The Fitness First debacle part III – So now you *don't* want my money?!

Its remarkable – 2 months ago they were caught illegally dipping their fingers into my bank account to try and get my money – now I’m offering it to them, they don’t want to know!

To anyone joining the story at this point, this all relates to a couple of posts Ive written before now – one detailing how Fitness First illegally created a Direct Debit to my account without my knowledge, and the other talking about how after continued phone calls, Fitness First continued to deceive me – be it through lies or incompetence, who knows? Whoever trains the staff needs a serious slapping though.

Last month I rung in up to 8 times, many of which are detailed in the previous post. After posting that article, I rang in again at the end of August to check again whether they’d got the amount right. Again I was told £30.50, but was assured that the system does not update itself until the start of the month – meaning that either a) This man is a liar, or b) Every person I spoke to up to now is a liar/incompetent. Either way, I was told it would go through OK. I wasn’t particularly optimistic, so I rung ****, the call centre manager who rang me in the first instance after the Fitness First press office somehow caught wind of my original article (perhaps the fact that I now rank top 50 in a search for “Fitness First” on Google may have given it away). I got his answerphone, telling me he was off work until Tuesday 26th – (amusing, because I called on Wednesday 27th!) 😉 I left him a message, he didn’t call me back. Classy.

Which is why I’m not surprised that it’s now the 12th September and I still haven’t been charged for this months membership – even though I now have 2 Fitness First direct debit agreements showing on my online banking. How long before the letters/text messages start up again?

I’d like to point out that now, I’m done. I’m struggling to justify giving money to a company that couldn’t give it a shit about its customers. If you’ve read the entire story up to now, you may even be surprised to hear that I haven’t raised my voice once. I’ve worked in customer services in the past, and I know how depressing it is to be shouted at for things that aren’t your fault (but rather the fault of the company), so I’ve stayed respectful and tried at all times to sort things out amicably, rather than just venting my anger. And the recordings of calls they apparently make “for training purposes” will prove that!

So my plan is to quote Andy on his original offer. He said I could quit on the spot, and I said I was happy with Fitness First as a fitness club, and that if he could sort this, I would be happy to stay. 2 months on things clearly still aren’t sorted, so I guess that means the offer still stands, right? 😛

So now its time to phone again. I get the feeling it could be a bit of a long one, so I’m posting this now so everything I’ve typed up to now isn’t lost in a sea of anger when I next get off the phone.



See also:


44 Responses to “The Fitness First debacle part III – So now you *don't* want my money?!”

  1. Good grief — what a nightmare!

    Kudos for not raising your voice… sometimes it’s really hard not to, even when you know it isn’t the person’s fault.

  2. they were caught illegally dipping their fingers into my bank account to try and get my money – now I’m offering it to them, they don’t want to know!

    Somethings are never as much fun if you’re allowed to do it.

  3. fas

    They are cheats and liars. I have first hand experience of this too.

    I wanted to cancel my membership and did so by email. The branch claim they never received it and asked me to do so by post, which I did. Having received my cancellation letter they said they would make a one time exception only. this was over a month ago, I haven’t heard anything since.

    and NOW those MotherFockers have got a debt agency chasing me about the money I owe them!!!

    Can you believe those fucks. I gonna spend my life writing in every blog, forum, groups and to media companies on how untrustworthy fitness first are….

  4. Steve

    You should have read the contract terms and conditions before signing it.

    To cancel you need to arrange a meeting with the manager. Might as well carry your letter of cancellation with you for him to sign on the spot, to get evidence. Use something to record all phone conversations, and keep records of all emails sent.

    Threaten to complain to the Office of Fair Trade and if they past your information to a third party, such as credit chasing companies, then you’ll complain to Office of Information.

    Threaten to sue them for £1 per day for everyday they delay in refunding overcharged fees, and threaten to sue them for harrassment if they keep sending you letters.

    Don’t bother being nice. Don’t trust anything verbally said, that isn’t in writing.

  5. harry

    thanks for the info, i was searching through the web trying to find out what time Fitness First opened at, before joining up. I found your blog and i’m now heading for another gym a little further from home. Cheers, harry

  6. Gina

    I want to cancel my membership with fitness first. Me and my boyfriend put letters in over a week ago and have still heard nothing. I rang the manager last week to make sure our letters had been looked through and her response was ‘I’ve been on the front desk all day and havent had chance to look through all my cancellation letters but I’ll ring you tomorrow between 10-2’ 5 days later, nothing. So i ring up today and yes you’ve guessed it, she doesnt work weekends.

  7. hi,
    funny story about a very sad company.
    no updates on this so far?

  8. Jay

    Dear Fitness First’s PR people:

    Do you realise these posts are now 4th on Google’s results for searching ‘fitness first’? Do you think your brand might just possibly have a Really Big Problem? As in, it’s completely fucking fucked? Why, pray tell, are you not trying to do something about this? Oh hang on, you work for Fitness First too – so incompetence is the order of the day then, alright.

    Dear Mou,

    THANK YOU for this warning, and well told it is too. You’ve potentially saved me a lot of money and hassle – and surely saved many other people too. Thousands of people owe you a pint, ace! 😉

  9. Karen

    I had a three month contract that came to an end in January 2009. I didn’t want to carry on with the membership so I went into Fitness First a week before the end of the contract and I got told that the person I needed to see to cancel my membership wasn’t in that day. I made an appointment to see him the next day. I turned up and they told me he had phoned in sick. I felt I was geting fobbed off. I told them I wouldn’t be coming in again and that I would send a letter instead. I sent the letter recorded delivery to get proof. I then get a phone call from Fitness First a few days later. They said I owed them a month’s membership and
    I told them I would send a cheque once I received a letter from them confirming the termination of contrat. Needless to say, I cancelled my direct debit with the bank. I just looked in my bank account and long and behold they have taken a card payment from my bank account, without my permission, which has left me in debit. I am fuming that they could do such a thing. What happened to chip and pin? I hadn’t give them authorisation to dip into my bank account. Surely this is illegal?

  10. Cant believe that after 6 months, I actually have money back and I no longer have CARS threating to take away a house that isnt even mine! some thing they couldnt even do if it was !!!! wooo hoo

  11. Paul

    Like other commenters, I found this through Google when intending to sign up with Fitness First as I can get a discount through work. However, having just been through an uncannily similar debacle with Hertz who helped themselves to £120 from my credit card (eventually refunded, but with no compensation for my time and the cost of the recorded delivery mail they ignored) I’m not going to take the chance with Fitness First.

    Thanks for taking the time to blog about it.

  12. Craig

    Last week I decided to cancel my Fitness first contract so after my workout I asked the girl at reception if she could help. Apparently only the manager could do this but she was busy and I would need an appointment. Strange, but fine I left to get my diary at home I would call back later.

    Fast forward a few days I make the call the guy who answers tells me no appointment was required, that was a mistake, I should just come to the club and they would sort things out. I am starting to get a bad feeling about this but what can I do over the phone? I am sure you are not surprised to read things didn’t work out as described, but luckily for me the manager happened to be running the front desk when I turned up.

    What luck indeed! I explained to her my situation and asked to end my contract at the soonest possible opportunity. Then wham… straight out of the Fitness First bag of tricks… she was finishing in ‘five minutes’ and did not have time to fill out the form now. That was strange as it was twenty to six, may be they work strange hours there? Appealing to her sense of managerial responsibility I asked how long could it possibly take to fill out the form? Apparently though she would need to “look up my details on the computer to fill out the form which would take a while”. I want to try and resolve this, so I offer to book an appointment, come back, and get this done. However, unfortunately the only appointments available were during working hours which I could not make.

    OK, I can see where this is heading, reluctantly I offer to write a letter but I don’t know my membership number so I ask her to provide it. Perhaps thinking she can get rid of me she looks it up on her computer writes it down and passes it to me… but wait, I thought it was going to take ages to look up my details? What other information are they storing on me for it to take so long? Resigned to the fact that the manager was unwilling to help I take the number and decide to write the letter.

    Before leaving I decide to make a complaint about the company’s poor customer service. The manager response: “I was wasting her time and trying to make her stay there all night”. Not wanting to distress the poor manager further I leave and head home to write my letter. Hopefully that will settle the matter but somehow it doubt things will be that simple.

    My advice to anyone reading this, look for other options for a gym putting up with this service is not worth it. If you have joined and are trying to leave don’t put any trust in the fitness first staff get everything in writing and insist on making an appointment.

    And finally a request, do you work in the media or are you a lawyer? If so please investigate Fitness First what is happening there must be skimming the boundaries of what is legal and many people feel justice needs to be served on this company.

  13. Steve

    Have been looking through all the post on this matter and its not even funny how these so called professionals can get away with treating people like dog s**t …. well made my mind up just to keep training at home and dont get any of this crap … good luck to all in the fight for Justice .

  14. Stuart

    I am going to add to the thanks, I am looking at joining a gym and I have seen so much of their adertising all over London, but.. there is no way I will be chancing my money now, and will be searching out the Virgin brand. – Keep it up Fitness First, you are playing straight into the hands of the administrators with terrible customer service

  15. keller

    Again, terms and conditions. We agreed to them, we have no ground to stand on by saying that they are unfair as we put pen to paper when we wanted to become members.

    This is the largest health club in the world.

    We are in a recession, JJB have already gone into administration, Fitness First are far from administration.

    • mou


      If you really believe what you’re saying that I’m calling you out. I challenge you to show me where in the terms and conditions it says that they can recreate Direct Debits without my explicit consent.

      If you can’t find that then I’ll give you another go – show me where it says that once they’ve set up a Direct Debit, they’ll continue to send threatening letters/text messages – regardless of how many time you’re promised “you won’t get any more”.

      OK – one last go – show me where it says they can raise my charges without notice. Because I know for certain the Direct Debit guarantee says otherwise.

      You’re right about one thing – they are the biggest Fitness Club in the world. And I’d expect nothing else from a company that makes you jump through this many hoops to cancel a membership. Do you think this many requests is reasonable? How come I managed to cancel a direct debit with BT and AOL a couple of months back when I moved house, with only a phone calls notice? There is no reason why Fitness First make you jump through this many hoops, except for the fact they know that making it this difficult will get them AT LEAST an extra months payment out of most of their members when they finally do decide to quit.

      Remember, up to 2 years ago banks were able to charge £30 just to send you a nasty letter – until it was called into question, and now its being investigated and likely to be deemed unlawful. Just because they do it and they’re a big company doesn’t-make-it-right.

  16. Clare

    I am SO wound up with Fitness First right now, having been made redundant recently I want to cancel my membership since am jobless & soon to be penniless. I think having been a member with them on/off for the past 5 years and paying them £48 each month they really ought to cut me a little slack.
    Would have been quite happy to re-join again once in employment again but the way they’re being at the moment never want to go near the place again and would definitely choose another gym plus join any hate campaigns going for Shitness First.
    Am on the case now – glad I found this blog!

    • Matteo

      It also happened to me. I cancelled my contract by phone and I asked if I need to go to my gym to cancel my contract over there, I was informed that it isn’t necessary, so I paid what I was requested providing my credit card number, after two months I received a notice.

      “Further to the cancellation request recently (two months ago!!!), we have still not received your documents (it would be nice to specify what documents!) to release you from your membership. If this has not been received in the next 10 working days your details will be passed to an external collections agent for the full remaining balance (I was informed by phone that I haven’t got anything else to pay).

      Please sent the relevant documents to us…

      I am going to my gym next week to explain this.

      If they charge me any further costs, this time I will take the lawyer and sue them.

  17. Wee H

    I used to work for Fitness First and your stories are not uncommon. Part of the training received includes tactics on how to stop people from cancelling their memberships – for example, the “appointment with the manager” you need to make to cancel is in order to give the manager a chance to play on your conscience and talk you out of cancelling. Be sure to send in a cancellation letter (over the phone does not work in 99% of cases), and make sure it arrives before the end of the month – otherwise you will have to pay for the following 2 months membership. Unfortunately, although FF seem to be the most cut-throat, these tactics are also used at other health club chains so just be careful with any gym membership – make sure you read the T&Cs thoroughly, know what you’re getting yourself into and, more importantly, know how to get out of it.

  18. jo

    It has made my blood boil after reading all these posts!
    I too have been cheated by these fools.
    I was a FF member for 4 years, at least 3 times within this period my Direct debit membership fees went up a couple of pound a time, i was never informed or notified of these increases!
    Ooh i lie,….i did go to the gym one day and saw a sign in the changing room basically saying that membership fees had gone up due to FF installing new lockers!… that makes it alright to not ‘legally’ inform you in writing of the change in payments from your bank account?….
    Anyway a few months later i decide to leave FF, i speak to a nice lady on the desk, who asks me to complete the ”cancellation form”. I do so. I then ask if i need to do anything else? She says ”No” I say ”can i now cancell the direct debit?” she says ”yes”
    All done and dusted?….oooh you guessed it!
    I then, 2 months later, get a weird phone call message from a man speaking exceptionally fast, left on my answer machine, i had to keep rewinding it to get the return phone number and reference number, (the fact that he told me it was ‘Urgent’ made me call back)
    I ring, give the ref number, to be told that they were called ‘CARS’ a debt collecting agency! And were collecting fees owed to Fitness First from ME!… ”Me?…but i cancelled my agreement with them! Did so in writing, on the form, with the ‘nice lady at the desk!” understandably ‘CARS’ were not sympathetic, and just informed me that the longer i left it the larger my debt would become!
    So, being a law abiding citizen, think that it’s best i pay up then surely sort out this ‘confusion’ with FF.
    I then call FF, eventually speak to a Manager, who tells me there is no record of my cancellation, i account for every part of the conversation i had with ‘the nice lady on the desk’…can explain and describe the cancellation form (something i wouldn’t have seen unless i was cancelling?) but No she was having none of it…she even then began trying to catch me out on what was on the form! It became quite comical with her responses to my questioning being ”yea but” (don’t forget this is the manager i’m talking to!) hillarious!
    Ultimately, as i was not given a copy of the cancellation form from the now not so bloody ‘nice incompitant lady on the desk’ i cannot prove a thing! I had no choice but to pay a months membership and an admin fee of £20 to CARS! Thanks FF for doing that, i felt totally humiliated. I mean you had my address, you had my home phone number, why didn’t you just write or call before you sent the debt agency after me?!! Never again!

  19. Fahad

    Same happened to me. Me and my wife we signed up for 3 months at Fitness First in Leyton, London and then cancelled our memberships during 2nd month (I gave them 1 month advance notice, honsetly).

    But, only to be noticed that they charged us 4th month fees!!!. I contact the club manager, Richard, and he said that he will sort out this issue, because cancelled my membership through him. Then we ask me to contact head office’s ‘refund dept’, but they seems to lack any respect for customers and refused to do any thing about this issue and asked me to go back to club manager. Club manager is unable to solve this issue so far with his “Area Manager”, not sure if he even contact his area manager.

    This whole saga was started back in May 2009 and its Dec 2009 now and we still £96 to fitness first and they are refusing to refund it back to us.. what a shame!!!

  20. Carly

    Having a fab time with both CARS and FF. Joined the gym but then found a better more convenient gym within my ’10 day’ comfort guarantee period so i decided to follow the instructions on the back of the contract to cancel my membership. When I was FINALLY acknowledged at the ‘help’ desk I was told I was well within my rights to cancel and all I had to do was contact head office and all would be sorted. Alas all was not to be. For the lady at the ‘help’ desk failed to inform me that the phone number she had given me was closed for the evening and i wouldn’t be able to cancel And so the problems start. On the 11th day i called and relayed my problem to head office who were VERY unhelpful and abrupt in telling me that as it was 1 day out of the ‘comfort period’ i was stuck in a 12month contract and as i didnt have proof of the previous evenings attempt at calling them there was nothing I could do. I then sent not 1 but 2 letters to head office before i recieved a reply 3 weeks later.(being the generous sort i had offered to pay 1 month membership as a goodwill gesture but no more.) The later reiterates what has been said on the phone and that there is nothing that can be done. More phone calls later and head office then tell me that they are not willing to help anymore and it is at club discretion as to whether they will cancel my contract or not. So i make an appointment to see the manager and bring a witness along with me. On the day it was the membership manager who came to see me and we relayed all the ‘problems’ to her and she eventually agreed that it was fault on their part and i was entitled to cancel my contract under the ‘comfort period’. She said it was a matter she had to take up with her ‘area manager’ but i wouldnt hear from the company again. She also advised me to cancel both my direct debit AND my debit card as they could still access my account to take money even when cancelled (yes where have we heard that before). So off to the bank I go with my witness and the promise of no more contact. THEN a month and a half passes before I start getting letters saying i am in arrears. So again I call the club who inform me the woman I need to talk to is on 2weeks holiday and 2 call back on the 30th. I politely called head office to explain the situation and the gentleman I spoke to assured me that nothing would happen as they would freeze my account til they spoke to the membership manager to confirm everything. Again nothing was heard from them until one lunch time I get a message from a random number telling me to call. So I do and on the other end of the phone was a rude man from CARS informing me of a debt of £400 as I had not paid my membership… what membership I cancelled 2 and a half months prior. So i went to the club with my ‘witness’ saw the manager who told me that although she couldnt help me she would sort it out with the membership manager BUT .. again she was on holiday for another week and a half (is it me or do they get too many holidays?). So i call the debt people explain the situation only to be told that they have to be contacted by the client to freeze or cancel the debt if they werent they would be callin in 5days to claim the balance of the debt (nice people). So I leave messages with the manager which go unreturned. I called head office instead explained my situtaion AGAIN to 2 different people. One of them agreed that as nothing could be done till this thursday they would freeze the debt till friday to get it all sorted. I then woke this morning without a worry of a phone call. Again on my lunch I have a voicemail demanding I call CARS immediately, which at this time of year gets both frustrating and upsetting. I waited till i was home before calling them which left me with an afternoon of panic. I call CARS WORRIED about the outcome only to be told ‘please ignore our message as we have recieved a freeze on this debt till next tuesday.’ So here I am 10 days till xmas without a hope in the world of this getting sorted. No 2 departments seem to know what ‘communicating’ mean.
    All this because the woman on the helpdesk ‘assured’ me I was well within my rights to cancel but didnt offer me a form or information how to cancel that day…..
    On the plus side for an extra £2 a month my new gym has a pool steam room jacuzzi and personal trainer thrown in as well as at least 30 classes a week and equipment that works….

  21. Jonathan

    What a surprise, other people are being screwed by Fitness First. After my unpleasant experiences with them and trying to cancel, I was sure that I couldn’t be the only one.

    It’s hardly surprising they are the “biggest” when they do their utmost to keep your membership by all means possible, mostly underhanded.

  22. Rayna

    Hi everyone i have similar problem with fitness first!I signed 3 months contract with fitness first and now they still charge me by direct debit even i stoped the direct debits to them!I am just wondering how lond they will keep charging me dozzy basterds!Is a week since my contract expired and they took my money from my account without my permision for another month fee-55 quid.I cant believe it this is absolutly illigal!

  23. Cris

    I wish I’d seen this blog much earlier and NEVER joined Fitness First! I feel so cheated by FF. It just happened to me in Malaysia. Just after joining, I found out that I was expecting a baby and the first tri was tough, really couldn’t use the gym. Went in and asked them nicely to cancel the one year contract. Was told the best thing to do is freeze the account and pay $30 monthly for the ‘privilege’ … to cut a long story short, after baby arrived and I still have no time (or need) to go to the gym and they refuse to let me out of the membership ordeal. They say that I have to pay full membership for ONE year, freezing the account doesn’t count towards that one year period. After much discussion and on the 3rd fruitless face to face session with them, the so-called Manager at my area gym (yes, apparently the only person you can deal with to cancel membership) even sarcastically suggested that I instruct my bank to cancel the direct debit. What a fraud, knowing full well that can’t be done as the bank is liable to keep paying a direct debit instruction unless the cancellation comes through the merchant (yes, same way that we all signed up was by a direct debit instruction that went to the bank through the merchant, FF). I haven’t resolved my sad saga … but with much more financial obligations, it really pains me to part with $185 monthly by direct debit and I can’t even use the facility nor cancel the payment. That’s good money that I can use to pay for my kid’s medical insurance every month. These sick bastards at Fitness First are making money by cheating, not by providing an honest service that customers are happy to pay for. Please, wherever you are in the world, never sign up with Fitness First.

  24. FitnessWorst

    I wrote to my Fitness First a month ago to cancel, and haven’t heard anything at all from them. I therefore just sent them an email (there’s no point in speaking to them) to tell them I’ve cancelled my Direct Debit. No doubt they’ll try to screw me out of every penny they can. If they do, they can expect some legal fun… Fitness First are just a bunch of liars and thieves as you stated in the first post on this debacle.

    They shou;dn’t be called Fitness First. They should rebrand themselves as Fitness Worst — it would be a much more accurate representation of their activities and attitudes.

  25. T.Campoy

    I think you all forgot that the time Fitness First was a Fitness club that cared about you health and wellbeing gone long ago, now its all about money making. Really sad and this blog isn’t the first neither the last to report FF issues that takes forever to be sorted. You just can’t trust them without a lawyer.

  26. Shitness Worst

    I have exactly the same problem. I joined Cottons FF near London bridge in October 2010 but I was not satisfied with the pool so I cancelled my membership during the first 10 comfort days.
    The lady on the desk was very polite and told that my membership was cancelled and I even returned my membership card.
    Now two weeks letter I received a letter saying that i must pay them and that my membership was not cancelled. I call the gym and told that the lady on the desk does not has authorisation to cancel any membership and that is not shown anywhere on the system that I asked for cancellation
    They want me to pay otherwise they will send my details to CARS.

    There are some many cases in the past and same thing happens so probably writing in blogs doesn’t change the way FF treat its customers. We need to take more drastic measures to make them treat people the proper way.

    NEVER EVER JOIN Fitness First

  27. PT

    Guys it’s rediculous that these fraudsters get away with it.
    Don’t let them.
    Threaten court action to recover funds giving them 7 days notice.
    If the don’t pay up file a Statutory Demand with the court – if they ignore that then you can file a winding up petition against the company. Make sure you send copies of all letters and court papers to the director at Fitness First Limited, 58 Fleets Lane,Poole,Dorset,BH15 3BT and their holding company Fitness First Holdings at the same address and send them all recorded delivery.

    That will make the directors get up and pay.

    I’m currently helping a Personal Trainer who was also ripped off when he started working for FF as they demand money up-front. He’s out of pocket by 100’s pounds, which they took off of him under false pretences via debit card. He quit after a few days because of the company bad practice. He’s now fighting to get money back.

    It seems they pull the same scam on all Personal Trainers too, most of whom don’t fight for justice, they just get another job and put their time with FF down to experience. So you’ll probably see a high turnover of Personal Trainers and you’ll know why.

  28. My son cancelled his membership to FFF ( yes I’ve given them an extra one! ) on 31st August 2010 his contract finished on 1st November 2010 so in plenty of time. I personally handed in the required form which was signed & a copy returned to me. I paid the remaining membership fees at the same time, simple enough you’d think that is until this week when a letter arrived requesting payment for unpaid fees.
    My son phoned head office only to be told to send the receipts
    to them, as things like this make me rather angry to say the least I’m off in the car & down to the branch he belonged to finding a similar experience of having to deal with muppets & as the manageress was off sick ( seems to be a lot of that with FFF staff ) I would have to return the next day when she would be back which I did.
    On checking the records she confirmed that his membership was cancelled & fully paid, she photo copied the cancellation receipt to fax to head office as this is where the original forms are sent so why do head office not have this copy? as my son was told it was not showing that, though rather strange that it was showing he owed them money!
    I was happy enough with that & I do have to say the manageress was very helpful & couldn’t understand why this should have happened, but of course nothing is ever that simple & my son has now receiving text messages galore, I have every intention of taking legal advice re,. harassment which I feel it is.

  29. Oliver

    you are 9th on the google search of fitness first.
    i hope this company goes bust! saying that im a lifeguard for a company called parkwood lesuire and they suck just as bad so stay away from them to!!!

  30. Amy

    Not a memeber of FF first but looks like that’s a good thing!
    Although someone said FF are not going into administration then why are they closing the Eastbourne gym?? It’s always very busy (lord knows why) I do a class there with a friend who is a member. Also because the gym is closing I know a few people that paid paid for a years membership and are having send endless letters and phonecalls to recieve the rest of there money back….
    Think you need to buck up your ideas FF before you lose more gyms.

  31. norm

    Jeeeze, Guys thanks for this i was just looking for a gym to slim up a bit, but after reading all this shoite i think i will give this mob a wide berth.

  32. Hey THANKS to everyone that has blogged their own personal problems with FF, although i am not a member with them, i was looking for a gym to join and i was going to pay for my partner too, but to much delight i found this blog first!!! As i was going to open up a membership with them tomorrow but not now n it seems this will be a close shave from them robbers!!!

    Thanks All

  33. Sharn

    I have had very similar troubles! I tried to postpone my membership whilst prgenant and was advised by doctors not to excercise! I was told i could postpone, that was fine, lady at the desk sorted it, all done! Then i notice they’re taking £9.95 a month out of my account. Apparently you have to pay not to use the gym but i wasn’t told this when i postponed. I cancelled the direct debit and told them i was cancelling my contract both by phone and e-mail. I also asked why the hell they needed £9.95 from me when i wasn’t using the service. The div told me “he didn’t have to tell me where the pounds and pennies went!” At which point i proceeded to tell him he could shove his pounds and pennies! I had CARS threatening me until i wrote to them both telling them they could take me to court but they weren’t getting a penny from me! Suffice to say i heard nothing else!

    Now my partner had tried to cancel. He’s followed procedure, put it in writing and spoke to the manager. It was all ok’d and he cancelled his direct debit. He has now received a letter from CARS demanding payment! Not even a letter from FF in the first place asking why he’d stopped paying, nothing! Straight to debt collectors! They are conning criminals!! Do not join this gym unless you intend to remain with them FOREVER!!!

  34. Noorur

    I left Fitness First, overpriced shithole. Our council subsidised gyms use the same exact equipment AND are much cheaper!

    The new Easy Gyms are around £18 a month, and they use the same equipment too!

  35. sean

    Hi people, im having a shitee problem with FF just now. I recently joined FF at the end of September 2010 me and my friend went into Kilmarnock branch too check it all out and see what it was like yes it was ok but they were soon too have me and my mate in a room talking about aye u guessed it (MONEY) so anyway the woman that spoke too me and my mate said that wee could sign a 4 months contract with them for 29.95 a month and a one of 33.77 which i would get back after i had my 3 personal instructor sessions it sounded al-rite I wasn’t amazed but my friend had just had a stroke so I was doing it for him as he didn’t like the other gyms i had been too anyway wee checked through all paperwork it seemed ok and i asked if i could pay my 33.77 there and then i was told no because there system was being updated and they would give me a call too let me know when they were going too take the payment SURPRISE no phone call but there hands weren’t that long on getting into my bank and taking my cash on the date it wasn’t meant too come out so i phone in the branch and was given nothing only a number too phone head office so i did and spoke too a woman she started of nice at first until she told me i was on a 12 MONTH CONTRACT WTF!! i said wow wow back up abit i signed a 4 months contract and she said she had it in black&white that i signed a 12 and said that i should have been given a copy of my contract (which nither me or my mate had recieved from them)so i thought well it can be sorted (HAHAHAHAH) i said tooo her can i have this sorted out she replied no once contract signed u must obey the T&C’S i replied no way i signed a 4 months contract and was offerd a deal they gave me no copy of any paperwork atall when i was in branch at this point she started too get very rude too me over the phone now i am not a guy you want too get in a verble fight with i argued and argued but politely argued i then said can you explain too me why they didnt give me a copy of my contract and why i am now on a 12 months contract when i signed a 4 she just stutterd so i asked for higher management and she said she didnt want too pass me over so i continued too argue and then said yet again i would like too be passed too some higher she then said that there was no manager or supervisor in today and hung up on me i was furrious so i then called back and got another woman who was exactly the same with me if not ruder and she then hung up on me they have lied too me and taken my money without my permission they are not a good company they r just scamming money out of people too make there buisness bigger i hope alot of people continue too read this blog and leave that fuckinggg shitttt gym as they are knobendsss

  36. Kay

    I really don’t have much to add. Fitness First Staff are the WORST! The mere suggestion of cancelling and they turn into the most vile people. I was stupid to trust the membership managers when I signed up and didn’t get any conformation in writing about various deals agreed over the phone. I beg people not to go with FF – I don’t understand how they’re still so popular. Liars and thieves!

  37. Lem

    It’s amazing so many comments I’ve read…
    I’ve got ripped off as well by Fitness first. More than 1 month ago I told them I was going to stop my membership and that I found someone to take my contract over instead. The following month I check my account I find out that they took money in without my permission. What a fucking con !!!! I even have the paper stating that with written : Your last monthly collection will be …. It’s nuts, it’s the second time in one year I have a problem with Fitness First. The staff is ready to tell you all the bullshits you could imagine to make you enrolling.

    Now I’m waiting my refund and have to deal with the head office beacause “of course” it’s not their fault and everyone is refering to someone else.

    Don’t join Fitness First with Direct Debit !! Be careful with them !!!


  38. Lem

    How can we unite and take legal action to sue Fitness First ? We need to do something ! Any Lawyer in the forum ?

  39. Chris

    I am a Personal Trainer and worked at Fitness First for over 6 months, I left in December last year. I am currently going through something similar to what happened to you. Throughout my time there I witnessed awful customer service daily, and people like yourself being ripped off. As a PT I had to pay rent each week in order to use their facilities (£104.40pw). I went about leaving FF by the book and genuinely believed that I would be free of them come the new year. However, on Christmas eve my ex-manager texts me to tell me I owe yet another week of rent and threatens me with private debt collectors. Due to the timing of this I decide to pay it as I didn’t want my families christmas ruined. I have since put in a formal complaint and threatened legal action because of other events which took place during my time there. Thought you might find this interesting that the company doesnt only treat its memebers badly, its also the staff. Just as long as they get their money though right?!

    • Jkay

      I have read all the blogs and feel extremely sorry for everyone. I’m not a member of FF and doubt will ever be. Would be nice to read some sort of comment from FF as well because it appears the stories are all similar….and that line of cancellation manager(ess) being on “holiday”or “off sick” all sounds rehersed!!

  40. k

    1. When you join. Ask for the receipt and a copy of the application form!!! Keep it!!! Covered.
    2. If you change/freeze or cancel, dont do it over the phone! Always go into the club…
    3. 3months memberships???? REALLY!!! What are you going to achieve in 3 months?? LOL.
    4. If you are a member of FF. Become a regular and get to know the staff (Dont just become another member)- they will always look after you and tell you about special offers. OR a once a week member!!!
    5. I am a member of F.F & love it. I use it 2-5x a week depending!! And I am healthier and fitter for it!!!

  41. Birdy

    I worked for ff in head office and was shocked with the way they train their staff. They provide poor communication and practice. I was there for 2 months before I even complete Data protection training (which should be carried out prior to speaking to anyone on the phone by law). I finally reported them and left without notice.
    Here’s some tips for people to cancel your membership
    If u have or havent received you contact by email – lie
    If they ask you to confirm your email to check – make one up
    If you arranged membership via telephone – tell them to prove it (calls to clubs are not recorded and if you set it up by head office – say that’s not you and request a copy of the call recording)
    If you have lost ur job send a letter RECORDED delivery with p45

    If your in debt keep arguing with them or ask for Carl/luke they buckle under pressure (it’s so funny Carl one of the team managers comes in everyday stinking of alcohol Nd they don’t care) chances are they’ll clear your arrears or half the remaining contract agree then call back

    argue you didnt recieve your contract by email or post

    Or you never signed it ( they will ask for a copy of your signature make it up)

    Not paying your debt with ff will send your debt to a company called cars don’t panic as you never entered a credit agreement your credit rate will not be affected also no bailiff has the right to enter your premise for debts

    So there you go some helpful tips remember don’t get upset instead remember repeat yourself until they buckle – peace!!!


Leave a Reply