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For Immediate Release

Media Contact:
Raquel Guillory, 410-576-6357
rguillory@oag.state.md.us

Consumer Protection Division Charges Lutherville Health Club Owner for Collecting Prohibited Fees

BALTIMORE, MD ( August 16, 2010) -Attorney General Douglas F. Gansler today announced that his Consumer Protection Division has filed administrative charges against MAXR, LLC and its owner, Diana Hamilton-Dutt for charging members of a Lutherville health club initiation fees prohibited under Maryland’s Health Club law.

The charges allege that in 2006, the Quest Fitness Center owned by MAXR and located at 1433 York Road in Lutherville, changed its name to Planet Fitness and required members who had already paid an initiation fee to join Quest to pay a second initiation fee to continue as a member of Planet Fitness. The Division alleges that charging the second initiation fee violates the Health Club law and Consumer Protection Act.

“Health clubs cannot nickel and dime their members by requiring them to pay arbitrary fees,” said Attorney General Gansler. “Once a member has joined a health club, they must be allowed to continue their membership as long as they pay their dues.”

The charges also allege that MAXR and Dutt also charged members an annual membership fee, which is also prohibited. The facility recently changed its name to Spunk Fitness. The charges request that MAXR and Dutt be ordered to cease collecting prohibited fees, return the illegal fees previously collected, and pay civil penalties and costs. A hearing on the charges is scheduled for Tuesday, October 5, 2010 at the Office of Administrative Hearings in Hunt Valley.

Health clubs, self-defense schools and weight loss centers are required to register with the Division’s Health Club Registration Unit. Consumers looking to join these facilities are encouraged to check whether the facility is registered at the Attorney General’s website, www.oag.state.md.us/healthclub or by calling (410) 576-6350.

   

Attorney General of Maryland 1 (888) 743-0023 toll-free / TDD: (410) 576-6372
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