Mom (84) has entered into a questionable contract with personal trainer. Any advice? - AgingCare.com

Mom (84) has entered into a questionable contract with personal trainer. Any advice?

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My Mom has been with a personal trainer for years now. She always says it's expensive but for her it is worth it. She is totally enamored with the man and thinks he is her best friend. Three weeks ago I had a meeting with him to see if he could give me tips for chronic neck and shoulder pain. He wanted me to sign a package contract which was never my intent as the gym is an hour away. I said I would think about it. I asked my Mom later what the man charges. She said she was making $1000 per month for the first six months and then she would be paid up for the year. (She goes to the gym 3 times a week but only works with him 2 times a week for an hour but I think several minutes of that she is on the treadmill. Gym fees are on top of his fee and are $29.00 a month that she pays separately.)
I talked to the trainer, Derrick P., again and asked him what he charges and that I couldn't afford $6,000 like my mom. He said that was for a two year contract and that my Mom gets a great rate because of the package. Then he added that he would charge me $40 an hour.
I was very troubled by her having to pay for the entire two years the first six months of the first year. Anything could happen in two years. I don't understand why he cannot just be paid 2016 when it get here but he will not respond.
My Mom has no money to go to the dentist and quibbles about every $5 she thinks she has been over charged yet this guy can demand anything.
She keeps maintaining that the contract is only for a year. If you take the rate he would give me of $40 for 52 weeks that adds up to $4160. So she would not be getting a deal; but rather she is getting touched.
I looked up is credentials to NASM (a sport medicine org) and he is not certified as he claims on his website. He also claims an APEX certification but so far I can't find is on the lists of five other organization. There are more organizations. I could spend the time and try to find them all but I will never know when I have searched all of them. Again the gym or the trainer have agreed to send me his credentials.
Tension between my Mom and I have hit a fever pitch. She has accused me of doing this because I am afraid I might not get my money. I am in total disbelief that she trusts this guy more than me. Before this she was all for giving me power of attorney but I don't think so now. I am emotional about her comment and do not wish to talk to her at this point. I have spent hours trying to explain why this is unethical or at least fishy.
Another detail is that he insisted that she give him six post dated checks. I don't get that because if she fails to pay he can just stop training her and he will not have an out of pocket cost. Yet if she breaks a hip or heads to Jamaica her loss would be very difficult to recoup.
I have contacted the bank and of course they couldn't do anything. I called the police to see if they could just check out is credentials but they won't. I didn't think they would but gave it a try.Trainer is not responding requests for contract copies The gym and the trainer are well aware how upset I am and their failure to cooperate makes my anxiety level go up. So the longer this goes the more angry I get.
What should I do and can you help me?
Teri B.

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Get the lawyer involved. You are not as knowlegable.
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Does your mom have a lawyer? I would send the contract to him/her and let mom hash it out with them. I would also mention this behavior to mom's doctor in a letter.
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Your idea would work if my mom was on board. I love all your ideas and if I could do this; I would feel much better. But my Mom thinks this trainer walks on water. I don't understand why the trainer gets to report certifications he does not have. You would think that you could expect that the qualifications listed on the website should be dependable information. But no one cares. Something is wrong. He could have answered my texts and just explain why his claim to me that he was giving my mom the best rate and the contract was for two years was misrepresentation to me. He could have instructed me on where to look for his credentials. But instead he is sending me a threatening text to cease and desist my harassment of him to answer my questions.
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ooops, sorry! I cut/pasted too soon :)
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Hi Teribarton, the only thought that comes to mind is if you draw up a contract of your own, for HIM to sign, if he wants to retain your mother as a client. In your contract, you state that all previous contracts are null and void. Also, state the payment terms you are comfortable with. State whatever cancellation terms are fair to you (if HE cancels, not just if your mother cancels). Demand a bill every month, with all of their sessions listed. You take charge of paying him -- he is not to have any money discussions with your mother at ALL. If he says his rates are increasing, you'll need 90 days notice. If you decided to cancel his services altogether, he will get 30 days notice. Demand a bill every month, with all of their sessions listed. You take charge of paying him -- he is not to have any money discussions with your mother at ALL.
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Just an update. I got the copy of the contract from my mom. I really don't think it resembles a contract at all. There is a two inch heading on the top and has her name, dob, the gym's name. Then there are 15 lines or so of notebook type lines that you could fill in something. There is a stamp about 2" by 2" in really fine print that says all sessions will expire in a year. Then crammed into the bottom couple of inches there is a schedule of when her payments are due for six months and the total. Nowhere on the document does it say how many sessions or how many times per week. There is no clause made if she should need to stop her training for unforeseen circumstances. Then there is her signature and the date. So he lied to me about the contract being for two years. Which is the reason he did not agree to cash her last three checks in 2016. The contract must be for a year but the contract does not clearly state that. After repeatedly asking him for an explanation for his actions, his credentials, and recently his insurance information he sent me a text insinuating that I have been harassing him. If he would have responded; I would have stopped sending him texts. He laid out that I am to talk to no one regarding this; including checking his credentials and I am not to using social media or talk to anyone in his industry.
I can see why he would want me to stop texting him and I did get fired up because he would not respond. But the conditions are over the top. My opinion is that I have him backed into a corner and he couldn't answer my text messages because he does not have credentials and he did not write up a contract worth anything. He may have cut and pasted something over the contract so I would not know the information, hard to tell. I will leave it alone; I guess. He really hasn't given me any choice and my Mom is uncooperative and just loves this guy. I think it is a scary situation but I am stuck. Any comments would be appreciated even if they are critical of my conduct. I just really want to know what anyone thinks. Thanks.
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Teribarton- i was not CHARGING $500/ month, I was BEING charged $500-1500/ month in order to work as an independent personal trainer to have access to the gym and it's equipment. This rate is very common both in Alaska and north Houston, TX. An ethically correct Trainer should have a contract in which clearly specifies all details of sale meaning how many sessions, duration of session, expiration of session, if either party should break the contract, etc. Lack of a contract is very questionable. If you get information on this or another Trainer, be sure to ask for copies of his certifcation cards ( including CPR AED and first Aid). In addition you want to see that the Trainer has Liability Insurance whether thru the gym or privately ( preferably both). They can also show you a card or copy of the insurance certificate. Personally, if I were in this situation, I would get the best information out of your Mom on this Trainer for your records and then promise you will stay off the topic in exchange for her getting POA's signed so you and your siblings can "see" what is going on with her finances and intercept and more questionable payments. This could be the tip of the iceberg into maybe more questionable business ventures she is involved in which are not in her best interest. Best of luck!
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No. Meaning he has to pay the gym that amount in order to be a trainer there.
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I disagree with the $500 a month because this town has a 7000 population quite isolated as far as seniors driving an hour. No one in this town makes big bucks with only a few exceptions. If he waned the big bucks why not live in a town with a bigger population base. When I have visited with people in this town they are blown away by the price. If I thought he was charging everyone the $500 a month I might look at this a little differently but I could place a bet that he is charging my Mom more. But let's for argument sake say you are exactly right. Should he not have a price list? Should he be making her pay a $1000 a month for six months? My mom finally got the courage to ask him for the contract (which I haven't seen) and her comment is he was thinking the $6000 was for a year and a half. With the contract in front of him; he is still guessing for how long the contract lasts. I have noticed this before with him. He is kind of loosy goosy with how he does this and she just believes whatever he tells her. I have been asking him for well over a month now by text and email to explain where I could find his credentials and please explain why he has her paying a $1000 a month for six months. I forgot to mention that he specifically told me that the $6000 was for two years. I will know more when I look at the contract which my mom is sending me. I begged him to just let my broth and I hash this out about the contract so she would not feel so pulled apart He tole her he hasn't responded because of privacy issues. Wouldn't you at least explain to the family what you just did in a couple of paragraphs? I don't happen to believe that the privacy issue pertains to this situation. The trainer could tell me his regular policies, provide me with a price list, and his credentials, and assure me that he has her best interests in mind without privacy even coming into play. I also read about personal trainers ethics regarding policy (I don't know if the ethics were universally advised or not) is only in relation to her medical records. One of the ethics rules says to work closely with family members so that the entire health of their client both mentally and physically can be achieved. And mentally this thing is tearing up our family. I wish I could just leave it alone. I worked for the Prosecuting Attorney's office for 30 years. I have seen way too many times when strife is caused by the criminal mind with the family. They convince the senior that only they have the best interest of their client and then they steal all their money. I may wish I would have followed your advice but in my gut something is telling me that something just isn't right. The POA issue will only flame the fire at this point. Until now she has always trust me and all of a sudden I am the enemy. She already feels like we are trying to control her spending. Once this is hashed out; I think she will voluntarily sign over POA which would be a much better situation. What was your location when you were charging $500 a month? Please let me know where I am going wrong here if you something else that you haven't already explained. I appreciate your time and comments. Thanks
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I am a NASM and ACE certified trainer of over 15 years. I imagine the trainer is an independent contractor for the gym meaning he pays a monthly fee to train there (some gyms charge in excess of $1000k per month but most are in the $500 range). He must carry his own insurance and pay his own taxes. $40/hour is not unreasonable for just a couple of visits. I agree with an earlier comment that IF your Mom is staying active, enjoying the attention and conversation of this person, AND is being safely monitored it may be worth leaving the issue alone. On the other hand, I would report him to the BBB as he is misrepresenting himself with qualifications or certifications. Ask your MoM if she is periodically asked to update her health profile for him and how he handles any health issues. Does he refer her to seek medical help or does he try to "fix" her sore joints/muscles or does he just recommend she take the week off? This answer could clue you into if he is really looking out for her from a fitness standpoint. I agree that you and your siblings should be working towards POA health directives and financial POA for future issues that are bound to come up.
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