January 10, 2010
258 of the more 1,800 registered health studios in Florida went out of business in 2008, according Florida Agriculture and Consumer Services Commissioner Charles H. Bronson.
The Florida health club failure statistic is cited in an Florida Today article on the closing of the Ten Minute Gym location in Melbourne, FL. The location of the failed Ten Minute Gym was previously home to Simply Fit and, before that, a Lady of America fitness club.
The owner of the club, Max Salinas, blames the economy and local competition on his club’s closing. It appears that the owner of the independent club is trying to help transition members with the least amount of inconvenience or financial loss:
Salinas, who closed a Ten Minute Gym in Rockledge two years ago, promised to make good on debts he owes to Reinig and others, either by arranging gym memberships at nearby health clubs or making straight refunds once he collects money from selling the equipment at the Ten Minute Gym, 2447 N. Wickham Road.
According to state regulations, once a health club closes and people have deposits down, they either have to get a refund or the owner must arrange for a similar facility, within five miles, to honor the contract…
According to Florida Today, Ten Minute Gym provided a “supervised, high-intensity workout in less time that it took at other health clubs.”
Tip of the hat: Thanks to WipedOut for the link to this story.
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December 22, 2009
Members of the Woodlands, Texas LOA Lady of America women-only fitness club are outraged. They claim franchisee Alex Valladares closed without notice, and they are being hounded to pay off the membership contract for a club they can’t use.
According to MyFox Houston, members found themselves locked out of the club on October 15th, 2009, a year and a half after opening. They claim the LOA franchise owner Alex Valladares never posted a 30 day notice, as required by state law. They also claim that they are being told by Lady of America that they must continue to pay on their contracts because they are being offered membership at the co-ed Gold’s Gym 7 miles away:
The women say they’re still bound by multi-year contracts and being hounded by debt collectors.
"They more or less imply they will destroy my credit if I don’t comply with their request. They have written me letters telling me since they’re no longer allowed to debit my credit card, I owe them the full amount which is about $500," said Holmes.
The women say Lady Of America is telling them they can’t cancel their contracts.
Under the Health Spa Act, Texas Occupations Code, a contract is still valid at a closed gym as long as the gym offers members equivalent facilities located not more than ten miles from the health spa. The women have been offered to attend a Gold’s Gym in Magnolia, seven miles away, but they argue it isn’t equivalent.
The Montgomery County District Attorney’s Office and the Texas Attorney General’s Office are both investigating.
Numerous complaints against Lady of America, National Fitness
According to article commenter DS:
LOA (LADY OF AMERICA FITNESS FOR WOMEN) doesn’t collect their debt directly. As soon as you sign their contract it is collected through a company called National Fitness located in Utah which has a D rating with the Utah BBB. National Fitness says they are a collection agency from the beginning and treats you as such from the start. Everytime you phone to inquire about your account you talk with a different person. It is all scripted and impersonal. Not a good situation for anyone – not a good way of doing business. I’d advise to find another gym.
Searches on consumer complaint site RipoffReport return 62 complaints for National Fitness and 77 complaints for Lady of America, many stemming from similar practices.
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July 5, 2008
Source: Rip-off Report
Do not buy a Lady of America Franchise!! They are a deceptive company and will show you false projections, unrealistic numbers and scam you while receiving kickbacks and unusually high royalties.
I owned one of these franchises and suffered through seven long years with no profit and now I am $250,000 out of my personal money. The franchise will not make you any money but instead leave you with lots of debt and headaches.
The company offers little support once you sign with them. If you want to start a fitness business, hire a consultant to teach you the ropes and keep your own money. The fitness business is not rocket science and there are several great consultants out there.
Out of a lot of money