A problem shared ... gym membership
I JOINED a gym as part of a New Year's resolution to get fit but I'm thinking about cancelling my membership. How easy will it be to do this?
GYMS often play on people's new year resolve to be more active and offer enticing deals, but you can find yourself tied into a long-term contract without realising unless you study the small print very carefully before signing up.
Normally, your contract will have details about when and how you can cancel and what the charges will be. Usually you will still have to pay fees for the lifetime of the contract (or some sort of cancellation fee) if you decide to cancel early even if your circumstances have changed.
If you do decide to cancel your gym membership, make sure that you do it in writing and keep a copy of the letter. It may also be sensible to send the letter recorded delivery so that you have proof of when you sent it and can find out whether the gym has received it or not.
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There are some instances in which you can cancel a gym contract early without a penalty or you may even get a refund.
This could apply if the contract terms specifically allow for you to cancel in certain circumstances, such as at the end of an introductory rate.
You can also cancel early without a penalty or charge if your contract terms are deemed to be unfair.
Your contract could be seen as unfair if it is automatically renewed without your permission or the terms are unclear. It is also easier to cancel a gym contract without having to pay a penalty (or even get a refund) if it sets a minimum contract term that is more than one year.
There is more information on the Citizens Advice website www.adviceguide.org.uk that will help you work out what to do if you are having problems cancelling your gym membership.
There is also advice about what to look out for if you are thinking of signing up to a gym.