New York Sports Club’s 114 Greenpoint Avenue location is now permanently closed as fitness centers struggle to stay in business during the pandemic. “Sorry for the inconvenience this location has closed,” states a sign posted to the front entrance of the shuttered fitness center overlooking one of Greenpoint’s busiest intersections.
The East Coast chain gym’s parent company Town Sports International LLC filed for bankruptcy in September and has closed NYSCs in Brooklyn, Manhattan and Queens since the start of the pandemic last winter. Three NYSC locations remain open in Brooklyn, including one each in Bay Ridge and Park Slope.
After opening in June 2014, the Greenpoint NYSC closed in March when businesses deemed non-essential in NY went on pause, but NYSC customers across the city reported that membership fees were still being collected.
The New York Attorney General’s office is suing the parent company in a lawsuit brought last month stemming from hundreds of NYSC customer complaints over NYC membership fees charged during the pandemic shutdown, Gothamist reports:
AG Letitia James alleges New York Sports Club and Lucille Roberts, and the parent company Town Sports International, had engaged in illegal and fraudulent activities regarding customers’ right to cancel their memberships, according to the complaint. The company allegedly failed to allow members to cancel their membership after losing their jobs in a “Hotel California-style approach to its members—’You can check out any time you like, but you can never leave,'” according to the lawsuit, filed in Manhattan’s state supreme court on Wednesday.
Since the coronavirus shutdowns beginning in mid-March, the attorney general has gotten 1,848 complaints about the company. About 24 percent were from this month alone.
The frustration of Greenpoint customers is reflected in the multiple reviews left on NYSC’s Greenpoint Yelp page. “If I can give you zero stars I would – you charged my father who is a senior and you make him come in person to cancel during a PANDEMIC,” one angry reviewer states.
“They charged me 4x since I ended my membership in April. Zero accountability,” another commenter on the Greenpointers Instagram announcement said. “The manager finally got in touch this week only to say she doesn’t ‘have a button on my computer that would allow me to refund you.’”