By Joy Hampton
The Norman Transcript
NORMAN — One year ago, Norman residents who showed up at Tan and Tone store No. 10 at 12th Avenue Southwest and Alameda Street found the doors locked and the facility closed for good.
Friday, the Oklahoma attorney general’s office filed a lawsuit against Tan & Tone America and some of its officers in Oklahoma County District Court, alleging that company officials engaged in deceptive and misleading practices. The AG will seek a $10,000 civil penalty and more than $45,000 in restitution to former customers.
Norman resident Kelly Willhoite was one of those who felt victimized when Tan & Tone America closed Oklahoma City Metro locations. Wilhoite told The Transcript she signed up at Tan & Tone last July after completing physical therapy for reconstructive knee surgery. She paid $623 in cash for a 2-year membership.
An enthusiastic Willhoite went to the fitness center daily and won a water bottle, necklace, bracelet, earrings and other prizes as an incentive. She said she lost over 8 inches in two weeks.
Two days after winning those prizes, she was still enthusiastic. But when she showed up to work out, the door was locked and a note said the facility had closed.
There was nothing on the sign about refunds or the process of how to get a refund.
While a settlement is a long way off, the lawsuit filed Friday may bring hope to people like Willhoite. The lawsuit alleges that on July 19, 2012, member accounts were charged monthly fees although the business closed just days later. It says Tan and Tone America advertised services prior to July 23, although it allegedly didn’t intend to provide the services.
More than 400 consumer complaints were filed, according to court records.
The Associated Press contributed to this article.