The New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs handed down a $10,500 fine to the Bally Total Fitness in Jersey City for operating as an unregistered health club and failing to provide refunds to their patrons.
By John Heinis/Hudson County View
A Division of Consumer Affairs investigator posed as a gym patron at the Jersey City gym in June, going back to the facility two days later to cancel the contract and obtain a refund, according to a release from the DCA.
Despite submitting a cancellation form to the company, which is Bally Total Fitness of Greater New York, Inc., a refund is still yet to be received. Further investigation showed that the Bally location is operating as an unregistered health club, a violation of state law.
“New Jersey law affords consumers a three-day period to change their minds after signing up for a gym membership,” Acting Attorney General John J. Hoffman said in a prepared statement. “This law is unambiguous, and health clubs that take advantage of consumers and fail to honor it will be held accountable.”
“The Division is continuing its focus on health clubs in order to protect New Jersey consumers, and to ensure fairness of competition for the many health clubs that comply with our laws,” Division of Consumer Affairs Acting Director Steve Lee added in a written statement.
The Hillsborough Racket and Fitness facility was fined $5,500 by the DCA for the same infractions, while gyms in Hamilton, West Milford and Lawrenceville were cited for being unregistered health clubs.
Among the five facilities, the civil penalties totaled $31,000 and the Jersey City Bally Total Fitness received the stiffest punishment.