California Fitness, mYoga, and LEAP branches are to temporarily suspend operations beginning Tuesday, J.V. Fitness Limited, their parent company, has announced. Notices appeared outside the gym chain’s Wan Chai and Mongkok branches after they closed for the day.

The notice said that that the group decided to suspend operations “due to the temporary freeze placed upon its operating capital by the court,” and that the suspension of its branches “will take effect immediately until further notice.” A construction company is currently seeking a winding-up order against J.V. Fitness and the firm is also facing legal action from several landlords seeking unpaid rent.

California Fitness in Wan Chai. File Photo: Wikicommons.

Customers, meanwhile, took the opportunity to vent their dissatisfaction online.

“The sales have deceived many people! Now the boss isn’t paying, they deserve it!” said one.

“I’m so happy it’s closing, and the staff don’t deserve pity. They also have a part in deceiving people,” another wrote on Facebook.

One commenter said: “If you do too many bad things you’ll hurt yourself. Congratulations.”

Two senior executives were arrested by customs on Monday on suspicion of violating the Trade Descriptions Ordinance.

Two senior staff of California Fitness under arrest. Screenshot.

Hundreds of customers are seeking compensation for their now unusable memberships and California Fitness trainers and staff have published an open letter saying that the branches lack water, electricity, training equipment, and has not paid wages.

According to local media, staff received an email from a member of the board of directors requesting that they close the doors of their centres and await compensation.

As of Tuesday morning, the Consumer Council has received 327 enquiries and 128 complaints. Most complaints concerned the termination of contracts. The Council said that customers should be able to get refunds on funds already paid, or can halt autopayments.

Chantal Yuen

Chantal Yuen is a Hong Kong journalist interested in issues dealing with religion and immigration. She majored in German and minored in Middle Eastern studies at Princeton University.