A woman went viral after sharing a series of videos where she claimed Planet Fitness was “stealing” her money although she previously canceled her membership six times.
Tara Rule, or @pogsyy, posted about her situation on TikTok where it received more than 1 million views in total, with the first TikTok getting more than 713,000 views and 3,500 comments.
The TikTok can be viewed here.
According to a 2022 survey of 2,497 U.S. adults, more than half admitted to receiving unwanted memberships or subscription charges.
Another survey by Chase Bank discovered that 71 percent of American adults waste more than $600 a year on unwanted subscription fees.
The survey also found that more than half of respondents thought recurring payments were a “hassle,” with respondents saying it took on average three months to cancel unnecessary subscriptions and memberships.
“If you’re seeing this Planet Fitness stole your money too huh?” Rule said in the video which was posted on July 27. “I’m gonna tell you how to get it back.”
She explained that the video was for people who’ve canceled their membership with Planet Fitness “one trillion times” and are still being charged.
Rule told Newsweek she called three times to cancel and went in person three times to cancel the membership.
“I brought in a written letter and brought it to my home gym once, but they told me I had to bring it to a notary before they would accept it,” she said. “I attempted to send a cancellation letter via certified mail, but it was returned to me stating that no one signed for it. I sent in a couple of letters, but I have no way to know if they were ever received.”
In the video, Rule listed several steps people should take if they find themselves in a similar situation.
She recommended speaking to someone in person and recording the conversation, adding that it is important to be friendly and request a print out her complete check-in history, a copy for the original contract, and all invoices and billing information.
Rule inserted audio from her alleged conversation with an employee where she asked them about canceling her membership but still being charged.
“Then what we’re gonna do is we’re gonna file a class action lawsuit against them, all of us,” Rule said. “Or, Planet Fitness, if you want to pay me back for all the money you’ve stolen from me over the years—from a disabled person—maybe I’ll take this video down. Otherwise, let’s sue Planet Fitness.”
More than 3,600 users commented on the video, many sharing similar experiences and others offering Rule advice.
“I went to cancel my mom’s when she died,” one user commented. “The man literally looked me in the face & said she would have to do it in person… .”
“They did the exact same thing to me,” another commented. “They closed my club and they refused to take my cancellation because it had to come from the OG one.”
“My cousin had a gym membership and even after he passed away (& were notified of his death) they were still trying to charge him & contact family,” another user commented.
Rule told Newsweek that although she did not expect the video to get such a large response, many have shared similar if not worse situations.
“The more I’ve looked into this, their contracts, and the downright exploitative nature of their membership/termination agreements, this has evolved from me wanting a refund to me wanting to see the company held responsible,” she said. “And their policies updated in hopes that fewer consumers will be taken advantage of in the future.”
Newsweek reached out to Planet Fitness for comment.
In another viral TikTok, a woman claimed an employee at Anytime Fitness refused to cancel her membership until she took at least three private training sessions.
In other videos, a woman said she was “fat-shamed” at the gym for wearing a sports bra, and another showed how she can tell if people at the gym are “creeping” on her.
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