South Jersey man warns others after gym takes membership money despite being set to close

Esporta Fitness in Woodbury Heights, New Jersey is scheduled to close on April 1.

ByNydia Han and Heather Grubola WPVI logo
Thursday, March 21, 2024
South Jersey gym continues to accept new members despite being set to close
South Jersey gym continues to accept new members despite being set to close

WEST DEPTFORD, New Jersey (WPVI) -- One man is warning others about a South Jersey gym that's continuing to take new members online, even though it's scheduled to close in just a few weeks.

The Action News Troubleshooters talked to the man, who'd been in the construction industry for years and suffered from neuropathy in the feet.

He decided to join Esporta Fitness in Woodbury Heights, New Jersey, which is just a few minutes from his home so he could swim and get healthy, but something went wrong.

"I joined February 14 of this year," said Robert Vahey of West Deptford, Gloucester County.

Vahey joined Esporta and paid nearly $300 for a deposit, annual fee, and first month's payment.

The problem is that the location is scheduled to close on April 1, just a month and a half after Vahey signed up. Vahey called to get his money back.

"I told him that I joined this particular gym because of the proximity to my house," he said.

However, according to Vahey, Esporta refused to provide him with a full refund.

"They said there was nothing they could do."

Esporta said the contract stipulates he could go to the chain's next closest location, which is 10 miles away.

"I don't even have reliable transportation. I'm on a fixed income," he said. "Unless I get $300 back, I can't join another membership. I can't join another gym."

So, Vahey contacted the Troubleshooters.

"They're a bunch of angels. Thank you so much."

The Troubleshooters contacted Esporta, looking to get Vahey's money back.

"Two hours later, I got an email from them. They reimbursed all my money," he said.

Now, Vahey is warning others about what happened to him.

"They're still taking memberships online for that gym. You could sign up, you could sign up for the Woodbury Heights gym, put your deposit down, and only go find out once you get there. If you haven't been there, you'll see the sign on the door saying that they're closing on April 1," he cautioned others.

Vahey told the Troubleshooters that what the gym was doing was deceptive.

"I think it's terrible. I think it's disgusting," he said.

The Troubleshooters did reach out to Esporta multiple times but have yet to receive a response about the Woodbury Heights closure.

"Watch out people. Watch what you're signing."

Before you sign up for a gym, read the fine print. It's especially important to look for what the penalties are to cancel a membership as well as the process to do that.

If you have a problem that Troubleshooters can help you solve, click here to contact us.

See resources for handling gym memberships below:

Best Gym Membership Deal Possible

Things to Look for When Shopping for a Health Club

Health Club or Fitness Studio: Which One is Right for Me?