Author Topic: Gym Membership Cancellation - where do I stand?  (Read 2083 times)

LJY1605

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Gym Membership Cancellation - where do I stand?
« on: Feb 23, 2011, 08:18:20 PM »
Hi,

I cancelled my joint gym membership at a local gym back in September 2010. As per the terms of the contract, I had to give 1 months written notice of my intention to leave. I handed this in at reception (rather than post as the gym is just across the road from me) and stated I'd be leaving at the end of 31 October.

After the 1 October payment was collected by standing order from my account, I cancelled the SO as per the instruction from the guy on reception at the gym.

I heard no more from the gym until last week, when they sent me a letter demanding £350.00 in membership fees for November to February inclusive.

I emailed them to advise I'd handed my notice in on 20 September and therefore terminated the contract in line with the terms and conditions so I feel I shouldn't have to pay anything.

They have now replied stating there is no trace of the letter and no-one in the gym can remember me giving them a letter. They are now threatening passing my details to a debt collection agency to recover the money they are "due".

Where do I stand here legally? I don't have any proof I handed them a letter other than the knowledge I did!

Cheers![/size]

shocksoc335

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Re: Gym Membership Cancellation - where do I stand?
« Reply #1 on: Feb 24, 2011, 05:29:54 AM »
 Hi LYJ1605, 
I too have been in your position and for this one you will have to persevere.

The Office of Fair Trading has recently produced guidance with regards to gym memberships which may deem them as unenforceable under the Consumer Credit Act 1974 under the Unfair Terms in Consumer Contracts Regulations 1999.

"Where gym contracts do not fall under the Consumer Credit Act 1974, the OFT believes they should allow consumers to cancel their membership on reasonable terms. Making consumers always pay the full amount for the minimum period is, in the OFT's view, unfair under the Unfair Terms in Consumer Contracts Regulations 1999."

Check out the OFT’s website.
 
In your case you will have to write to the Gym and submit a letter of complaint and inform them that you cancelled the agreement with a member of staff. If you can remember the member of staff inform them of who that person was. Ask them to check the system to prove that you were using the facilities on that day. Ask them to cancel your membership and to ream mend your account, when you send your letter of complaint send an additional copy to head office.
 
In your letter inform the Gym that you used the correct procedure in cancelling the agreement.  Point out that the office of fair trading agree that under these circumstances it is classed as ‘Unfair Terms in Consumer Contracts Regulation 1999’ and explain that once you cancel your membership you do not wish to be charged for the full contract term. If they become unreasonable submit a complaint directly to the Office of fair trading, but inform the gym that you are going to do this.
 

Tell them that this is a dispute and to place your account on hold until it has reached a resolution. Also request that they do not pass the debt onto a debt collections agency and point out that it does not form a part of your contract.
 
Other than that stay in touch with the forum and we will try and guide you through the process. 
Kind Regards
Shocksoc335   
 
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James Falla

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Re: Gym Membership Cancellation - where do I stand?
« Reply #2 on: Feb 25, 2011, 04:22:41 PM »
Hi there
 
This is definitely not an easy one. However good advice from Shocksoc. Write the letters to the gym as they have suggested and definitely include the information about the OFT guidance. I suggest that you request that they confirm that you have nothing further to pay and if this is not forthcoming that you will be making a complaint to the OFT.
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