Does it Work? - Premiere Fitness / Mademoiselle Spa

07-06-2001, 12:14 PM
In Feb 2000 my bf and I joined the Premiere Fitness / Mademoiselle Spa. We paid for one year's membership up front through Interac. We went for the first few weeks but then we stopped going. I bought an Orbitrek and decided to exercise at home instead.

Last week we received a letter saying that we owed them money and were in danger of being reported to the Credit Bureau. Since we had paid in full we had no idea what they were talking about.

My bf called and made an appointment to speak to someone. It turns out that our contract had been renewed by the gym at $59 per month (we had paid less than $400 for an entire year). There had been no renewal notice and no bill prior to the letter threatening our credit. (Btw both letters were dated 13 June but postmarked 26 June.) When I complained the gym said they didn't have to tell us that they were renewing and weren't obliged to send us a bill either.

When my bf spoke to someone at 3:30 yesterday afternoon we had not been reported to the Credit Bureau. When I phoned at 5 to tell them what I thought of their renewal policy I was told that I had been reported (but no my bf) . When my bf went there to pay the membership at 6 he was told that they had cancelled the report. I wonder how many people they have to pay just to call the Bureau every 30 minutes?

If you're thinking about joining PLEASE read the contract thoroughly. I had asked the rep when we joined what it would cost to renew if we were interested in continuing our membership and was led to believe that it was something we could choose to do. It never occurred to me that it would be done for me.

07-15-2001, 11:02 AM
That just can't be okay....can't you call the better business bureau or something like that up there to report them? I know that here you can do that and they usually will send them an offical complaint letter which will shape those scammers up quickly!

07-21-2001, 11:05 AM
You are usually told when you join what the terms are for renewal. I joined a club in Toronto years ago and was advised up front that I would have to give them 1 month's notice prior to my membership expiry date if I wanted to cancel.

Here's a tip for those who feel that joining a fitness club will be a waste of money because they are afraid they won't use it - like I did with that club in Toronto - I joined a club here in Oakville on a two month deal ($400) but it also included 8 sessions with a personal trainer. Those 8 sessions kept me so motivated that I spent more time in this club in two months than I did in 2 years at the other one. If a club has personal trainer services available, go for it. They are more than worth the money! I've joined for a year and will also sign up for a couple of training sessions a month!

07-23-2001, 06:45 PM
Before signing that contract and spending money on a "Personal Trainer" make sure that the trainer is CERTIFIED - not just by the gym but by an organization such as ACE.

In addition, when you are in the gym by yourself, try to sneak a peek at the trainer during a session with another client. Is (s)he interested in what their client is doing? Are they being genuinely helpful?

99% of the "personal trainers" at the gym I belong to I would not pay 5 cents to 'train' me...most have been through the gym's 'certification program' which is NOT anywhere near the same as being ACE certified. Yet, they charge high prices as well...I'm usually at the gym earlier than the trainers but I have seen them looking very bored and not helpful in the least. They just follow a form workout for the most part...some of them chat with friends and/or other gym members during their time with the client.

Best bet is - if you feel you need a personal trainer, don't rely on your gym's trainer - go to and locate a CERTIFIED trainer who know's what (s)he's doing!

08-02-2001, 06:34 PM
Thanks for the warning Mrs. Jim, but I had 8 sessions with my trainer and she was great. I plan on continuing with her twice a month. She seems to know her stuff and gives her clients 100% of her attention when she is working with them. I'm sure there are a lot of bad ones out there, but I think I've found a good one. $50 twice a month is great to pay for accountability and advice and in making sure that I am doing things correctly.