September 26, 2017
LANSING – Attorney General Bill Schuette today announced he has filed a class action lawsuit against the West Michigan-based fitness chain, Family Fitness, in Kent County Circuit Court.
The complaint asks the Court to put a stop to various practices by Family Fitness that allegedly violate Michigan’s Consumer Protection Act, and seeks monetary relief on behalf of consumers. This action comes after Schuette has received 286 consumer complaints against Family Fitness in 2017.
“These entities have been taking advantage of the hard-working people in West Michigan, and it’s time for that to stop,” Schuette said. “It is my hope that we can reform Family Fitness’ business practices, and get some money back in the pockets of many consumers. We will also ask the Court to make sure the credit reports of Michigan consumers no longer show debts arising from unlawful conduct by these fitness clubs.”
There are fourteen Family Fitness centers in West Michigan, with locations in Allendale, Alpine, Grand Rapids, Grandville, Holland, Muskegon, North Muskegon, Norton Shores, Plainwell, Portage, Sparta, Standale, and Wyoming.
In July 2017, the Attorney General issued a cease-and-desist order to Family Fitness after receiving numerous complaints asserting that the fitness chain was holding consumers responsible for paying hundreds, or even thousands of dollars on cancelled gym membership and personal training contracts. Many consumers had received credit reporting information showing they were being pursued by a collection agency acting on Family Fitness’ behalf. In that notice, the Attorney General advised that his staff would continue reviewing documents and interviewing consumers and then would determine whether it was necessary to open a formal investigation or file a lawsuit.
A lawsuit became appropriate after the Attorney General’s ongoing review revealed numerous other alleged violations of the Consumer Protection Act, including:
Family Fitness operates through a series of limited liability companies formed under Michigan law, each of which has been named as a defendant in today’s lawsuit.
The Attorney General anticipates bringing a motion for injunctive relief that will seek to require Family Fitness to adhere to the requirements of the Consumer Protection Act. Meanwhile, Family Fitness will have an opportunity to respond to the lawsuit by either filing a motion or answer with the Court.
Consumers may file a complaint online by going to Online Consumer Complaint/Inquiry, otherwise they may send their complaint by regular mail or fax as listed below. If you have any questions, please call the Consumer Protection Division Monday through Friday from 8:30 AM to 4:30 PM at 517-373-1140 or toll free 877-765-8388.Consumer Protection Division