Ruth to the Rescue investigates gym fee complaints in Royal Oak

Fitness USA closes in Royal Oak, customer says she is still getting billed for membership

If you like to exercise, you know what it's like to go to your favorite gym, and it can be tough if that gym shuts down.

This summer, Fitness USA decided to close its Royal Oak location on Woodward Avenue, just north of 12 Mile Road. Management says before it made the final decision, it looked for an alternative for its members who loved the Royal Oak location.

The Executive Director of Fitness USA, Jodi Berry says her company signed an agreement with Royal Oak Gym to help take care of its members.Among other things, that agreement showed Royal Oak Gym would extend free memberships for two years to the Fitness USA members who had paid for "Lifetime" memberships.

Customer Complaint

However, gym member Eileen Burns says she is being charged in spite of that agreement. Our Consumer Expert Ruth Spencer met with Eileen outside the now closed Fitness USA. Eileen says staying fit and healthy is important. "I don't want to get old. I don't want to be sitting on the couch there," she told Ruth.

Eileen says she made the switch to Royal Oak Gym. She showed Ruth her contract with Royal Oak Gym that shows she owed zero money for the next two years. Eileen says a month later she was asked to sign this new contract, providing Royal Oak Gym with a month-to-month $15 fee.

Fitness USA Considers Legal Action

The Executive Director of Fitness USA, Jodi Berry says she gave Royal Oak Gym information about members who might transfer. She says Royal Oak Gym owner, Thomas Vestevich signed the agreement which includes free membership for two years for Fitness USA Lifetime members.

"We had several meetings, several phone calls, and I gave him all the data, all the information we could provide him with," she told Ruth to the Rescue.

She says Fitness USA has drafted a lawsuit and sent it to Royal Oak Gym. Berry says if a settlement can't be reached, Fitness USA will file the suit.

Royal Oak Gym Responds

Consumer Expert Ruth Spencer went to Royal Oak Gym on Stephenson Highway, but was told to leave and that no one would speak on camera. A little later, Philip Vestevich, Tom's brother and part-owner of the gym, called the rescue unit. He says the whole matter is a dispute between Royal Oak Gym and Fitness USA. He says the pending legal action is without merit, and will be thrown out of court.

In the meantime, Eileen says she feels cheated. "Well, I think its just very unfair, I figure if the owner signed the original contract with Fitness USA, why is he not honoring that?"

If you have a consumer story you would like Ruth to the Rescue to investigate, you can call (313) 298-WDIV or send an email to

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