smartconsumer: Health Clubs - Do



Health Clubs

{What to Know} {What to Do}
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Check out the Facilities
 
Plan a visit at a time you would normally be using the gym to see how crowded it is, whether the facilities are clean and well-maintained, and whether the equipment is in good shape.
 
Ask about the:
  • Number of members. Many gyms set no membership limits, which can cause overcrowding at the most desirable hours.
  • Hours of operation. Does it work for your schedule? Some may limit lower-cost memberships to certain hours.
  • Instructors and trainers. If you are looking for a professional trainer, ask about their qualifications.
    Classes. Do you need to pay extra for those? Ask about which classes are not covered by your contract.
Some gyms will ask you to join ó and pay ó the first time you visit and will offer incentives like special rates to get you to sign on the spot. It's best to wait a few days before deciding. Take the contract home and read it carefully.
 
Pay Attention to the Details
 
Get a copy of your signed, written contract with the club. It must include a notice that you have the right to cancel within three business days of signing, if you change your mind. It must also tell you of the proper way to cancel your contract.
 
Before you sign a contract, find out:
  • Is everything that was communicated to you in person included in the contract?
 
If a problem comes up after you join, the contract is what counts. If something isnít written in the contract, itís going to be difficult to prove your case.
  • Is there a trial period?
    • If you signed up for a special introductory rate, make sure you know the terms of your contract once the discounted rate ends.
    • And you always have three days to cancel the contract once you sign it.
    • The maximum length of time a contract may run is two years.
  • Can you cancel your membership or get a refund?
    • Ask if there are specific ways to cancel your contract, does it need to be in writing, can you do it online, and what conditions apply?
    • What happens if you need to cancel your membership because of a move or an injury? Will they refund your money?
    • Knowing the gymís cancellation policies is especially important if you choose a long-term membership.
    • Your contract must tell you that you have the right to cancel if the club moves or closes.
 
Can You Get a Refund?
 
You have the right to a refund in certain cases.  You may be allowed to get reimbursed for the unused portion of your membership if:
  • You move more than 25 miles away from the club where you signed the contract.
  • You become disabled and can provide the proper medical records.
  • If the club you joined moves to a new location.
 
The Health Club Guaranty Fund
 
All licensed health clubs operating in Connecticut contribute part of their license fee to this fund. The Department of Consumer Protection holds this money in reserve to help consumers who lose money when a club closes unexpectedly.
 
If your club shuts down without warning, complete the form. You may qualify for the Health Club Guaranty Fund if the health club does not repay you for unused time.
 
To be considered for the Guaranty Fund, you must apply within six months after the club closed. You must also provide evidence of your payments and membership
 
Once the club has been closed for six months, the Department will hold a hearing.  If you qualify for the funds, payment is pro-rated. That means persons are paid only for the time left on their contract when the club shut down.




Content Last Modified on 3/6/2017 11:32:54 AM