Update by user Jan 03, 2018
I am happy to say, my premium that was taken without my consent was refunded. Thank you PF.
Original review posted by user Nov 04, 2017
Relocating to the Mechanicsburg, PA area, I looked for a gym. Having been a former trainer and always having memberships wherever I’ve lived, I am keenly aware of the hidden fees that can be encountered by those facilities that wish to conduct business in an unethical manner.
I searched the area for a facility that was the best value and closest geographically to my residence. Planet Fitness heavily advertised their $9.99 no commitment. I spoke with two representatives. One, by phone on my initial call.
The 2nd, in person when I came in to actually join, and work out. In my initial phone conversation, I was completely transparent about what I was in search for, and that I wanted to know all charges that are outside of the $10 advertised monthly fee. The male representative I spoke with on the phone stated there was also a $39.13 “start-up” Fee which would be charged upon my joining. This now brings a monthly charge to $13.26.
Not the great deal they do proudly advertise, but still the best value by a narrow margin. I asked if there would be any other additional fees. I was told, no. I went to the Gettysburg Pike location in Mechanicsburg and spoke with a female Planet Fitness employee there.
I once again reiterated my intentions of finding the best possible value and that I had spoken to the male representative on the phone, who told me about the additional $39.13 charge that would be added. She confirmed. I again asked if there would be any additional fees charged. She stated no, as well.
I learned there are two membership packages available: the standard/classic membership, which the website states is $10.00 per month and the black card membership which is $21.99 per month. Both allow workouts at the facility in which you signed up at (and a t-shirt). The black card membership gives added benefits of privileges to work out at any other Planet Fitness franchise location, unlimited guest privileges at any Planet Fitness location (although it does not state what that is, and I could discover nothing to support this claim), Use of tanning, 1/2 price cooler drinks, unlimited hydro massage haircuts, and 20% off on Reebok products at specified locations. I shave my head bald, I do not tan and don’t wear Reebok brand clothing .
When I travel out of town, I use the gym facilities at the hotels where I stay. The premier black card membership held no benefits for me. I opted for the standard/classic membership for $10 per month. Having had conversations with both the representative on the phone and with the female I was now face to face with, I signed the online documents obviously reading closely due to the fact that two representatives of their facility confirmed my specific questions about additional fees and answered my questions.
On November 1st, there was another $39.00 charge from Planet Fitness debited from my account. Immediately I called the Gettysburg Pike location. The call was answered by an assistant manager named Russel. I stated there must be an error because my account had just been debited for another $39.00.
Russel stated this was not an error. The $39.00 charge was for the “Rate Lock Fee” to provide me with the security of knowing my membership fees would not be increased. I stated to him, I had no interest in the Rate Lock because I would just leave Planet Fitness and now go to the other gym I had found that was now a better value. Just to now break down their advertised $10.00 per month.
$39.13 start up Fee $39.00 Rate Lock Fee $10 per month ($120 per year) $39.13 + $39.00 + $120.00= $198.13 per year $198.13 12 = $16.51 per month 65% higher than the advertised $10.00 per month. Not really a good deal at all. Russel then became condescending and stated I had no such option and that I should have read that in the contract. I reiterated all the information I have stated here.
I stated this was highly deceptive and I wished to speak to whom he reports to. Russel stated that his manager’s name was Kim, and she would be there the following morning. I went to the gym, in person and spoke to Kim. Immediately after I explained what had transpired in its entirety once again, Kim placed the blame on me for not reading the agreement after I had been specifically told twice there were no additional charges and the second person who had stated this was the one holding the signature pad as I signed.
As a manager of a customer service oriented industry, Kim blamed the customer for the deception used by her own employees and at no time held those under her charge accountable for their actions. I am the former owner of a half million dollar corporation , and have always held the responsibility to be sure my customer is satisfied and employees held under my charge are held accountable for unethical actions. Kim apparently does not hold that same belief when dealing with the very people that enable their business to thrive and grow due to customer satisfaction. I then asked Kim for her supervisor.
She stated there was the regional manager by the name Brian. Kim would not give me his full name or contact information. She asked for my contact information and said she would ask him to contact me. Once again, a customer service industry who does not have an open door policy for members to contact upper management.
Brian did contact me. For the third time, I told my story in its entirety. Brian then passed off authority and accountability to “those above him” and said he could do nothing about what had happened. Brian also stated he would not refund the additional $39.00 that was fraudulently charged to my account.
Of course, this left me with no other recourse than to request Brian to cancel my membership. Brian made it a point to tell me normally a personal visit to the location to sign a formal cancellation or a certified letter is needed, but he would allow this “one time courtesy.” As a result, my month and a half membership cost $98.13. $65.42 per month. I highly advise against ever joining this, or any other planet fitness location.
Having had membership at numerous other gym facilities for nearly 20 years, I have never experienced “Gymtimidation” until I dealt with the unethical practices of Planet Fitness and the refusal to accept culpability by their staff. Rest assured, you can find a reputable gym that is transparent about their fees, has reputable staff & management and has a desire to keep you the customer, satisfied to pass on their great experience to others.
You will find none of these qualities with Planet Fitness. Look elsewhere.
Product or Service Mentioned: Planet Fitness Membership.
Reason of review: Pricing issue.