Blast Begins Total Houston Takeover of Bally Total Fitness

BLAST BEGINS TOTAL HOUSTON TAKEOVER OF BALLY TOTAL FITNESS Today’s the day all 18 remaining Texas locations of Bally Total Fitness — including 9 in Houston — are scheduled to switch over to control by their new owner, Blast! Fitness. Before it bought 39 clubs in 9 states from the struggling chain in a deal announced earlier this month, Blast was an operator of only 15 gyms in 4 northern states. Last year, Bally sold 171 clubs nationwide to LA Fitness, but held onto all of its Houston locations. Blast says it’ll honor all Bally memberships; transferred Bally members will also still be able to work out in the 60 remaining Bally clubs in other states. [Club Industry] Photo of Bally Total Fitness at 9801 Katy Fwy.: MetroNational

84 Comment

  • do some businesses send in tips in effort to promote their business?

  • Good to know they are honoring the Bally’s contracts. I paid my dues to enjoy a $15 a month membership for the rest of my (or Bally’s) remaining living years.

  • @northside girl: Yes, but not in this instance.

  • I hope today was not a sign of things to come from Blast. Their first day taking over the Bally I go to & the place was filthy! I hear that the higher paid employees were let go so they can hire cheaper labor. If the higher paid employees were responsible for the gym adhering to basic health standards, I say “Hire Them Back!”

  • I want to know if Blast will keep the TMA going. There are about 400 students taking Taekwondo classes and if TMA doesn’t continue will be bad idea.

  • my family are abouth 10 years in bally fitnes my son 3 years in taekwondo classes he is black belt please I HOPE blas dont take out this classes this is good for the kids if you take out is probable we need to move other fitnes and put my kid otrher school more close we like this because is good y close to my comunity you had good masters in tma.if you doesn’t continue will be bad idea

  • I go to the club on Post Oak in Houston. Since Blast takeover, note significant drop in normal services provided, showers, wet sauna, hot tub, all filthy…..some TV’s not working.

  • After now over a week of ownership change ‘Blast”in Sugar Land located on 90 & 59 has not yet taken the time to at least put out a letter to existing members regarding changes and future procedures.I see new posters and other signs for what is offered to come but nobody took the time to inform members via letter -e-mail or in person whats going on.The staff seems clueless and does not have one lick of information how all this effects accounts of existing members . Very unprofessional. I asked today for a phone number to talk to some management that could tell not just me but many others something regarding how things will work and I was told they have no number. Really? Come on!!!. It would be greatly appreciated to get some knowledge very soon. The gym is a fairly bad condition. Broken rubber pieces on exercise machines that could be hazardous. Bathrooms are dirty and fairly smelly and other broken equipment( broken for weeks now) have the same old pink little ” Out of Order” sign on it. I feel bad for the staff. I know they are coping. Changes are hard. A good company guides their staff through times like this to make them feel positive and through them put customers at peace. Am still waiting on something that explains what is what and how it will work. Am considering just going somewhere else.Customer service is very important to me and beside convenience and price the top reason for me to leave money anywhere.

  • I am sure glad I didn’t renew my membership last month. My ‘home club’ was nasty enough, but with this conversion to Blast, it sounds like it will be even more filthy and scummy. Plus, it picks my a$$ that Bally kept on sending my invoices to renew when they knew full well they were selling the clubs. They wanted $15/month and Blast charges $10/month? Even at $10/month, why would I want to pay $10/month to get athlete’s foot in a filthy environment?

  • I’ve been a member for about 30 yrs with very low monthly dues; I hope they honor those renewals. A week into their ownership the hot tub and pool are still closed…not a good sign. They should have been better prepared for those issues. They say they are waiting on their mntnc crews to make sure the chemicals are right. IDK, hope this change of ownership is a positive move for the members.

  • this place is disgusting. I’ve been a Bally member for about 3 years and loved that gym. I’ve been back twice since Blast! took over, and have an appointment set up with Lifetime this evening. Blast! is disgusting.

  • Over a year ago, Bally’s sold 171 clubs to LA fitness including the University Blvd location in Houston with newly built parking garage but kept 9 Houston clubs to sell to BLAST! Why? I don’t know whose bright idea that was but I am totally unhappy! WHY didn’t my anywhere in the USA lifetime membership sell to LA Fitness or at least have offered the recipricol option to me a year ago when Bally’s was making deals. Now the Email, 9 clubs got BLASTED, why? Dear Bally’s, heres an idea, refund my membership dues since 1979 to buy me a lifetime membership with LA Fitness so I don’t have to continue to put up with the nasty, filthy not worth the inconvience to drive to one of the remaining 9 blasted locations. Somebody give me the name of the law firm of corporate lawyers that made the Bally’s/Blast deal, WHY has a carton of rotten eggs to mail them.

  • I’m with you B. Edwards. I also go to the gym at 59 and 90 in Sugarland and that place is a mess. The lady’s restroom is filthy. Went in there the other day and 2 stalls were out of order. One workout machine had one of those pink signs Out of Order signs on it for at least a month. Ever since the ownership changes, I think the gym has gotten worse. I also did not know of the change until the day before yesterday when I finally received an email stating so. The least they could have done was to send out letters to members in advance of the takeover. I wouldn’t have renewed my membership then. I’ve been a member of Bally’s since 1994 and this what I get in return. I have been considering looking into the 24hr fitness on the other side of the freeway. I’m sure the gym is clean and in working order there. Plus, they have a pool! While I’m still here at this gym though, I hope they can clean it up and make drastic improvements soon. Otherwise, they will be losing a lot of members to the gym across the street.

  • Memorial takeover will lead to closed doors. They are losing decade long Bally members fast. From the unprofessional staff to the filthy treadmills – Memorial clients will go elsewhere and never return. Terrible abuse of a primo location. They could have turned to existing staff and had a much smoother transition. Tanning beds? really? Rinky dink operation will suck the life out of a once really nice location.

  • Today, I made the decision to go to the gym and try to get back into shape. I have had membership since 1984 and had not had any bad experiences with Bally’s. I went to Sharpstown since it was near the job and on the way home and when I walked through the door, I immediately knew this was not the gym that I had been to before. I finally caught a worker’s attention and asked to be shown around since it had been awhile since my last visit. His first comment – Blast bought Bally’s and stated it would be $ 24.99 for me to come. I stated that I had lifetime membership with Bally’s and he then said I would not have to pay anything. The quick tour was not motivating and the place was filthy. I left and drove to the Sugarland site. I have been there many times and was appalled when I walked through the door. There weren’t any friendly faces, there wasn’t any type of greeting. I went to the locker room and it was not clean. I turned around and left. I am very disappointed that my lifetime membership is wasted. Why is correct – why didn’t they sell the last sites in Houston to LA Fitness?

  • My wife and I have been members of Bally for over 24 years. Every time we would walk in ,we would see staff to include manager sitting around do nothing.Showers filthy ,pool,steam sanus,dry and whirle pool. We attribute all of that filthiness to managment,specially the Memorial one. Please define “GOOD HYGIENE” !!

  • I agree…..give us the option to move to LA Fitnesss not the sub-standard Blast group……if anyone files a class action lawsuit let me know.

  • I always went to the Webster location I hadn’t been in awhile and decided to check it out. I found the staff completely new and all young girls. I was used to mostly males and had planned on paying for a trainer to work with me today. While the girls were very friendly and helpful, I had asked about some questions with the crossover and they answered to the best of their knowledge, they all just seemed too young and skinny but not fit, not what most trainers look like. I decided to skip the trainer. The gym was not filthy. But I did notice a couple of treadmills that had the bright pink out of order sign. I do agree if blast! Takes over I think my monthly fees need to be reduced as well as I think I should have an option on if I want to stay or take my business elsewhere. I don’t know this new company and by everyone else’s reviews I think I would much rather go to L. A fitness or 24 hour fitness. We deserve an option!!!!

  • Well, I think Bally Total Fitness has been going down some for several years now. The west univ club I joined 25 years ago was really nice, including the post oak and clear lake locations I have gone to. This new Blast had better step it up really quick. Otherwise the $5/month I now pay will be too much (well maybe $5 might be OK)– no way $10/month. I just visited an Addison(N Dallas) location today and it did appear dirtier in the locker room. The one staff member I talked to was nice. He said letters were supposed to go out to Bally’s members. Still waiting. Good luck everyone. This is the most clubs have always gone except maybe the YMCA.

  • To the point, Blast let almost all of Bally people with any brains go to hire cheap wage earners. The club I go to has the usual, broken equip, filthy wet areas, dirty showers, etc.. When I grilled the “mgr” as to when things would be repaired I got the same BS answer of “we’re in transition and it will be 60 – 90 days”. This guy used to work for Ballys and got canned the FIRST day for COMING TO WORK WASTED AND SMELLING LIKE BOOZE . Nice. I worked as a Regional Manager for Ballys in the ’90′s and all I can say is find another chain because this Blast garbage will only get worse. I’m bailing to another chain this month.

  • I started with President’s in 1976 when Dick and Mimi owned them. Lifetime member and use them nationally. Baton Rouge franchise let me use their facility and it is nicer than any in Texas. Thanks to them!

    The shut down of the club on 290 was premeditated I am sure as well. No one loses their lease like that to competition. Is LA
    Fitness making any deals for lifetime members?

  • It’s impossible for any fitness club to provide adequate services for $10 a month. I’ve been a member at Bally’s for more than 15 years and watched it go down hill and their fees were higher. For $10 your on your own and better shower at home. Don’t expect the services to improve, its just plain economics.

  • I went to Memorial City location last Saturday, both bathroom and shower areas were very dirty.

  • I joined Bally’s in 1985 in Brookfield, Wi. I moved to Southern California in 1992.Because my original club was in Wisconsin my membership was sold to Blast, which does not have a presence here. I contacted Bally and asked them why if all of my contact information clearly states I live in California would they not transfer me to LA Fitness the new owners of my current club. Response was essentially we are sorry but its your problem and you should contact Blast for a refund on your remaining membership. I agree that maybe a class action suit is probably the only method of seeking redress in this misguided treatment of its members.

  • Since May 1st when Blast took over, three times I found the club not open on time. That is not the real problem. THE REAL PROBLEM is that when I telephoned their customer service on 877 886 0381 nobody was available to speak to me. All I got was “the voice mail box is full”. I tried many times with the same results

    DO NOT WASTE YOUR MONEY DO NOT JOIN BLAST

  • As a former member of the N.Shepard location my experience was negative. What started as a simple dispute over billing by both Ballys and Blast and also ABC financial turned into my decision to cancel. BEWARE of the $10/month to join ads. This is just a hook to get you to sign and then they will tack on other fees and make it very hard to cancel. It took less than 10 minutes to sign over to Blast but I had to go throughout club mgmt, customer service and the website to cancel. Was told that my request will take 5-8 business days to process plus 30 days to cancel. I will be paying over $100 in fees and dues for a club I will not be using. I cancelled not because of the money due to double billing but the principle. As a paying customer be prepared for hostile attitude as well if you question the policies of this place.

  • we have been with Bally for 4 years and are canceling because they got rid of TMA. Our son jusr got his black belt in March. We paid $500 for the certificate; however we have not received it yet and the stupid people at Blast can not tell us how or when we will receive it. NORMALLY it goes to the master, but he is leaving in one week! If anyone knows please respond and let us know please.

  • I renewed my Bally’s membership for 3 years in May 2009. 3 weeks later they closed the only location that is convenient for me. I haven’t been to a Bally’s since. Yesterday was the first I learned about Blast, when I got a past due notice from them naming my original Bally’s location. I haven’t visited that one since I moved out of the area 10 years ago. The lady I talked to at Blast was nice, but I was not able to resolve my issue. I hope their business practices are not as dirty as their gyms seem to be.

  • Blast fitness has made a mess of the take over at the houston Memorial City Club that was Bally’s. This club is dirty, with machines not working; ppl working there don’t care. It’s a place to go if you want to get sick not fit. Bally’t never kept this club like this. Machines nasy and dirty, floors filthy and machines not working!! get it together Blast ppl don’t want this for fitness!!

  • I can see where most of yall are coming from. The takeover was not as smooth as you would have liked. However, it is not entirely the fault of BLAST. They took over Bally’s and are still trying to fix what Bally’s messed up. BLAST is doing the best it can in it’s current situation. Give them a little more time to work things out. There are a lot of problems to take car of and only so many people to take care of them.

  • I joined Bally’s in 1997 the webster location I had unlimited free racquetball and nursery services well as we all know Bally’s closed there racquetball courts at this location and started to charge for newer class’s which should have been included in our monthly fees
    we should have sued Bally’s a long time ago for charging the extra fees. now we are sold to a company that offers less than Bally’s and there is a LA fitness right down the road, we should have been given the option of going to LA fitness, it is cleaner and has racquetball courts plus a lot more classes to choose from. If there is a class action law suit I am in. It had better get started quickly before Bally’s closes all of there facilities.

  • I cancelled my membership with Bally’s in February of this year and tell me why Im getting billed from Blast Fitness now I have spoken to Bally’s and of course they tell me they can’t do anything I sent Blast a renewal form from Bally’s where it clearly states my membership has stopped and yet they still want my money I am so upset and thought I had finally gotten rid of a nightmare but I guess I was wrong because a new one has started.

  • Please ignore ABC Financial, they did the same thing to me. I called them, then I sent a written letter stating that I didn’t owe them any money. Do not pay them any money.

    Not too long after that I received an email asking for money, I got really angry and sent them an email. I finally received word that I do not owe them.

    Several years ago Bally’s got into trouble with the Attorney General, they were fined and ordered to repay members. If I were you I would file a report with the Attorney General. BBB etc they are a very deceptive company.

  • The idiots removed all the punching/kick boxing bags because they don’t promote a “friendly” atmosphere. What kind of a gym doesn’t have punching bags? Who are the pansies that would get the wrong idea? Very disappointed…

    The corporate number is just a voicemail box (that gets full by the way). And when I did get a response to a complaint I submitted it was from a yahoo.com domain. What kind of company doesn’t have their own domain?

  • Look guys if you dont like the service go to one of those that charges $150 a month! what do you expect for $10 bucks? yeah i will agree to and extend thou, like those who work there and never move a finger to check things out and expend time talking on the phone and even bring their girlfriends to work or boyfriends and never never go check equipment or do crap!!

  • Thank you to all of you who added comments. My 24 Hour Fitness (across from my office) on Post Oak closed a while back and the Richmond location is ridiculous crowded so I thought about changing to Bally’s since it is closer to my office. I previously had a Bally’s membership but let it go when I started working near the 24 Hour fitness. After reading all of these reviews, I think I will just find a less crowded 24 hour location and drive a little out of the way.

  • When Blast frist took over Bally on Greens Road I was told if I wait 90 days I would not have to pay the annual fee of $50 dollars. Now I am told I will have to and I want to know why?? There seems to be no leadership at Blast. Blast has a crew to clean the bathrooms but no one cleans the workout equipment or the floors.

  • Our Ft Worth Oakland location had gone downhill for years. All the nicer locations ” lost their lease” several years ago.

    I had a lifetime membership but stopped going because the club was dirty and classes were really limited.

    Got a postcard from blast but this does not sound promising. I agree we should have sued years ago when they sold off the nicer clubs. My membership was worthless at that pooint.

  • Joined President’s in Dallas in 1985. Bally’s was letting things go and now pool(s) and whirlpool have been closed several times. Think this would have happened no matter who owned them. Think new employees arw trying, give them time. If they don’t get new members because of negative reviews they will close and we will have to pay way more to join another chain.

  • -Member of Bally’s since 1990, mainly a lap swimmer
    -Dual membership at LA Fitness to ensure I’d always have a well taken care pool to swim.
    -Chronic problem: “loafers” invade lap-swimming lanes at all times if no lap swimmer in sight. We, lap swimmers, have become policemen of the pool, having to request many times aggressive water-walkers to please move to loafers’ lane. When I leave my house I am already in a state of anxiety, anticipating coming confrontations with non-rule obeying gym members. Phillip, the new manager at Blast Memorial, honored his word and notified an overweight, middle age lady like myself, about her need to move to the croweded loafers’ lane. This lady stood her “ground” (she couldn’t swim) and cussed the manager; I was told later on that this lady may have her membership privileges removed. However, other loafers continued to walk in another available lap swimming lane. That means that the next swimmer will have to exercise the unfair, unjust role of pool nazi. At this point, no swimmer is guaranteed a smooth transition from land to water if s/he wants to lap-swim. Maybe the club doesnt care whether pool attendees walk or swim, they care about numbers, and if swmmers decide to go elsewhere, more walkers are willing to become members since the loafers/swimmers lane assignments are definitely not reinforced. // Showers: reeked of urine. I agree, for the money we pay we may as well shower at home or walk with bo. It’s disgusting to breathe even in these showers, and there is a 1″ ribbon of black fith from the ground up, along the perimeter of the shower area. // I am tired and disgusted to see that those fancy BMW drivers parked outside choose to sweat like pigs in the saunas to then jump into the pool w/o showering, disobeying written rules found everywhere. Yes, chlorine may take care of their saline sweat, but I do not offend them with my sweat, ever. Do do breach my rights, legitimate rights, to swim in a higienic pool. This battle I am willing to lose. Overall: we do not have any facility in Houston for the money that we currently pay that could offer a healthy, correctly operated and managed pool. LA fitness pool at Marquee is a total disaster, and has been the case for years. The Y is more expensive, but it may be only viable alternative for a smooth, relaxing workout, where one wont have to chase managers around to get regulations enforced, and the placed cleaned up to a minimun degree, at least. In a nutshell.

  • I called to renew. Gave me the run around because I have been a member for over 20 years and only pay $29.00 a year. They said they would honor contracts. Not making it easy. After looking at all the comments may be best not to renew. All is well that begins well, starting out with very poor service. Went to a location, everyone seem so unhappy and uptight. Just a matter of time before the doors are closed!

  • I got a question.. How much do I have to pay just to sign in or join in blast fitness?

  • Cut the bullshit and get to workout,you don,t like it?? Find another fancy and expensive place and get ripped of just for work out!!!!!!period.

  • The only thing I,m concerned and I care about is for them to fix the FUCKING machines!!!!!! All I care is to wirk out!!!!!!

  • Why are all of you crying its 10$ a mth u can go no where else for that cheap smh

  • This article is not completely accurate. Bally’s pulled another underhanded dirty trick on their members in Houston. Middle of last year when they were in the mist of finalizing the sale of their Houston gyms to Blast, Bally’s started selling a buy 2 years and get 1 year free membership. But to get the 1 year free you had to send in a coupon at the end of the 2 years. Since there is no Bally’s in Houston, you have no way of redeeming the 1 free year.

    Blast is also not any better than Bally’s. Since they took over, soap dispensers would go empty for weeks. Think about that – people use the restroom with no soap and they return to using the equipments. All the paddings on equipments are torned and cracked with sharp edges on some of them. If you get a cut you better hope the last person didn’t use the restroom. The floors in the locker rooms are filthy – I cannot recall ever seeing it cleaned in the last 2 months.

    That $10 dollar a month ad is also not true. You have to pay an annual fee of $50 which means there is no difference from what Bally’s typically charged.

  • Approximately two weeks I went to workout at the Memorial Club in the afternoon. I went upstairs to workout and returned to the locker room in approximately twenty minutes only to find my lock had been cut off and my wallet stolen. A new lock was put on my locker by the theif. A Blast employee cut off the lock. Needless to say, I was told that the cameras, that could have identified the person, did not work. So be warned!!! I have been with Bally’s for almost twenty years and nothing has ever been stolen from me. Blast would not compentsate me and I could not reach any upper management to discuss this beside the young man at the club. Hence the coming lawsuit.

  • I put up with the filthy conditions and unrepaired equipment for awhile in hopes that the conditions would improve. When they didn’t I moved to LA Fitness. I’ve been trying since June to cancel my now Blast membership. They claim to honor the Bally’s contract, but there was no requirement in my contract to appear in person and sign a waiver. That is requirement from Blast. They will not provide you a document to complete and return. They will not schedule an appointment. If I want to cancel, I have to show up during my normal working day and wait as long as they want me to and sign their waiver. I’m so frustrated!

  • After being a member of Ballys for many many years in the North Dallas area, (mainly Preston/Beltline) It was not hard to notice that things were slowly going down hill with one of my favorite Ballys closing down in Addison… so it wasn’t too much of a surprise when I walked in and discovered that Ballys had sold off many of it’s clubs to Blast. Since then, things have been about the same at my club and I haven’t noticed anything getting any worse besides the pool being closed for a rehab. The facilities have been maintained with no ‘filthiness’ others here have mentioned. The staff also has been very friendly to me and have had no problems answering my questions. In fact today, I was told that my location would be going 24 hours and a ‘remodel’ was on the books for the not too distant future. One staff person also told me that Blast had ‘inherited’ a pretty fair mess from Ballys and it would take some time to get things up to speed. One last thing.. about a week ago I did decide to go ahead and do my yearly renewal and ABC financial was perfectly happy to honor my previous lifetime agreement that I had with Ballys. Overall? I can sort of understand some of the negative reviews that I see here but I am very pleased with my situation and intend on giving Blast the benefit of the doubt for a good while to see where they go. I say stick around and give these guys a chance. If you are looking for a club to join? it’s hard to beat the rates that Blast charges.

  • I drive up to Blast, “Formerly Bally’s Total Fitness) on August 20, 2012 and this sign is posted on the front glass door located in the Galleria, Houston, Texas… Without any public notice, advanced warning, or even an e-mail to members. It is really very inconsiderate of Blast to not let members know in advance, in order to minimize customer inconvenence !!!
    about a minute ago

  • I ended up being billed for two membership, after switching my Bally’s membership to Blast. I figured it would be easy for them to fix, but I was wrong. The manager could not fix it, her regional manager could not fix it, and neither could ABC Financial, the billing dept. They all agree that they messed up, but prefer to give people the run around rather than deal with it properly. I was billed 250.00 in one month for a membership that should not have cost 20.00 for the month. It has been 6 weeks and I just quit the club since they still have not gotten it resolved. They say that they will only be billing me one more time after I submitted my cancellation form for them to consider. These people are out of their minds.

  • Blast at Post Oak has closed with no notice to members. I just joined in June, therefore paid an annual fee, last month fee and have been billed for three months of membership. They have refused to refund any monies, saying I can use other Blast Fitness Centers in town. Really? In Houston traffic, I am not willing to drive 30 minutes to get to the next closest center. What a crummy company.
    No one should join Blast! It was dirty, with broken machines

  • I belong to the Blast on Shepherd. Not much has changed since the takeover except that they removed the soap dispensers in the shower to save money. Now you have to bring your own. Kinda funny, kinda pathetic

  • The Blast on I-10 @ Gessner (Houston) is pretty empty. I’m wondering how long Blast will be able to run the facility if usage doesn’t pick up. A lot of the machines are broken and not repaired promptly. What upset me last week was that many machines had had the seats removed (for replacement) with no prior notice (not even a sign). The good news is that the seats have been replaced; the not so good thing was that last week — when I asked ‘when will the machines be usable’ I was not only told ‘I don’t know’. Worse, when I asked, Who would know’, I was told, ‘None of us.’ This bears all the signs of a company that has bit off more than it can chew. Weak management = chaos. Bad communications with customers = loss of customers.

  • Everyone call public health yourcounty health office and report filth and illness. Take pics.call and report to BBB and write editorial to paper

  • I’m glad I didn’t renew my membership about a year ago. I used to go to the Bally’s in Greens Rd. The swimming pool’s water was always cold & filled with floating hairs & some even with pieces of scalps or dandruff attached to them. The bottom was also dirty. The jacuzzi was nasty & I caught a weird rash from there & after two years I still have the same problem in my left leg. I’ve even seeing people coming straight from the dry sauna, sweating big time jumping or even bathing in the pool. The stuff made the deals to join & it was on them to set up the prices according to what they felt a person should pay.

  • I paid for personal training sessions I never received and Blast does not honor. I am talking with Bally’s corporate to try and get my money back. We’ll see how that goes but Blast was more than happy to cancel my membership by phone when I called today. No problems yet. I talked to Crystal at extension 1806 when calling 1-888-287-9262 after Destiny @ the location on N. Shepherd told me it was necessary to come in and have the manager sign and give me a waiver to issue a refund. What a crock!!

  • I’m thinking maybe the “sale” to Blast was really just a way for Bally to get out of its long term commitments at low rates. In the 80s I paid a big up front fee for a very low, unchangeable, annual rate (about $60/yr). I’m sure they sold that deal to tens of thousands of people… which Bally’s could not raise the rate on legally. So, over time, they accrued a huge pool of members with pretty low rates–while their costs kept rising. Not to mention the leases at the 18 properties in TX.

    By “selling” their TX clubs to a company that basically has turned around and shut down the clubs, Bally’s has, in essence, wiped their hands clean of those liabilities. What I’m not sure of is what Blast has to gain from it. I mean, I have not ONCE been contact by Blast since the changeover–not to introduce themselves, not to assure me that I’m a valued customer and they hope to keep me in the family when my membership expires–not to let me know that they were shutting down the only club near me (since Bally’s had already shut down the University location)–nada, nothing, no contact of any kind from Blast.

    Very strange deal. I’m sure someone, somewhere benefited from the transaction… but it was clearly not in the members’ best interest.

  • Any word on a class action suit being formed? I’m definitely in!

    I lived in Texas five years ago but am now in Chicago. Bally’s sold my lifetime membership to Blast based on the fact that Bally’s had my “home” gym listed in Houston. They knew better as the address on my account (where they send renewal notices) has been in Chicago for the last five years. Blast here in Chicago says I can only workout at my “home” location in Texas. So not only did Bally’s take my renewal fee and dump me…I have to fly to Texas to workout?

  • I also pay $29 a year and received the letter of May 8, 2012. I have not received a renewal notice which usually comes in November. I am all for a class action lawsuit.

  • I have been a Bally’s member for over a decade. Most Bally locations were already going downhill. For the price Blast is charging I don’t think they have the money to keep the clubs even at Bally’s standards. What health club doesn’t even provide soap for its members?! The location on Shepherd has gotten pretty bad. You can really tell now that there is no longer a dedicated cleaning crew – just the staff (very young, low paid kids – there are no original Bally staff left there) sort of half wiping stuff occasionally. The showers are really gross – there is mold and mildew all over the place. Attendance there has dropped off significantly.

    The Memorial City location is a little better (and I heard it has gone to being open 24 hours).

    The location on I-10 in Katy seems to be the exception – I visited a few times and it still seems to be maintained at a good level and I noticed some of the original Bally’s staff from other locations working there instead of just low-paid kids.

    Also, I think the $10/month is misleading. If you look at the signup page it says you will be charged an additional $49.99 a year as an Annual Membership Rate Guarantee Fee! That’s almost half the membership for a year! Still I guess its a pretty cheap membership compared to other major chains.

  • I have had a lifetime membership with Bally’s for 25 years and pay $12.00 a year. ABC billing and blast charged my credit card without my authorization $119.68. When I called billing in August 2012 they said they would research it and call be back.Afeter a couple of weeks of not hearing from them I called and to explain my billing problem all over again and was told they were looking into it and someone would call me. I have still never gotten a single call from them. I called again and again and was finally handed over to a supervisor who said ” we,re just the billing company we don’t have the authority to change your fee you need to go to the club and speak with a manager because your bill is a result of the information we recieved from Bally’s. I went to Blast and spoke with the general manager who said there was nothing she could do and that I need to take it up with billing, I told her I have been dealing with ABC billing since August and now we’re in December and they told me I need to go to the club and see you and now your telling me to to go back to them. I asked for the name and number for the district manager and was told we don’t give out numbers here’s an-email address or call Bally’s since they’re the ones that gave us your information. I called Bally’s immediately and right away they said your no longer one of our members we sold you Blast. Finally I was able to get the to send me my billing history from 1990 to 2011 and they said there should be no question that I pay$12.00 a year.I called the billing supervisor and left a voice mail message stating that I had documentation from Bally’s as she requested and for her to call me and give me her e-mail address so I could forward it to her that was almost two weeks ago and still have not heard from her. I went to the club to drop off my billing to the general manager that I had spoken to earlier she wasn’t there so I left it with the assistant manager along with my telephone number and for her to please call me and let me know what happens next. of course as usual no one called.I called the next day and spoke with general manager who now gave another e-mail address for someone at ABC billing and to write to her. I cannot believe how unprofessional and incompetent this company is!!! They just keep making me jump through hoops and are not doing anything to straighten this out. All they do is steal your money and give you the run around and Bally’s won’t do anything for you even though they screwd my lifetime membership up. I,m all for a class action law suit against all three companies.Anybody. With me?

  • Why waste your time with lawsuits that will end up being pointless when the defendant goes bankrupt. Go find another gym and get over the Bally’s failure.

  • Blast is awful. The one on N. Shepherd is run by kids who would rather chat swith their buddies than assist. I know more than their “trainers”, and the place is filthy. I wouldn’t recommend the place to anyone, and am looking for another gym in the area. Not a lot of choices since the big places tend to focus on the suburbs.

  • I would never buy a membership from blast the people that work in the Houston locations are dishonest. I know for a fact that when you use your credit card to obtain a membership the people that work there take a note of it and fraudulently use it to buy their lunches.

  • Advise Help wanted: I’ve owned a Bally’s Nationwide lifetime membership since 1979. I just got a 2013 “renewal” from Blast for one year $197.00. HELP! What should I do? We “grandfather” members were told that BLAST would honor “Ballys” membership contracts. Well your honor sucks!

  • I am a lifetime member and after not receiving a renewal notice from Bally’s called ABC Financial which I found the contact information online. They had received my contract information from Ballys but was unable to bill due to my card on file expired in September.

    I updated the expiration date and was told my account would be debited $61.70, my normal renewal rate. However, upon checking my bank statement online, they had debited my account $81.20. I called ABC and was told my account would be credited $19.50 upon posting for they had waived the processing fee. 3 days later, amount posted but still no credit. Had to call them back and was told again the $19.50 would be credited within the next few days. Finally got the credit, happy to see that occur so hoping all is good.

    There is still the matter of whether Blast will honor my “President” status which includes visiting any club anywhere….as often as I desire. I haven’t visited the club in over 6 months but do plan on going there Sunday to ensure all is well. I forgot to ask if I would be receiving a new membership card in Blast name.

  • Was informed today that blast is honoring all old lifetime contracts, but member must furnish copy of original agreement….good luck ya’ll. I found mine

  • I am looking for the name and email address of the owner or cooperate office for Blast fitness to send them a letter.

  • Blast has a website with contact information. I emailed a complaint through their website and actually got a response.

  • Giving up my membership. Have been going to the Katy I-10 location. The place is filthy and the equipment is broken, dirty and flat out disgusting. Nothing like getting on a treadmill that is full of dried sweat. At this point I think it’s a health hazard.

  • The ongoing saga of Bally’s/Blast at the Houston, Tx on the Katy Freeway at Memorial City Mall just gets worse and worse. Apparently, there was a long history of animosity between Bally’s and the owner of the property MetroNational which owns the Memorial Shopping Mall plus new the office buildings that has and is popping up all around the mall. MetroNational wanted to demolish the building to put up another office skyscaper. Apparently, when Bally’s sold it’s location to Blast, they did not inform (or maybe they did) Blast that MetroNational was not going let the business tenants of that building to renew their leases. On February 21st of 2013, Blast at this location is closing. Someone asked how Blast was going to make money by taking on Bally’s members – it’s simple, everyone who signed at the Memorial City location now has to go elsewhere to the other Blast location. Basically, Bally’s (and Blast) got rid of the members who paid for life time memberships, all new Blast members at this locale who were suckered into signing on with Blast or paid for personal trainer sessions at this location now has to go to the other ones in Houston. If you are confused, it works like this – Blast buys the locations from Bally’s, closes it down after getting people to sign up at the location. Chances are not all the members of the closed site will go to the other ones because if you look at the map of where the others are located, they are pretty far away so Blast makes money from new members who are not going to be showing up at the other branch and Blast gets to dumps former Bally’s clients at this soon to be closed site who had life-time memberships.

  • I think Blast is going to open another location in Houston after they close the Memorial Branch down on the 21st. I’m glad as they are cheaper than both LA Fitness and 24 Hour Fitness.

  • Sadly, I too am a LIFETIME Ballys customer and am HIGHLY irate that they (1) did not informed me of any closures, (2) received LARGE amounts of $$$ from me some 20 years ago telling me this is a LIFETIME membership, (3) not upheld decent hygienic standards suitable to the public, (4) have incompetent employees, (5) no longer provide similar services when I originally signed up including racquetball courts, swimming pools, certain exercise classes, etc.

    Why there has not been LEGAL ACTION taken by the members seems fishy to me, and this is a BUSINESS and CONTRACTS are involved. Anyone who has suffered a breach of contract, financial loss or uses Ballys or Blast gyms for rehabilitation purposes should be able to take LEGAL ACTION.

    In the event Blast Fitness builds more gyms in Houston, I hope they understand the anger and frustration experienced by both Ballys and Blast members. I paid my annual membership dues at the Memorial location RECENTLY. I asked the manager if they were closing that location prior to paying, and was told no. This is truly an unjust business practice by Ballys, and as a longtime, loyal customer, I am disgusted and would definitely be interested in legal action whether by multi-plaintiff or an individual lawsuit.

  • I am trying to figure out just what damages all of the “sue them” commenters think they have. Just find another gym, and move on.

  • All Ballys members who had their checking account and credit cards debited by Blast Fitness and ABC Financial without notice, you have rights. Federal regulators have rules regarding consumer electronic transactions.

    If Blast did not have your signed authorization to charge your account, dispute the transactions with you bank and have the funds returned to you. Then go the Balst websiste and send them a cease and desist email. Never mind the 30 days notice crap. Ballys may have transferred your membership but they cannot transfer debit authorizations to your bank account.

    You may not have a fitness club membership but you will have your money back. Who wants membership to a filthy dirty club anyway. I too had lifetime membership with Ballys, or so believed. Nice way to get rid of your lifetime members Bally!

  • Now I see all the pieces come together. LA Fitness did NOT buy the Texas market Bally’s so they would not have to honor the LIFETIME MEMBERSHIPS. If I am wrong someone please correct me. When one company buys another, they take their assets, debts and contracts. Anyone have a lawyer friend to try a class action law suite? But, if someone knows how I can make them honor the membership since they bought Bally’s everywhere else please let me know.

    I have been a Bally’s Lifetime member since December 19, 1988. This is just wrong!!

  • I joined back in 1987; 26 years ago when it was VicTanny in Brookfield, Wisconsin. Then changed to Bally’s shortly after. WAS a great place THEN! In 2008 the place started to go down. Dirty, broken equipement…. THEN this SCAM OUTFIT BLAST came into picture in 2011. In here in Wisconsin. DUMP, FILTH AND LOTS OF TALK. The club I joined in 1987 is now sold and in process of being “gutted” by new owner. How sad how CORPORATE GREED CAN SCREW UP THE LITTLE GUY! Glad I paid by check for year. No payment plans for me. They will keep taking your money if you cancel. Word to the wise….

  • Wow! This is happening to me too! Member with Bally’s since early 90′s. I noticed a charge on my credit card from ABC Financial. Reported it to my credit card as an unauthorized fraudulent charge. New card was issued and a credit applied to my credit card. A month later received notice from Blast Fitness that I was past due and I needed to pay immediately. Started goggling and found this site. I will follow the advice of others on this site and contact the AG and BBB. Thank you all!

  • I have had enough with Blast! Things went downhill fast at the Memorial City location with the ownership change. No soap in the showers, dirty sauna and steam rooms, weight equipment not being properly maintained, etc., etc. I said I would maintain my membership due to its location. Then in February 2013, Blast announces that the Memorial City location would be closing in a few weeks. I was VERY UPSET! I received a letter in the mail stating that my membership would be transferred to the Sharpstown location. That gym is out of the way for me so I started working out at the Barker Cypress location. On Monday, May 6 I go to work out and the landlord has locked Blast! out of the building due to non-payment of rent! Blast! closed the Galleria, Sugar Land, and Memorial City locations, and it seems as if the Barker Cypress location is shut down indefinitely. It’s time to find another gym!

  • WHERE DO I SENT MY PAYMENT TOO.

  • I have been a member since 1985. Renewed my membership yearly. I get a renewal for more than 3X what I was paying. I chose to remain with Bally’s instead of joining 24 hour fitness. What a big mistake I made. I hope this company goes bankrupt and deal with a class action suit. I am ready to be part of it.

  • I originally joined European Health Spa in 1973 with a lifetime membership.My original club has been bought out three times since then. Holiday, American and Bally’s all honored my contract at the original renewal price. My guess is that they must have been legally bound to do so.I believe that Blast will continue to screw us over until they are challenged by some kind of legal action.

  • I was a member of Ballys Fitness years ago but as the club itself was beginning to deteriorate I did not renew. I would not have been able to go into the Ballys club’s – even if I’d wanted – because my account was non-renewed. I had not paid the yearly fee , and I was no longer a member. This however does not make any difference to blast fitness because they have charged me twice once this January and once the previous January. I I was billed a membership fee $49 for a yearly fee. I do not have a membership with blast fitness nor do I have a membership cards to even get into one of the clubs. When I discovered the January 2014 charge I called and it was removed; however, they also charge me last year which I did not see. Rregardless of the amount of time, the charge is fraudulent. Blast fitness to get upon themselves to charge someone who was not a member of their club nor was a member during the time of the transition between valleys and blast fitness and then had the audacity to do it twice. They will not refund the last years charge because it has been too long, and even if they don’t I will be filing with the Better Business Bureau and I suggest anyone reading, this take heed and dealing with this company. You have no idea how they are using your personal and credit card information. So the bottom line is there’s a company out there making unauthorized charges on my charge account , has my personal information and credit card number, and has the audacity to tell me they will not refund the money even though I have no membership or never had access to use the services for which they say I have to pay.