Planet Fitness to Reimburse Deceased Member’s Dues


STAMFORD, CT -- Planet Fitness will refund dues of a member of its Stamford, CT, club who was killed in a 2007 shooting.

The Planet Fitness franchise in Stamford, CT, continued to withdraw monthly dues of about $15 a month after the Dec. 4, 2007, slaying of Gregory Rowell, according to a report in the Stamford Advocate. Planet Fitness collected a total of $401 after Rowell’s death.

Rowell’s mother, Patricia Rowell, closed her son’s bank account after his death but was unaware that he had a second account with another bank, from where Planet Fitness withdrew the monthly dues, according to the newspaper. A bank employee alerted Patricia Rowell about the withdrawals.

After the club’s manager initially told Patricia Rowell that the club would refund the money, a Planet Fitness district manager called her last week to say the company would not refund the money because she should have alerted Planet Fitness sooner of her son’s death. Instead, he offered her a free six-month membership.

“I told them to take their membership and shove it,” Rowell told the newspaper.

John Craig, Planet Fitness spokesperson, says the matter was mishandled and a refund will be issued.

“We deeply regret the resolution by our club operator,” Craig told the newspaper. “We want to express our heartfelt sympathies for Mrs. Rowell. We will fully reimburse for the dues withdrawn from her son Gregory’s account. This really should have been handled better.”

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