Gold's Gym members get refunds after computer glitch

PALM SPRINGS, Calif. - Nilsa Matos, of Cathedral City, joined the Gold's Gym in Palm Springs 18 months ago. While celebrating her birthday Tuesday she received a jaw-dropping surprise.

"I had a debt of $3,322. It was terrible for me. It was my birthday." said Matos.

Matos was not alone. Some people we talked to saw pending charges ranging from $900 to more than $8,000.   

Gold's Gym regional manager Aaron Wallo said Wednesday only the Palm Springs club was affected. In a written statement, Gold's Gym blamed a computer glitch with its third-party credit card vendor Vantiv for the faulty transactions. Gold's says the error caused "only a preauthorization not an actual charge" to customer credit or debit cards.

"I cried. It's a lot of money," said a woman from Cathedral City.

The Cathedral City member told us she doesn't care if it was a mistake -- she refuses to forgive and forget.

"I came here to cancel my membership for the incident yesterday, $2,000," she said.

The gym said the correct charge for membership fees will be applied on Wednesday, the incorrect amount will be removed.

Some members sighed with relief.

"They put all of the money in the bank. Praise God," said Matos.
Apologizing for the confusion and frustration, the credit card billing company Vanitiv said the software error was fixed immediately and that cardholder information didn't get hacked and at cardholders didn't get charged for these incorrect amounts.

Matos says it's a reminder for all: "More people need to be more careful, pay more attention to their bank account daily."

Gold's Gym said if you incur any insufficient funds (NSF) or other specific fees as a result of this incorrect preauthorization issue, Jonas Fitness will be acting as the gym's main point of contact to ensure these fees are researched correctly and if applicable, you are refunded for them right away.  In order to ensure they can respond to you in a timely manner, they have set up an email solely for the purposes of collecting refund requests for any Insufficient Funds Fees that your credit card company or bank may have applied to your account as a direct result of this incident. Please email them at: refund@jonasfitness.com and include the following:

1.  Your full name
2.  The best phone number to reach you on (preferably your cell)
3.  The name of the health club or gym you belong to and the city it is located
4.  The amount of NSF or other insufficient funds fees you incurred from your bank or credit card company
5.  Attach a scan or screen grab of the fees charged to you by your credit card company or bank dated on July 23 or July 24 (this documentation/proof must be provided to them in order to get you properly reimbursed by the third party credit card provider).

**In order to help alleviate some of the burden, you may provide the above mentioned documents to your gym and it will assist with the process of forwarding your information to the appropriate parties.

Once they receive this information, they will respond directly to your request within 48 hours with a detailed answer and timeline for any applicable fee-related refunds.

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