Sudden closure of Waterlooville gym leaves customers fuming after 'cutting and running' with people's money

THE sudden closure of a gym has left customers fuming after it ‘cut and run’ with people’s money.

Wednesday, 26th February 2020, 1:41 pm
Updated Thursday, 27th February 2020, 4:00 pm

24/7 Fitness gym in Waterlooville shut down in January with no prior warning ‘leaving hundreds without refunds’ – with many having just paid a full annual membership.

The situation has angered many people who feel duped by the Service Road gym, with many taking to review site Trust Pilot to vent their frustrations at the ‘scam’ gym.

Daniel Ransome, 32, of Waterlooville, had been a member of the gym for three years before its abrupt closure.

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The 24/7 gym in Dukes Walk Service Road, Waterlooville

He told The News: ‘It is incredibly dishonest to take people’s money and not pay them refunds they are due after closing.

‘It is even worse when they have taken people’s money knowing they were going to shut down.

‘It is an extremely disappointing way to be treated as a customer after being a member for three years. If you behave like that then you don’t deserve any business.’

Mr Ransome said he had evidence the gym had also suddenly changed its terms and conditions in an attempt to avoid paying money back to its customers.

Daniel Ransome

In an email to the gym’s chief financial officer Sarah Chivers, where Mr Ransome referred her to a copy of the gym’s terms and conditions when he joined, the customer told her: ‘You will clearly see the terms are different and are missing the clause you're using as a reason to deny both of us a refund.’

Another scorned customer, Jack Davison, said: ‘The gym closed suddenly in January leaving hundreds without refunds, many having just paid a full annual membership. I had six months left on my membership and they are uncontactable.

‘It is very important people are alerted to this very bad company who have cut and run with people's money.’

Angry complaints on Trust Pilot did not hold back in their opinion of the gym. One wrote: ‘Bought annual membership after being assured that should gym change hands I would get a refund of any leftover months – 10 months worth of membership in my case. No contact. No refunds. SCAMMERS.’

Heidi Balloqui added: ‘I can’t believe 24/7 are getting away with not refunding what’s owed.’

Tanya Hall urged people to ‘avoid (the gym) at all costs’ following its ‘appalling service’ before offering some advice. ‘We received full refunds after complaining via Paypal .... would totally recommend doing this to anyone that purchased year memberships,’ she wrote.

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24/7 Fitness has not responded to The News but a generic email by Ms Chivers said the gym had shut ‘due to increased competition’.

Ms Chivers ‘apologised’ for not providing an update to customers, before adding: ‘Refunds on discounted paid in full memberships are not normally given, however in exceptional circumstances, where a paid in full membership is brought to an end prior to the membership end date any refund will be calculated in accordance with 6.8 of our terms and conditions on our website.’

The previous terms and conditions before the 6.8 clause was amended can be seen here: web.archive.org/web/20161020121730/http://247fitness.co/terms-and-conditions

The updated clause can be found here: 247fitness.co/terms-conditions

Hampshire County Council advised customers to contact Citizens Advice Consumer Advice on 0808 223 1133.