In-Brief

Facing lawsuit, HCOA Fitness says it has canceled 1.6K memberships in Puerto Rico

HCOA Fitness, which on Tuesday was hit with a lawsuit by members claiming the chain had continued to charge membership fees during the lock-down, said it has continued to “expedite the freezing or cancellation of memberships.”

Rick Bouza, president of the 14-gym chain, said since the government mandated the closure of businesses on the island on Mar. 16 to fight the spread of the COVID-19 virus, the company has offered service to 9,832 customers by phone, has frozen or canceled 1,600 memberships and responded to 4,432 emails received by our members.

“We’re responding as fast as we can under these circumstances, and we’re reinforcing our customer service personnel,” he said.

The lawsuit filed at the San Juan Superior Court seeks some $3 million in fees that have already been charged and — if certified as a class-action case — plaintiffs Nicholas P. Mintzias; Krystal Abrante and Chris Brunner are also asking for another $6 million, plus interest and attorney fees.

They have also asked the court to issue a preliminary and permanent injunction preventing HCOA from continue charging membership fees while facilities are closed.

In the statement, Bouza said members who choose not to cancel will have a credit for the amount of time they were unable to attend the gyms and have unlimited access to more than 300 virtual classes that HCOA continues to offer.

“Under no scenario will customers be charged for services not rendered. Those who do not cancel will have that time on credit to use at the gyms after the reopening of the chain,” he said, adding cancellation requests take up to 14 business days to process.

While the case has been filed in court, Rep. Maricarmen Mas-Rodriguez has announced plans to launch a legislative investigation into the matter. She said her office has received “dozens of complaints” from consumers against a number of gyms, including HCOA, over collected fees.

Author Details
This story was written by our staff based on a press release.

Comments (7)

  1. Hugo Rios Barreras

    Been trying to cancel but keep getting been put on hold and then the call get hang up. They call you back and then they don’t hear you talking then they hang up I need to know how to cancel my account please help

  2. I have been trying to cancel my membership & no one has responded nor emails nor phone calls. This afternoon a representative finally called me, when I asked for the cancellation they told me that the pandemic wasnt enough excuse to cancel & that I was still going to be charged for my membership, the months that were charged weren’t going to be returned to me because “the pandemic wasn’t their fault”. I’m extremely furious about the whole situation.

  3. Maria Judith Muriel

    I called many times after sending an email on May 12 to cancel my membership. Got a phone call from a nice lady, forgot her name, wrote it down somewhere but cannot find now. She told me I was going to received an email with cancellation confirmation code.
    I am still waiting. I had been charged for March, April plus maintance fee and May.
    The club has been closed since March 16 but they keep charging me. I want to cancel this membership as soon as possible.
    I just resent my email again just in case they say they never got it.
    Maria

    • Higo Rios Barreras

      You have to get real loud with them
      or ask to speak to a supervisor just don’t let them carry the conversation good luck that work for me

  4. Anabelle Laureano

    I had sent around 7-10 emails, and all I get is an auto reply that I’m writing after hours and someone will be back to me, which never happens. What are our options here? We are getting charged for a service we never received, in additionally many of us had lost jobs or hours. I wish we can have a response. As someone said before, pandemic is not their fault, neither ours.

  5. Primera situacion que tuvimos fue para cancelar el personal trainer tuvimos que ir 3 veces y a la tercera despues de esperar por el gerente de los trainers casi una hora ya que era el unico que podia cancelar el contrato ni nos atendio y autirizo a otro que cancelara el personal trainer. Ahora con la situacion de la pandemia me cobraron 3 meses sin el gimnasio estar abierto llame a los telefonos y envie varios emails y nadie contesto los mismos, hoy llamo para cancelar la membresia y me indican que me dan un credito en dias para usar el gym y que esto puede tardar de 30 a 60 dias en que el credito se refleje, le indico que quiero cancelar y me indicaron que no notifique a tiempo y me cobraron este mes para poder cancelar. Imaginase en estos tiempos me cobraron 3 meses, no te devuelven el dinero y son tan poco profesionales que me cobraron otro mes por no notificar a tiempo cuando ellos no contestaron las llamadas ni los emails, en total me deben un poco mas de $140.00 y me indicaron que no me los van a devolver. Que servicio poco profesional y pesimo a sus clentes.

    • debes contactar a tu tarjeta de credito y contarles esta historia/situacion. He han hecho lo mismo pero mi compañia de tarjeta de credito va a reversar todos sus cobras eroneos. Y si, son cabrones que piensan que la gente quieren usar su “credito” de “uso” en medio de una pandemia que es la motivacion por un monton de estas cancelaciones, incluso la mía.

      Son los *peores*.

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