns out I made the biggest mistake ever.

    All I want to do is just leave everything from this gym. I would advise anybody who wants to join gym not to join extreme fitness otherwise you will be frustrated and forced to get a lawyer to solve your problem.It is not even about the money anymore it is about being unfair.

  38. Hi Ellen,

    I have a similar problem to everyone on this blog. When I signed up, it was for the one month free trial. I was told verbally told I could cancel any time. It was no big deal.

    Two weeks in, I try to cancel and they reveal that in order to cancel I must pay an outstanding fee for the remainder of the year.

    I will be moving in two months to another city and have expressed that I will need to cancel then (since they stated that it is a valid reason to cancel), but they say it does not change the fact that I owe a fee for the other 11 months.

    Please help!!!! I wish I had encountered this blog 1 month ago.

  39. I just recently completed one year of paying for a membership I didn’t use.

    When I first joined Extreme Fitness in Whitby everything seemed fine, and I mostly joined for the pool. Once I started going I realized my mistake. The facility is quite dirty and equipment in disrepair, and the pool us disgusting.

    I submitted a letter requesting cancellation of my membership, which I sent by fax. I have my fingers crossed that they will cancel my membership without incident.

    I think if you read the fine print in the contract, it says that you can cancel in any way that provides evidence of the date of cancellation.

  40. Hello,

    I have recently signed a membership to extreme fitness and I really want out of it. I am legally underage for this membership so I put it under my friends visa. I am not sure what I should do and how to cancel my membership!

    Help!

  41. Hello Ellen,

    As with all the others on this blog, I signed up with Extreme Fitness gym membership and a training package back in May 2012. In January 2013, I decided to sign up for an additional training package at a promotional price, since my trainer and I have a good working relationship. When the contract was signed, I had the Director of health centre operations to add in a clause in the contract that states if my trainer leaves the company, I can cancel the 2nd contract at any time.

    Now that Extreme Fitness has been bought out by Goodlife Fitness,I went in on April 2, 2013 in person to cancel the 2nd contract since my trainer has already left the company after the completion of my first contract. The director who signed my contract no longer works there either. So the current manager of the health centre operations took a photocopy of the contract with the clause stipulation and said it will be done.

    I received a phone call on April 4 from the same manager telling me that the contract has been cancelled. When I asked him how long would it take for all the bi-weekly payments from January to April 1 be refunded onto my credit card, he said he doesn’t know due to the transitional period.

    After reading about the difficulties that other commenters have ran into, I’m getting very worried. I did not have any written word for the cancellation has gone through. I’ve been checking my credit card history, but I have still yet to see the charges getting reversed. What I would like to know is what would be a reasonable time frame for the charges to be refunded and what are my next steps to ensure that this contract is cancelled?

    Please help and thank you.

  42. Hi Ellen,

    I have an odd situation, at least it seems very odd to me! Since Goodlife bought out Extreme Fitness they have been trying to collect on fees they say I owe them from a membership I cancelled over 2 years ago with Extreme.

    I signed a 1 year contract from 2008-2009 and kept my membership month to month until February 2011, when I requested in writing, to cancel.

    Extreme stopped taking payments in April 2011 (as expected) and I haven’t heard anything from them until Goodlife contacted me in May 2013.

    I’ve tried calling them to explain that clearly there’s an error. They are insisting that I provide proof of cancellation and are trying to collect over $600 in membership fees.

    Why would I keep proof if it’s been 2+ yrs? I haven’t heard anything from Extreme since I cancelled. I’m pretty sure they would have sent me to collections by now if I owed them money.

    Any suggestions?

  43. Greetings Ellen!

    First of all, thank you for raising awareness on this issue and allowing us to share our stories on some of the shady business practices in this industry and, especially, for your advocacy on consumer rights for those of us who genuinely feel we have been duped.

    I’ve been trying for over 3 months to cancel my membership with Extreme Fitness (Yonge-Dundas location) but it has been a very frustrating process. Like many people before me, I was deliberately misled into signing a contract that ended up being completely different from what I was told by the sales rep. I visited the club several times to resolve the issue and I even wrote to the general manager (see below) but I’ve been given the runaround. At one meeting, the manager told me since the acquisition of Extreme Fitness by Goodlife, he no longer had any decision-making power to cancel any membership contract and that I had to contact Goodlife directly.

    I subsequently emailed and spoke with a rep from Goodlife’s Special Operations team in the Member Experience Department and explained my situation to her. She replied, “We have the contract you signed stating that you understood the terms and conditions of the contract. We do have to honor the obligations of the contract.” I was shocked and totally flabbergasted; I have a complete email trail of our correspondence. I have since contacted my credit card company to cancel my account and to investigate the matter as a case of potential business fraud. The credit card company said it would look into the matter but it may take up to six weeks. I am not sure what more I can do at this point. Any advice or guidance would be much appreciated!

    Here is the cancellation letter I sent to the general manager on April 19, 2013, which includes the specifics:

    Dear Sir/Madam:

    On March 17, 2013, I signed an agreement to redeem a DealFind voucher for a 2-month executive membership at Extreme Fitness. On that date, I was told by one of your representatives, Vince Fazzina, that I had to sign a membership agreement in order to utilize the facility. Furthermore, I was told by Mr. Fazzina that I could cancel the membership agreement by giving 14 days prior notice before the end of the 2-month period.

    In addition, on March 19, 2013, I signed a service agreement, according to which I could try the personal training and nutrition sessions on a pay-per-use basis until the end of March. As I was unable to utilize any of these sessions, I visited Extreme Fitness on March 31, 2013 to cancel this agreement. I was informed by a member of the front desk staff to come back as the manager was not present at that time. When I subsequently spoke to the manager, he informed me that Extreme Fitness had been acquired by Goodlife Fitness and he no longer could make changes to the agreement.

    Today, I am writing to you to cancel these two agreements. I hereby exercise my right to cancel the agreements as a result of unfair business practice(s) as described in the Consumer Protection Act, 2002 and ask that the money be returned to me. As a first-time customer, I feel I was deceived and deliberately misled into signing these contracts, which were contrary to what I was told by Extreme Fitness staff.

    I look forward to hearing back from you shortly. You can contact me on my cell at (416)-xxx-xxxx. I hope you will be able to resolve this issue in a timely and sensitive manner.

    Yours truly,

    Jas

  44. I’m in the same boat as some of the posters here. I signed up for two months back in 2012.

    Before signing, I made myself clear that I could only sign up for two months because I would be traveling for long period.

    The manager guy assured me that I could cancel it provided that I show him the flight ticket as a proof.

    Two months later, I showed him the flight ticket and he assured me that membership was cancelled. Just to be on safe side, I sent him an email to confirm that it was indeed cancelled, but I never received a reply.

    Anyway, I canceled my credit card and started traveling. Last month, I got a phone call from credit collection agency that I have $600 on the Visa card that I cancelled.

    I said it’s impossible because I checked with the bank that there’s no balance left to be paid off before I cancelled.

    After talking to the bank and having received the statement, I found out it was the Extreme fitness club that withdrew the money.

    Now, I keep getting call from them on daily basis. They just want me to pay off regardless.

    I’m not sure how to resolve this issue. I’m looking for the contract hoping that I can argue. At the moment, I haven’t found it yet. All I have is an email that I sent.

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