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Law Educator, Esq.
Law Educator, Esq., Lawyer
Category: Consumer Protection Law
Satisfied Customers: 118286
Experience:  Attorney experienced in commercial litigation.
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I was in a club doing drills and was supposed to be free but

Customer Question

i was in a club doing drills and was supposed to be free but now they want to charge me and threaten to send me collections
Submitted: 8 months ago.
Category: Consumer Protection Law
Customer: replied 8 months ago.
There was NO signed contract of any kind. I am not even a member, didn't sign any membership agreement. It was supposed to be trial period. this tennis pro told me to come out and try it out and see if i like it. and there was trial period. but then that period ended and they still said you can come out since it is slow so i kept on going. and they have been charging me and stacking up my bill all that time. and also they intended on putting me in lower leagues all along and maybe they didn't say anything cause they knew if i knew the truth then i would run
Expert:  Phillips Esq. replied 8 months ago.

Hello: This is Phillipsesq. Welcome to JustAnswer! I am reviewing your post, and I will post my response very shortly. Thank you for your patience.

Expert:  Phillips Esq. replied 8 months ago.

I am sorry to read about your difficulties.

You can report the club to Better Business Bureau and your Attorney General's Office for telling you one time, but doing another thing--you can file complaint against the club for unfair and deceptive act and practice.

Best wishes,

Customer: replied 8 months ago.
They are sending me to collections agency. Also they are trying to block me from being a guest there. I have many friends that are members and members can bring guests to play tennis there. Guests just have to pay a guest fee. Now they are saying i am not welcome there as a Guest because i owe money. Can they do this ? Can they block me from being a guest of my friend which is a member in good standing ?
Customer: replied 8 months ago.
is there a legal recourse i can take ? if i report them, what can BBB or attorney general's office do ?
Expert:  Phillips Esq. replied 8 months ago.

Can they do this ?

Response 1: Yes, they can until your billing issue is resolved.

Can they block me from being a guest of my friend which is a member in good standing ?

Response 2: Yes, they can.

is there a legal recourse i can take ?

Response 3: You can file lawsuit to force the club to admit you. You may retain the services of a local Attorney who handles civil litigation to assist you with the case or you can file the lawsuit yourself. The lawsuit would be filed at the Circuit Court in the County where the club is located. You can obtain complaint forms at the Courthouse in the clerk's office.

if i report them, what can BBB

Response 4: Can mediate your issue, which may convince the Club to waive the fees and admit you to the Club.

or attorney general's office do ?

Response 5: Can force the Club to admit you if the investigation shows that the Club did something illegal by advertising one thing, but doing something different.

A 5-star rating to my response is appreciated so that I can receive proper credit for responding to your post. Kindly use the popup screen to give the rating. There is no additional cost to you for giving a 5-star rating.

Thank you for your cooperation.

Customer: replied 8 months ago.
how can they send me to collections and threaten to ruin my credit for something i don't owe. there is no signed contract. can they lie and say there was verbal agreement ? this is just he said she said type of thing.
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 8 months ago.
Thank you for your question. I look forward to working with you to provide you the information you are seeking for educational purposes only.
I am a DIFFERENT CONTRIBUTOR as your previous contributor left.
They can send you to collections if they claim you owe a bill. However, they have the burden of proving the bill is accurate. You say there is no contract and no agreement to pay anything, if that is the case and they cannot prove a bill, then them sending you to collections would violate the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act and the Fair Credit Reporting Act.
So, you need to start by writing them a letter informing them that you dispute owing them any money as there was never any contract with you to pay for the time they are billing you for. Tell them if they make known false reports to the credit bureaus on you then you will pursue them for defamation/libel as well as violations of the Fair Credit Reporting Act for making false reports against your credit and you will seek damages against them for the false reports including attorney's fees.
Unfortunately, while you do have protection against false claims, if it is a private club they can legally refuse to allow anyone to enter that they choose as long as they are not discriminating against you only because of your age/race/sex/disability/national origin and you cannot force them to allow you to return to the club, legally that is their choice.
Please do not forget to leave positive feedback by clicking on the 5 stars at the top of your page , as the experts are not employees of the site and get no credit for spending time with customers unless they leave positive feedback. Thank you.
Customer: replied 8 months ago.
Thank you so much. Only reason i would even consider entering the club is because i have many friends there and they invite me to be a guest for couple of hours so they can play tennis with me as a guest. Club allows this with guest fee for everyone. This is where they are saying now i can't enter even as a guest with another member of the club. Can they do this ? and if i make claim with BBB and Attorney general and they find in my favor, can the club be made to allow me as guest of another member ?
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 8 months ago.
Thank you for your reply.
Legally, if they are a private facility, then they can regulate who comes onto the premises. If their members want you as a guest, you need to get the member to take that up with the club. If not the club can refuse to allow you admission. The BBB and AG will not get involved unless you prove you are being denied access solely based on your age/race/sex/disability/national origin.
Customer: replied 8 months ago.
previous lawyer said, i should file with BBB and AG. what am i filing for exactly then ? to say i don't owe any money ?
Customer: replied 8 months ago.
if the club insist that i owe them money and send me to collections, can i file complaint to BBB and AG ? and explain that there was on contract and signed agreement that i pay anything. because if i go the lawyer route then i would at least have to pay the lawyers initially to obtain their service. Also Club lied to me and said i can do these Tennis drills with the pros as trial member basis only and if i like it i should join, that is why i never actually joined or sign any membership forms. and also told me they were going to put me in this higher level team but they never intended on that, they meant to use me on lower level team since i can really help them since i am really upper level player. This is kind of deceptive practice reasons i later found out and i told them i am not joining them. and now they going back and wanting to charge for everything i did such as tennis drills with the pros and membership fees during the trial period which was all supposed to be free. This is all coming out to around $1200 during 6 month period which was trial period. It is unusually long trial period but since it was all free, i went along with it. and at the end of that period, when i found out, they only meant to use me for low level team, i refuse to join and never did. and then they got all upset and want to now charge me for everything during that supposed free trial membership period. and i told them i never signed any membership agreement contract or other agreement of any kind and since i was told this was all free trial period, i am not paying for any of it. That is when they got upset and they will send me to collections and bar me from the club from being a guest with other members.
One other important question i have is involving a USTA team matches which the club has nothing to do with. The Captain of my team which is a member there has Home team matches at that club. He just rents out 5 courts for 2 hours for home matches at that club. I am on his team and have been for 8 years. Can the club block me from playing these matches there ? Even visiting team guys who are not members are allowed in without any question since this is national USTA team matches.
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 8 months ago.

Thank you for your reply.

You can file a complaint to the BBB and AG for them trying to collect an improper bill, but if the club refuses to back down, the BBB or AG cannot make them do anything and you would have to file in court against them for unfair and deceptive business practices.

The fact that someone is renting the courts for USTA matches does not override the fact that the property belongs to the club and if they do not want you on the property they can tell the person renting and they can bar you from the club.

You cannot ignore this if you want to play there, you need to deal with it and settle it with them.

Customer: replied 8 months ago.
if i file i need to pay my lawyer, that would be cost to me. but if i file and if i win, could the court make them let me be able to play matches there as guest ? or they may want to settle for less money ? i would hate to give them any money because deceptive lies and methods. I think their whole intention of deception was that i would have to pay and would have to join to club because of money i owe and put me in any low leagues they want and use me. I feel like a Slave
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 8 months ago.

Thank you for your reply.

The court can order them to allow you to play as guest paying whatever required fees are in their rules and the court can order you do not owe what they claim (they could settle for less or you could seek to get the whole amount removed). But yes, if they are insisting on money and not letting you play there until they get the money and there was never any agreement for you to pay, then going to court is the only way to resolve this if they will not negotiate a resolution with you.