Gym members feel ripped off after company shuts down

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SAN DIEGO -- People who enjoy a good workout like to feel "ripped" -- but not ripped off. But that's the case after a local company that charged people for gym memberships suddenly shut down this week without warning.

“Seemed too good to be true – apparently it was," said Pacific Beach resident Adam Yudman, who joined Wildfire Life, an online company offering unlimited access to gyms, studios and fitness programs all over San Diego County for a monthly fee.

“I was paying less for Wildfire than my current gym membership," said Yudman.

Members would pay a $99 or $149 monthly fee to Wildfire, which would typically pay $8 to $12 to fitness businesses each time a member visited.

Businesses working with Wildfire say they got great exposure with the free marketing.

“We were seeing more and more members from Wildfire come into our classes – it was working out great for us," said Justin Fassio of San Diego Core Fitness Boot Camps.

But there were red flags over the past couple of months.

“As of September and October, we did not receive our monthly payment. We figured something might be up," said Aly Brown with the Point Loma Sports Club.

Wildfire announced this week it's pausing business operations after an investor pulled out. Now, members are feeling ripped off after paying for access they no longer have.

Yudman says he was charged his monthly fee the day before Wildfire shut down.

“I’ve talked to several members – they’re in disbelief. It’s one thing to close – it’s another to charge people a day or two in advance and then close and not give them information about how to get their money back," said Fassio.

Wildfire's app and website are down. FOX 5 reached out to the company's CEO and did not get a response.

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