All gyms in United States were ordered closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. As a result, Americans worldwide are experiencing financial strain and hardship, with majority of their jobs also being closed.
As the days progress and member’s billing cycles reset, 24 Hour Fitness members are still being charged for their gym memberships, despite users clearly not being able to use or receive any services.
24 Hour fitness has closed their call center, with a message stating to use their contact form on their website however, the contact form is greyed out and un-usable.
Users has taken to twitter to voice their concerns:
Hey @24hourfitness , ALL forms of contact for you do not work. You definitely need to do the right thing and stop charging people for their membership, as you gyms are closed due to the #COVID19 pandemic
You’re telling people you’re “unable to freeze their monthly charges..” ??
— Kevin Walker (@KevinLWalker) March 28, 2020
Hey @24hourfitness I cannot get connected with anyone about canceling or getting my money back. Gyms been closed for weeks and I still got charged. Get this right or you’ll have a class action lawsuit coming.
— Shawn Galivan (@Shawn__Graham) March 29, 2020
— 🦋 (@simone_spice) March 29, 2020
@24hourfitness at this time of need, with a family to take care of….you’ve taken $200 out of my accounts…just since you closed your offices….so you could prevent cancelations. Enjoy that cash as it is the last you will get from me…a 14 year member.
— The Maroon (@noblemobley) March 29, 2020
@24hourfitness why charge your customers when we can’t even physically go in due to your gyms being closed. I think we should all be refunded.
— BrendaStarr (@starr_cee25) March 29, 2020
24 fitness has to date, refused to issue refunds and stated to one membership, “we are unable to process freeze transactions. Please be assured your membership will be extended for the same period that our clubs will be temporarily closed.”
Hello Frank – At this time, we are unable to process freeze transactions. Please be assured your membership will be extended for the same period that our clubs will be temporarily closed.
— 24 Hour Fitness (@24hourfitness) March 25, 2020
Users that are unable to reach 24 hour fitness or have them pause or credit their memberships, can easily contact their card issuer and file a “services not rendered dispute.” I imagine many will surely will be filing services not rendered disputes, given the situation.
No services are being rendered at any 24 hour fitness club given the closure and charging users does not appear ethical in the situation.
Chargebacks are a consumer protection mechanism. They were designed to protect innocent cardholders from fraud. However, many consumers have learned to abuse the chargeback system. Services not provided chargebacks are a perfect example of how merchant rights can easily get violated, however in situations where the card holder/purchaser is unable to resolve the issue with the merchant/seller, this may be the only option.