CREATED Jul. 24, 2013
PALM SPRINGS - Many gym members at the Gold's Gym on Airport Center Drive received an unexpected charge on their bank accounts, from hundreds to thousands of dollars.
"I looked at my account online and noticed that I had various charges, four different transactions, one was almost $5,000," said Katrina Dixon.
Dixon is one of many gym members who noticed the unauthorized holds Monday night.
"My account was actually overdrawn at that point, and I needed to stop and get gas, but I couldn't do it," explained Dixon.
The Regional Manager at the Gold's Gym, Aaron Wallo, said it was a mistake by their third party vendor that processes payments on the gym's behalf. It was a "pre-authorization" account hold for many of the customer's membership dues or club fees, but no one was actually charged. Wallo said this only happened to members who pay their monthly dues with a visa card.
"When you have your membership automatically debited out every month, you're expecting that to be a safe transaction. You're not expecting for anything like this to happen, so it was a little disturbing to me," expressed Dixon.
The processing company, Vantiv, that made the mistake released a statement saying:
"At no time was cardholder information exposed anywhere outside our secure networks, and at no time were cardholders actually charged for these incorrect amounts. This file error was in no way the fault of your gym/health club. We sincerely apologize for any confusion and frustration experienced."
This was the first time that this happened at Gold's Gym, and the problem should have been resolved by Wednesday, July 24.
"This morning I did notice on my account that I had been refunded. Everything went back to the way that it was, so that's good," said Dixon.
Gold's Gym said if you experienced any insufficient funds (NSF) or other specific fees as a result of this incorrect pre-authorization issue caused by the 3rd party credit card provider, Jonas Fitness will be acting as our main point of contact to ensure these fees are researched correctly and if applicable, you are refunded for them right away. In order to ensure they can respond to you in a timely manner, they have setup an email solely for the purposes of collecting refund requests for any Insufficient Funds Fees that your credit card company or bank may have applied to your account as a direct result of this incident. Please email them at: firstname.lastname@example.org and include the following:
1. Your full name
2. The best phone # to reach you on (preferably your cell)
3. The name of the health club or gym you belong to and the city it is located
4. The amount of NSF or other insufficient funds fees you incurred from your bank or credit card company
5. Attach a scan or screen grab of the fees charged to you by your Credit Card company or Bank dated on July 23rd or July 24th (this documentation/proof MUST be provided to them in order to get you properly reimbursed by the 3rd party credit card provider).
**In order to help alleviate some of the burden, you may provide the above mentioned documents to your gym and we will assist with the process of forwarding your information to the appropriate parties.
The Gym added that it will respond to directly to your request within 48 hours with a "detailed answer and timeline for any applicable fee-related refunds."