Metro Customers Left Without Refunds As Tan & Tone America Closes
OKLAHOMA CITY - A local company unexpectedly closed its doors for good Sunday, leaving employees suddenly without a job and customers angry and confused about their money.
Monday morning, confused customers came and went from Tan and Tone America locations around the metro. They all left wondering what happened to their gym, but for many the more important worry was their lost money.
"I just signed a membership last Monday, I signed a two-year contract, I bought lotions, I did the gym membership, the tanning membership, pretty much everything and showed up this morning and now I can't use it," new client Christina Moore said.
Moore recently signed up at one of the company's Norman locations. She showed up at nine o'clock Monday morning only to find a statement pasted to the front door. She said several other members came by while she was reading the note. They all left frustrated by the lack of warning.
Lydia Barnett was a two-year veteran on staff. She said people were signing up for their services as recent as last week. She said customers were charged, like every month, last Thursday, July 19.
"We had people signing up on memberships that they paid for a year up front, they paid over $1,400 for a two-year contract and they don't even know if they're going to get refunded," said Barnett.
She felt for her customers each time she explained to them what happened but her biggest worry quickly turned to being jobless.
"I have bills, I have a car payment, I go to school full time as well and work full time. I mean, I've got to make money."
At one of the Oklahoma City locations, an employee posted a note to customers on the front door encouraging folks to get on Facebook and join the conversation in hopes they might get something done.
The company posted the following statement on their website:
Tan & Tone America Has Closed
Monday, July 23, 2012
It is with great sadness that after twenty-six years of serving Oklahoma City, that we must announce the closing of the metro Tan & Tone America locations. We had hoped that the revenues would begin to increase, however they have continued to decline. We have exhausted every possible financial resource to save the company, including the value of our personal life insurance and retirement funds, but we were still unable to establish the necessary capital for the company's survival. This weekend we received financial advice from several sources and unfortunately we have been advised that the company is no longer viable.
To our customers: We thank you for your business. We hope all of you will continue the healthy habits you have established with Tan & Tone America. It has been a pleasure serving you all these years.
To our employees: We would like to express how much we appreciate each and every one of you for all you have done to take care of our customers and business. As this door in your life closes, we pray that another door opens with greater opportunity and personal satisfaction for your future.
Clients were upset Monday because there was no information on possible refunds provided in the statement and nobody was answering phones at the corporate office. News 9 made several calls and went to the corporate office, but could not get a hold of anyone during the day.
The company's owner spoke briefly on the phone with News 9 Monday afternoon. He did not want to talk about the closings but when asked about employees not being paid for their final week of work he said, "not true," and hung up. Employees said they received their checks in the mail today but there was no compensation for last week's work, which they say hadn't gone into payroll yet.