‘The Rush’ mistakenly charges thousands to members’ bank accounts

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GUILFORD COUNTY, N.C. -- Members of at least two "The Rush" Fitness facilities in the Triad are double checking their bank records after the gym mistakenly charged thousands of dollars to some accounts.

After FOX8 ran a story on our morning show Thursday warning the mistake had happened in Greenville and Asheville, the gym's members called the newsroom saying it had happened in Greensboro and High Point, too.

"My husband said let's go up there and start taking dumbbells out cuz maybe they've deemed us part owners or something!" Newlyweds Allyson Cathey and her husband Eric are used to paying $48 a month for their Rush membership. This month's charge was nearly 100 times higher.

"My account was in the negative because the Rush had tried to take $4,792.02 out of my checking account," explained Cathey. She joked, "I don't want to see that amount from anyone, let alone my gym!"

The Catheys posted a warning on Facebook Tuesday and quickly learned they were not the only victims. "One friend said they took $1,800 out of my account, one person said they got hit for $3,738."

While Cathey's bank worked to refund The Rush's mistaken charges, other problems hit, too. "In the meantime I had a couple of things try to come out [of my account]. One was my student loan, another was my homeowner's dues. They couldn't come through because there was all this money tied up."

She's still attempting to get a written explanation from The Rush to pass on to credit agencies, so the mistake and overdraft fees do not have a negative impact on her credit score.

Renica Greene of Greensboro had a similar issue when she tried to buy her daughter an Italian Ice at the A&T track meet this week. "I went to use my debit card because I didn't have any cash on me, and it was declined. I was like--what's going on?"

Greene immediately called the manager at the Rush on Randleman Road. "He said that they were aware that maybe someone hacked into their systems and maybe had compromised some of their customers' information," she explained.

For Renica, the trouble didn't stop with The Rush. Thursday morning nearly a thousand dollars more in unauthorized charges to other businesses appeared on Greene's account. The bank canceled her card and closed the account as they worked out refunds.

"What really happened and what are the measures they're gonna take to keep it from happening in the future?" questioned Greene.

While she said she had enjoyed working out at the Rush and attending fitness classes, Greene is nervous to continue using their automatic bill pay service.

Cathey is not sure she will continue her membership with The Rush. "While I appreciate they worked through it quickly, it was definitely an inconvenience and a shock for sure," added Cathey. "Maybe I should go back to writing good old-fashioned paper checks."

FOX8 called The Rush corporate office in Tennessee three times Thursday for an explanation of what exactly happened and how the problem will be avoided in the future. Our calls were not returned.

WLOS in Asheville reported The Rush representatives said a glitch in the company's third-party billing processor is to blame.  "It affected about 500 members whose monthly dues are automatically drafted from their Visa credit cards or banking accounts," according to WLOS.

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