Home > Leisure > What You Get When Joining a Gym

What You Get When Joining a Gym

By: Chris Nickson - Updated: 29 Sep 2010 | comments*Discuss
 
Consumer Rights Gym Membership Contract

Many of us promise ourselves we'll become fit, and the best way to achieve that goal can be a gym membership. It's an attractive idea, going to exercise two or three times a week, losing weight, building muscle and feeling better. But when you sign on the dotted line, what are you really letting yourself in for?

Before Signing

Signing up for a gym membership, which usually lasts for a year, is a big commitment. Before you put your name on the dotted line, you need to think ahead - what will you be doing in 12 months? Is there likely to be a job change in your future? Have you been considering moving to another part of the country? For women, is there a possibility you might become pregnant? What about illness? All of these are factors that might lead you to want to end your membership, or at least need to suspend it. But under the contract, would you be able to do that if your circumstances change? You need to check the terms very carefully. If things do change, and you're unable to negotiate some kind of settlement, you could be stuck with paying fees to a gym you can't use.

Of course, you should always research before signing any contract. With a gym, talk to the people who use it and find out how they feel about it. Are they impressed with the facilities? Will it meet your needs? Never let yourself be pressured into signing a contract - insist on taking it home where you can think clearly.

Some people join gyms over the phone or online, and they have a greater layer of protection under the Distance Selling Regulations - namely a cooling-off period that lasts for seven working days. Be warned, though - that doesn't mean you can freely use the gym in that time. If you start to do that (and if the gym points out that it means your membership will begin), then you lose the rights of the cooling-off period.

How do you end your membership? You should always do it in writing, of course. But what else is necessary? Look at the contract. It might specify a month's paid notice, for instance.

Gym Responsibility

Who's responsible for what in the gym? What about injury or even death? What if your property's stolen whilst you're working out? It doesn't matter if the gym has notices limiting its responsibility. If an accident, or even death, happens because of the gym's negligence, they're liable. It's the same with your property; if it's the gym's fault that you suffer a loss, the responsibility is theirs.

As with any good or service, you're entitled to what's stipulated in your contract. If that changes - say they remove a service or decide to close earlier - that could be classed as an unfair change, or "non-performance," and you'd have the right to end your membership. But until you've notified them in writing of your intention, you have to keep paying your dues.

Financial

Quite simply, you have to keep paying your dues until your membership ends. Even if you're in dispute with the gym, keep paying. Tell your bank it's "under protest." If you don't pay, you could end up owing arrears, which could even be passed to a collection agency.

Another thing to watch out for is automatic renewal, and this is something to be aware of in the contract. Under this, if you don't give written notification of leaving at the end of the membership term, you could find yourself stuck with another year's membership and dues that you didn't want.

Complaints

If you have a problem with the gym, try to resolve it initially with them. If that doesn't work, contract Trading Standards. You have the ultimate option of taking them to small claims court if no other resolution is found.

You might also like...
Share Your Story, Join the Discussion or Seek Advice..
Why not be the first to leave a comment for discussion, ask for advice or share your story...

If you'd like to ask a question one of our experts (workload permitting) or a helpful reader hopefully can help you... We also love comments and interesting stories

Title:
(never shown)
Firstname:
(never shown)
Surname:
(never shown)
Email:
(never shown)
Nickname:
(shown)
Comment:
Validate:
Enter word:
Latest Comments
  • Picko
    Re: When Your Builder Goes Bankrupt Before Job is Complete
    Paid a deposit on a roof from Austin Scott...or Baines (he has many names). He trades on ebay…
    24 January 2020
  • fedup
    Re: Buying a Used Car: Your Rights
    we traded our car at a Peugeot main dealer for a new vehicle with a years warranty (car we traded in had been bought from them)…
    23 January 2020
  • Smithy
    Re: Faulty Goods
    Faulty log burner bought on line. Did not notice fault in 30 days. Can I request a replacement rather than repair? I have lost confidence in product…
    21 January 2020
  • Giedre
    Re: Buying a Used Car: Your Rights
    Hello, i bought a car 2010 BMW 520d. The dealer said the car has warranty for all the possible brakedowns unless it is wear and…
    21 January 2020
  • Nezer
    Re: Dealing With Cowboy Builders
    We employed Neil Parry, plastering and property maintenance from Rhyl to carry out a full house refurbishment. His son, James Neil…
    20 January 2020
  • Dee
    Re: Buying a Used Car: Your Rights
    Hi, We bought my son a fiat 500s from a well-known car dealer in London 2 months ago It has been back to him now for a sensor…
    13 January 2020
  • Mike
    Re: Leasing A Car Explained
    I have leased a new Audi A7 over 4 years, had it 10 months from new. It has developed issues when driving and 8 electrical faults on…
    9 January 2020
  • Gen
    Re: Gardener Overcharged Us: Can We Refuse to Pay?
    We asked a drainage company to assess a flooding problem in our basement. We chose a company that clearly…
    9 January 2020
  • Jenny
    Re: What If Your Plumber Makes Mistakes?
    Hello, Recently we had an emergent situation where our main sewage line was blocked with tree roots, verified by a…
    9 January 2020
  • valep88
    Re: Buying a Used Car: Your Rights
    Good evening, I bought a second hand Nissan Juke 2011, 1.6petrol with 80k mileage. After 3 months of use, roughly after 3k…
    7 January 2020