Germantown Fitness First Among Gyms Accused of Improper Fee Collection
Fitness First health clubs in Germantown and North Potomac among nine named in charges filed by the state's Consumer Protection Division.
The Maryland Attorney General’s office has accused a health club chain of collecting annual fees from members without posting bond to protect the payments, as required under Maryland law.
Nine Fitness First health clubs in Montgomery County and Frederick, MD, — including Fitness First of Germantown, off Frederick Road and Fitness First — North Potomac, off Darnestown Way — were named in charges filed by the Maryland's Consumer Protection Division on Thursday.
The state alleged that Fitness First had collected an annual “Facility Enhancement Fee” in addition to monthly dues since 2009. But the fitness chains reportedly "did not provide the state’s Health Club Registration Unit with a surety bond, letter of credit or cash deposit," the charges state.
The state is seeking an order requiring Fitness First to post the required bond or cease collecting the annual fee, refund annual fees previously collected, and pay civil penalties and costs, the state Attorney General’s Office said Tuesday.
An inquiry to Fitness First corporate office was not immediately returned.
A hearing on the charges is scheduled for Aug. 7 before the Consumer Protection Division.