Rule changes make it easier to cancel your membership if your circumstances change
Back in January we told you about a possible crackdown on gym membership rules, and today we can report that these rules have been put in place - at three top gym chains at least.
Bannatyne Fitness, David Lloyd Leisure and Fitness First clubs have agreed to change the terms of their contracts after an OFT (Office of Fair Trading) review. As a result, new and current members can cancel a membership easily if they lose their jobs or suffer an injury.
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The gyms concerned have also pledged to make clear key membership features, such as initial membership periods and cancellation rights, before anything is signed.
This move has come about after a judicial ruling that a gym contract was unfair if it ran for more than 12 months and did not allow the consumer to cancel without 30 days notice and a moderate penalty.
Cavendish Eilthorn, senior director of the OFT's Goods and Consumer Group, said, 'We were concerned that contracts could unfairly lock people in if their circumstances changed - forcing them to continue paying even if they had lost their job.'
A Fitness First spokesman said they were happy to accept the OFT's recommendations, 'We are always looking for ways to improve our members' experience, which starts with clear membership terms.'
At the moment it is only these three named gyms that have agreed to the new rules, but the OFT is continuing its investigation into other leading health and fitness clubs.
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