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Wednesday, July 29, 1998 - Page updated at 12:00 AM

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South Sound Briefly

Fitness Center Sued By State

BURIEN - The state has sued the Pro Fitness Center athletic club for alleged failure to back up its advertising, Attorney General Christine Gregoire said yesterday.

The lawsuit accuses the club of using high-pressure and deceptive sales practices to get customers to sign up. It also contends that the company made it difficult for customers to cancel their contracts and that some learned their contracts weren't canceled when collection agencies called, demanding months of unpaid membership fees.

"Consumers were promised anything to overcome their objections to joining this club," Gregoire said. "If child care was a problem, it was available. If the facility was too small, an expansion was planned."

Gregoire said her office had received four dozen complaints about Pro Fitness. A person who answered the phone at the Burien club yesterday said the owner, Donald Smolich, was not available.

Copyright (c) 1998 Seattle Times Company, All Rights Reserved.

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