I spent the first 3 months of this year looking for a suitable gym. After searching for a good while, I finally settled on CHi Fitness in Da Men. I chose them because they were one of the cheaper franchise gyms in Malaysia, had classes I was interested in, and located close by with LRT access.
In terms of the gym experience, I actually quite enjoyed the classes and most of the gym equipment was well-maintained. Sadly, this enjoyment was shortlived and I cancelled my gym membership in August.
Why Did I Cancel My CHi Fitness Membership?
I paid RM129 for my monthly gym membership fee at CHi Fitness. This amount is inclusive of 6% GST. Here’s the breakdown of my membership fees for the month of May:
And here’s the price I paid in June and July 2018, after zero-rated GST:
In the May invoice, the price before GST was RM121.70. However, I was charged RM122.00 in June and July.
Here’s the invoice for August:
The price suddenly reverted back to the correct value of RM121.70 in August.
Obviously, I was very confused with the price discrepancy, so I approached the staff at Da Men for clarification.
The staff at the counter told me I was charged RM122 instead of RM121.70 in June and July because they rounded up the amount after deducting GST.
In response, I asked why did they suddenly decide to charge RM121.70 in August?
The response: “We decided to charge accurately in August.”
I further enquired why they decided to round up, then charge accurately, and if they were going to refund the overcharge for the months of June and July. I did not receive a satisfactory response, so I took to their Facebook page.
They were still avoiding my question regarding why the amount was rounded up in the first place and whether they were going to refund all members affected by this.
I decided to make things more public with a Facebook review.
WARNING! It’s quite a long review, so you can skip this – I’ve included a succinct summary below.
The gist of it:
- CHi Fitness took advantage of the tax break and unfairly rounded up the membership fees in June & July.
- CHi Fitness did not refund members unless personally asked about the refund.
- Basically, I stated that it’s not about the extra 60 cents I paid. It was about their lack of transparency regarding this matter.
Response from CHi Fitness:
- CHi Fitness never gave me any explanation until the comment above.
- Highlighted in yellow is their explanation (finally!) for rounding up the membership fees – more on their reasoning later.
- CHi Fitness stated that most of their customers were pleased… This directly contradicts what they told me on Facebook messenger. Here’s the screenshot to save you the trouble of scrolling back up:
Regarding their reasoning behind overcharging members, I believe CHi Fitness could have implemented it better. Is it really that difficult to have cash on hand to provide change to their members? How many members actually pay over the counter? Does it really justify rounding up the membership fees of all their members?
If members were so ‘pleased’ and CHi Fitness didn’t keep change at the counter, why did they suddenly revert back to charging accurately in August?
This is not just happening to members of CHi Fitness Da Men, but to my friends at other CHi Fitness gym centres too:
No Refund For Members That Didn’t Ask
When I went to collect my refund from the counter, the staff told me that the overcharged amount will be credited back to the members and reflected on the members’ next billing cycle (September).
Since I’ve already cancelled my gym membership and got my refund, I asked one of my friends if the amount was credited back to them.
A picture is worth a thousand words:
My friend did not claim the refund over the counter, and I don’t see the amount being credited back in September.
In conclusion, CHi Fitness is unfairly profiting by overcharging members in and not refunding them.
Yes, the amount CHi Fitness overcharged is small. But if you take into account all the members they overcharged, that small amount could be thousands of Ringgit, from thousands of members.
For example, based on my gym membership rate, they profited 60 cents over the course of 2 months. If they overcharged 10,000 members, that’s RM0.60 X 10,000 = RM6000. That’s RM6000 profit for them.
CHi Fitness provided flimsy excuses as to why they rounded up the membership fees and refused to refund all members unless directly asked. They’re profiting from this by not rightfully informing all the members.
For me, CHi Fitness’ lack of honesty and shady business ethics are not worth their gym facilities. ??
All this has left me gym-less. Know any independent or boutique gyms in Subang Jaya? Let me know below. Bonus points if it’s near an LRT! ?