Family Fitness ‘debtor’ questions mistaken identity, bogus contract

WEST MICHIGAN -- Roberto Castro said he just wanted to get in better shape when he joined Family Fitness. However, his credit score is now in worse shape. He said he's being mistaken for someone else and has the proof.

"They just keep telling me, 'You owe us. You need to give us proof that you paid us.' I was like, 'Well, give me proof that I owe you,'" Castro said.

Castro's frustration with Family Fitness led him to the FOX 17 Problem Solvers. He said his saga began years ago when he signed up for what he thought was a one year membership at the Wyoming location.

When he realized the gym contract was 36 months, he complained and paid $350 to cancel. He said the gym then offered him a one-year membership for a discount. So he signed up.

Castro said, "So I did my one year, and I was fine. I didn't have any problems. All of a sudden now, 2017, they're calling me saying 'hey you owe us some money.'"

He received a call from Swift Funds Financial, a collections agency, which stated he owes $1,000. Another amount states a debt of $1,768. His credit score has also taken a hit for something he said he doesn't owe.

So he explained his case to Family Fitness. Castro said the gym sent him an email.

"I check my email, and there's a contract for another Roberto Castro," he said.

The gym sent him a contract with the name of a Roberto Castro who lived in an apartment in Kentwood. The Roberto Castro FOX 17 interviewed has owned a home in Wyoming since 2012, according to Kent County records.

He said Family Fitness gave him a hard time.

"I was stressed out. Couldn't sleep that night. I saw your story pop up so I figure I'd get in contact with you and see if you could help me out," Castro said.

Castro's documentation shows Family Fitness' record keeping is questionable. In February, the gym sent him an email apologizing for charging his credit card a $44 'enhancement fee' and 'ensured your account is closed.' This was before the $1,768 debt in collections popped up.

The Problem Solvers reached out to Family Fitness on Castro's behalf. Tuesday afternoon, Castro said Family Fitness contacted him. The gym told him his debt is clear as of this afternoon and claimed he had owed for a 'personal training agreement'. Castro said he'll continue to check his credit report to make sure the 'debt' disappears and score goes back up.

Anyone with issues can contact the Attorney Generals Office Consumer Protection Division at miag@michigan.gov

Andrea Bitely, the AG's spokesperson said, "It's really important that if you've experienced a problem with a Michigan business that you reach out to the Department of Attorney General and express what has happened to you just that we're aware of the situation. If the Attorney General isn't aware of what's gone on, we can't help you solve the problem."‚Äč

Family Fitness corporate told FOX 17 management reached out to the AG's office to discuss things and will speak with them again next month.

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