I’m actually a member of this fitness chain, why? Because it’s incredibly cheap and I know value where I see it!! But my membership cost me THB 10k up front and after 3 years an annual payment of THB 3,000 (this was negotiated back in 2009) we knew that this company wouldn’t be able to continue its existence for a long time. To the company’s credit they have brought about a fitness boom in Thailand and allowed individuals who previously were unable to afford memberships at hotel gym’s the opportunity to exercise in a proper gym but when a business is based on selling as many memberships upfront as possible and then still has to maintain operating expenses in rent, staffing, and leases, this is no surprise. Now why is it a scam? A quick google search of other california fitness chains around the region (Hong Kong, Taiwan, Korea, Singapore, and Malaysia) will show you exactly what I’m referring to, in each of these countries the California Fitness gyms went bankrupt. So if you’re a thinking of becoming a member in the new countries where they are operating (Vietnam and China) don’t fall for the lifetime membership option, take the cheap annual fee and realise that one day the gym may not continue. Oh and btw check out Eric Levine’s, the founder of CaliWow, “little house” in Phuket http://homesoftherich.net/2010/04/eric-levines-65000-square-foot-supersized-thailand-beach-house.html
Sucks, now I may have to look for another gym.
There have been consumer complaints about the company, which sells lifetime memberships but regularly closes facilities. Members have also complained about below standard services and breach of contract details, according to the Office of the Consumer Protection Board (OCPB).
Source: Bangkok Post