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Karl A. Racine
Office of the Attorney General for the District of Columbia
 

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Attorney General Obtains Settlement with Washington Sports Clubs Addressing Cancellation and Billing Practices

Monday, November 21, 2016
Health Club to Refund Consumers Who Were Billed after Canceling Memberships

WASHINGTON, D. C. – Attorney General Karl A. Racine announced today that the Office of the Attorney General (OAG) Office of Consumer Protection has obtained a settlement with Town Sports International, LLC, which operates eight health clubs in the District under the name Washington Sports Club. This settlement resolves claims that the company violated the District’s consumer protection and debt collection laws when it made misrepresentations about how consumers could cancel their memberships, and when it continued to bill consumers after they had canceled.

“Consumers should not be on the hook when companies mislead them with unclear and inconsistent cancellation policies. Washington Sports Club members who made a good-faith effort to end their membership deserve the restitution that this settlement provides,” said Attorney General Racine.

As part of its investigation, OAG discovered that consumers who joined a Washington Sports Club were required to enter into membership agreements that contained year-long terms. Although the membership agreements stated that consumers must cancel in writing and give 30 days’ notice, club employees routinely told consumers that they could cancel at any time by informing a desk employee or manager at the club. The company then continued to charge consumers who canceled in this manner.

Under the terms of the settlement, Town Sports International has agreed to clearly disclose its cancellation policies, cease misleading consumers about how they can cancel, and not bill consumers who canceled their memberships. The company also will pay refunds to any consumers who have filed complaints that they were billed after cancelling their memberships or who file such complaints within the next three years. The company has also agreed to pay the District $20,000 in penalties and costs related to OAG’s investigation.

For Washington Sports Clubs Members Who Were Billed after Canceling
If you were billed for membership charges after canceling your Washington Sports Club membership, please call the OAG Consumer Protection Hotline at (202) 442-9828.