BBB Alert

Jan 15, 2013 11:59 PM

BBB Alert: gym membership contracts

TUCSON - Does your New Year's resolution include getting in shape? And does that mean a new gym membership?

A word of warning: before you sign-up to pump iron or tear-up the treadmill, read the fine print so you know what your legal obligations are.

Jeremy Lopez started working out at a local gym. The membership was a gift from his wife. Soon he consulted with a personal trainer. Jeremy tells The Investigators after a lot of pressure he signed on for the extra service. And he said they told him he had three days to cancel the contract, if he wished.

Jeremy said he called the next day and left the salesperson a message that he wanted to cancel. But he never followed-up in writing.

Then, about a month later, when Jeremy went back to the gym, they told him his account was delinquent, since he hadn't paid for the trainer. Apparently, the gym never cancelled the training sessions or fees.

Jeremy is now getting calls from a collection agency, saying he owes the gym over $4,000.

The Better Business Bureau recommends not signing gym contracts altogether, if possible. Know the rules and policies going in to the situation. Be aware that rates are often negotiable at gyms and health clubs. And the BBB advises you to comparison shop before choosing a fitness club.

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