LA Fitness’ Sleazy Cancellation Policy

As all current and former members of LA Fitness know, the company uses a variety of sleazy sales practices in trying to generate business. But of all their questionable sales tactics, nothing compares to the ridiculousness of their cancellation policies. Think you can just walk in and cancel your membership at LA Fitness? Think again. LA Fitness is possibly the only gym in America that makes you MAIL IN a signed cancellation form. That’s right – you cannot cancel over the phone, internet, or in person. The ONLY way to do it is through the mail.

Why does LA Fitness do this? Simple: to prolong the cancellation process until past your next billing cycle (and get another month of dues from you). Let’s use a hypothetical example to illustrate how LA Fitness gains from this policy. “John”, a loyal member of LA Fitness, has decided to cancel his membership. As instructed by the receptionist at his local gym, John fills out a cancellation form and mails it in to Corporate Headquarters in Irvine. Since John’s next billing cycle doesn’t begin for another 10 days, he’s confident that his membership will be cancelled on time. But things don’t happen as fast as John has anticipated. First, the letter takes a good 3 or 4 days to arrive. Then it takes another 2 or 3 days for the letter to actually get opened. And then it’s another couple days before the request gets processed. By the time John’s membership actually is cancelled, a full 12 days have gone by and his next billing cycle has already begun! That’s another $39.99 taken off John’s credit card, and another $39.99 in revenue for LA Fitness. Repeat this process with hundreds (if not thousands) of customers, and that’s a sizeable chunk of revenue that the company is generating strictly through their unusual cancellation policies.

It shouldn’t surprise you to hear that LA Fitness is currently being sued for this:

To see how bad the problem has gotten, check out their customer complain board:

As a point of comparison, 24 Hour Fitness allows you to cancel online, in person or over the phone, and they always credit you back the portion of your current month that hasn’t been used. So if your billing cycle starts on the 1st, and you cancel on the 15th, you’ll be credited back for unused days 16-30.

My advice: Avoid LA Fitness altogether, and go with Equinox or 24 Hour. If do need to cancel with LA Fitness, use certified mail (which provides proof of mailing and delivery), and deactivate your credit card immediately after cancelling (to prevent any “accidental” recurring charges).

Random fact: Apparently Fox News is banned from all LA Fitness television. Guess they’re doing something right.

45 Responses to LA Fitness’ Sleazy Cancellation Policy

  1. jovos says:

    24 Hour Fitness used to do sneaky things too…at least when I was a member some ten years ago…I called up to cancel and they told me I could only do it in person…I finally showed up in person some weeks later and they told me I could only do it by phone.

  2. backdoorLA says:

    Yeah I’m hearing that 24 Hour is just as bad as LA Fitness. Haven’t heard many bad things about Equinox though, so maybe that’s the place to go.

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  4. Marc says:

    One word – chargeback.
    Don’t waste any of your time chasing after these ginks.

  5. Kevin McD says:

    I went to cancel my wife’s month-to-month membership in May of 2012. I called in on the phone and they said that I had to come into the fitness center in person, which I did. Once in the fitness center, they insisted that the cancellation had to be mailed in to the California main office. I believe this is a deliberate stall tactic to increase revenues. We mailed in the cancellation to their office has requested in May and they failed to process it. They have been double charging me for months now. Only way to get back at them is to call Visa and dispute/reverse the charges. I believe that this is a deliberate and covert, evil minded tactics that they are doing to increase revenue. I would be interested in joining a class action lawsuit against them for deliberate and fraudulent practices regarding cancellation of their contracts if anyone else can bring it forward.

    • Annette says:

      I have had the same experience as you I’ll join a class action suit with you. They refused to cancel my membership doing exactly what they did to you.

  6. If you are trying to Cancel your membership at LA Fitness:

    Login to your LA Fitness Membership Account:
    Open the Cancellation Form:
    Complete the online process to create the PDF… (You do NOT have to watch the video, scroll down to select options and click NEXT).
    Print the Form
    Send the Form to:

    LA Fitness
    PO Box 54170
    Irvine, CA 92619-4170

    Ensure you have proof of delivery by sending it via Registered Mail.

  7. Peter says:

    Never join a gym associated with abc financial there policies and cancellation requirements are absurd.

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  9. john says:

    Day 1 – signed a 12 month trainer contract
    Day 2 – diagnosed with cancer, started chemotherapy
    Day 3 – suspended my regular and trainer account for 8 months.
    Jan…August – paid 10/month to keep the accounts active while undergoing chemo
    August 12 – the suspension ended, a charge appeared on my CC.
    Sept 12 – cancelled both regular and Trainer account
    Sept 13 – another charge for the Regular and Trainer account appeared on the CC. Of course, I cannot use any of the 24 sessions these two months would have paid for. But no amount of pleading will get the LA Fitness to drop these charges. I’m sure all their contracts are the same. Before signing up, just remember that death by cancer is no excuse for not paying. [LA Fitness: 3960 Barranca Parkway, Irvine, CA 92606 949-502-2777]

    • Sarah says:

      Do you by chance have a contact person’s name? I’m in a similar situation an am trying to send certified letters to two locations in addition to the corporate office.

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  11. David RAMIREZ says:

    please return back my money for the last two months . i cancell my membership 70 days ago. thanks.

  12. Esperanzita R says:

    They are evil and thiefs, they pretend the cancellation to the Personal Trainer never happened. I used the “unprofessional trainer” three times, and there was no phone to call on the contract to cancel, and they took more than $700.00 in a month and a half, and all my phone’s minutes leaving messages from more than eight differrent phones numbers in different states for only 3 visits. Very dishnoest company. My Gym membership was a not an annual contract,it was a cancel anytime. They cancelled the Gym part,but the personal trainer part of this contract is run by a mafia. At the Club there was no help around for me ,when I went there, so I was so stupid that I signed the personal trainer contract and this people are an organized crime organization. The trainer did only 3 machines in less than 25 minutes and I have to pay $55 for the 25 minutes. They were taking $110 every two weeks. One LA Personal Trainer hour is only 25 minutes. My trainer was talking to other people. She did not know what she was doing. She did not care about me. Their e-mails are ‘do not replay”. They cancelled the monthly membership but they do not want to cancel the personal trainer, no matter what. Where they are going to honor the personal trainer contract, who was a rip off, at the parking lot? Because the Gym part was cancelled. How can the goverment allow this barbaric company to make victims of inocent people? They are doing this because they can get away with this. Do not go to LA Fitness. Do not take a personal trainer contract. They should be investigated and they should go to jail all.

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    FUCKING THIEVES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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  17. Dita Donner says:

    I have had a horrible time trying to canceling my membership with LA Fitness. Every time tried to cancel, they said I had to talk with the manager in person. Well, surprise, the manager was never there and they never knew when he would be. Then I decided to go there to cancel and they said that only the manager could cancel a membership and So I started going every chance I got and guess what: The staff never knew where the manager was or when he would be in or a phone number I could call to speak with him.

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    • Luciano says:

      If the person was your finred, they would probably be happy to hear from you. It would be a pleasant surprise to reconnect.If they don’t reply, it could be the wrong email address or an email address that they no longer use.I use it every day.

  18. nikta s says:

    I have a odd working hour so when i sign up w/la fitness to train once a week, between 9-9:30pm and everything was going ok until they lost their trainner than week after week can’t make appointment until i found out that they keep taking money from my account but can’t provinded the service.
    so let said that i try to cancell and request them to return my money or the next 8 session should be free, cause they already took that money but that doesn’t get anywhere.please some one help me with that cancellation form i can’t find it or print

    • Rey says:

      You will not get your sessions back. In fact to either cancel your memerbership you can buy out of your contract. Now if you “have” a medical reason why you can’t go to the gym they’ll terminate your contract free of charge and that you would send it to Pobox 55088
      Irvine ca 92619 good luck

  19. Florassecret says:

    I mailed in a letter to my local LA Fitness, and was never told that I had to send a form to the corporate office. After I (thought) I cancelled my membership, I had to get a new credit card. Well, LA Fitness tried getting funds from me…how do I know? They called me from 5 different numbers (all leaving a voice mail since I didn’t recognize the numbers) from various area codes. And those 5 calls have been coming in EVERY DAY, even AFTER I talked to my local LA Fitness and told them that I cancelled the membership. Only then was I told about the special form, but they told me to come in to the club. After finding out (by researching) that it has to be mailed to corporate, I went to the website and found that you have to have an member account (I didn’t have one) to gain access to the form. I was going to make an online account until it asked for billing account information. I did a Google search and found the form. I am mailing in tomorrow along with a note about not knowing in the first place that I needed a special form. All I was told was “inform us in writing 30 days in advance.” I am NEVER going back to LA Fitness!!

  20. UpSet Customer says:

    Horrible cancellation policy.

    Even after and hour trying to find the form, I could not access the form.

  21. jamie boyd says:

    Yes you can canel in person. Alot of the stuff your claiming isnt true

  22. Ryan Mendoza says:

    So… recently I signed up for personal training, but after reading negative reviews I read my contract carefully and saw what everyone was talking about. Good thing I was in the 10 day time limit to cancel or else I’d have to pay half of what I owe 900$!. They had me jump loops to get what I wanted… Call in, Come in, talk to the associate, talk to the personal training manager, couldn’t help me… so had to mail in a form, countless phone calls with the corporate office and after all that I still was harassed. Piece of shit salesmen I swear.

    • Ryan Mendoza says:

      and you can cancel in person… talk to the operations manager. If they say they can’t refer them to this post and I’m sure they will rethink what they say.

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  30. Mad Customer says:

    Today I went to my local LA Fitness to cancel my membership. I presented them with my cancellation form, membership card and ID. The Operating Manager said he would send me a cancellation confirmation email within 10 minutes. So I ran some errands, went home, checked my email, and nothing for the gym. So I called the gym to ask about the email…the receptionist hung up on me twice. I called again and no one answered the phone HMMM! I used a different phone number, got through and requested a manger. Give him my info and magically he hung up on me too. So I called back, got the original receptionist and she rudely informed me that the confirmation email was just sent to me. Both of their tones were highly unprofessional and I do not recommend using LA Fitness for anything.

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