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Gym member billed for four memberships unbeknownst to her

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GEISMAR - A gym member's horror story is finally coming to an end after she contacted 2 On Your Side.

Allyson Velasquez says she's been paying for four gym memberships instead of two and had no idea until just recently. After cutting off the money source, she now has people coming after her looking for money she says she doesn't owe.

"It's fraud and it's stealing and that's not how anyone should run a business," said Velasquez.

Velasquez and her husband first joined Anytime Fitness in 2013. Last year they transferred their membership from the Sherwood Forest location to the one in Dutchtown, but when their contract was up in May they canceled and quickly learned that transfer never happened.

"We were getting charged for a gym membership that we don't have, that we don't use, we don't even have keys to get into the gym," she said.

When the membership was canceled this year, it was then that Velasquez took a closer look at her bank statement. She was being charged for two memberships at the Sherwood Forest Anytime Fitness and two memberships at the Dutchtown Anytime Fitness. That double billing went on for months, totaling more than $500 in payments they weren't supposed to have.

Ever since Valasquez says she's been trying to get in touch with gym owner Dana Cates but hasn't had much luck other than a quick conversation in Facebook. When the billing didn't stop, she contacted her bank to put a hold on payments. Then she started getting calls from debt collectors who say she owes about $370 to Anytime Fitness by December 5.

She says she also contacted the Anytime Fitness corporate, billing company ABC Financial, and the Attorney General's Office with little success of getting a refund or stopping the debt collectors from calling.

On November 15, 2018, Velasquez learned her old gym on Sherwood Forest suddenly closed. She says the owner owes her between $500 and $600.

"We want our money back and we want her to rectify all the problems, not only with us but with other people," she said.

Tuesday, 2 On Your Side made multiple attempts to get in touch with gym owner Dana Cates and have not heard back.

Anytime Fitness corporate did respond to our concerns and contacted the billing company. It received assurance that Velasquez will not be contacted by a collection agency about this matter anymore. Velasquez also tells WBRZ she was told she'd be issued a refund by billing company ABC Financial.

Anyone with a concern about Anytime Fitness should first contact the owner of the gym directly. If concerns remain, then they should contact the corporate offices of Anytime Fitness at MemberSolutions@AnytimeFitness.com.

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