Former Calgary GYMVMT client demands refund as company gets ready to reopen

An Alberta-based fitness company, which filed a bankruptcy proposal back in April, may soon be back in business.

International Fitness Holdings Inc. (IFH) operated 21 gyms in Calgary and Edmonton under the names GYMVMT, HER GYMVMT, Bankers Hall Club and ClubFit.

GYMVMT is now in the process of getting a new owner, which could allow it to keep 14 of its locations open.

Read more: GYMVMT to close some locations after bankruptcy filing, vows to keep fighting

Carol Simpson won’t be one of the gym’s clients coming back.

Instead, she’s battling with the company to get a refund for services not rendered.

“I just want my money back,” she told Global News. “One-hundred-fifty dollars is a lot of money.”

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Calgarian Carol Simpson works out at home after her gym is shut down. Global Calgary

Simpson used to go to GYMVMT for personal training sessions twice a week, until COVID-19 shut fitness facilities down.

“The gyms closed down and we got an email stating that memberships will be frozen.”

She said she assumed that would include personal training fees.

“Two weeks went by and I had money withdrawn from my account. I actually contacted my trainer and he said everything should be frozen — training fees and membership fees.”

Instead, she said she kept getting charged for her personal training sessions.

Read more: GYMVMT to close some locations after bankruptcy filing, vows to keep fighting

Global News reached out to GYMVMT and IFH and received the following statement:

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“According to our Personal Training agreements, Personal Training sessions are non-refundable once purchased.”

“During the time that our clubs have been closed, billing for in-club membership dues were automatically frozen,” senior VP of Fitness and Operations, Scott Wildeman, added. “While services that are available virtually, like personal training, continued billing unless the member requested to pause those services.”

Click to play video: 'Operator of GYMVMT to close locations as part of restructuring' Operator of GYMVMT to close locations as part of restructuring

Operator of GYMVMT to close locations as part of restructuring – Apr 28, 2021

Wildeman said they “proactively shared that these services would continue billing by email and on our website.”

Simpson said she didn’t remember getting such an email, and added even if she had, she didn’t receive the services she paid for.

“I need that money,” she added. “I can buy groceries, I can pay my bills. It was nice to have a personal trainer but right now I need money back so I can live.”

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GYMVMT told Global News the impact of the pandemic on the fitness industry had been devastating, leaving IFH to insolvency and ultimately bankruptcy.

Read more: Some businesses feel singled out as Alberta brings in stricter COVID-19 measures

Wildeman said while they were fortunate to be able to continue operating under new ownership, they cannot issue refunds.

“As International Fitness Holdings enters bankruptcy, we simply do not have the funds to make exceptions to our refund policy,”

Moving crews haul gym equipment out of one GYMVMT location in Calgary. Global Calgary

The company told Simpson she could access the personal training services remotely outside or online, which she declined.

She was also told she could go back to her gym when it reopened, but the location she used to go to has been closed permanently.

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“They’re like, ‘You can go to one of the other gyms and do it,’” she added. “But I don’t want to do that. It’s too far and I don’t drive.”

GYMNMT has since cancelled Simpson’s membership with no penalty.

It has also closed seven of its 21 locations.

© 2021 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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