Burnaby kickboxing centre appeals fines
KFitness Burnaby owner says he has no issue with refunding customers, but wants to fight the $2,700 in extra fines from Consumer Protection BC. (CARMINE MARINELLI/ 24 HOURS)
A Burnaby business is appealing fines from Consumer Protection BC over money it collected from clients without signed contracts.
Victoria Turner told 24 hours a $330 "deposit" was taken from her after a 15-minute consultation with KFitness Sport Kickboxing Academy and she wasn't allowed a refund.
It's been longer than a year and she still hasn't received a penny back.
But the franchise owner, who spoke on the condition his name wouldn’t be published, said on Monday he is willing to pay back Turner’s money and that of a man who claims he’s owed more than $1,800.
The 27-year-old owner said it’s Consumer Protection BC’s additional penalty of $2,700 he has a problem with.
“I will pay her refund today,” the owner said. “I’m not here to take people’s money. I’m a growing business with over 200 clients.”
He said in both cases a former staff member — who has since been let go —collected money without any written contracts.
Turner, he said, was re-enrolling her son, but had cancelled her application after about a week. The other client, he said, had been enrolled for more than four months before cancelling.
“Victoria never came (back) into the office, she went straight to Consumer Protection BC. There was no communication between her and any of my staff members here.”
But Turner said that after an initial conversation, she was told a refund cheque would be written out — only it’s now been more than a year since she registered.
“No cheque came, that’s when I wrote the registered letter to him, saying, ‘Look, you’re giving me the run-around,’” she said, adding the letter was returned, unread.
“I sent all of that stuff to Consumer Protection BC.”
Turner said she was initially promised one price by a KFitness staff member, paid the deposit, but was then told by the owner the actual registration price was different.
“(He said) my staff made an error. I said, ‘Well, it’s too expensive.’ It was going to be $1,000 or $2,000 … and he said, ‘I can’t give you your money back because it says so on the contract,’” she said.
“I didn’t even sign a contract.”
Tatiana Chabeaux-Smith, spokeswoman for Consumer Protection BC, said the penalty is on hold until the appeal process is complete.
She said in all cases of a “continuing service contract” such as this one, customers have the right to cancel within 10 days and businesses are required to provide written contracts.