PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — More than a month since Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf shut down most businesses across the commonwealth, officials are still receiving complaints of fitness centers charging members their monthly bills despite being closed. The Pennsylvania Attorney General’s Office is reviewing nearly 100 complaints from gym members who say they’re still getting billed.
Meanwhile, boutique fitness Centers, like Soul Cycle in Center City and others, like Orange Theory, are working to retain members in unique ways.
Orange Theory fitness trainers now offer free virtual workouts on Instagram because its studios are closed during the statewide shutdown.
“We knew that the coronavirus was going to be something that would be a struggle,” said Anna Robinson, a head coach at Orange Theory’s Northern Liberties location.
The company is now seeking donations for its staff after freezing members’ accounts last month.
Other gyms were slow to freeze accounts, such as the parent company of Philadelphia Sports Clubs. In fact, several complaints to the state’s Attorney General’s Office were filed against its operator, Town Sports International.
The company just started freezing accounts this month.
“Consumers have rights here in Pennsylvania and we’re here to enforce them,” Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro said.
At [solidcore], a Pilates-based workout with two locations in Philly, the company laid off 98% of its employees nationwide.
But over at City Fitness, with several locations around the city, there have been no layoffs. That’s because many members initially offered to continue paying their bills, even after it closed.
Then this month, the gym decided to freeze members’ accounts after obtaining emergency funding from the federal government.
“We’re good for the near future,” City Fitness founder Ken Davies said. “How far ahead is still undetermined.”
Soul Cycle instructors are offering free workouts on their Instagram pages as well.
The company is also selling a new at-home bike, similar to a Peleton, for $2,500.