I meet a lot of people who’ve joined gyms and instantly regret it, I even joined one myself last month (they made me join in order to work there), however, I managed to get it cancelled and free myself from the shackles of the direct debit agreement. I know its down to us as individuals to check the terms and conditions but having worked at a Globogym in the past I’ve seen the underhand tricks sales staff (if you saw the targets they get you wouldn't blame them, imagine having the threat of a missed target over your head each month), often use to push through that sale. From brushing over the T&C’s, to actually signing a membership form for someone who joined via the phone (they wanted to include it in the end of month figures but all hell let loose when the member found out about the fraudulent signature).
Some people state that they need to be a member to help motivate them into actually exercising. Frequently I hear from people who tell me they avoid exercising because they hate the stresses involved, such as the time it takes to get there, (exercising at home you’d be done already), not being able to use the machinery that you want, (unless you sell memberships to your home gym this shouldn’t be a problem), uninterested staff, (I’ve spoke before about the poor pay that they get so let them off on this one please).
So, how can you get out of a contract and set yourself up at home?
1. Read your contract. Contracts are essentially credit agreements, so before you even sign the contract in the first place, make sure your read its T&Cs.
Having said that, there are certain T&C’s and extenuating circumstances in which you can cancel. Gyms are also legally obligated to show you your contract upon request, so if you don’t have a copy, feel free to ask for one.
2. Complain. If within the contract period, the gym fails to provide a satisfactory quality service, you might be able to cancel without penalty and void your contract by showing that it’s illegal and that you were misled when you joined. The last gym I left allowed unqualified staff to induct members and train them (he didn’t pay them so he allowed them to earn cash this way), which is the perfect reason to get out of the deal. One I’ve used with my clients is that if your trainer (moi) has been made to leave, complain and state that you’re not happy training with anyone else. If the service you require at the gym is no longer there it’s a pretty good reason to get out of that contract.
3. Relocate. If you are moving, and the distance to the gym is impossible, most gyms will let you cancel. You could also ask your boss to write a note on headed paper saying you are being transferred. But you can probably get pretty creative with this…
4. Health If you have an injury that prevents you from physically using the gym, get a doctors note explaining this. For a woman, that might mean pregnancy. I’ve frequently written reports based upon clients specific needs which have allowed clients to cancel memberships.