Fitness Memberships - Know Your Rights
McGuinty Government Protecting Consumers
It's a new year - and many people resolve to get fit and healthy by joining a fitness club.
Before signing up for a fitness membership, the province is reminding people of their rights under the Consumer Protection Act. Consumers have the following rights, and can use these tips, when signing up for a gym membership.
A 10-day cooling-off period - consumers can use this time to check the club, make sure the location, equipment and programs are right for them and ultimately change their mind after signing a contract.
The option to pay monthly - this option ensures consumers won't lose more than a month's payment if the club goes bankrupt.
If you cancel a fitness club membership, do so in writing - by delivering the letter in person or via registered mail, you will have confirmation the club received the notice of cancellation. Consumers should also keep a copy of their letter and registered mail receipt.
Read the fine print! Consumers should read their fitness agreement carefully and ask questions before they sign.
Fitness clubs are consistently listed as one of the top consumer complaints of the Ministry of Consumer Services.
- Canada's fitness industry is worth about $1.6 billion a year.
- In 2005, about 4.3 million Canadians had a fitness club membership.
- Complaints to the Ministry of Consumer Services about fitness clubs dropped by 16 per cent in 2009.
“A lot of people want to get in shape or stay healthy with a regular exercise program. Joining a fitness club is a great way to do that - but make sure you know your rights before you join one.”