August 23, 2012 00:00
By THAMMARAT KITCHALONG
Over 200 customers of once-popular California WOW yesterday filed complaints for the return of membership fees and being denied access to fitness services after they paid over Bt1million to exercise at various outlets, a consumer protection agency reveale
Saowanee Chamchaliew, from the Founda-tion for Consumers, said about 200 customers of California WOW fitness centres had called and filed complaints with the foundation over the past two days.
They complained they had registered with the centre for life memberships or to be annual members, but were now not allowed to access the services as California WOW had shut down seven of its eight facilities.
The centre at Siam Paragon is the only one open after the Bangkok Bank filed a lawsuit with the Bankruptcy Court against California WOW seeking a court order to force the firm to repay a loan of close to Bt72 million plus nearly Bt4 million in interest.
Many customers complained they had signed up at other centres and could not travel to the heart of the capital to use the remaining centre at Paragon. Some customers had left belongings in lockers inside the closed fitness centres but could not enter to get their stuff back. Others said they used credit cards for membership fees, which were still being paid as monthly instalments to the bank.
The foundation said about 100 former customers had joined in filing a lawsuit, and were now awaiting a court order.
However, if the court did not issue such an order, the foundation would file a lawsuit with the Civil Court against California WOW as the firm had broken its contract with customers, Saowanee said.