Bally Fitness Tricked Ex-Members Into Renewing, AG Says

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Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott filed suit today claiming Bally Total Fitness had tricked former members into renewing contracts by sending them "past due" notices.

More than 1,000 Texans were duped into renewing, Abbott said, after receiving the notices.

"Bally's notices claimed that recipients owed at least one month's overdue fees - fees for which the notice demanded immediate payment," the AGs office said. "Some of Bally's past due notices even claimed that failure to remit a payment could result in a negative entry on the former members' credit reports."

The AG said some people `fessed up: "Company representatives who were contacted by past members about past due notices acknowledged that the notices were not a collection effort, but rather an attempt to get former members to renew their memberships."

Between summer 2009 and March 2010, more than 11,000 fraudulent past-due notices were sent to former Bally's members in Houston, Dallas and San Antonio, the AG's office said.

The AG is seeking restitution and fines.

Texans who believe they have been deceived by similar fraudulent business practices may call the Office of the Attorney General's toll-free complaint line at (800) 252-8011 or file a complaint online at texasattorneygeneral.gov.

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