Town Sports International will stop charging members while its clubs are closed because of the COVID-19 pandemic, according to announcements from four state attorneys general.
The gym chain also will credit members for time the gyms were closed and offer free electronic membership cancellations through April 30. Town Sports owns and operates Boston Sports Clubs, New York Sports Clubs, Philadelphia Sports Clubs, Washington Sports Clubs, Lucille Roberts Clubs and others.
This policy change comes after the attorneys general of New York, Pennsylvania, Maryland and Washington, DC, sent a letter to Town Sports demanding the company stop charging customers for memberships during the COVID-19-mandated shutdowns.
Town Sports agreed earlier this month to automatically freeze memberships at no cost. With this agreement, the company has committed to provide additional relief to its members seeking to cancel and resolve all complaints filed with the attorneys general.
The attorney general of Massachusetts also secured an agreement with Town Sports in early April that the company would stop billing members of its Boston Sports Clubs and allow members to cancel their memberships without paying a penalty or a fee, the Massachusetts Attorney General announced on April 10.
Prior to the announcement by the Massachusetts Attorney General, Town Sports had posted on its website a letter to members sharing that the company had “adjusted our policies to align with your needs and industry best practices.” The adjustments included automatically putting memberships on freeze at no cost to members going forward while the clubs are closed and extending membership access to equal the number of days paid since its clubs closed. Members also now get Passport Elite status for one year along with a free three-month guest membership to be used when clubs reopen.
It also specified that members wishing to cancel their memberships could do so online by clicking on the “contact us” link on their home club’s website. Town Sports stated it would then send an email confirmation of the cancellation request.