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New York Sports Clubs have used the reopening of gyms to get their charging machine back in action.
Mevelin Camacho, a member at NYSC in Hell’s Kitchen, got a charge on her credit card this morning. “This is crazy!” she told us.
NYSC’s owners, Town Sports, became infamous during the pandemic when it was sued for charging membership fees even after their gyms, including the one at Worldwide Plaza, were closed in March. New York Attorney General Letitia James stepped in then and the company agreed to stop charging members and to be flexible on cancellation fees.
Another local member, John, told us today that although he’d cancelled, they had kept his money from April. In an email to him from Shady Marini, NYSC business director, said: “When the club reopens, your membership will be cancelled. You have paid for 45 days since the club has been closed (1/2 of March and April) so there will be no further charges. You will then have access to the gym for the 45 days once the club reopens.”
Crain’s reported today that “the company may file for bankruptcy ‘in the near future'”. However, NYSC’s locations are starting to open this week with limited hours.
The NYSC website promises “Straightforward Memberships. No Hidden Fees.
Want to cancel? No problem. End your month-to-month plan anytime or your one-year commitment plan after 12 months. All plans come with a 10-day money-back guarantee.”
Patrick O’Brien walks past the gym every day, he was “shocked” when he got a charge too. “I’d imagined they would have made a bigger deal about opening. I waited in line to get in to discuss it, they tried to brush it off by saying we all were emailed and it probably went to my spam,” Patrick told us. “I’ve been emailing and calling them for a month to make sure I wasn’t going to get charged and no one ever picked up or returned an email. Aren’t we all supposed to help each other through this tough time and not scam one another?”
Similar issues faced Ryan Taylor and his fiancé: “We were charged on April 1st for our memberships (even though the were closed) and again yesterday. I emailed the corporate office, three times between April and August, I got no response. I followed the instructions and only got an automated response saying I would get a response soon.
“Yesterday, I was told that they had no control over it what I was charged and that we would have to pay for this month, next month, and a $10 cancelation fee. We do not plan on going to the gym for the next few months and will be moving out of the city, so the membership is useless. I’m sure there are many just like me, but no one seems to be able to help. Thanks for making it public, maybe we will get some real answers.”