April 22, 2003
Sean Caine, 410-576-6357
CHASE HEALTH CLUB ORDERED TO STOP TAKING CUSTOMER PAYMENTS UNTIL
IT POSTS SECURITY
General J. Joseph Curran, Jr. announced today that his Consumer
Protection Division ordered the owner of the Chevy Chase Athletic
Club to stop taking payments from consumers and to cease signing
up new members until it complies with Marylands Health Club
Division found that The Fitness Company Ownership Group, Inc., which
owns the facility at 5454 Wisconsin Avenue in Chevy Chase, failed
to post a surety bond or other security with the Division while
taking advance payments from consumers. The Division further found
that the business violated the Consumer Protection Act by falsely
representing to consumers that it is maintaining the security required
by the Health Club law. Under Maryland law, health clubs are required
to post a bond or other security with the Division if they collect
more than three months' payment in advance from members or an initiation
fee greater than $200.
clubs need to comply with the registration and bonding requirements
so that their customers advance payments are protected,"
Divisions Order requires the Chevy Chase Athletic Club to
post security or make refunds to consumers within 10 days and prohibits
it from taking any payments from customers until it complies with
the Health Club Services Law. The Order does not bar the health
club from continuing to provide services to existing members. Customers
may call the Division at 410-576-6350 with questions.
urges consumers to call the Consumer Protection Division at 410-576-6350
before they join a health club, weight loss center or self-defense
school to see if it is properly registered and bonded. Consumers
can also get advice about health club memberships on the Attorney
Generals Web site at www.oag.state.md.us/consumer/tip69.htm.