AG Kilmartin Warns Consumers to Read Fine Print on Gym Memberships
Tuesday, January 07, 2014
Attorney General Peter F. Kilmartin is warning consumers to read the fine print on your gym membership before signing on the dotted line to ensure that you, and not your wallet, get a good workout.
“The New Year is a time for new beginnings and for many of us that includes starting a new fitness plan,” said Kilmartin. “Health clubs are offering good deals to entice consumers to stick to their New Year’s resolutions, but it is important to read the contract carefully so that you don’t get any unwanted surprises. The Better Business Bureau reports that in the last 12 months, consumers nationwide filed almost 8,000 complaints with them regarding health clubs, and some of the top issues were trouble canceling memberships or billing disputes.”
Before you sign a contract with a health club or gym, the Attorney General offers these tips to make sure you lose weight, not money:
- Research the facility. Check with the Better Business Bureau (http://www.bbb.org) to see if there have been any complaints filed.
- Also, ask family and friends for recommendations.
- Read the entire contract thoroughly. Make sure it lists all fees and services, as well as what will cost extra. Make sure that any promises made by the salesperson are listed in the contract.
- Get the total cost – including enrollment costs and finance charges – in writing.
- Make sure the membership details are clearly outlined: how long the membership lasts, whether it automatically renews and what is the cancellation policy. Make sure the contract also states what will happen if you move or if the health club closes before your membership expires.
- Check how your payments will be made – it could be one lump sum or by month. Although the deal advertised may be a certain amount per month, the gym might automatically charge for six months at a time or more.
- Visit the club on the day and time you plan to use it to see how crowded it will be and if you like the atmosphere and equipment. It the gym seems empty, that may be a red flag.
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