Wonderful work by Whitley of Women’s Workout World
Updated: September 17, 2012 11:39AM
Dear Fixer: I joined Women’s Workout World in August 2011. My membership was payable on a month-to-month basis.
The month after I joined, I went into the hospital for routine hernia surgery. There were some complications and two days later, while still in the hospital, I had a stroke that affected my vision.
I was unable to drive, but I continued to pay my monthly membership fee of $19. My ophthalmologist was not very encouraging as far as me being able to drive again, but my neurologist was more so. I kept paying my $19-a-month fees for the next nine months in the hope that I would be able to return to the club.
Fast-forward to June. I finally decided to call the club and cancel my membership. A few days later, I received a document from my ophthalmologist stating I meet the requirements to drive again.
I called the corporate offices of Women’s Workout World in early August and asked if I could be reinstated to my old membership plan based on my circumstances and the fact that I continued to pay my fees even when I wasn’t able to use the services.
I was told no; I would have to rejoin and pay $159 upfront and then $15 a month for a two-year contract. Can you help?
Dear Lana: First, let us say it has been The Fixer’s observation that 9.99 times out of 10, the consumer is out of luck when it comes to a rules dispute with a health club. The fitness industry is known for sticking to the fine print when it comes to things such as membership fees, cancellations and contract periods.
But your case did seem to be unique, so we asked Women’s Workout World — also known as W3 — President and CEO Shari Whitley if anything could be done.
Guess what? Within minutes of our inquiry, Whitley responded that she sympathized with your predicament and would find a way to resolve it.
You soon got a call from Kathy LaMonto of member services, who promised to reinstate your old $19-a-month plan. W3 also offered to credit you for the nine months of fees you paid when you were recovering. So they more than fixed this.
LaMonto said she wasn’t aware of your medical circumstances earlier; now she looks forward to helping you stay physically fit.
Three minutes a day didn’t work?
The makers of Ab Circle Pro, who claimed just three minutes a day on their device could help users lose 10 pounds in two weeks, have agreed to pay up to $25 million in refunds to settle charges by the Federal Trade Commission that they over-hyped their health claims.
If you bought an Ab Circle Pro, you may be eligible for a refund. For more info and to apply, go to FTC.gov.
A word about credit reports
Mistakes happen, so it’s a good idea to have a peek at your credit report now and then. Federal law entitles consumers to one free report from each of the three major credit reporting bureaus every 12 months. Go to the official site, annualcreditreport.com, and follow the prompts for the free reports. You will not have to buy anything, and you don’t have to provide a credit card number.~.