Bally’s = Bullsh*t

It’s my own stupid fault, and that’s what makes it worse. But it doesn’t alleviate the fact that Bally’s Fitness is a corrupt and evil company hell-bent on abusing its customers.

I signed up for Bally’s 2 years ago when I was working up in King of Prussia. When I did so, I wanted to know what would happen if I were to switch jobs, moving to someplace where I couldn’t get to a Bally’s easily. I was assured that if I moved outside a 5-mile radius of a Bally’s, that I would be able to cancel the contract. When I actually saw the contract, I noticed that the contract’s terms seemed a lot more extensive and restrictive than they were telling me; I asked them very pointedly if – since my home was more than 5 miles away from any Bally’s gym – I would be able to get out of the contract if I were to get another job out of range of the King of Prussia gym. “Joe” assured me I could, as did the manager of the club.

Obviously, last December I started a new job in Philly, and I started putting together the paperwork to cancel the membership. I sent it in, but didn’t send in ALL of the crap that they require, and I never heard back. I was so busy that I never followed up. In July, I finally realized that I was paying all of this money for something that I wasn’t using, and did it again – this time doing EVERYTHING that the contract said I had to:

  • Wrote a cancellation letter stating that I no longer lived within the 5-mile radius (it HAS to be done in writing)
  • Returned the contract
  • Returned my membership card
  • A $50 cancellation check (yes, you have to pay to cancel)
  • A copy of a bill proving my address

Hello, this is Bally’s. F*ck you.

Then I waited for a response. And – not surprisingly – we got a letter stating that Bally’s would not cancel my contract. No reason, just a note letting us know we were screwed. So, Shari called to find out what the deal was. It turns out that despite the fact that I followed the directions, that I sent in a cancellation check (which they cashed), and I was no longer within 5 miles of a Bally’s, I was still bound by the contract. So sorry – shut the f#ck up and keep paying, buddy.

So, I called. I explained what I was told by the rep at the gym – AND his manager – and they blithely replied, “So sorry, we’re not responsible for what they tell you.” Monica proceeded to tell me because I didn’t relocate more than 20 miles from my previous home, the fact that I wasn’t near a gym at home didn’t matter. So, no matter what the reps tell someone, even if they blatantly lie to prospective clients, the corporate megalithic ass-munchers have no responsibility. And once you sign that contract, you’re bound to pay them – with your soul, if they had their way.

You can’t fight a contract

I learned the hard way about never relying on someone’s word over what the written contract says. Looking back at the contract – and the way they sold me this piece of shit – I understand my naivety in believing it would be possible to unsell my firstborn to these vultures. So, I’ll put it in big letters for all to read:


Never, ever sign a contract with Bally’s Fitness because they will fuck you.
Never believe a sales rep at a Bally’s because they will lie to get you to sign up for a membership.
The main Bally’s corporation will NOT honor anything a local rep tells you.
And most important, if you DO/DID sign a contract, bend over and take it – from what I’ve found, there’s nothing you can do to get out of it.

Researching online, I’ve learned that many have fought but very few have ever prevailed. So, they’ll get my money, and earn my ire for time immemorial – but they won’t get it for nothing. I’ll be sure to write an Epinion to roast them, just like so many other helpless saps have done. But I’m going to fight back, too. I switched my membership to the Philly Bally’s, so that at least I’ll get something out of the money I’m paying; but more importantly, I’m going to make sure that every little thing I find wrong is going to earn a letter or an email or a call to them. I figure if it costs them $5 per toll-free call, I can make 10-12 4-minute calls to them a month to get my money back. And to be a pain-in-the-ass, because I’m particularly good at that when you piss me off. Eventually, maybe I’ll be a big enough pain in the ass that they’ll get the message and cancel my membership. Probably not, but I’ll be DAMNED if they make one red fucking cent off of me in the end at this point.

So go ahead and kiss my ass, Bally’s. You’ll get my money, but it will cost you a LOT more in the end. TRUST ME.


One Response to “Bally’s = Bullsh*t

  • Woah, Marty. That place really sucks. I have to admit that I love this rant though. Too many people get screwed over and never bother to complain because it’s time consuming, they’re lazy, etc. If that Sprint story is right (they canceled cell phone contracts of people who call customer service to complain too much), you may just get out of your contract after all 😉

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