Valley woman says gym gave her bank account a workout

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PHOENIX – Sandi Reed knows the importance of exercise and healthy eating.

She says, "I had been going to Weight Watchers since August of last year and I lost 25 pounds and wanted to continue so I thought working out would be a good way to keep the weight loss going."

When Sandi received a gift card for a three-month membership to 24 Hour Fitness she thought she would go in and try it out.

Employees had difficulties processing the gift card. "When I went in the girl that was working there wasn't sure how to put it in their system, she didn't know how to load the gift card," she says.

Sandi says the employee asked her for her checking account information just in case the gift card wasn't processed correctly. She reluctantly agreed but claims she told the employee, "I'll give it to you but do not charge my checking account and she said ‘We won't just bring the card in when you come back in and that's what we’ll use’."

Sandi only visited the gym once after signing up and never went back but then saw her account had been tapped for $29.99, and that charge caused nearly a hundred dollars in overdraft fees.

Sandi tells 3 On Your Side, "I was really unhappy about it and I went to the bank first because I wasn't even sure where the charges were coming from. I just didn't expect that so I went to the bank and they said it was from 24 Hour Fitness."

It turns out, 24 Hour Fitness charged her checking account instead of processing that gift card. Sandi says she's tried calling 24 Hour Fitness to get the charges reversed but kept getting the run around.

"I can't just afford to throw away $135 and number two it's the principle. It was supposed to be a gift card. I should not have been charged for not even one month's fee let alone all the bank charges."

3 On Your Side contacted 24 Hour Fitness, which claimed Sandi actually did sign up for a membership and she failed to cancel.

Sandi disputes she filled out any membership. However, the gym agreed to refund her the $29.99 and refunded those overdraft fees. 

By the way, 24 Hour Fitness claims they intended on giving Sandi a refund the entire time. However, Sandi wonders if that is true because she's been battling the company for awhile and did not see a reimbursement until 3 On Your Side got involved.