Unscrupulous fitness club


Dear Editor;

I would like to bring your readers’ attention to what I consider to be certain unscrupulous business practices being carried out by some of the sales staff at a well known fitness club here in Pattaya, and very possibly at their other branches in Bangkok and beyond.

I was signed in as a member of this particular gym in March of 2009 with a lifetime membership and was led to believe that there would never be any additional fees to pay.

I am not a full time resident of Thailand, and only use this fitness club on my occasional visits to Pattaya.  It was therefore something of a shock when I went to use the facilities there in January this year to be told that my membership had expired as I had not kept up with the annual subscription payments.

I was not aware of any additional payments and the sales staff assured me in 2009 that there would be no such requirement.

After discussion with the manager it was brought to my attention that the membership agreement has a “prepaid form” attached to it that I had not signed, but neither it nor its contents and conditions had ever been brought to my attention previously.

Having talked to other expats over here it seems that mine is not a solitary case and that many people have had the misfortune to undergo similar experiences with this company.

It seems to me that I, like many others, were lured into membership of this fitness club under false pretences and that the management there are either blissfully unaware of or happy to tolerate their sales staff offering bogus inducements and information to potential customers in order to get as many sign-ups as possible.

I don’t expect to get a refund of my membership fees, having been told by the company’s head office in Bangkok that “this is not possible”; however, I would like to draw this matter to the attention of the expat community here in Pattaya and ask them to beware of the high pressure sales tactics the staff at this establishment employs, and to exercise all caution before signing anything.

Respectfully Yours,

Name and address supplied