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Urban Active Improves BBB Rating, Faces another Lawsuit

It was a good news, bad news type of week for embattled Urban Active, which upgraded its Better Business Bureau rating from an “F” to a “C” while dealing with another lawsuit.

The Better Business Bureau (BBB) of Central Ohio upgraded the rating after it met with Urban Active on Tuesday to discuss how the Lexington, KY-based company was working to address previously unanswered complaints. Those complaints, which led to the BBB’s “F” rating last month, dealt mostly with continued charges to members’ bank accounts after they claimed they had cancelled their contracts.

Urban Active told the BBB that it was streamlining the process of cancelling memberships and that it now has additional staff at its corporate headquarters to handle BBB complaints.

“We appreciate the Central Ohio BBB sitting down with us to point out areas of concern, and that has allowed us to better service our customers,” Urban Active said in a statement to Club Industry. “We have made great progress quickly and anticipate continued improvement.”

As of today, there are 102 complaints which are pending while the BBB awaits a response from either Urban Active or the consumers who filed the complaints, according to the BBB.

The latest lawsuit was filed this week in Franklin County (OH) Common Pleas Court by four former Urban Active trainers. Lori DePietro, Jeremy Reeves, Adrian Gilbert and Corey Logan claim that Urban Active discriminated against them, did not pay promised wages and destroyed evidence of the hours they had worked at Urban Active clubs in Ohio, according to the Columbus (OH) Dispatch.

In a response to Club Industry, Urban Active says the lawsuit is without merit.

“We go through great lengths to create camaraderie in a safe and healthy workplace for all of our employees,” the company said. “We take pride in the diversity amongst our employee ranks as to age, gender and race. We are concerned and skeptical as to these allegations filed by former disgruntled employees. We intend to vigorously deny and defend ourselves against these allegations.”

Urban Active already is dealing with three lawsuits filed last month that are based primarily on claims that the company violated consumer protection laws and breached its contracts with members. A fourth lawsuit filed last December claims Urban Active violated the Americans with Disabilities Act. Urban Active says these claims are meritless.

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