On Your Side: Left in the Dark

By: Jeff Anderson Email
By: Jeff Anderson Email

News 12 at 6, July 25, 2007

AUGUSTA, Ga.---Some members of a now-defunct gym say they've been left in the dark after the facility closed overnight.

The Powersouth Gym on Mike Padgett Highway shut down about a month ago. The former owner says it all came down to finances. Several members say that's fine, but a little warning and a refund would be nice.

"I came up here one day to work out; the door was closed and there was a note on it," said former member Lenny Wilkes.

That is the same story 12 On Your Side has heard from several former Powersouth Gym members over the past month. They say the gym literally closed overnight.

"Three Ryder trucks were parked in the back loading up the equipment," said former member Megan Lightcap.

She just happened to be driving by the Mike Padgett Highway Gym when she spotted something strange. "Treadmills, elliptical [machines]; they were loading everything up," she continued.

What's troubling for Megan and many other members is that they had just paid a year's worth of dues up front, just weeks before the gym shut down.

"One contract was for $1000," said former employee Felicia Brown.

Felicia and her fellow ex-employee Jennifer White say the store was taking new members, almost up until the last minute because they say the owner never told them they were about to be out of a job.

"It was just handled wrong," Jennifer said.

"He always told us not to believe the rumors," said Felicia.

12 On Your Side tracked the owner, Randall Key, at his other gym, on Gordon Highway where a truck sits with the Powersouth logo painted on. He told us the gym was shut down because he was getting in too much debt by keeping it open.

He also said a management group called Apex was supposed to send out letters and refund money, but a few delays kept that from happening as quickly as he wanted.

Most of the members say the letter and the refund will help, but an apology wouldn't be so bad either.

"I felt like I had been tricked into a membership," Lenny said.

12 On Your Side called Apex about this. A spokesperson said for the folks who prepaid several months or a year of membership, the gym is responsible for offering refunds.

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  • by belinda Location: augusta on Aug 30, 2007 at 12:39 PM
    I am also another unfortunate one who was scammed out of my money.I received a letter at the beginning of this year offering to renew my membership for 2 years for $200. I have yet to have use of it nor obtained a refund. It has been months since they have closed and I can not get any answers. I feel like this whole thing is getting swept underneath the rug and Randall is walking around like a fat rat.
  • by Lenny Wilkes Location: Augusta on Aug 20, 2007 at 03:13 PM
    I went through my bank to get refund. I paid on my VISA Check Card. They refunded me my money with no problems seeing how my contract number had never been entered with this Apex company... If i was yawl i would try that route if you havent recieved your refund yet.
  • by Melanie Location: Augusta on Aug 7, 2007 at 09:49 AM
    My husband & I joined for a year at $256, also, which had to be paid up front. The gym closed less than 2 months later. I am sure that he (Randall) knew that he was in financial trouble & should not have been taking money for a year membership, up front. Apex only handles the monthly payments, so this did not go through them. His pockets have been padded very nicely!!! A decent "business" person would refund the money. When we have tried to call him, he doesn't answer, nor does he return calls. I haven't heard of anyone receiving a refund.
  • by Topana Location: Augusta on Aug 4, 2007 at 03:34 PM
    I was one of those who had renewed my membership right before the closing and I am out of $256.00. Has anyone got a refund yet? If so how did you obtain it. Can we get this to a small claims court or a class action suit?
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