Bankrupt Vancouver gym keeps charging member

A Vancouver woman says she's still being charged by her fitness centre even though it's been closed for weeks.
The fitness centre in the 1900 block of West 4th Avenue had the Better Business Bureau's lowest rating. ((CBC))
A Vancouver woman says she's still being charged by her health club even though the business has been shut down for weeks.

Nancy Jagger had a pre-payment plan with a gym called Kitsilano Workout, which would bill her credit card every month, she said.

When the club closed Sept. 27 after filing for bankruptcy, she asked her bank to stop the payment for October, she said.

"They said they couldn't do anything until the money was actually taken out of my account, which it was Oct. 1," Jagger said. "So my Visa was debited for October fees, but the facility is closed."

The owners are believed to be living in Chicago, said Jagger.

"There's nothing stopping them, I assume, from continuing to debit my Visa account for the monthly dues," she said. "So it's a bit frustrating from a consumer's perspective."

Two years ago, another member complained to CBC News that the health club was still charging fees long after their membership was cancelled, according to the Better Business Bureau.

The BBB gave Kitsilano Workout its lowest rating — an F — after a number of unresolved complaints with members, according to the bureau's website.

Notices that the business is closed and warnings to keep out are taped to the window of Kitsilano Workout. ((CBC))
It can be difficult for people who have credit card prepayment arrangements with businesses to get banks to cooperate, said Tatiana Chabeaux-Smith, of Consumer Protection BC.

"What can help consumers when they try to stop payment on these type of things is to see what they can do to get proof the business, or the gym, has actually gone out of business," said Chabeaux-Smith.

She said that proof can range from a notice of closure to a posting on a company website.

It may a bit more expensive, but it's recommended that health club and fitness centre members pay month by month, Chabeuax-Smith said.