Hoboken Legal Beagle – Empire Fitness
On top of the legal advice mentioned already – here is what Hoboken411 reader Crystal did to try and solve the problem with billing:
Call your credit card company
“Here’s what I did. I called my credit card company with a “dispute for non-receipt of service.”
Basically they are going to contact Empire Fitness themselves requesting documentation in response to my dispute claim. If they respond, the credit card company will forward the documentation and we will move forward from there. My problem is that Empire is not even responding in the first place, so this is a big help. If Empire does not respond within 30 days, the credit card company will give me a prorated refund based on the date the gym first closed down. All I had to do was mail a copy of my receipt for a year’s membership at Empire. However, it would also be very helpful to have the contract on hand.
What’s great is that it was almost 2 months after the credit card transaction and the credit company did not use that against me.”
The gym screwed me. Now what?
Here is an overview of Health Club regulations in New Jersey. Everyone who lost money should go to this complaint form, fill it out and send it to the Division of Community Affairs. Since I assume that most people will have some paperwork regarding their membership they will also have to send copies of all documentation to the DCA. Most likely the DCA will also refer this matter to the Attorney General’s Office will also file complaints against Empire. The process will not be super fast but the State will take action.
Hopefully, the customers will be able to get their money back, since all health clubs must have at least a $25,000 bond. This means that if they can’t find the owner, the bonding company will be liable for any claims. However, there is no guarantee that the club continued funding their bond, which might make it hard to collect any lost club dues.
There is not really much more a person can do. Unlike a class action it is important that each individual that suffered a loss make their own personal claim. There is no need to hire an attorney, since the DCA and Attorney General’s Office have the authority to seek reimbursement for anyone’s losses. Just be sure that after you submit all your documentation you call the agency and confirm they have lodged your complaint.
Hope that helps!