Please, be careful!
Bally Total Fitness is a commercial operator of fitness centers in North
America. Most of the fitness centers are called Bally Total Fitness, plus 11 upscale
centers that are known as Bally Sports Clubs. This is how they present
- Bally Total Fitness is the largest and only nationwide commercial
operator of fitness centers in the United States, with over 4 million
members and hundreds of clubs across the United States and Canada
Their ads promote how modern their equipment is, and how low monthly cost
you have to pay. Don't be fooled. There are many good reasons to think twice
before joining Bally Total Fitness !
- As a member, you apply for a LOAN with 17% a.p.r and CREDIT,
and your monthly payments are just you paying off your debt. Do you
think you can just "cancel' your mortgage when you move or don't feel
like it anymore? Not the Bally Total Fitness loan either... They will send
the credit bureau after you and you will get into trouble if you don't
- Their contracts are very long-term and there is no early exit. Usually
3 years, but there are examples of lifetime contracts of $19/month, year
in year out.
- They only way to get out of the contract is not to live within several
hours drive from the closest Bally. Even then it is a "draconian
cancellation procedure" to get out.
- After the 3-year loan is paid, many people have had serious trouble with
Bally sending them bills and asking for more money.
- Have you seen the ads with $19 to join and then $19 per month ? That
contract, which runs over three years, allow you to work out certain times,
3 days a week.
People, before you join, remember of this one thing:
IT IS A LOAN OF (your monthly fee) X (at least 3 years, maybe
Do not for one single second consider this to be any different from any other
loan you take!
Bally Total Fitness has an unbelievable record of complaints in all of the
Untied States and Canada, which consumer organisations can verify. http://www.mwns.com/btf/index.htm
Rebuttal: Many health clubs are members of some sort of network with clubs all over the US. My local gym is, and so are several others that I considered. Not that I'm likely to work out when I'm travelling... I guess it's like having a SUV
; nothing you ever use, but you like picturing yourself using it. I don't see how anyone can think anything is free on a health club. My club also has a sauna, a swimming pool, basketball court etc etc. Of course they finance this by - GASP - the monthly fees. There is no such thing as a free lunch!