New York Sports Club members struck with unexpected charges as company files go bankrupt

After reopening some of its gyms across the city earlier this month, the company, which owns the New York Sports Club, announced that it filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy on Monday. Town Sports International, which also runs Boston Sports Club, Lucille Roberts and other fitness brands, said it would restructure the company and “not give its members a break in service.”

But some NYSC members who are not yet ready to go to the gym say they are more concerned about getting a break on their membership fees.

Town Sports was hit with a class-action lawsuit earlier this year for continuing the monthly membership fee to close the gym due to COVID-19 in mid-March. At the time, NYSC members noted that there was still a standard $ 15 monthly fee to be suspended for their accounts, or a $ 40 cancellation fee.

The NYSC entered into an agreement in late April with State Attorney General Letitia James to reimburse membership fees and members’ fees for reimbursement during the gym closing.

But this month, the AG’s office received a wave of new complaints from NYSC members, stating that their accounts were automatically unchanged and charged on September 1 when certain locations in the franchise were moved to New York City Was reopened in A spokesman for the AG’s office told Gothamist on Monday that despite an agreement in April, their investigation at NYSC never stopped and they are constantly looking into new complaints.

NYSC member Linda Pricesey of Queens is a member who said she received the charge on 1 September despite her account being suspended in March. She said she was having trouble getting through someone at the gym over the phone when she noticed the charge on 3 September but was eventually forgiven and suspended her account for free until January after several emails and phone calls. Has been done.

“The Gausshamist said,” I have suffered this stink and disputed the charge and made all these phone calls but not many people have gone through the effort. “They know who the amount of money they make. A lot of people can bite the bullet and say, ‘Well, they’re open so I can’t argue with them.’ ‘

The NYSC website advises members to visit a person at the gym to request a suspension and reads, “To ensure proper billing, please request your suspension at least 2 business days before your billing date” – Something that would have been impossible for months. September.

On Monday, Princi said it had received an email from Town Sports International stating that it would give 45 days free of all dues to all members.

“I get a laugh because they’re saying they appreciate us, but no, everyone called and flipped over what they did,” Pricesey said.

Town Sports International did not respond to a request for comment on the new complaints.

In a statement on bankruptcy, the company stated that it “intends to use the Chapter 11 process to engage in further discussion with its landlords and other creditors to allow the company to have long-term success in the current fitness industry It can be successfully restructured to bring its debt to the best state. ” atmosphere.”

According to its website, NYSC has adopted a number of precautions at locations that reopen this month. It is essential that all members and employees undergo a temperature check and health check before entering the gym and wear masks and social distances while inside. Clubs have also adopted more intensive cleaning regiments and eliminated some facilities such as group fitness classes, showers and saunas.

Nevertheless, public health experts have said that exercising outside or at home is less risky.