Family Fitness complaints climb; BBB weighs in

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GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — Alyssa Walters, 20, said her two-year membership at Family Fitness on Plainfield Avenue ran its course when it ended two years ago.

She said there were no problems. That's until Credit Karma sent her an email two weeks ago stating she had a $760 debt in collections on her credit report. Walters learned the original source was Family Fitness. She's currently overseas, so she said her mother contacted the gym.

"They even told my mom that I only owed them $40," she said.

Apparently, the last month of the two-year membership hadn't been paid. The gym neglected to charge her card which it had on file, Walters said. The debt was then sold to Swift Funds Financial, a collections agency.

"They didn't try reaching out to me. They never called me - never sent any mail to my home address," Walters stated. She said Family Fitness corporate claims to have done so.

Walters is one of hundreds of people who have reached out to the FOX 17 Problem Solvers with complaints about the business.

"It blows my mind that they think that they can do this," Walters said.

"If we see a pattern of complaints showing up, that's indicative of something going on," said Phil Catlett, president of the Better Business Bureau. The BBB then digs further into complaints and tries to reach a resolution with the business. Catlett said the organization has worked with Family Fitness over the years on being more responsive, transparent and upfront with customers.

"We see them making strides to become more reliable in terms of what the consumer's expecting,"  he explained, "But, based on the number of complaints that we still get, and, I think, the number of concerns that are mentioned to reporters such as yourself, there are still issues out there that they have to elevate to a little higher degree."

Swift Funds Financial told the FOX 17 Problem Solvers the company has frozen collections on all Family Fitness customers while they look into Walters' and others claims as a result of the large response.

If you have a debt outstanding to Family Fitness, you can reach Swift Funds Financial at 323-741-5269

Last week, Family Fitness corporate told the Problem Solvers it is looking at possible solutions for the mass of people who have complained. The Problem Solvers hope to sit down and talk specifics soon.

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  • Jeanette Doehring

    This happened to me also! I paid off my membership and one month ago started receiving emails that they couldn’t process my credit card because my card had changed. Why are they trying to charge me anything? I paid them off over a year ago.

  • Devon

    They did tha a few years ago when I had to move out of state – which allowed me to get out of the contract. Notice and final payment was given, they then continued to steal from my account for a few months, at double the monthly rate.

    When I addressed this to both the manager and owner, they shrugged it off.