Woman says gym forged her signature on long-term contract

February 28, 2012 3:47:01 PM PST
A Houston woman says her gym forged her signature on a long term contract and then started billing her monthly for dues she never authorized.

This all started a year ago, but the woman only recently discovered the problem and now says she cannot get her money back.

Irma Delgado tells us she went to a Bally's in January 2011 with the intention of exercising for one month, which she paid for. A year later she went back to do the same thing and found out to her surprise she has a long term contract with Bally's and that the gym has been charging her a monthly fee all along.

She said, "I wanted to buy the special for $32 for one month."

Delgado says last January she wrote a $32 check to cover one month's membership at the Bally's on North Shepherd. She says she never thought about it again until this January when she went to get another one month contract from the same gym.

Delgado recalled, "She says, 'No, you already paid.' And I said, 'How?' And she said, 'They already take the money out of your bank.'"

Delgado says that's when she learned Bally's had been charging her more than $30 a month for a membership she says she never wanted. The money was automatically deducted from her bank account each month through an electronic funds transfer. The only problem, Delgado says she never signed a contract or agreed to let Bally's take money from her account.

She said, "I didn't sign anything, nothing, so they have been taking money out of my bank for the whole year."

Bally's then showed Delgado a contract with her name on it, but the signature does not appear to be a match. That's when Delgado enlisted the help of her daughter Selma, who happens to work in a corporate security office in Houston.

"This is not just a mistake, this is outright fraud and this is not her signature," Selma Delgado said.

Selma says she's been trying for two months to get her mother's $340 returned to her bank account.

We asked the manager at the Bally's, where the contract originated, for a response, but he directed us to the company's corporate offices.

Tuesday afternoon a corporate official told us, "Within an hour of learning of this issue, we had spoken to Ms. Delgado regarding her circumstances and are now in the process of working with her in an attempt to resolve this matter."

Delgado says the company told her it wants to resolve this within 24 hours and has requested a copy of her bank statement in order to refund the money.