July 19, 2017
LANSING – Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette today told West Michigan-based gym Family Fitness that it should immediately cease and desist its unlawful practice of misleading members into believing they must make certain monetary payments after they cancelled their gym and personal training contracts. Schuette said Family Fitness should stop making any statements, written or verbal, that cause customers to believe they will be required to pay the full amount of their contract, even if they cancel their membership.
“When consumers enter into contracts, the law requires that they be treated honestly and fairly,” Schuette said. “Using the threat of enormous penalties as a way of keeping customers locked into membership agreements misleads consumers about their legal rights.”
Schuette also advised Family Fitness that he is continuing to interview affected consumers and will take necessary steps by either opening a formal investigation or filing suit against the chain based on the actions the business takes following the cease and desist.
Schuette’s inquiry into Family Fitness stems from the high number of complaints his Office has received against the corporation since 2011. So far in 2017, 48 consumer complaints were filed against Family Fitness, either directed at the primary corporate office or one of its individual locations. Another 55 consumer complaints were filed against Family Fitness between 2011 and 2016.
Family Fitness has taken the position that it believes the gym is entitled to payment of the full contract amount when a consumer cancels, or attempts to cancel, membership and personal training agreements. These agreements generally ranged from one to three years in duration, meaning Family Fitness told consumers they are obliged to pay hundreds or even thousands of dollars for unused months remaining on those agreements.
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.
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
P.O. Box 30213
Lansing, MI 48909
Toll free: 877-765-8388
Online Complaint Form