Man fights to get debt cleared from bogus gym membership

NEW YORK -- Gaddi Salomon said no to the caller asking him to rejoin the New York Sports Club in Staten Island.

"I told him I don’t live in Staten Island anymore so there’s no reason to sign up," Salomon said. “He seemed to have an attitude about it and hung up on me.”

What Salomon didn’t know was that the caller went ahead and signed him up for a membership, with a contract that has no signature on it, dated Oct. 30, 2017.

Salomon first learned about the bogus contract when he began getting calls and letters from a collection agency, demanding payment of $204.96 for “past due invoices” from Town Sports International, which owns New York Sports clubs.

Salomon said he repeatedly called the club’s general manager Aaron White, but never received a return call. White did send him a number of "special offers," that said, “I would like to give you the opportunity to have your balance waived for only $10,” if he “rejoined our club”.

Angry and frustrated by months of unsuccessful attempts to get New York Sports Club to admit its mistake and correct it, Salomon contacted What a Shame at PIX11.

We went with him to the club in Staten Island and spoke with Cynthia from customer relations. She said White wasn’t there but said she’d give him Salomon's paperwork and said someone would get back to him in a few days. That never happened.

I wrote an email to White and the next day I received a call from Stuart Steinberg, an attorney for Town Sports International. He said they “investigated the matter and resolved the situation.”

He said their investigation found that Salomon did not owe them any money. He attributed the problem to “a rogue manager” who signed up a number of people for memberships without their permission.

“That manager was fired," Steinberg said.

Still, Salomon is worried about the collection agency’s letters possibly having an effect on his credit rating.

“I want to get this debt cleared out because I never created it,” he said.

Steinberg told me the collection agency has closed Salomon's case, and it was never reported to any other credit agencies. Central Credit Service in Jacksonville confirmed that when we called the company.

In a written statement to PIX11 on behalf of Town Sports International, Steinberg said, "We apologize for any inconvenience caused to Mr. Salomon. ... At no time did Mr. Salomon suffer any economic hardship or was his credit impaired."

Salomon said he may sue New York Sports Club for “negligence and harassment.”

“I shouldn’t have had to call a TV station to get this problem resolved," he said.

If you have a story for me, send an email to whatashame@pix11.com or contact me on Facebook or Twitter.