Boston Sports Clubs Is Getting Sued for Continuing to Bill Members
The ongoing struggles members have had trying to cancel or freeze their BSC memberships are now the basis for a lawsuit.
Hard as it may be to believe, the Boston Sports Clubs drama continues. After being forced to close due to the coronavirus pandemic and laying off all its employees, then apparently continuing to charge members without giving them an easy way to freeze or cancel their membership, Boston Sports Clubs is now getting sued.
On Sunday, four members of the fitness club chain filed a lawsuit in Massachusetts US District court alleging breach of contract against the company’s New York-based parent company, Town Sports International. This comes after members in New York filed a lawsuit against Town Sports International last week containing similar allegations. The local plaintiffs claim the company has failed to let its members cancel and aim to achieve class-action status.
Since first reporting this story in mid-March, we have continued to receive dozens of emails from angry members voicing their concerns about being charged for a service they’re not receiving anymore, especially during a crisis where finances are strapped for so many. “To be honest, if my membership fees were keeping the staff I see each time I enter the gym employed, then I wouldn’t be complaining,” one member wrote in an email. “But to know all their club-level employees have been laid off makes me frustrated that a company would exploit its former employees and members in this way.”
In previous reporting, we detailed the BSC’s explanation for how and where members could contact the company to freeze or cancel their membership. Several self-identifying members have reached out to us since then stating that the article was the first time they’d seen the company’s cancelation option. Other members reported that they’d received no direction from the company after emailing to cancel their memberships and that some credit card companies were charging a fee to block the reoccurring auto payments from the sports club.
None of our calls seeking comment from Town Sports International or Boston clubs have been returned.
Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey said her office has received more than 100 complaints, according to the Boston Globe. She has demanded the company allow members to cancel by email or phone without any penalties. “Boston Sports Clubs needs to be honest with its customers about their right to cancel gym memberships,” Healey has said. “Our office will do everything we can to protect consumers during this crisis.”