Gym Membership Contract Guide
This could have been called “Things to consider before buying gym membership (part 2)” but we thought in fairness to Martin Lewis (the author) we would publish this excellent post with it’s original title. That said you may wish to read our first post as well. We’ve put a link to part one at the end of this article.
If you’re signing up for a year, remember sales staff often work on commission. So if their slick patter says, “If you’re ill you can freeze membership, or take a holiday”, ask to see it in the contract.
If they say “it’s not there but it’s fine”, make notes there which have legal weight and, if possible, get them to sign to show the promise.
Here’s a list of what to check. For further examples, read this useful publication by the Office of Fair Trading.
How long are you committed for? – This is the biggie. Be wary of contracts longer than 12 months. Also check that they don’t renew it automatically. If you’re a gymphobe trying to get fit for the first time, do investigate short-term memberships and no-frills gyms first.
How much notice do you need to give to cancel? Even when you’re out of contract, gyms often require 30 days notice to cancel. Ensure you understand these conditions.
What happens if your circumstances change? Ask what happens if you are ill or injured, move house, get pregnant or change jobs. What proof will you need, e.g., a doctor’s letter. Can you freeze your membership or transfer it to someone else?
What if your favourite service stops? If you’re only joining because the gym offers a crèche, Zumba dance classes or certain equipment, ask if you’re allowed to cancel if this is withdrawn.
What do other members think? If you’re taking a free trial, ask folk in the changing room if they’re happy with the gym’s contract or service (wait till they’re decent first!).
….More at Cheap Gyms
Ok if all else fails and you wish to cancel here is a good post from Whitesmoke on how to cancel any membership.
How to Write a Letter of Cancellationfor Gym Membership
Letters of cancellation are generally classified as business correspondence. As such, we want to be very specific as to what we say in them. There should be no room for misunderstanding, and it is important to state our case concisely and clearly.
Letters of cancellation are written for a variety of things, such as canceling a cable service, a magazine subscription, or an insurance policy. The case should be stated in as few words as possible, including the actions we expect to be taken because of the letter. Ask the recipient to confirm receipt of the letter at their earliest convenience.
Letter of Cancellation Tips
- Make sure you include the date, the company’s name and contact information, and your account number if relevant.
- Be polite but firm when you tell the company to cancel your account. Remember that there is a typical 30-day notice period before a cancellation is put into effect.
- In your cancellation letter, tell the company that they no longer have the authority to continue with any activity related to your account (e.g. withdrawal of payments from your bank account).
- If you still have a balance on your account, send a check in that amount.
- State that you wish to receive written confirmation that the cancellation was put into effect.
- Make clear the steps you will take if your account is not canceled within 30 days.
- Type your letter of cancellation and print it on quality paper, but also include a handwritten signature.
Letter of Cancellation Example
“This letter serves to request my immediate gym membership cancellation at your vacation club. All obligations have been fulfilled with regard to this membership. I expect that no additional charges will be applied to my credit card. Please confirm receipt of this request by return mail at your earliest convenience.”
This letter clearly states its purpose: you are cancelling membership at the gym or health club; you understand all of your gym membership obligations have been filled; you expect no additional payments will be applied to your credit card; you request the recipient confirm receipt and understanding of the letter.
An added precaution would be to send the letter via certified mail so that the recipient cannot deny having received it.
As with all business correspondence, professionalism is the order of the day. Be sure to run your letter through a reliable spell and grammar checker to ensure your correspondence is free of any errors.
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