Woman charged almost triple for gym dues after her club shut down

    Former Fitness 19 gym member, Ute Goetsch said she had no advance notice that her gym was going out of business.

    "By the time I received the letter, it was already closed," Goetsch said. "

    She has since realized the contract she signed did allow for the club to sell or transfer memberships.

    The contract did not indicate she would be charged more than double the usual amount.

    "First off, Gold's Gym is 70 dollars a month, where this is twenty-five," Goetsch said. "We have in writing from Fitness 19 that they're supposed to take the terms that I've signed up for with Fitness 19 for 3 months."

    Prior to the second 70 dollar charge, Goetsch called her credit card company to stop payment.

    In the end, she had to go to arbitration to settle the dispute with the gym that acquired her membership.

    "A Gold's Gym spokeswoman did not agree to an interview, nor did she answer specific questions, including why Goetsch said she was charged more than double for the new membership.

    Gold's did send this statement explaining, "Our goal in welcoming former Fitness 19 members was to allow them to continue their fitness journey after their gym closed," adding members who have questions about their membership or charges can contact their general manager directly.

    "There's still room for a little ethics I think in day to day commerce, that they definitely didn't go by," said Goetsch's husband, Steve Goetsch.

    He also took issue with the fact that some of their information was shared in the process of transferring his wife's membership, including their address and credit card information.

    "I spent an entire two decades guarding information," Steve said. "I do feel violated, I really do."

    In attempting to report the gym, Goetsch realized there is not much regulation in the industry.

    Athletic trainers are licensed, but the facilities are not.

    "I think they could add to their consumer protection laws," Steve said. "There might be certain elements that they are not allowed to use in any contracts."

    The Attorney General's Office does investigate businesses that violate the Deceptive Trade Practices Act.

    Anyone can file a complaint with the OAG

    If you want to learn more about their complaint process, you can find that here

    The Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation handles licensing and regulation for athletic trainers.

    You can search trainers here at the TDLR

    Former Fitness 19 member who have questions about their membership or charges can contact Bandera Pointe General Manager Aaron Smith at 210-256-4838.

    You can follow April Molina on Facebook or Twitter

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