DC sues Washington Sports Club over ‘misleading’ policies, fees

WASHINGTON — D.C.’s attorney general is suing the operators of an area health club chain, alleging that customers were misled about cancellation policies and charged after they’d ended their memberships.

The office of Attorney General Karl Racine announced Tuesday that they were suing Town Sports International, the operators of Washington Sports Club, accusing the chain of violating consumer protection laws as well as a 2016 settlement over similar accusations.

Racine’s office said in a statement that they’d gotten at least 50 complaints since 2016 about Washington Sports Clubs, including among others that the club misled prospective customers about cancellation fees and policies, sign-up fees and automatic membership renewals. Racine also claimed that customers weren’t allowed to see written membership contracts, and some were charged membership fees even after getting oral or emailed confirmation that their memberships were canceled.

“It’s clear that Washington Sports Club is still making money by deceiving consumers, and that is not acceptable,” Racine said in the statement. “We are filing this lawsuit to protect District consumers and to warn businesses that if they profit by misleading or hiding information, we will hold them accountable for breaking the law.”

The attorney general’s office is asking anyone billed by a Washington Sports Club after canceling a membership to call them at 202-442-9828. They also directed customers to their blog post on what to look for — and watch out for — when signing up for a gym.

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