Wednesday, March 09, 2011

Celebrity Fitness Scam

~ Originally posted on Facebook. Feel free to share the post and spread the word.~

We were told by a self-proclaimed person in charge at Celebrity Fitness 1Utama that we can "make all the fuss (we) want" about this matter. Since we have nothing to lose, here we are making a "fuss".

To mark our year with a positive start, three friends and I decided to join a gym. In mid-January we went to Celebrity Fitness to enquire on how to join and become a member. Now one would think that they will have their prices clearly stated in black and white, but no. They have nothing of the sort and we ended up having to negotiate for hours on the amount to pay for their monthly membership fee, with their sales representative – Maggie.

When we were about to sign the contract of agreement, we noticed a clause on the contract saying that "Celebrity Fitness has the right to increase the membership fees without prior notice". At that point, we decided not to sign and asked Maggie about the clause, which all of us clearly disagree with. She verbally promised us that there will be NO increase of membership fees, and even mentioned that even if the fee does increase, it will not affect any new member signing up this year. To further convince us on how sure she is on this matter, she told us that since she works in the gym, we could always go to her should any matter arise, and she would help us solve it,.

That was a month and a half ago.

Yesterday, when my friend and I went to the gym, I wanted to pay my gym membership fees for March. I was told by the girl working at the payment counter that my membership fees had been increased! Needless to say, my friend and I were puzzled. Immediately we requested to speak to Maggie.

When we asked her about the price increase, she said it was because of the increase of government tax. As much as we would like to believe her, the ruling to increase the government tax had already been implemented and started on January BEFORE all of us signed up. Yet, she did promise us that there will be no increase of membership fees. Moreover, the increase of government tax is just 1% but we were asked to pay 4%-5% extra monthly, of what our current monthly gym membership is right now.

After a slight negotiation with Maggie, I asked to speak to the branch manager or a person in charge of the branch. However, she told us that she is the biggest of ranks in that branch, and impolitely told us that we will have to "go to Jakarta because there are no managers or the likes in Malaysia."

When we question her about what that we can do, she told us bluntly that we can make all the fuss we want, but we will still have to pay the amount they are asking for, and started a lengthy speech saying that ALL fitness centers in Malaysia are increasing their membership fees. However, when I asked a colleague of mine who is a member of another gym center earlier this morning, she told me that she hasn’t heard of such a thing from her gym center.

We also questioned Maggie how many times they can/will increase the price in a year; she kept quiet. When we told her that we wanted to cancel our membership, we were told that we will have to pay a penalty of RM400 if we wanted to do so. She also reminded us that the contract we signed clearly states that they are allowed to increase our membership fees without prior notice; contradicting to what she promised us verbally when we refused to sign up for the package a month ago.

I wonder how many other unknowing consumers have they tricked into signing up using this tactic, and how many have kept quiet and just pay whatever the fitness center is asking them to pay from time to time. I know verbal contract is a valid contract. But right now, she is in-a-way backing away from her words and forcing us to pay the amount, which might increase again in the not-too-distant-future!

Since we were so nicely asked by their self-proclaimed person in charge to make all the fuss we want, we hope that this message will manage to reach everyone out there and be aware that Celebrity Fitness is scamming people in such a way to join their gym and ‘extorting’ money out from its members. The price increase of a few ringgit is not the main issue here, but the way they are doing business is.

If the "real" person in charge is reading this, we really do hope to hear from you: On why the sudden increase of price; on your staff who gave us empty promises and scammed us into signing up; and how you can compensate us.

On the other hand, if there’s anyone out there who knows what we can do about this, and how can we go about doing it, please do advise.

35 comments:

Tifanny said...

Hi,

I'm a Celebrity Fitness club member & I encounter the same situation as you.

I will definitely NOT renew my membership with Celebrity Fitness nor recommend the gym to any of my peers.

Bad bad service & business ethics from Celebrity Fitness!!

~ Remy le Beau ~ said...

Tifanny,

I already cancelled my membership account after the contract expired.

Meanwhile, you should file a complain to the consumer association in regards to their scam at the NCCC website.

Do not sit and let them take advantage of you. Act and strike back!

Anonymous said...

Thank you for sharing this. I just about to join this gym today, but decided to check review in the Internet first. BTW I just been transfered to my HQ in First Avenue. Thinking of joining gym to kill tine before going home after the traffic ease a bit.

So goodbye lah Celebrity Fitness. I better join One World Hotel gym. RM100/month only, with swimming pool.

Wil te Boekhorst said...

Hi I am Wil Dutch Guy working in Malaysia. My wife joined in March this Celebritney. After one month she did freeze her account due to traveling outside Malaysia. Celebritney did just charg my credit card for the freezing and the monthley fee. Now we returned to Malaysia and I was trying to get my right. You know one of the employees thread and was really aggresive and willing to fight. I am filing a complaint to them to my creditcard company. They are really bandits

Anonymous said...

Thanks for sharing this. I recently discovered that I am scammed by CF in another manner. All in all they have took more than RM1000 from me without my consent. Further they are claiming another RM2000 from my girlfriend. If you still want to take action, let me know. I'm looking for people who have been scammed by CF to take collective action.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for sharing this. I recently discovered that I am scammed by CF in another manner. All in all they have took more than RM1000 from me without my consent. Further they are claiming another RM2000 from my girlfriend. If you still want to take action, let me know. I'm looking for people who have been scammed by CF to take collective action.

Anonymous said...

CF sound really fuck up. I working at kpmg tower and just walking distance to CF One U, For me, distance is the priority, I wanted to choose CF but all ppl complaint abt CF. One World Hotel Gym not suitable as I only attend the classes, One World Hotel Gym don't have classes.

I am FF existing member, but damn troublesome to drive to the curve or paradigm mall, always late for the classes and manage to attend 30 mins, then rush back(need to take care kids). So CF still my choice, my husband has an infinity membership which last time he purchase during California Fitness, and then CF bought over California. I sent email to CF requested for transferring, but damn their customer service is damn lousy, I didn't get any response after 3 week the mail sent. I even follow up more than 5 times over phone and they keep promising to response within 2-3 days, but neither email nor phone call I received. Damn it!

Hsien May said...

That was why I didn't want to sign the credit card auto debit form. However, they have found an awesome way to counter that: RM20/mth for handling fee if you want to pay in advance :( They are deliberately making things difficult for us.

kelly630 said...

Hm... did face the same issue previously when I was joining CF. Due to final exam, I requested to freeze my status. But they still charging me for the fees while I never use it at all. I'm was wondering what about FitNess First? Is it good? What about the price rate? Will they be same like CF, increase fees without further notice or scamming the customers?

Anonymous said...

Letter To Celebrity Fitness, New Delhi, India

Dear Mr. Vikas Singh,

I am a celebrity fitness member and bought an offer for 6 months some time back. When the 6 months got over i stopped coming for some time and then went on with my work traveling.

Recently, I got a letter mentioning that there is some outstanding which I have to pay. It comes to Rs. 19536/- for the service I did not use. I have to pay this because I dint tell you to cancel or stop my subscription !!

This is for your information that I was not aware about this. Also, it is worth noticing that while I was getting regular cold calls regarding new offers and discounts, you did not care to inform me about this vital information about continued non usage billing even once.

I make sure that my credit with any bank remains good, I get a letter at my home from your company about this outstanding without a single call being made to me !? The letter is a big embarrassment for me and insults me.

I made a phone call to your fitness center asking about this issue. I was promised a call back which never came. Then I had to go personally to the gym and talk to your Mr. Nishant Singh (Assistant Operations Manager) who tells me that you can clear this outstanding if I buy another subscription for 6 months. This is crazy. Is this some kind of strategy to sell more? I was planning to join again but not like this. Not with a gun on my head, however small amount it might be. This is unethical.

I would like you clear this outstanding with immediate effect as I did not use the gym out of the first contract and send me the receipt with no outstanding. I would also like to be compensated for my time wasted and the insult due to the letter.

I will take this case further if need be.

Anonymous said...

I am with celebrity fitness in Singapore. I signed up during a promotion as I find the package attractive over other gyms. 4 months later, they wrote an email to us to increase the monthly fees. I wrote a complaint email. Same, they said they have the right to increase their monthly fees as stated in the agreement. If I cancel membership, I have to pay a penalty. While they did not breach the contract, but I definitely feel they are unethical. Just force the price increase down our throat. Felt conned and cheated.

Anonymous said...

Hey, there! I'm a current member of Celebrity Fitness Indonesia (I'm gonna cancel my membership soon!)
Not that I'm defending them, but it is explained before you sign a contract, at least to me, that CF have the right to increase the fee. I've been a member for almost a year and so far, I haven't seen an increase in fees.

One thing that gave me that wtf-expression was when I told them I want to put my membership on hold for a couple months. Since I'm relocating from Surabaya to Jakarta, I thought I won't have much time to go to the gym for the first couple months... I went to one of the branch and I was told that I have to provide proof.

Let's say you're sick and can't go to the gym for months... you gotta show them a doctor's letter or something. Since I told them that I'm leaving, they asked for proof of my flight ticket. Serious, wtf?

Now that I'm already in Jakarta, Celebrity Fitness is a bit too far from where I work and live. Distance wise, it's not far, but horrible traffic will make it 30-45 mins drive to get to the gym. And there is a Fitness First gym right in front of my office building. Also another gym near my apt.

Soo yeah, I'm gonna go cancel my membership later tonight. Let's see what kind of excuses they'll use to keep me as a member. I haven't used my membership for the last 2 months!

Cslee said...

I got scammed by them too..dafuq!!

Anonymous said...

can we just cancel our credit card and ignore it? FXXX CF!!

Anonymous said...

Hi,

I'm a member of Celebrity Fitness since Oct 2013. And just like most of you, I am really frustrated with the service. I wonder why do I first signed up. =(

After only like 3 months becoming member, they increase themonthly fee! But I did not make any complaint because it's in the contract.

However, now that I really have no time to go to gym, I decided to cancel my membership and was told that I need to pay RM400 since it's 2 months from the end of contract! WTH, RM400 is equivalent to 2 months monthly fees! Doesn't make any changes if I cancel membership or not.

So I thought I was smart enough to clear off all the money in my account (I signed up for auto debit). Based on trending, they would deduct money between 14th to 16th. So when I got my salary on the 21st, I kept it and the next day I noticed that my money is decreasing! CF deducts it already! *not smart enough.

Now I really have no clue what to do. I want to cancel membership, but I don't want to pay that RM400. Neither I want to pay the monthly fees because I didn't go there now.

:( :( :(

Anonymous said...

read the HR profile
http://randykarmananjing.blogspot.com/

Anonymous said...

im one of the CF members. Now im feel regret beause joining this club. all the staff are sweet talker. dont trust them. for all malaysian, its better for you to go for other gym.

im a working guy. after 6 months, ive been transferred to other state which dont have CF centre. Even in the terms and condition stated that you can terminate your memberships after 6 months. but the staff asked you to pay RM 400 for the termination fee.

please. as one of the CF victim, i dont want all malaysians faces the same thing.

Anonymous said...

Same here. 2 years back I've paid someone from sunway branch to cancel my membership. And today, two years later I still receive their calls saying I still owe them 2k which includes late charges and bla bla and my account is auto renewed every year and is still alive!

Anonymous said...

Same here. I did asked the consultant from sunway whether am i able to join for 1 month or 2 months since i just came back to Malaysia for short holiday before start my new job in oversea. Of course, they say can but need to pay slightly higher and by CASH. I am happily pay and join the club since no contract and pay as a month before. Who knows after few months, my wife received a call from CF and said that i have 4 month balance, even though that I am in Oversea. THE MOST Serious case is CF didn't even send me a notice or email to tell me about this! I got this information from my wife (subcard). So guys, think before you plan to Join CF!

Anonymous said...

CF account department call me yesterday that I have to pay 1000++ for the fee even though I didn't went to their gym for more than 6months... now they told me if I didn't pay my name is gonna get blacklisted by bank negara which in the future I could not buy a house or a car if I'm taking a loan... what should I do??? Ain't gonna pay the 1000++ or the 400 termination fee..

Datuknaga2012 said...

Currently, the Celebrity Fitness Kepong always cheat customer credit card. Becareful of this fitness company. Is real, true and proof if you after terminate your contract, the credit card they still deduct every month or after few month they start again deduct your credit card money. So please check your all credit card statement. Otherwise need safe, please don"t sign any contract with this commpany. A lot of people already comment on this company, some of information they already take out over here. Please visit below link for more information about this bad company or blacklist company.

Datuknaga2012 said...

Celebrity Fitness is the best or scam fitness company in Malaysia. Please be-careful of this Celebrity Fitness Kepong Manjalara branch, they always cheat and use customer/member credit card to deduct money 2 or 3 time per month or after member terminate the contract, so please check your credit card statement. A lot of member already comment and report polis about this case.

Anonymous said...

Can i make cancellation of contract within 14days with refundable paid? :((((

Anonymous said...

Be careful at celebrity fitness Singapore as well, the sales staff will lie just to close the deal

Anonymous said...

Yes, beware of their sales consultants! We were promised 3 months free and our first month free since it was almost mid Oct when we join. we insisted to have it stated in our contract and after much hesitation, he photocopied a 3 months free poster and attached to our contract.The sales consultant insisted that we have to pay RM50 for the bag and the card, which we later found out, it was actually for his commission.
Sensing something amiss, we called the branch to reconfirm and spoke to their branch manager and fitness manager who confirmed the poster was invalid. Referring to our contract, we were actually charged prorated from Oct till Nov and our next effective payment was in Nov. In summary, everything promised by the sales consultant were a lie, and they started charging us from the day we signed the contract.
As settlement, they have agreed to state all the promised in our contract, and it's been 3 weeks we are still waiting for the amended contract.

Anonymous said...

they are awful. i'm a student and they're trying very hard not to let me cancel. as of right now, they let me freeze my membership for only four months with a fee of rm180 (-_-;)

Anonymous said...

Same here. Today, after 2 years I received a call from CF and he told me I owe them almost 2K. He said that my account still active. Thank god that I have a friend from CF. I asked him regarding this and he told me that this is 1 of their marketing strategies to get a customer. What a scam.

Anonymous said...

I received a call from CF Setia Walk Branch stating that I owe them RM2600 a few days ago. I stopped going to the gym 2years ago as i have to study at Sg.Long.I felt threaten as they told me that they will so called "Blacklist" me from future loans from my bank even though I pay the monthly fees by cash payment. As an 18 yearold at the time of signing the contract, thinking about getting fit and buff like Arnold Schwazzinagger. However, little that I know that they will be still bother me to this day. Ok, here's my main concern. As I'm currently 20 years old and broke as hell, will they actually sue or cripple me financially when I ended my studies and began my working life...? Did anyone have been sued by them before...? Btw I just blacklisted their branch tel no.

Anonymous said...

I joined CF on year end 2012 and went session no more than 3-4 times! That time my parents went applied with me and paid for me as well, i didn't really learn about cancellation fee RM400 or any of that procedures. I stopped going to their gym long ago and suddenly they called me last year 2015 and said i still owed them overdue membership fee. I was like WTH?? i tried explained to them that i didn't even got to receive my member card or even seen it because i stopped going after 3 times. No one has called or asked me anything about it and now you said i owed them. Now they urged me to settle the overdue charges otherwise they'll blacklist me. I said go ahead, because I'm not planning go back with their awful service and inconsiderate charges. Then again, they did not give up and call me again regarding the payment. in year 2016 earlier. Did anyone really pay for the balance of overdue charges which you did not went for the gym session after?

I signed up for the personal training (12 sessions) - all paid and gym membership (min. 6 or 12 month agreement) - monthly payment but stopped paying because i didn't attend without realize need pay cancellation fee. How? Any has experience of it and pls provide your feedback of your actions?

Anonymous said...

I left KL 3 years ago and told them in advance about the issue (even before I signed up). I told them to freeze my account and no one bothered to follow up my case. Yada yada yada. 5 years since then, they are still calling me up. The only advice is: Don't ever sign up with CF. Ever!
All in all, fitness centres are all very deceitful especially when they try to sign you up. My T&C document was all blurry when I finally took the document out to call them and deal with the freezing and all. If you want, always bring it back home to read it. I confess that I was naive and stupid for not doing that. Any BS about not having the same price if you don't sign up immediately should always be ignored. While I'm on this, one of the female consultant was being superbly rude to me when I returned to sign up with another consultant.

Anyone knows when they will wipe out my number from their system? I'm so sick of them.

Anonymous said...

Hi,

I gotta confess that I was in same naive as u without going through the contract in detailed.

Anyway, I called their gym centre and checked again with the customer service. I argued with the customer service about their nonsense charges when I already fully paid for the contract i signed up for. Why the outstanding when i didn't opt for the continue membership plus i didn't even went to enjoy the facilities! At the end, the customer service fella just told me that they'll only keep calling you until you pay them up. So, you might as well just use your smartphone and block their number. Thats it.

Lesson learned.

Side note to new members, good luck to you.

Anonymous said...

I also kena from all stupid celebrity pigs...how could they just cheat us like that..they increased the price n simply will ask us to pay..bastards..rot in hell

Anonymous said...

celebrity Fitness in City Square mall, Singapore is very poorly managed. There are a lot of Unfair practises going on in this gym. If you are not friends with "someone" you will not be able to get a class for Floating yoga and other such popular classes. Despite a few complaints from me nothing has been done to make things transparent and fair. The rules are not posted so that there is no room for each employee interpreting to their advantage and their friends.
The (so called) Manager "Mark" told me that my time and the time on the gym computer is different and that's the reason i don't get a class. I asked him why the computer was not on Singapore standard time and he said that the gym only follows their computer time (and nobody other than the staff know what time it follows)!! He gave me a few other ridiculous arguments about why I dont get a Class, on which I shall not waste my time as it will insult your intelligence. Instead of being a sensible manager and saying that he would look into the matter, he just kept saying that I was wrong, in other words calling me a liar.
My recommendation is that if you find another gym, use it and avoid this one if you want to attend classes.

Ariady said...

Hi

thanks for sharing.

I just about to register with CF today.
I saw that on the counter, pamphlet stated only RM170, no admin or join fee.

Then, I was being consulted with their sales guy.
I said that I want to pay cash.

They said, they only accept credit or debit.

I start to smell something fishy. Then he took a piece of blank paper and write about package.

At that time, I'm thinking. "why this good gym do not have proper paper of package?" I'm felt more weird the about it.

He explained that, that RM 170 not include admin fee. I reply, what? There your pamphlet clearly written RM 170, no admin fee.

Then he reply, this RM 170 is for trainer package A or B. And actually it is RM 176 and RM 186 (something). It become more complex.

I said, I don't want trainer. I just want to use treadmill for running (mainly) during my lunch hours (less than 1 hour) for several days a week. Then he said, no choice, I have to payment RM 140 admin plus monthly commitment RM 170 for 12 months.

Wow!! I thought, this is really scam.

Then I said to them, I will think again and walk away from them....

Luckily...

Anonymous said...

I just found this page.

I have a problem with celebrity fitness Singapore. My husband and I already terminated our contract with them and then a few months later they deducted our monthly payment to his account. When I confront them, they said will prepare a cheque to return our 3 months money. But up till now, we still wait for their cheque. I doubt they will return back our money, it has been 6 months waiting already.