Empire Fitness Clubs
Seems like Empire Fitness is coming clean!
From NJ Biz:
Defunct Hoboken Gym Agrees to Reimburse Customers
Consumers who bought memberships in a health club in the Mile Square City that closed in September will be able to file claims for refunds, under a consent order between the state Division of the Consumer Affairs and the club owners, the division announced today.
Empire Fitness of Hoboken, formerly located at 605 Washington St., operated without being registered with the division, as legally required, the division said.
“The post-holiday period is a time when consumers typically join health clubs,” said David Szuchman, the division’s director. “Consumers need to do their homework and make sure the health club they are thinking of joining is registered with the Division of Consumer Affairs.”
T.J.B. Inc., which operated as Empire Fitness of Hoboken, and Lucille Caputo, the club’s owner, agreed to pay the division $10,000 in civil penalties, $667 as reimbursement for its investigative costs and $405 as reimbursement for its legal fees. They also agreed to comply with the state’s Consumer Fraud Act, Health Club Provisions and Health Club Regulations in any future operation of a health club, the division said.
I’ve received so many emails similar to this – (ex) Empire Fitness members are still getting charged! Are you getting financially scammed?
“Just wanted to give your readers a heads up. I took a look at my credit card statement today and noticed a charge from Empire Fitness (on 9/26) for Sept membership. I was on an automatic monthly charge to my credit card. It seems funny because they’ve been closed all month. I contacted Chase who is going to get my money back. I can’t believe they are still trying to pull these scams. “
The Empire will run out of water:
(Thanks David for the pic!)
The emails continue to roll in, and this time Empire is closed for a couple days due to “plumbing problems.”
Yeah, I know what that means. I typically used “plumbing problems” as my excuse to call in sick from work…
I get so many emails about Empire Fitness, that it’s almost too much to post. But here’s one sent to Hoboken411 this morning:
“I am a member at Empire Fitness on Washington St. Their hours M-F are 5:00 – 11:30pm (10:00 pm) Friday. This whole week, they failed to open on time. I am not talking about 10-15 minutes late, I am talking about hours. For example today, I got there at 6:45 am, and no one got there to open the place until 7:10 am. Speaking to others inside the gym, this has been going on all week (I can only account for Wednesday and today). The more frustrating part is that the gym does not acknowledge that there is a problem, or does not even seem to offer any sort of apology. I am locked in for a year, so I have little recourse. I just thought a blurb on your site about it would be a good idea so they are held somewhat accountable.”
See other fruity reports, including the “Ripoff Report” below…
Is Empire Fitness Club
s the next doomed business in Hoboken?
I only ask because a Hoboken411 reader send me this link from RipoffReport.com. It contains some pretty nasty allegations of illegal activities, shady business practices and more. Not sure if it’s just a disgruntled ex-employee, or an accurate account of what really takes place there.
Empire Fitness listed on RipoffReport.com
It is sad to be sitting here, as someone who has been burned very badly by this ‘business’, conveying my most recent experiences at a gym on Ripoff Report.com, but I feel obliged to deliver the truth. There are many terrible things going on here. Please take the time to read this completely and take the appropriate evasive action. I sincerely hope that this helps people avoid what has happened to me and many close friends at this gym.
(— Middle three paragraphs removed – contains really serious allegations that could prove to be libelous if untrue – check Ripoff Report to read what was said.—)
Employees are told to promise prospects that renovations like: new spin studio, classes, new stairway, new equipment, etc. will be delivered soon. Then when the members get angry, these promises are lies, then the employees are lambasted by the members they inadvertently lied to. Of course, when the employees try to seek answers from the owner, they are ignored or threatened. The members are the victims here as they are locked in a contract that continues to rob them and impose penalties without their consent or knowledge. The owner has been heard saying that if 90% of them figure out what I’m doing, then I still get 10% of them! Terrible.
I will leave this report as is and wait to see if there is interest or responses. If so, I will be glad to provide even more info, as there is MUCH MUCH more going on there that deserves exposure. If anyone out there can help my friends get the thousands of dollars that have been stolen by this terrible organization, please contact me or respond here.
New York, New York
Is anyone a member of Empire Fitness? What about previous members? Do you work there? Have you worked there? If so, read on….
What’s the deal with Empire Fitness?
We all know the drill sometimes with user comments. If someone is content or satisfied with a business, they often don’t think about stating their level of satisfaction online (although it’d be helpful if they did). Much of the time, it’s when an individual is completely unhappy with a place, such as a restaurant, hair salon, or gym that they vent their frustrations online.
I’ve received MANY user complaints about Empire Fitness lately, and I’m not sure what to do about it, other that summarize what folks have been saying, and ask that someone from Empire respond to those sentiments. You can catch up on some of the items in the comments section, but here is just a sampling of what I’ve seen come through my inbox:
- “They’re shady with the billing”
- “My rates increased without notification”
- “Staff rude, and not helpful”
- “Bad Better Business Bureau rating!”
I’ve never worked out there, but it doesn’t seem that members have a problem with the gym itself, but the gym as a BUSINESS. And if what I’ve read is true, I can agree that monetary and billing issues with an incompetent business is one of the most frustrating and time consuming processes. What’s even more frustrating is that gyms are a niche in Hoboken, and Empire seems to fill it, so it’s a catch-22. People often don’t want to go out of their way to the gym.
– If anyone from Empire wants to come on 411 and clear the air, that might help…
– Anyone who is a satisfied member with no billing problems might also want to comment as well (to get the whole story)
This is just a rumor, but read on and let us know what your thoughts are.
1. The cellular place in that building closed not too long ago.
2. Happy Nails closed recently.
3. The personal trainers at Empire Fitness who have taught classes in other gyms in the metro NYC area over the years were asked by ownership if their aerobics certifications were still valid. (This came from a source who wishes to remain anonymous.)
4. Contractors were seen recently at Empire with tape measures.
5. It’s no secret that the new NYSC on 14th Street is taking a chunk of the fitness pie.
Every year, it’s common that rumors about all the gyms go around. Who’s closing, who’s in the red, etc. One of those annual rumors is that Empire will be getting an aerobics studio. Have you heard anything? Is there something to be said about these recent closings? I’ve also heard that they want H&S Giovanni to move to the corner location so that they can bust the two stores down for Empire… Stay tuned!
Description – Health Club. Large selection of free weights and machines. No group fitness classes (YET).
Services – Health club, Gym – Hammer strength, Circuit training, Cardio-theater, TV system, Free parking
Website – www.empirefitnessclubs.com
Address – 605 Washington St, Hoboken, NJ 07030
Telephone – 201-222-3000