BY GRANT LANCASTER
New York Attorney General Letitia James threatened the owners of the New York Sports Club with legal action if they do not stop charging New Yorkers for access to their closed facilities.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo ordered all health clubs closed on March 16 as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak, and many clubs have offered to freeze member accounts for no charge during the crisis, but NYSC officials have continued to charge members and have refused to cancel members’ accounts, often imposing fees on cancellation requests, according to a Friday press release.
James considers the club owners’ actions criminal and sent a letter to the parent company demanding immediate corrections to their policy, she said.
“If NYSC refuses to do the right thing voluntarily, I will not hesitate to take every legal step necessary to protect New Yorkers from NYSC’s unlawful conduct and get their money back,” James said.
The letter was a partnership with the attorneys general of Pennsylvania and the District of Columbia, which also have clubs owned by the same parent company, Town Sports International Holdings.
James recommended that members who have been unlawfully charged file a complaint with the Consumer Frauds and Protection Bureau and those who have their bank account linked to an automatic payment to the clubs contact their bank to stop those automatic payments, she said.