Letter To The Editor: Shady Business Practices 

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I’m writing to inform readers about unethical business practices at New York Sports Club (NYSC). Although the company has had legal troubles with its Washington branch regarding unfair cancellation and billing practices, the Great Neck branch of Town Sports International seems to be no different. I’m writing about my experience there, so that others don’t have the same experience.

As a relative newcomer to New York, I joined NYSC because it was conveniently located to my residence. I signed up for a year membership, and at the one-year mark, its business manager, Josh Levy, emailed me to inform me that my membership was ending:

Hi,

I hope this email finds you well.

I wanted to introduce myself. I am the new business manager of your location.

Your membership is scheduled to end soon or recently ended. While you are still eligible for reinstatement, I wanted to see if there is anything we can do to keep you as a member. I am personally committed to ensuring you are happy with your membership at our gyms. Please let me know if there is anything I can do to change your mind. Thanks and I look forward to hearing from you soon.

In good health,
Josh Levy, Business Manager

Having decided to move on to another gym, I took no action and let the membership expire. What I came to find out is that Mr. Levy had actually meant that my billing information had changed at some point and that they’ve been unable to bill me—although the email doesn’t read that way, and nobody from the organization contacted me by post, phone or email to inform me of issues billing my on-file card. I came to find that out when three months after my membership had ended, I received a letter from collections. Furthermore, they had continued to bill me for months after I had received the email notifying me of my membership cancellation. I contacted Mr. Levy asking why he didn’t inform me about the situation, that he could have made his message much clearer and that he had mishandled the situation. Instead of apologizing, he said:

Thanks for your advice. I like my email.

Your membership has been sent to collections.

Thanks,
Josh Levy, Business Manager

I have never encountered a company that would rather send customers to collections than notify them of billing changes. Having had this experience, I’ve come to the conclusion that NYSC is an organization that couldn’t care less about its members. Reader, there are similarly priced gyms in nearly every area. I urge you to explore them instead.

—Hesham Salman

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