JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- In March, Pro Fit 24 closed its gym leaving members stunned and looking for answers.
"I was shocked that we didn't get any prior notice that they were closing their doors," said Ashley Burgos.
Burgos, a member since 2012, was there when the owner, Steven Betts, was moving out.
"I asked him what was going on," said Burgos, "and he shrugged his shoulders."
Unfortunately for Burgos and the members, the closing of the gym is not the end to their problems.
"Since they've closed their doors, they've deducted two payments out of my accounts for a place that I can't use," she said.
Burgos said the gym is debiting her account $32 a month, and it is not just her.
"I have a neighbor across the street and her last payment was deducted March 29th," she said.
Coretta Pantin was a member since the gym opened. Today, she was at her bank trying to stop the automatic debits.
"They told me to cancel my card, account and they will stop debiting it," said Pantin.
She plans to but is afraid that there will be some backlash, like a smear on her credit files.
Betts' cell phone is disconnected and he's not answering calls at home. His address is in the Tidewater gated community.
Burgos said her bank has reversed the charges, temporarily, and started an investigation.
"If this continues, I will pursue further actions," she said.
If you were a member of Pro Fit 24, check your bank statement.
"I want to remind people," said Burgos, "to make sure that this business is not taking money out of their account."
What it is is taking your money? How do you get a refund?
The business is regulated by the Florida Division of Consumer Services.
Erin Gillespie said they have received two complaints, but more importantly, she said there's a remedy.
"The company has a $50,000 bond. Consumers should file a complaint if they are attempting to recoup money," Gillespie said.
Even if members have a contract, Gillespie said the contract must have a provision to provide an alternate facility under the same ownership at no additional costs, otherwise consumers have the right to cancel the contract.
Under state law, a studio is considered to be closed if it closes for more than seven consecutive days.
To file a complaint, contact the Division of Consumer Services at 1-800-435-7352 or online at www.800helpfla.com
This is also a link on consumer rights regarding health studios:
First Coast News