(WSVN) - They paid for massages they never got to use and then, when they wanted to use them, they were told they had to pay more to get the massages. Confusing, yes. Legal? It’s why they called Help Me Howard with Patrick Fraser.
The children were young. You know how much work that can mean, and so Manzikella’s husband had an nice idea…
Manzikella Brown, paid for massages: “Go have one hour a month and have a massage.”
In 2009, the Browns signed a contract for $108 a month for Manzikella and her husband to each get a massage each month.
Manzikella Brown: “One hour relaxing by yourself with low music, massage music.”
It’s now seven years later and those girls are growing up, both are synchronized swimmers and life is a little hectic for the Browns.
Manzikella Brown: “So now I have to take them and pick them up from school. Take them to practice three times a week, do homework, me-work, so I don’t have the time that much to get a message.”
The massage contract automatically renews each year unless you cancel it.
Manzikella Brown: “I do need it now, but I don’t have time.”
So Manzikella checked and discovered she and her husband had paid for 76 massages they had not used.
Manzikella Brown: “I haven’t had one I think in maybe six months or seven months. I’m not sure.”
They called Massage Envy to cancel the contract and to make sure Manzikella could use her 36 massages and her husband could use his 40 massages.
Manzikella Brown: “And they say, ‘Well you have 30 days to use them all.’ It is impossible for me to use 36 massages in one month.”
They were then offered another option–
Manzikella Brown: “They said the most she can do is freeze my account for six months, still charge me $10 a month to keep it open, and I can use my massages for six months.”
Manzikella’s reply? Why should she keep paying $10 a month for the right to get massages she had already paid for.
Manzikella Brown: “Just cancel my account. I’m not asking for any money back, I’m just asking for the chance to use them and not keep charging me for it.”
Well Howard, can the company force you to pay to get massages already paid for?
Howard Finkelstein, 7News legal expert: “If you read the contract, yes they can — but, and this is a big but, because so many people were upset by this — there was a class action lawsuit that has been partially resolved and allows the customer to use their massage credits for 60 days after they cancel the contract and do not have to pay a monthly fee for those 60 days.”
We contacted Massage Envy in Cooper City — and they were extremely generous.
Instead of giving the Browns 60 days to use their massages, they gave them six months and they don’t have to pay a monthly fee. Then if they have any massages left over, they will give them another six months to use them for a $10 monthly charge.
Howard Finkelstein: “The Browns got a great resolution, but if you are part of the class action lawsuit and don’t use up the massages you have stored up with the 60 days, you lose them.”
Manzikella Brown: “Which is what I wanted … not to charge me anything.”
Manzikella takes care of her kids schedule. Now she can schedule time for herself to get the massages she has already paid for.
Manzikella Brown: “Yes, I am very happy with Help Me Howard.”
And nice of Massage Envy to do that. Now no matter what you are buying, if a contract is involved and you don’t like something in it, ask them to change it. If they won’t, walk away. In many cases that will get them to do what you want them to do.
A stressful problem left you aching? Wanna relax and let someone else worry about it? Contact us. And see if we can massage a solution out for you. With this Help Me Howard, I’m Patrick Fraser, 7News.
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