Don’t sign up for LA Fitness gym membership

By on Feb 2, 2012 in Blog, General, Rant | 143 comments

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Don’t make my mistake, learn from my foolishness. Don’t under any circumstances sign up for LA Fitness membership. It’s what I’m calling “a scam”, although it may not be a scam, in the legal sense of the word. But I think it might be on the edge.

Here’s my problem – and it’s not unique to me – I was offered a three day trial membership. This part is almost certainly a scam. There is no trial membership. You call up to arrange an “appointment” with one of the trainers. What happens here is, you’re given a sell. A hard sell.It is at this point that the promises, the encouragement and the dealing starts. During this process, you will be bullied in to joining. Can you get the three day pass during this time? I don’t know. I never found out, because I was bullied in to signing up. The bullying is quite subtle, I suppose, you’re basically told, if you don’t sign up there and then, the price will go up. From what I can tell, this is a lie anyway, and the price of your membership is based on what the salesperson wants to give you as a deal.

If you got a three day pass, enjoyed the thee days, and walked out without the above sell. Let me know in the comments below.

But, the bit of this I have a massive problem with, is what you are agreeing to. This won’t be explained to you when you’re signing up, and you’d need to read ALL the terms and conditions to see it, but you are taking a credit agreement. This is why I think LA Fitness membership is a scam. Rather than subscribing to the service of their gym, what you are actually doing, is taking out a loan. Yes, that’s right. A LOAN.

You are borrowing a sum of money from LA Fitness. This amount is repayable over the course of your membership. That might be 12 months, or 24 months. This is the same as borrowing money from a shop for a large purchase, like a TV or cooker. I don’t know if LA Fitness credit scores, I suspect it doesn’t.

I bet 99 per cent of the people who sign up to LA Fitness have no idea about this. If you’re an LA Fitness member, check the stuff that was emailed to you when you subscribed. Again, please let me know in the comments if you WERE aware what you were signing. It’s also important to point out, when you sign this credit agreement, it’s done on a computer terminal that’s connected to the LA Fitness website. When I looked at it, it wasn’t clear that it was a credit agreement. I am literally JUST finding this out.

Aside from all that, the promises that LA Fitness are a different kind of gym are all lies too. When you go in – no wonder they don’t give you a three day pass, if they did, I doubt anyone would join – you’ll see the same old thing. The meatheads that pump iron day-in, day-out. The rude staff. The ageing facilities. You’ll be promised help from the staff, and an exercise plan, but unless you badger them, it will never appear.

So now, I have a gym I don’t go to, and no way to get out of the contract. I can’t claim to be pregnant, and have a husband who has lost their job, but then that wouldn’t make any difference anyway

In the morning, I’m going to ask the LA Fitness press department for a comment on this. I’ll also be talking to my bank about the legality of such credit agreements. If you are a lawyer, I’d love to know what you think. Get in touch via the comments, or send me a tweet @IanMorris78.


  1. Lottie

    February 2, 2012

    God I agree with this….I was a member for over 3 years, and when I came to cancel my contract when I went to live abroad they said I would have to pay a cancellation fee of £245!!! I managed to sell my contract to someone else, but it was stressful, and I discovered what they talked me through in the contract was not what I had signed. I recently bought 10 day passes through Groupon so I could use the gym without paying for a contract…I managed to work out only twice. The gym was rammed, even off peak, and the swimming pool is now almost entirely rented out for children’s swimming classes, so you can’t use it, and the place is full of children running around. I got endless calls, texts and emails from their asking me to join, even though I have opted out and asked them to stop. All gyms seem to be as bad though, GymBox have a reputation for taking payments illegally off people’s debit cards even after they’ve cancelled and left.

  2. Cat

    February 2, 2012

    My friend went to inquire about prices the other day and was sold membership to some gym (don’t know which chain) for a month for £45. It’s bloody cheeky. She said she felt forced to say yes eventually and she’s actually out-of-work looking for a job at the moment – WHICH she told them. She actually said she was unemployed on jobseekers allowance and they STILL signed her up. Pretty shitty to do that to someone who, unlike me, has a bigger problem with being rude to sales people ;)

  3. Cat

    February 2, 2012

    ooh, meant to mention…there’s a cool new company called payasUgym. Quite simple really, no contract, you load credit onto your iphone app, then through the app search for gyms in the area you’d like to go to train (near work, home, or friends, at your convenience really) then pay for a daypass – luckily, PAUG have negotiated a discount from that gym’s usual dayrate for their members. Probably not as cheap as a long term contract, but more flexible and at least you can budget month-by-month.

  4. Anonymous

    February 3, 2012

    Interesting idea on Payasugym, might look into that idea, as it’s sounds quite clever.

  5. Sharmee Mavadia

    February 3, 2012

    Ian – totally agree with this. It’s a complete scam and the facilities are awful. I joined for the classes and they take them off the timetable so now there are hardly any evening ones or you have to pay extra for them! Point of that?!?! And when you complain no one ever calls back….

  6. theprgeek

    February 3, 2012

    If you complain persistently and loud enough they will listen. I just got a month free and free locker hire. I do actually use the gym so I’m not too fussy about the contract. It’s the fact that they don’t keep their side of the contract and are rude and don’t give a shit when you do complain.

    So what happens after 12 months with LA? Do you go onto a rolling one month. Or so they automatically tie you in for another 12 months?

    Jemma aka @theprgeek

  7. Anonymous

    February 3, 2012

    I’m still in my 12 months, so I don’t know. Most people seem to be saying on the Guardian story, that you get a week or something to cancel, then it rolls on to another 12 months. I’ll check my terms and let you know.

  8. mysteriousmillie

    February 16, 2012

    I had a similar problem the facilities were awful, the changing rooms dirty, locker doors broken for years, shower filthy and smelt of poo yes guys POO on and off and I came out in an awful rash but I blamed the gym, equipment often broken for long periods of time, the swimming pool tiny and out of order most of the time – loads of people reported them to environmental health, they now have to test their water every week YUK!! I eventually used the asbourne case to get out of my contract as I had signed up to 18 months, but I pestered head office management – I used these email addresses Mark.Stevenson@LAFitness.co.uk and carmel.proctor@lafitness.co.uk and martin.long@lafitness.co.uk and neil.hodgon@lafitness.co.uk

  9. chim

    February 17, 2012

    omg how can I get out of this contract! I found out they’re a scam AFTER I got home from signing up with them and called to cancel the contract they turned around and sad “you’re in your contract already” I have never seen any contract where you don’t have atleast 7 days to reconsider. Please I need help, what can I do? I’ve been reading online that if you cancel your direct debit, you will automatically pass your name on to debt collectors :-(

  10. Piers

    March 5, 2012

    Agreed LA fitness are wankers, I’ve just wasted my time trying to get 3 days free.

  11. amyp

    March 18, 2012

    Thank you so much for this blog entry Ian!!! I was just about to take out a new membership at my LA Fitness – I have an appt with the “sales team” tomorrow, but now I’m going to do everything I can to get a new “dodgy deal” as all the staff refer to the membership I currently have with them! (Every time I try to book in for a class and my name isn’t on the system so I have to go down as “guest”…)
    My boyfriend and I went in there at the end of November admant that we wanted a 4 month membership to last us until March and would not sign up to a contract. They weren’t happy about it but they eventually said if we paid upfront £180 (£45 per month) there and then they’d give us a “buddy pass” for 4 months which gave us access to everything a normal membership would.
    I actually love my LA fitness, it is clean and doesn’t smell of poo, I am happy to report. I am training for a half marathon and would never been able to do it without the amazing lady who did original assessment and has kept suggesting new things, always takes time to find me in the gym to see how my training is going and suggest new things I could try and has been really supportive. Actually all the staff have been great.
    I heard on the grapevine (not from an actual Personal Trainer, but from my friend, who uses one at LA,) that they even take the piss out of the PTs. who actually have to PAY TO BE THERE even though they are members of staff!!! Unsurprisingly PT staff turnover is pretty high.
    Anyway, I will not be signing a contract tomorrow! I may even ask for 5 days free, seeing as I never had that option!!

  12. Smith123

    March 18, 2012

    Which branch of LA Fitness are you at Amy?

  13. amyp

    March 23, 2012

    Sutton Coldfield in Birmingham. I would recommend it. Staff are lovely, changing rooms are clean (obviously I can only speak for the ladies), classes are fun etc. :-) Got my extra month for £45, no problems. It sounds like LA fitness gyms really vary depending on which one you go to.

  14. Smith123

    March 26, 2012

    I’m looking in London. Which one are you at Ian?

  15. Christina

    April 24, 2012

    This sort of pressure selling is appalling as you feel the regret setting in as soon as you get home- i did sign up like yourself and ridulously due to my self loathing it took me 3 months to actually attend as i was so annoyed with myself for being so weak as to sign up there and then. Such a shame as fitness is a very much mind/ body thing

  16. Pinklady2008

    April 30, 2012

    wow me and my wife thought we were the only ones. after the first personal training session we never got a follow up. every time i asked for my free day passes for friends i never got them. even the free stuff i.e. the bag, bottle etc they did not have from the beginning. and we found out half way through our 24 mth contract (£50 per month) that we were also bullied into our friend was only paying £30 per month on a 12 month contract. this is the worst gym and has put me off joining any other gyms in the future.

  17. sntnpl

    May 7, 2012

    L.A.FITNESS IM MILGAVIE IS A SCAM!my cousin join them the other week,after harassing me with phone call.they did not give to my cousin a gym bag(i had one when i joint them with previous manager,by the way new manager Laura,is not that great on doing her job,)they said i would incur of a 45 quid surcharge on top my cousin contract!then i try to order protein tub(pro max)they would charge me 42 quid for that,but prom previous management i only paid 30 quid!my locker broke the other day,they try to sell me new look for 10 quid when i had 3 lockers change all from free!as i was asking them if i would be entitled to get a wee discount(i did bring to them 3 new member,got a notice from them saying that they would give me a certain discount on product if i bring customer to them)MISS LAURA SIMPLY TOLD ME,MANAGEMENT IS CHANGED.HOW CHEEKE!MANAGER LAURA SUCK!i’m sure i will end my contract to them one’s it expired,i mean MISS LAURA,THE L.A. FITMESS SILPLY PISS ME OFF,IM NOT GONNA COME BACK TO THEM AS THERE IS A NEW GYM NETX FROM I WORK,I REALLY HOPE SOMEONE CAN READ TO THIS

  18. Guest

    May 15, 2012

    You have/had a week cooling off period.

  19. Azpens200444

    May 17, 2012

    In the US there is no contract, and everyone who is saying you were bullied into it and then didn’t go, that is your own fault? Do you guys not have enough will power to say no to something when someone is pressuring you? Im sorry if you dont…good luck in the world then.

  20. Pawel

    May 18, 2012

    Well… I would have agreed with all of the above not more than 2 weeks ago, but then I visited my local branch in Brentwood… I have to tell you, it was a bit of a nice surprise and a refreshing customer service experience (unlike one with LA fitness at Moorgate in London or with the head office over the phone!!!)
    I did get my 3 days pass, I had all my questions answered there and then, and I have been told of all the terms an conditions. It was not a sales pitch, it was a genuine, friendly chat during which I found out everything I wanted about the gym, prices, contract, classess, etc.
    The person I talked not ones threatened that the prices would go up if I didn’t sign up and not pushed at all, I didn’t have never ending follow up sales calls. I went to the gym for the 3 days trial, enjoyed it and came back a week later to sign up myself.
    You might be right about the tired equipment, but they are actually changing all of it next month. And I will be honest saying, I don’t Ming using 5-10 years old equipment for the price they charge you for the contract. 40quid a month in comparison with other well known chains is not a fortune I am spending. And yes, it is a loan. But you do not have to sign up to it, you can simply pay it in full when you join.
    In regards to the staff… I have been lucky so far. Knowledgable, nice, professional, friendly.
    And before anyone asks… NO, I DON’T WORK FOR THEM!!! I just had a good experience.

  21. Fluff22

    May 23, 2012

    Being from the U.S., I’m not sure about differences in rules, but one thing I know is that you can go on line and print out a 7 day pass to take with you. Yes, a sales representative will take you on a tour, sit down with you and try and talk you in to going ahead and joining. If you came in to join and are inclined, great, go ahead. If unsure, be assertive and tell them you want the pass. It’s like buying a car, just a lot less expensive, and interest free at that. You pay whatever deal YOU negotiate. I do not sign something on a computer. I made him print me a sample of the document so I could read it all, first. Sounds like buyers remorse, and you guys have to know going in that this is a business. Machine and facility wear is going to depend on when the gym opened. It sounds like a lot of whining….aren’t we all grown folk here ? Not meaning to offend, but I can’t empathize nor endorse a lack of taking responsibility for one’s actions.

  22. Ianwhiteley

    May 29, 2012

    the staff at la fitness are nothing but liars and cheats, yet the authorities let them get away with it… why?

  23. Toby

    May 31, 2012

    Yo I am a 17 year old boy and I used to always use the 3 day pass, yes the staff would sumtimes throw snide remarks in like “they are scum using the 3 day pass”, but they couldnt stop us. I went to the gym by me for like two months before I got bored of filling out the new registration sheets with false information when I wanted a new pass..

  24. Toby

    May 31, 2012

    my name is not even toby

  25. Justin1c

    June 1, 2012

    I’m writing this letter to cancel membership because your employee
    (I.D. 1836052) acted unethically. He forged my signature on the membership contract while I was up in the gym (he requested i check out the facilities) and better yet he made up a fake email address of mine. I never read the contract nor was I consulted in anyway. Why should I do business with a company who will tolerate such tactics.  I was lied to in so many ways that there is no excuse for what happened. 
    First I was told that I could not do a free month membership because he was being closed out in thirty minutes. The truth is he was trying to make a quota and I know this because he was openly discussing and comparing two other facilities to the stamford branch with another employee, stating “one has met 110 percent of sales and the other is already at 75 percent” of their daily goal. The worst part of all of this is that there is an employee of yours who witnessed this and will vouch for what happened if necessary. I’m not sure how many other people this has happened to or how long this has been going on for but I want to make sure that this does not happen again.

    Enclosed I have included a copy of the contract which I never signed and did not even know that was signed already until a day later. 

    I hope this matter is now

  26. Lost in LA

    June 6, 2012

    LA Fitness in on Don Mills (Toronto) is a real shit hole. I have been at this gym for 2 years now and every month it gets worst, but the excuses don’t change – “Sorry He quite last night” Sorry the mens lockers room and showers are a mess – he quit last night too or he doesn’t work on Fridays.

    Staff turnover from top to bottom is weekly and some times daily. The work out floor is a joke. Lot’s of machines and free weights – if you can find the free weights. Tried to work out this morning, couldn’t find any dumbells, barbells as they we all over the gym. The trainers in this place are worse the the clients for leaving shit all over, but at $18/hr for training what can you expect from this so called “Signature” Club.

    Starting to conider quitting this place and joining McDonalds – might see results!! The will be shit results but no different than the Shit hole called LA Fitness

  27. Ben

    June 12, 2012

    Hello there!
    I’m in London for the next 6 month (just arrived from the continent) and went to the LA Fitness in South Kensington to get more info.
    I saw on the internet they propose Pilate classes (for my GF), have a big fitness room and a swimming pool! It sounded amazing.
    We asked for a leaflet with the prices and the conditions, but they gave us a form to fill up with really precise details. Then a “trainer” that I better call a “pushing seller” came to us and proposed us to see the accommodations.
    Then I told him: ” we’re students, here for a couple of months, we wanna come twice a week, I just wanted to know about your prices!” so he started with a 45 min monologue explaining us that taking a 18 months membership was the best option as we could cancel it whenever we want as long as we present them the plane ticket. Then he demonstrated that taking the full package with all options and welcome gifts was again cheaper than taking the basic membership!!!!!!! Doesn’t make any sense to me…
    Quickly he lost us with his complicated explanation of discount, fees, charges, packages… At the end he asked for our bank details. We starting to feel really uncomfortable and pretended not having them with us. We said we would come back tomorrow. Indeed I wanted to check this LA Fitness reputation on the internet, and I saw this blog!!!!!!!
    I thought I was too suspicious, but apparently we were right to be careful!!!
    Do you all agree on not subscribing a membership there?

    So now, I am back to the beginning: I am in London and looking for a RELIABLE fitness with Pilate classes.
    Can anyone help me with that?



  28. Julieheinrich1

    June 14, 2012

    I belong to LA Fitness and my firned tried to use a free pass and was told that the man who gave it to me (I gave it to my friend) no longer worked at LA so the pass was no good. I was angry because that makes no sense. I printed a free 2 week pass off of my LA account and gave that to my friend—we went back the next day and were met at the door and he was immediately told that pass was no good due to “black out dates.” The manager said that college kids are using them over the summer to come to the gym for free and not purchasing a membership so they will not honor them. I complained and they did not care. I paid $20 for the day for my friend and went home and called LA corporate and was told by them that they have never heard of “black out dates” or not honoring a pass if an employee quits but that my friend needs to live within 20 miles of the gym. I told them that he is in medical school doing residencies between 3 states. They said his driver’s license address needs to be within 20 miles of the gym or the free pass is invalid. So, to answer your question—there is NO FREE PASS at LA Fitness.

  29. Nstripp

    June 14, 2012

    I’ve just joined. I was told to call to cancel 2 months before the end of my 6 month contract if I don’t want to carry on – the price wil go up as I got a special rate and it would be a rolling contract. Although I was told that even if I don’t want to cancel to call and tell them I do and then they’d offer another special rate to keep me.

  30. Roadhouse

    June 20, 2012

    or, man up and say no. I got the 3 day pass, chatted with the trainer, explained i already had membership elsewhere and proceeded to use my free 3 day pass. after this, they phoned me a few times, i explained im still considering other options, and left it at that. ive been going on and off since with various free passes and havent been bothered since.
    those that say they’re bullied into signing obviously have very little in the way of social skills, or you’re extremely weak willed. nobody can make you do anything or sign up to something against your will. just because they dangle a carrot in front of you doesnt mean you have to take a bite. just sit back and consider your options, it really is not difficult.

  31. Not Telling

    June 20, 2012

    Pay as you gym is a load of Bull****, they negotiate nothing on your behalf.

    There is NO discount.

    I don’t know if they actually promise one in their blurb as they should be held accountable for false promises at best, utter lies at worst.

    You actually pay a pound or two more than if you were to pay for a day pass anyway.

    For example Jubilee Halls in Covent Garden is and always has been £8 for a day’s use, yet it’s more on PAYG as are all the gyms. All they’ve done is created an app with a map of all the gyms that that allow drop-ins. They have then contacted the gyms and said will you accept my traffic? Once agreed they add their commission on top which varies from £0.50- £2 per person per gym session.

    Once again Pay As You Gym offers NO discount whatsoever.

  32. Not Telling

    June 20, 2012

    Haha go check out the one in Holborn. The ‘swimming pool’ is pathetic. It’s a single lane!!! You actually have to get out one end and walk back and then re-enter to swim the 15-20m lane again!!!

    I didn’t believe my friend until he took me there. All LA Fitness’s, Fitness First’s, GymBox’s, Bannatyne’s etc. are useless. I used to study at Loughborough designing gym equipment – all these ‘facilities’ are basically ‘lifestyle’ gyms. There’s no real equipment that will benefit you or knowledgeable trainers. It’s not designed for that. It’s designed for the masses to be able to use ‘equipment’ that forces them in patterns of movement that will never hurt them thus ensuring minimal liability supervised by minimally trained staff (by minimal I mean anyone who has undertaken a premier personal training qualification which basically ensures they can stand next to a piece of designated equipment and count to 10). Funny thing with these machines is that by ensuring you don’t have to support loads across all axes by keep you constrained to linear movements you’ll only ever plateau and never increase in strength as you’ll never handle an appropriate load by supervised by someone who takes you as close as you safely can fail at until they provide support themselves – the entire purpose of a spotter and certainly the purpose of a paid trainer. The machines are also designed for the 95th percentile – to fit most bodies. Technogym – which appears to have struck deals with most of these chains tries so hard to ergonomically over engineer their equipment the kit is useless for most and in the case of their hamstring curls and leg extension machines utterly dangerous.

    You’ll never see Technogym in a real gym, but one thing you will see, the absolute cornerstone of a decent gym – the benchmark – the absolute litmus test – is a squat rack and a trainer that knows how to use one correctly. Not a ***tty ‘smith machine’ a worthless squat rack looking piece of equipment that has a fixed bar that slides up and down which people often assume is a squat rack (squatting is not a straight up and down movement) – note: these are installed in every LA Fitness and Fitness First I have ever been to. A real Squat Rack is the corner stone to every gym and the reason none of these lifestyle gyms have them is because unsupervised or poorly supervised (as in their staff) the kit can be potentially dangerous. Set up correctly it’s the most important piece of equipment you will use to achieve your strength and conditioning goals.

    Also, so far I have yet to see any gym that offers better pool facilities then most council drop-in pools (that is if you actually like to swim as opposed to floating around in water).

    If you want to actually save cash and get in shape, google p90x, that is a thorough and excellent home based program that will get you results safely and mixes up routines from various disciplines to keep you motivated. Couple that with a decent council pool, Yoga class, running or cycling outdoor (once you’ve gained the motivation from the infectious p90x). If you soley want to lift weights most spit n’ sawdust gyms will allow you to drop in for £5 and are not intimidating, but friendly in my experience. They survive on repeat custom at the end of the day and don’t strong arm you into deceptive contracts. The sooner people turn away from these awful lifestyle gyms and rid them from the high street the better!

  33. Alexandra Fitness

    July 9, 2012

    I have problems from LA Fitness – but as a contractor. I’m, a freelance fitness instructor and I was having problems with my bank account so I asked LA Fitness to hold my invoices until I sorted out. After 3 months, I wrote to them with my new bank details and they paid my salary….into my old account. This was in Nov 2010. when I challenged them, they admitted that they they had made a mistake and told me that that would “actively try to recover the funds”. I told them that as far as I was concerned, they’d paid my wages into an unauthorised account and how they recovered it was their problem. Today, I wrote to them asking if they had managed to “actively try to recover the funds” to which they replied that “Until the money is returned to our account the finance team cannot pay you this money.”
    Amongst freelance fitness instructors LA Fitness is a bad joke.

    The “funniest” thing of all is the Mr Calder, head of Finance at LA Fitness considers that the error level in his finance team is “extremely low” and he invites you to e-mail him with any problems. His e-mail address is :Allan.Calder@LAFitness.co.uk

  34. dingle berry

    July 13, 2012

    lmao. sounds like you were every salesman dream and now you have remorse because you over paid and didnt do your research prior to going into their establishment…in this day and age, only lazy or computer illiterate people claim to be “scammed”

  35. Eatingnim

    July 19, 2012

    the difference is, butthole, only in the u.s. do we excuse thieves under the guise of ‘just business’. most every place else in the world does not expect unethical treatment of consumers. so, next time you get buttraped by your creditors or anyone for that matter, go jump in a septic pit.

  36. youidiot

    July 19, 2012

    seriously a$$whipe? you’ve never been cheated by unethical corporate manipulation? f-ing liar. go/back to work whiping sweat off machines and cleaning pubic hair from shower drains at la fitness for minimum wage which you pay back to your employer to workout you jerk-off idiot. no one can ever be scammed in your world? fuking idiots like you are why this greedy sh!t continues to exist outside of the united states where we for some reason encourage fukers to rape the public. go suk-off a business man jerk!

  37. Redmondwalsh2003

    August 9, 2012


  38. Tm

    August 11, 2012

    Did LA fitness actually give you money? No, then how can you say it is a loan? A loan is something you borrow for a while and pay back. You sign up for a contractual period and if you don’t pay up front you sign a credit agreement agreeing to pay the fee monthly. Should you wish to cancel during that period they are entitled to the money.

    We paid our fee for a year up front and we got all the free stuff and two week passes for friends, yes a physical voucher that you took with you to use their facilities. I’m not sure why you’re having problems but the Liverpool branch is fine. If you didn’t want to pay each month them don’t sign up it’s as simple as that really

  39. Rll

    August 15, 2012

    I cancelled my membership with la this year, they do nothing to try and keep you and don’t offer any cheaper prices, It is a monthly rolling contract but make sure you call 2 months before you want to cancel or they will keep you going for another few months

  40. Ian Morris

    August 16, 2012

    It works like this. You sign up, they “loan” you the money for a year’s membership, which is paid up front. You never see the money, but it is a loan.

    They do this because the consumer credit act is harder for people to get out of.

  41. Sammy Challenger

    August 20, 2012

    have to say I dissagree. I recently joined cambridge LA fitness and i first had a free 2 week buddy pass because my sister joined up and at no point was i bullied into joining, nobody even spoke to me about joining, they just let me get on with it. The staff are ever so friendly there. The gym was never packed and i was able to work out easily, the swimming pool was always quiet so I could have a good swim, at the end of every session the staff always said bye etc. The people that work out at the gym were also very friendly and eve made a few friends. I personally think this article is a little unfair as i was never ever bullied into signing up and nobody even tried to sell me membership, just got my free buddy pass and that was it, i left to work out to my hearts content. The classes in the evening are good fun and the equipment is very good and varied.

  42. Eugene S

    August 23, 2012

    I’ve used 3 day passes without signing up. Just say you need it for 3 days, and don’t need a membership. They can’t do much about it.

  43. Abc

    August 23, 2012

    I just got back from using a five day pass. Thankfully I have not experienced any problems like the above. Nor do I want to either. I have enjoyed my time there and haven’t been hard sold at all. Having said that different regions probably have different issues in terms of clientele.

  44. IanPugh

    August 30, 2012

    Wow! Sounds like you need to go work out your anger issues somewhere!

  45. LA Fittness Employee

    September 1, 2012

    I am actually an employee at LA fitness in the U.S and i feel terrible for everyone on the blog. there is no “loan” or anything of the sort here and you can cancel at any time. If you pay your monthly payments, you may use the gym, and if you don’t pay, then you cant. its obviously is a corporation so of course theyre going to try to get the people tha are about to use the guest passes to sign up, but where i work they talk to you before you start your 3 day guest pass and then it is up to you if you would like to join and nobody hassles you after in any way. although there are always little errors and mistakes that occur when youre dealing with millions of members, the US LA Fitness has no shady contracting or any of the underhanded business people have mentioned. when people say they were “bullied” into a membership, it truly is the responsibility of the person to just say no if you dont want one. you cant get talked into doing something without your own consent, which is why there are contracts and its the members responsibility to read them to know what exactly they are signing up for (in any country). i highly recommend LA fitness in the U.S because there is nothing shady about our contracts. so sorry to everyone in Europe!

  46. Laps_shelley

    September 6, 2012

    Yes its not the best but its cheap. Gym is what you make of it. If staff are rude that shouldn’t affect your state.

  47. kevin

    September 11, 2012

    They came to us at college with a leaflet saying some 3 days free offer and we all signed I have an appt on Thursday 3 pm ..

    are u saying that I can use the 3 days and then not sign up for membership because after reading this I feel it would drain my money as I’m a student

  48. Peter010

    September 12, 2012

    I am still in my 12 month period when me and my partner joined we were living seperatly (25 miles) and I asked before signing up if we parted could I cancel my membership to which they replied yes and I joined. In May 2012 I was made redundant and informed LAfitness of this the same day I had a car crash an epelitic fit at the wheel and cant drive now there threatening me with debt collection agencies to recover money DISGUSTING

  49. Khbutler0508

    September 13, 2012

    Thanks for the info . I was able to walk out of there with out signing . They try to make me call friends to get them to join and share the cost . Now that I know I will pass the word. About them .

  50. Jsjebssks

    September 18, 2012

    I just joined today. NO CONTRACT. And I can cancel anytime. Idk which one y’all are going to. But the one I go to is a BRAND NEW gym that was just built this year. It’s awesome. No hidden costs, no loans. No bullshit.

  51. dannyboi

    September 22, 2012

    Changes to your circumstances.

    Of course, we understand personal circumstances can change (e.g. loss of job, pregnancy, moving away), so we’ll ensure your membership is one less headache for you to worry about. Whether it’s freezing your membership or a more permanent arrangement, we’ll work with you to find the best solution.


    *All cancellations must be processed through our Member Services Department by calling 0844 770 7700

    *Members must give one calendar months’ notice to cancel their agreement, once the initial term of the contract you have committed to has been fulfilled. This is in line with the terms and conditions of your agreement signed at the point of joining

    *Within contract, members cannot cancel or freeze their membership; however, we will cancel during the agreement period as a gesture of goodwill if the following criteria is met:
    Loss of earnings

    If you have lost your job due to redundancy or contract termination, we’ll work with you to freeze or cancel your agreement early. All we will ask is that you provide us with the appropriate independent documentation e.g. P45.

    Medical reasons

    If you sustain an injury, long term illness or become pregnant, we’ll freeze or cancel your agreement on the acceptance of a supporting Doctors note confirming you are no longer fit to exercise.

  52. Simonparry88

    September 23, 2012

    Mate this is what most company’s like gyms and insurance companies do in terms of paying monthly memberships. From what I understand they may well credit check you, but don’t leave a footprint on your file. It’s a common practice and not at all exclusive to LA Fitness. Don’t get me wrong I’m not too keen on LA Fitness, but this is not unique to them.

  53. Emma W

    October 8, 2012

    I don’t know about the contract bit but I did a weeks free trial and they didn’t pester me or anything. I might get the odd call asking if I’ve decided if I want to join but I asked them to do that as I’ve been looking around other gyms. They have all been really nice to me and the gym was really quiet whenever I went.

    I think It’s likely that I will join though as I did enjoy it and it was the most relaxed gym I’ve tried. But thanks for the info, I will read the contract fully before signing.

  54. Paddock66

    October 12, 2012

    well, all i know it’s tiny and they charge personal trainers a monthly fee more than most people pay for their mortgage just to use their rather small and limited facilities…!

  55. Alleyarms

    December 1, 2012

    If you want the gym to quite charging to your credit card just tell your bank you lost your card, cut it up and they will send you a new one, with new numbers. The gym will send you an email asking for updated billing info. Just ignore it and they won’t be able to charge you anymore. Never, ever give any one access to charge your checking account.

  56. Andrea

    December 8, 2012

    LA FITNESS SUCKS!!!!!!!!!!!!! I paid a down payment of 95 for training . The training manager said I could cancel the next day if I change my mind so I did but they continued deducting money from my account… WORST IS, they never even gave me a contract but they claimed they did and showed it to me the day i complained WITH AN ENTIRELY DIFFERENT SIGNATURE FROM MINE. they totally forged it!!!! We should file a class suit everybody!!!!

  57. Andrea

    December 8, 2012

    IAN, WE SHOULD DO SOMETHING ABOUT THIS. LA fitness has been doing this to a lot of customers. And they’ve been getting away with it for years!! This has got to stop. We need a lawyer.

  58. Tom

    December 14, 2012

    I got out of my LA fitness contract when I was made redundant without any problem, just had to show them my redundancy letter. (not unreasonable) I used to go to the Bedford facility on Manton Lane, it was really nice – a nice pool, plenty of clases, bright and airy gym, very pleasant staff …. I agree about the fact you are encouraged to sign up with a personal trainer for extra cash but – what the hell, it works for some/many people who need the structure and encouragement and we are all big growed up adults now – so just say ‘no thanks’ and don’t be such a wus about it. I’m just about to re-join as it’s good VFM if you actually use it!

  59. Emma ochia

    December 17, 2012

    I’m in the same terrible position. I went to guardian money for help. I don’t know what to do …:( I’m only a student …

  60. Nstripp

    December 17, 2012

    Hmmmm, they offered me a new rate when I called to cancel which I refused, but then they told me my 6 month contract is actually an almost 7 month contract as I’m supposed to pay six full payments, plus the 25 days for June. Conning buggers!

  61. Nicholas Georgiou

    December 28, 2012

    It is part of their job to persuade you into joining, although you have the power to say no, so what is the problem? Perhaps you need a bit of “bullying” to toughen you up a little bit!

  62. personal lol

    January 2, 2013

    i did not have this problem with LA fitness. im in Chula Vista, CA (San Diego area) and i was on amonthlly plan, $75 for the family (4 people) and canceled no problem as long as it was written and 45 days in advance. we are now looking to go back after 6 month. i wonder if they are franchise

  63. bundies

    January 10, 2013

    Did you ever get a proper reply. and or conact detaisl?
    From Anotehr annoyed user

  64. nikkinew

    January 14, 2013

    going to meet with a trainer today. Glad i read this first!

  65. sam

    January 15, 2013

    ya dude just went in today to try the 3 day pass. they had me sign a “manual agreement” and wanted my credit card. told them there was no way I was giving them my card for a free three day trial. Hope I didn’t screw myself.

  66. tony grant

    January 17, 2013

    It’s unfreakin believable that this company is allowed to be in business w/ tens of thousands of complaints and hundreds of class action lawsuits lodged against la fitness. The best recourse, report card stolen to your card service, send a certified letter to la corp …who gives a fuck if they never get it. You might get phone calls for two months but la fitness never reports info to credit reporting agencies. Don’t forget to call your local city councilman, mayor, congressman and senator. These people need too know about your experiece not to mention the hundreds of class lawsuits and tens of thousands of complaints lodge against them. The top 5 complaints seem to be the norm…..Fuck la fitness….

  67. tony grant

    January 17, 2013

    You’re a fucking dumbing down dimwit…..there are tens of thousands of compaints reported against this scam of a business in every city across America w/ the same top 5 complaints. Let’s not forget about the hundreds of class action lawsuits.

  68. tony grant

    January 17, 2013

    and you’re all alone w/ that thought. 99% of members living in America and UK have come to a totally different conclussion.

  69. tony grant

    January 17, 2013

    Hence….the tens of thousands of complaints and hundreds of class action lawsuits. This blog is dealing only w/ complaints from members in the UK. The same shit is happening to members across the U.S.

  70. Jame-sd

    January 22, 2013


  71. tony grant

    January 27, 2013

    Really…last time I googled LA Scam fitness, there are tens of thousands of complaints w/ the same top 5 recurring issues. AVOID THEM LIKE THE PLAGUE…………..

  72. tony grant

    January 27, 2013

    Bullshit….You still selling crap down river. AVOID THEM LIKE THE PLAGUE If what you written is correct, why are their tens of thousands of compaints all over the U.S. and UK? DON’T BELIEVE A WORD!!!

  73. Lani

    January 31, 2013

    I’ve had no problem with LA Fitness thus far. In this past month of January from the 1st, I was able to get a free 1 week pass, which I used without any problems. After the week was up, I requested a free 14 day pass online using the same name I had on the first pass. Got a call that day saying to come in and set up the pass, which I did again without any problems. Used the 14 day pass till it expired. Only thing I’m experiencing is a lot of calls asking me to sign up for a membership, but they are supposed to do that and I find nothing wrong with just ignoring them since I have no intention of signing up at this time. Also each time I set up a guest pass, not one of the reps tried to pressure me into signing a membership, they simply tole me the rates, I declined, and they then continued setting up my free pass to let me have my free workout period. This was at Tucson, AZ clubs, so maybe it depends on the area you live in.

  74. bigbadwoolfe

    February 2, 2013

    This makes fascinating reading as I am on both sides of this coin. I am an instructor, but I am freelance; I teach `spinning` and its the only discipline I teach. However, I `work` for LA Fitness as an employee on “zero hours contract”. This means they pay me an hourly rate and then deduct for tax & NI.

    Now this all sounds good but where does that put me in terms of “an employee”.?

    Well; I get NO holiday pay.
    I get NO sick pay; moreover, if I can’t `cover` my class I, myself, have to find cover for it at my expense. So, essentially, I could end up actually losing money.
    Where I work the parking isn’t free so I have to pay to park! It’s £1.20 for 2 hours….
    (We’ll come back to that)
    So “Zero Hours Contract”. This means LA Fitness don’t have to honour the classes they `give` me regularly.
    So, here I am: An employee……but no benefits……and more to the point….I have over 10 years experience. To become an instructor (in particular spinning) you have to do a very intense course; after which you continue learning with modules. You have to then amalgamate `points` over the year to make sure R.E.P.S are satisfied that you,ve satisfactorily earned your badges/stars over that year!
    N.B. Google REPS.
    All of this costs money and you’re thinking “how much?”

    A course could cost £200+. It takes a weekend. You may get 3 points for a course & you need over 12 for the year. So 3 courses….no problem…..No problem if they’re in your town; so not so good if they’re 50, 100, 200 miles away. Fuel, hotel costs, etc…assuming you have a car. Worse if you don’t. Getting the picture.

    So; when I qualified 12 years ago I was paid £20 per class. (45 minutes) I was paid £22 if I taught an hour class.
    12 years later…..I have been informed that i will now be getting £15 per class & £20 for my hour class!!!!
    And to add insult to injury; remember I am employed by the gym….I have had no appraisal, no meetings to ask me for any feedback; no management has asked me that in all the years I have worked there.

    So now I get paid £15 for my class; to set up & down takes at least 15 mins either end and on top of that I then pay for my parking and the tax/NI take some too! I am left with very little to show for it…..

    It would appear that not only are their members being treated badly but also their staff; but I am not really staff…..I am only staff when LA sees it fit to call me staff when Customs & Excise and the VAT man look at their books to see that `freelance instructors` are “paying their dues”

    What’s worse!?
    If I am an employee (without benefits) I need a PPL ‘Public Performing Licence` Licence (to play my music) surely as an employee LA’s licence would cover me ? …..er.. No But I pay my dues; why do I have to pay for a Licence.?
    Because it is LA Fitness` rules……

    And yes; I also have to agree with the complaints. I taught to thousands of members over the years about the facilities all of whom complain about them. Old equipment; tired carpets, classes cancelled – just like that; reduced opening hours; no creche (facility taken away). And I despair at new members coming in. Sign up…. then forgotton. The staff don’t care. I see people training and they’re doing it all wrong.

    Finally, I took my wife to my gym. She is a member of a gym in Berkshire which is very well respected. When I asked her what she thought; she said ” I can’t believe any body would come here to train”

    The days are numbered for me as a `freelance` / employed / zero hours contract “employee”.

    I hope I will be missed when I go….but at least it will be easier for me to leave rather than someone whose just bought some membership!

  75. Guest

    February 22, 2013

    Real talk, ^.

  76. Johnmpearson

    February 23, 2013

    LA Fitness is a complete scam. I am currently in the process of reporting them to the Financial Ombudsman Service and Office of Fair Trading. My 17 year old son took out a 2 year membership Aug 2011, I was there at the meeting to sign him up as he needed my bank account details to pay for the membership. We specifically mentioned that he would be leaving our home town for University 12 months later. We were told that the membership could be cancelled at any time with 1 months notice. At NO point were we told that the membership was a loan agreement, and it transpires for 3 years not 2. We were never given a copy of the “contract”.
    In August 2012 we gave 1 months notice both in writing and telephone call to head office. Strange that you can join at local gym but cannot cancel there? We also hand delivered to the local gym (as discussed and agreedd in our telephone call) (again I was witness) evidence that my son was moving away and that there was no LA fitness local to him.
    I also arranged for my direct debit to be cancelled 1 month later after the final ayment. All well and good, or so i thought. i then discovered that LA Fitness had reinstated and collected 2 further direct debits without my permission or authorisation!!! I contacted my bank and pointed out they were not allowed to do this under the direct debit rules and they made an immediate refund.
    LA Fitness have since haranged, harassed and pestered us for payment of 2 months plus an admin fee. Despite numerous letters with all the evidence copies of cancellation letter and evidence they refuse to accept there is no money owing. They have now referred the debt to a DCA who are equally as ignorant and rude, threatening legal action. Whilst i would love to go in front of an impartial judge, I know they will never bring it to court, jusy keep hounding, adding fees on etc. The reason they won’t go to court? Because they know they will be shot down in flames. So I have paid the amount owing stating it was paid under severe duress and harassment and will now persue them on my own terms, legal if necessary to recover the money they have stolen from me and my son. I have received a copy of the contract we never got with a pathetic forged attempt at my signature, with contract in my son’s name. As far as I can see this credit “agreement” is null and void legally for so many reasons. I’ll ley you know how I get on.
    LA Fitness are just a thieving bunch of con artists,ignorant and totally unprofessional.
    OFT have won cases against gyms that impose unfair terms and conditions.
    Whatever you do DO NOT TAKE OUT AN LA “MEMBERSHIP” Its a con.

  77. Tahirfar

    February 24, 2013

    I went to the Southampton gym with my daughter-in-law,we were given the hard sell. We didnt join because the girl who was talking to us had false eye lashes and was more made up than the contestants on Stricly Come Dancin…!!! We went to other gyms but they were just as bad, I’m going to train at home.

  78. @gkbrown

    April 3, 2013

    I’m a new member in the manchester branch and I don’t see any of this at all.
    The staff were very polite, let me have a 5 day trial and didn’t bothere at all, just asked how I was getting on.
    There was of course a question now and again if I would be joining after the trial but that was so that they can give me some coaching tips that would be taken on over the membership.
    The facilities are perfect and always clean.

    I don’t know what your expecting with the ‘meatheads’.. Do you think there should be a cut off point of muscle mass so you can’t use them anymore and only see skinny or fat people struggling with weights? It’s a gym, people are going to be in better shape than others.

    I did my first ever spin class today and the instructor was amazing. He wasn’t afraid to push me and aswell as concentrating on the entire group, he always asked if I was ok and had a laugh and a joke.

    On the membership side, a friend of mine hasn’t been in a long time and received a phone call not too long after he stopped. He was still paying the monthly fee and LA fitness rang him up asking if he was still interested in coming and if not… Would he like to leave.
    They offered him a way of cancelling his contract to save him money and I quote ‘we want you to come to the gym because you want too, and when you do want to, we want to be the gym you choose..

  79. mnm

    April 14, 2013

    you know, you can cancel….la fitness in US doesn’t have contracts, they just keep charging you monthly until you physically go in and tell them you want to cancel, you just have to make sure there isnt a balance that you owe if there was declined payments

  80. KR

    April 22, 2013

    AVVO.COM for legal questions.

  81. GoingDowntoLaurelMD

    April 25, 2013

    Maybe it depends on your LA Fitness in your city. I got my free three trial pass in Laurel, Maryland, and I even got the rest of the week (4 days). The salesperson was very nice and showed me all the facilities. She called me that next day and asked how I liked it so far, very friendly and polite. Then after my trial period she called again and asked whether I’d like to join and I told her that I liked it (and that I’m very sore from trying out a couple of classes, their machines, the pool, lol) but that I’d like to try another gym first and see which one I like better and she asked me if she could call me again after I try the other gym to find out my decision. The salesperson at my LA Fitness was always been polite and friendly, she’s been following up which is to be expected, but I don’t feel harassed or bullied in any way. I’m considering joining LA Fitness, even though the other gym I tried was cheaper.

    I’ll take a close look at the contract though and look out for credit stuff in it before I sign up, thanks for the head’s up.

  82. Disgruntled LA Fitness ex mem

    May 4, 2013

    Hi, I joined LA Fitness last May and was told it was a month by month rolling contract with no tie ins. I had a car accident and broke my shoulder and after the bone didn’t heal correctly and having not been at the gym for nearly 2 months at this point I cancelled my direct bebit. I know I should have called them up – but wasn’t feeling the best after having been told I needed a bone cutting operation I took the easy option. That was when the hasseling started – initially a few letters stating that unless I reinstated the direct debit they would revoke my membership – which I was fine with and so I just let it ride. Then they set the bailiffs onto me – and stated that I had a twelve month contract – which I knew wasn’t the case – I had never signed such a thing – when I initially joined it only wanted a month by month as my will power isn’t the best and didn’t want any tie ins. They sent me a copy of the contract – which was a falsified document. The total doc had for of my signatures on it – one for the direct debit mandate and one for the bit that stated I was a fit and healthy person ( so to speak ) to join a gym and it was this signature that had been copied and pasted onto the front doc which was obviously for a 12 month contract. So they effectively falsified the docs then were trying to extort a fictious amount of money from me…..which was more than the remaininy months left on the contract that they were saying I had signed. I told them about the contract – but they persisited with the bullying tactics through ARC Europe and eventually I took them to small claims court – as it was taking up my time and stressing me out. None the less I am not one to curtail to bullies and hence the small claims jobby. As soon as this was In process….which it still is…..they buckled and sent me an apology letter stating they were sorry. But how many people do crumble and do pay up through fear of a bailiff breaking down their doors and taking their TV or what ever. It is disgusting and preposterous. I even reported them to the police who seem disinterested as there are not enough claims along these lines going ahead against LA fitness. The CEO and other officials in this company should be done in the criminal court and jailed for this behaviours. But no doubt they play the law to the edge and make a lot of money from people who are not quite savvy enough…..makes me sick…..

  83. Jon Williams

    May 8, 2013

    This is incredibly uninformed. Anytime you make a contract like this it’s called a PROMISSORY NOTE, not a loan. It’s a legal contract that you are going to follow through with your payments, that’s it. It’s not a scam it’s a business arrangement that is ridiculously common.

  84. Jadedlaw@aol.com

    May 15, 2013

    I could not agreet anymore with your article. When I went in for the trial pass the manager at the New Hyde Park location in NY was a bit much. I explained that I would need to think about all the information they threw at me and in the rudest tone he said , “what’s there to think about!” when I smiled and said well I just need to think about if this is what I want to do, he repeated that line even more obnoxiously. I went on to explain that this was my money and my choice and if I needed to think about joining that is what I would be doing and I walked out. A few weeks later I came in and another associate gave me semi better deal which I took. However as the months went on the gym was not as nice as it had been. Machines were constantly out of order. The staff was rude and arrogant as if they owned a palace. The facility was not clean, and it appeared to be more of a hang out spot for teenagers than for professionals simply looking to get a good work out. Needless to say, I cancelled the membership and now seeking a new gym. I’m willing to pay more for someplace better because they are certainly a rip off. Especially considering the pricing ranges for the individual.

  85. lethal weapon steve blackman

    June 6, 2013

    thats nothing this cocky ass short fuck works at the one i go to and hes a little fucker. and this big lady that looks like viscera works at the front desk. and if her ass was any ruder id probably ask her to whipe my ass after i shit. and then this other dick bag that works there has old people do exercises along the busiest high way in town. fuck it chaps my ass.

  86. Jim Hecimovich

    June 6, 2013

    Thanks for this, Ian. I just discovered that my membership, which ended in January, has been continued at their discretion month by month. This is supposed to be against the law. I called to cancel now, and they have the nerve to charge me again at the end of this month. Please to all who read this: Tell everyone you know not to join LA Fitness. This is a scam and a shame. I’m a senior on a fixed income, and this is just outrageous. Good luck with your quest. I hope you screw the bastards.

  87. Shaf

    June 24, 2013

    They’re idiots exact same thing happened then a Month into my membership I found out I was pregnant. Went through a tough pregnancy and they wouldn’t let me cancel saying I can use the swimming pool if I couldn’t use the gym equipment ..(£50 a month to go swimming??!! Really??!)
    I paid £600 and used the gym around 5 times! Definitely they’re a terrible gym avoid if possible!!!!

  88. emelem

    June 28, 2013

    i got a one day pass to l.a. fitness a few months ago & i went in *knowing* they were going to try and make a sale but i stood my ground (i am nearly impossible to bully). i said,”i would like to experience the facilities first, then make a decision”. he pushed and pushed and then took umbrage to the fact that i called him on trying to make a sale, lol. the place was ok, suited my needs but for 40 something a month, it wasn’t good enough.

    what brought me here today is the never ending quest to find a way to contact these knobs without having to call (i don’t want the charge on my phone). i got a text from them about some membership, i want OFF their marketing list & i can see it’s going to be a real p.i.t.a. to do so…

    while looking, i saw on their website, a 5 day pass, which i asked for and *will* use without signing up. f*&^ them! lol


    July 5, 2013

    LA FITNESS free pass is a scam and a ruse to get you in the door so they can hassle you and try to pressure you into joining before you have a chance to set foot in the facilities. It happened to my brother at 123st/ Biscayne in N. Miami. Mr Erikson of LA FITNESS is a liar and a scam artist. LAF corporate office wont answer my letters. Do yourself a favor, don’t get fooled by their BS.


    July 5, 2013


  91. Ian Morris

    July 25, 2013

    Just for clarity, there is a difference between how these gyms operate in the UK and US. I can’t tell you how related the two companies are, but in the UK, you ARE signing up for a loan, because that locks you into a set of laws from which you cannot easily escape.

  92. Daria

    August 9, 2013

    I’ve been scammed by LA big time and I am now paying £80 for the gym that constantly gets its showers flooded and I am forced to shower in the swimming pool shower!!!!What a load of SHIT!!!!!Stay away from LA fitness

  93. Paul

    August 12, 2013

    Steer clear. Their website states that membership costs £44 a month. We converted Clubcard points into LA Fitness vouchers, and the price shot up to over £61 a month. LA Fitness is a scam.

  94. RJ

    August 16, 2013

    I read a lot of these comments before applying for the free 5 day trial in Dublin, Ireland, so I was really steeled for the hard sell. I got my pass emailed to me immediately (I’ve read elsewhere about this pass never arriving) and rang up a few days later to activate it. I went in later that day.
    The woman who showed me around did so in a relaxed, no pressure manner. When we passed by the ‘assessment room’, she asked me (obligatorily, doubtfully, as if expecting the answer to be no) did I think I’d have any interest in joining. I said probably not. She accepted that. As she was leaving me to it, she said that if I had any interest in membership to come see her when I was done. I did not do this.
    I used my 5 day pass without any hassle or any further contact with staff other than to let me through the barrier. When I filled in the form I gave a fake ‘phone number in case they ring you to hassle you to join afterwards.
    I guess the selling approach must vary different between different locations/countries because I have to say my (admittedly brief) experience was completely positive. That there was no attempt to pressure me into joining is kinda making me consider joining…

  95. bazzaa

    September 10, 2013

    i agree, trying to get out of a contract at the moment.

  96. Val

    November 5, 2013

    Well we got our 3 day passes with no trouble at all. No bullying or threats of higher prices. The gym is clean and well equipped, the pool large and underused, steam room and sauna all fine. Changing rooms are clean, showers hot, soap containers full. I can’t see a problem. Now just going to negotiate our membership fee and join!

  97. nicky

    November 8, 2013

    Has anyone succeeded in getting out of the contract? Please tell me how??

  98. nicky

    November 8, 2013

    Has anyone succeeded in getting out of the contract? If so, please tell me how.

  99. Solon

    November 10, 2013

    This is the letter I wrote that convinced La Crapness to let me out of the contract.

    Good luck.

    Ref: Membership Cancellation (LAF015799)

    Dear Sir/Madam

    I hereby cancel the gym membership that I hold with your

    Due to over subscription and subsequent over crowding at the
    gym I signed up to you have failed in your promise to provide gym services as I
    simply can not use the equipment I joined the gym with the intention of using.
    In addition, you have broken your own contract by increasing my monthly D/D
    within the initial term of my membership without notifying me as per your
    T&C’s and I have not agreed to this.

    On each of my visits to the gym I have taken meticulous
    notes as to how many people are in the gym and how many are using the
    equipment, how long it has taken to access equipment and how many personal trainers are adding to the
    over crowding.

    I will give you 30 days notice from today at which point I
    will cancel the direct debit, any further attempts to take payment from me after
    the 30 days will be viewed as unlawful.

    If you decide to resist my cancellation it will be my
    intention to forward copies of all of my correspondence with yourselves to the
    following, amongst others. I can assure you that I am fully committed to
    cancelling this membership and pursuing matters further.

    Gym Contracts Investigation

    Office of Fair Trading

    Fleetbank House


    Brighton & Hove Trading Standards

    Bartholomew House


  100. Lucy Tristan

    November 18, 2013

    I signed up for personal training and was told it would be 52 weeks, I said okay, but what I wasn’t told was that after 52 weeks, they renew you to a month to month membership AUTOMATICALLY and no, they won’t notify you when your year is up, you have to track it on your own! Oh and after 72 hours of signing (by signing I mean signing like you thought you were just authorizing your credit card but you are really signing the contract) you cannot get out of the contract (the sales guy will tell you, you can get out of it with a doctors note but he won’t tell you that, even if you try, they will still charge you for the full year!). BUT like I said, I stuck it out for the year and thought my year was up next month, NOPE, my year ended in October and I was never notified, I found a phone number 949-255-7200 and cancelled right away over the phone and was immediately sent a confirmation email. I am hoping that’s the end of that, I was very polite and nice with the operator, hope that helped. READ THE WHOLE CONTRACT BEFORE SIGNING. OH and for the regular gym membership, pay a whole year upfront, that way they are not authorized for automatic charges and you decide if you want to renew, its not automatic.

  101. Tasheena

    November 19, 2013

    My boyfriend had the same issues. He tried for a few years to end the contract & even after he filed for bankruptcy they still kept taling money from his account. What he had to end up doing was talking to his bank about switching everything over to another account with all new numbers on everything. It was a process & took a little bit of time but now he’s finally out of their contract & will never sign another contract with anyone else again…

  102. Gymfreak

    December 13, 2013

    If you google any gym.. There will be tens of thousands of complaints about any one of them. When you go to buy a car, sales people there will do anything to try and get you to buy it. Same thing with la fitness. If you’re not using the gym that’s your own fault. . . . Dumbing down dimwit. Really? You said that?

  103. Robert

    December 13, 2013

    I live in the US. She is not alone. 99%? Where are you getting your numbers?

  104. You have anger issue

    December 13, 2013

    You should probably go to the first grade and learn how to spell. You sound so unintelligent.

  105. You're pathetic

    December 13, 2013

    Lmao you’re seriously worried about how someone looks? Wow. So if you went to buy a car, and the sales person had a scar on their face, would that stop you from buying the car?!? You’re pathetic!

  106. Don't bash them all

    December 13, 2013

    You should probably specify which gym location you go to because I am actually a member of la fitness and have been to a few different gyms. Most of the staff are very friendly and help me out if I have a question. Yes of course I will run into an asshole from time to time but you can go anywhere and that will happen.

  107. Canceling

    December 13, 2013

    If you’re from the us you simply go into the club Monday-Friday and cancel. You can’t do it over the phone

  108. Kathy

    December 18, 2013

    same thing happened to me, i tried to cancel the member ship and instead they charged me another month. SCREW LA FITNESS!! its a bloody scam!

  109. Angry

    December 27, 2013

    I have spent the past 7 months trying to cancel my membership. These guys are thieves and crooks. I finally had to cc the Attorneys General of California to get the membership cancelled only to then be billed 3 more months. DON’T sign up

  110. Dhinesh

    December 30, 2013

    Hello there, I was a LA fitness member in chicago, Later i moved to Idaho for work. there is no LA fitness here in ID, i tried to close the membership, but they made it really hard for me.. i tried calling and talking with with number of representative for months and nothing and they keep on charging my card.. the only way to get out of the scam is to change the card.I don’t understand how a big firm like this plays cheap trick on their customers. I read multiple forum and found that i am not alone. there are 1000s of ppl facing multiple problems with LA fitness.. Buyer beware !

  111. Kris

    January 8, 2014


  112. Joe

    January 11, 2014

    People I have been a member of LA Fitness since 2007. This payment option is only entitled unless you don’t have the first and last months payment and ask to pay in increment’s of maybe 50$ a months until paid up. Which is stupid because why pay $50 plus monthly fee when you could have just paid the two monthly fees and been done.

  113. The Buff Guy

    January 22, 2014

    I know im late on this post but LA Fitness just set up shop in my city and they definitely are aggressive to sale, but only to the people that are new to working out. They tried that with me and im already in great shape and I only pay 19.99 at a local gym chain. The guy sat me down and was talking to me about the amenities and I looked him in the eye and told him I wasnt interested because their “Trainers” were out of shape, after that he backed off. Moral of this post is as an adult dont let any SALESMAN bully you into anything, its your money and your decision to sign up. Now if it was Metroflex thats another story thats a mans gym real hardcore

  114. amit

    January 26, 2014

    Absolutely shit gym (edgware branch). Rude staff, soo over crowded and a rip off. Steam and sauna are out of use atleast twice in a week. You go there during peak hours and I bet you will habe ro que up to use any equipment. Strongly dont recommend this gym..

  115. Fordz

    January 30, 2014

    It’s not a loan because you haven’t received the service/goods yet. Just cancel the direct debit and tell them to take you to court. They won’t.

  116. rocky

    February 4, 2014

    yes it has happened to me too. but the case is that after 12 months i did not ask to roll on my contract but they did it without asking me and now they are asking me to pay 156 quid for nothing. bastards. is there any way i can avoid that fee?

  117. Yadira_saf

    February 20, 2014

    totally a scam I pay 49 for months is scam.
    Moored for 6 months

  118. home972@btinternet.com

    February 24, 2014

    Thank you… Thank you
    It is not possible to find any postal, e-addresses or any names on their web site.
    I am having a huge problem with LA.
    Joined it, tried it ones and had a horrible experience!
    In three working days trying to cancel my contract, but this sims to me not possible.
    I have to pay 18th month fee plus other their extras on top.
    Please do not use theit customer department and specially Natalie Smith!
    It will be waste of your it time.
    Where is the UK LOW?
    So many people struggelling with them, but who is care?

  119. Isamaar

    February 27, 2014

    I haven’t had your problem yet. Fortunately, my brother has a membership and he had a free pass for me to go for a week. I’ll see what happens. If they push it, I’ll just say no and leave. I’ve just given them my ID and the free pass, so I haven’t been scammed yet. I’ll just say I left my debit at home and I’ll be back just so I can step out of any bad spots.

  120. nick

    April 3, 2014

    I have worked in gyms for 8 years now selling gym memberships. I did a 2 month stint at LA Fitness myself. Their Sales process is appauling! One member of staff would “bully” people to join all the time. You are expected to sell hard to people and the 3 day trial above, You are booked in by their head office and on your first visit you are pinned down by the sales staff. This is exactly the same with the 10 passes you can get from Groupon.
    after 1 month of working there I gave my months notice as I was not happy with the sales process.
    The bigger the company the better the sales is really. I know some clubs where you could have 5 people on a treadmill at the same time, signed up the same week but all paying different amounts. The bigger companies have their prices and most are negotiable which means the sales do tend to sell with more integrity.

  121. Chris

    May 5, 2014

    You are guy’s are so right, why don’t you start your own gym so everyone can go say how it sucks. People are still joining and the family has Billions…. So I guess your post failed… Better luck next time…
    I will admit they could pay better….

  122. McKenzie

    June 7, 2014

    Very informative! Thank you for the help :)

  123. Vealydan12

    June 11, 2014

    I am now in the whole issue of me and my partner trying to cancel our memberships, but of course we have found this. We want to leave but they are an evil company.

  124. Jack

    June 18, 2014

    LA Fitness is a credit card, debit card, and bank account money laundering scheme masquerading as a gym.
    I have been receiving phone calls on my cell phone multiple times per day looking for two women because their credit card expired. They are using high pressure tactics to get the updated credit card information, but here is the problem….
    They have the wrong phone number! I have never even stepped foot in an LA Fitness, yet I have received phone calls from locations in Texas, California, and Illinois, and I don’t live in any of these states.
    Part of the scam is that they provide a nationwide database of gym memberships where credit cards have expired or bank accounts cannot have money automatically deducted from. Representatives are then given commissions for individuals billing information, hence the nationwide “hunt” for former members info.
    I had pleaded with their so called “representatives” for weeks to stop calling my cell phone, as they had the wrong number. Finally, I had an idea. A woman called from LA Fitness looking for these two women. Pretending to be shocked, I said, “you are calling for who? They both died last week.”
    And you know what? The LA Fitness “billing representative” could not make the account inactive or remove my phone number! She said she did not have “access.”
    “So how can I have these calls stop consider the people you want to speak to are dead.” The answer was startling.
    “You will have to go to an LA Fitness branch to cancel the membership” the dumb wench told me. “But there is no LA Fitness near me and the closest is a three hour drive” I retorted. It was a lie, but at this point I was having fun with the idiot.
    “Well, that is all I can do,” said the idiot LA Fitness employee.
    As I mentioned, LA Fitness is a giant scheme to automatically bill your credit card or deduct money from your bank account. It just so happens to package this theft in the form of a chain of gyms.
    If you want to get ripped off, just head down to your local LA Fitness and give them all your personal and bank information. They will do the rest.

  125. zan

    July 17, 2014

    its a joke I lost my job sent them the p45 they said no they don’t accept p45’s and now asking for a letter from my old employer! filthy scoundrels.

  126. Clarice

    August 10, 2014

    I paid cash up front for two year membership and refused to sign anything , wouldn’t give them my ss and or credit card number , they said the couldn’t take cash , and just as I was about to walk out the door a manager came running after me , they reluctantly took my six hundred dollars , but I made sure the piece of paper said ” paid in full ” I had that experience with Ballys and I swore I would never become a gym club contract slave again , lol

  127. Clarice

    August 10, 2014

    Another way of doing it is going and buying a reload able visa and every month putting that amount in , this way when you want to cancel , you just stop reloading the card , I know this seems extreme , but when they say no contracts , what they actually mean is a automatically renewing contract, which is really a contract from hell that never ends.

  128. Logicalawareness

    October 2, 2014

    I use LA on passes but had a hard sell problem where they tried to force me into buying a selection of protein shakes. The simple test with hard sellers is to say you’re going to check online (obv online is almost always cheaper) or somewhere else and come back. If they start trying to prevent you from going, you know they’re trying to screw you. If the sales person really believes what they’re selling is best, they’ll let you go, figure it out for yourself and come back. So if you have a problem with a hard seller – just walk away. They can’t stop you, just keep walking. Don’t sign up to something for a year you don’t want just so they can buy an extra round that night with their new commission!

  129. XC MTB

    October 14, 2014

    I recently bought a membership and it was stated to me by the salesman that it covers EVERY gym in Texas. Now on my first day, I try to go to a group class at a gym down the freeway and they say I can’t go there. They say that I have access to all clubs EXCEPT signature clubs. I’ve spoken to two people at corporate, the GM and sales manager at the location I purchased it from. They are all saying that “of course” I can’t go to the signature clubs because it’s not in my membership details and no one gets to go to signature clubs for the price I paid. Well this is news to me. The guy that sold me the membership stated that I have access to “ALL clubs in Texas.” I even went as far as to mention that my work schedule is crazy and I want to have the freedom of attending a group class at any gym that works with my schedule on any given day. He affirmed to me that I can attend any club I want. Now that I find out different, not one LA Fitness employee is willing to uphold the words of the salesman. Another unethical ripoff case from LA Fitness…

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  131. Justin

    October 26, 2014

    False, at least it is in 2014. No contracts, month to month, 30 day notice, no annual dues, no cancellation fees. Rather good deal in comparison to other health clubs for price and amenities.

  132. TomShek

    October 31, 2014

    Fuck off, LA Fitness shill.

  133. gabriel

    December 30, 2014

    I pay 19 pounds a month for my gym membership „ I can leave with no notice and if I’m late of payment the gym owner is not bothered . I go to focus fitness in nuneaton :)

  134. Carson

    December 30, 2014

    As a salesperson, I apologize for the way some people get treated, and I’d like to offer some help in how to deal with us.

    Most of the people who have difficulty with sales people are timid about saying no. Someone without conscience may take advantage of this, but the antidote is to just say a clear and firm no. Saying no to them is saying yes to yourself. Or, turning it around, if my heart says no, and I tell you yes, I’m really saying no to my heart. It’s not a kind thing to do to me. So (taking personal responsibility) I am unkind to me, and then give you the blame.

    When your answer is no, speak up. Some people have the idea that they are being nice by pretending that they might eventually say yes, rather than saying a clear no. It is actually kinder to the sales person to say no, when you are clear. That way we can move on and find someone who will say yes.

    Final point: You don’t need to justify your reason for saying no. It is enough to say, “My answer is no, because I don’t want it.” If a salesperson responds with a question like, “But why don’t you want it?” You can respond, “I don’t want it, because I don’t want it.” We have nowhere to go after that.

    Someone who respects you will respect your right to want what you want, and if they don’t respect you, are you sure you want to buy something from them? Even if it is something you want to buy, maybe you want to ask for a different salesperson.

  135. Vicky Iannucci

    January 2, 2015

    Im in the US. Metro Detroit area does anyone have any contact information for a corporate office that I can call or email. I signed up for the trainer and it was never made clear until after I reread the contract 2 weeks in that there is a monthly fee of three hundred and sixty dollars for the trainer and they will not let me cancel!

  136. Jack

    February 11, 2015

    Most of your comments are an absolute joke, as a gym membership advisor I think it’s a disgrace how your calling it all a scam. Anyone that walks through my door wanting to sign up I go through the whole process I go through the terms and conditions with them so they know they are making the right decision. If someone comes in on a three day pass I ask them if they are interested in membership if they say yes I go through the prices and packages that we have. If we have a good joining deal at the time I’m gonna tell that person because I’m trying to save them some money. Most of you people that are complaining just didn’t have the balls to say no really so you need to man up instead of giving a place a bad name. I can’t speak for every membership advisor out there and I’m sure there are gonna be some that are less helpful then others. If you have anything else to reply I would be glad to answer.

  137. DY

    February 21, 2015

    Thank you Ian for this post. I was just about to take on LA fitness membership. I told the guy that I was going to think about it. You know what the guy told me? He told me that this was a one time only deal and that I wouldn’t be able to join the gym from the same price if I came on saturday. This was obviously a lie because the sales guy called me today (today is saturday) and almost begged me to join the gym. When I told him that I was a student and I couldn’t pay for 40 pounds a month, the guy told me that joining a gym was a lifestyle change and that I should stop going out to dinners or musicals or movies so that I can pay for the gym’s monthly fee. The nerve of that guy! Unbelievable. Of course after hearing this I definitely made up my mind on not joining LA Fitness.

  138. Rashid

    March 1, 2015

    Oh my god you expressed my feelings. That’s so true what you’ve just mentioned. Same thing happened to me. I was bullied to sign up phoning me day n night telling me sign up now, otherwise you’ll miss your chance the price will go high come we’ll discuss. No doubt it’s scam. Who ever signed in they all trapped in the net of loan. Stay away

  139. Kh

    March 31, 2015

    I had free day passes in many gyms some gave me 7 days pass. I’ve never had problems or people desperate for my answer. Yeah they call few times to offer a deal but that’s about it. I think all you guys having problems canceling the account should contact your bank and put a stop payment. If they use your card number is even easier cuz you just have to report it lost/stolen and when going to charge they won’t be able. They would end canceling your membership. I always change card numbers when I cancell a membership to make sure they won’t come up with obscure charges. Remember you pay the month in advance so won’t be owing anything literally talking. Lol. You gotta be smartass too.

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