Four months after Consumer Protection BC fined K Fitness owner Arleo Dordar $4700, there are new allegations he is still refusing refunds for members who quit the kickboxing gym.
The consumer watchdog fined Dordar in March, for failing to sign proper member contracts and give out refunds when warranted to members of the Burnaby kickboxing gym.
But a CBC investigation has discovered seven gym members who claim Dordar still owes them hundreds of dollars in refunds for membership fees — although Dordar denies such allegations.
Niko Chan has filed a complaint with the Better Business Bureau to get $1200 back, after quitting K Fitness last month. He says the membership fee was supposed to cover the period from August 2014 to August 2015.
"Many people were double billed or billed more than they should be. And it happens so frequently, there's no way that's an accident," said Niko Chan.
Emily Ng says Arleo Dordar owes her $700, claiming Dordar "kicked me out of the last month of my previous contract for no valid reason," simply because she wanted to terminate the renewal of her next contract.
"I have email proof of the termination of contract within 10 days of reviewing it and it should be awarded a full refund under the Business Protection Act. He told me to find a lawyer and fight him about it."
'Every business will have complaints'
Dordar told the CBC the issue of some people being double billed was a software problem.
"When a software program does a double charge, they usually come up with a statement and they tell us. And what they do is we give them a refund cheque, which I have done in the past," said Dordar.
Dordar also claims that he has tried to pay the fines and penalties imposed by the Consumer Protection BC case, and the refunds required.
"Every business will have complaints, you’re gonna end up dealing with clients who have issues. My goal is to respond. I want to resolve all these issues," said Dordar.
"The particular case with owing astounding amounts with Consumer Protection BC is based on a client who tried to do defamation.
"The refunds we haven’t given out is the ones who have caused us a lot of trouble and we’ve been wanting to try to deal with it the proper way."
Dordar told the CBC he tried to pay Consumer Protection BC in instalments, but they did not accept it.
At the initial time of writing, Consumer Protection BC disputed this, saying Dordar had not made any attempt to pay the fines.
However, the watchdog has now confirmed that since being contacted by the CBC, Dordar has now agreed to address outstanding matters with them next week.
"Consumers weren't refunded who had properly exercised their refund rights," said public relations manager Tatiana Chabeaux-Smith.
Consumer Protection BC is now taking the case to court to enforce the ruling.
K Fitness gets F rating
The Better Business Bureau has given K Fitness a F rating, after receiving 15 complaints in three years. Nine of those complaints have gone unanswered, according to Seumas Gordon of the Better Business Bureau.
"Primarily for billing issues, around refunds for services to consumers. But also contractual issues, people trying to get out of their contracts but not being able to get refunds on services they paid for."
Eric Weynands quit K Fitness last month after two years. He says he had to pay Dordar more than $300 in cancellation fees.
"He actually threatened me to go to collections. He was literally threatening me about my case," said Weynands. "Basically trying every means possible not to [get me to] quit."
Under B.C. law, the maximum allowed contract is two years. There is no such thing as a lifetime membership for fitness organizations.
Have you experienced issues like these at K Fitness or other gyms? Contact our reporter Bal Brach at firstname.lastname@example.org to let us know.