Nearly all health clubs require a contract or membership. It must be stressed that you need to actually read the entire paper you are signing.
Realize that it is only the paper that matters. What you are told verbally is of no use. Most complaints are because the salesperson promised something that was not given or allowed later on. Salespeople will always seem to say you can cancel for any reason but if the contract states you need a doctor's written notice, guess what they only thing that will be accepted? Your Doctor specifying a medical reason you can not exercise on his stationary.
Most gyms will make you sign for between 12 months and three years. Why? Most people (90%) quit working out after only a few weeks. If you are just beginning to get in shape, chances are you will quit early on also. Right now you may feel it is a long-term committment but it probably will not work out that way. The fitness center wants to make money from those people for a longer period. If they don't tie you to a long-term agreement you might get caught in the "No-Contract cheap monthly" deal. That is where the monthly rate is dirt cheap but the membership join fee is very high. Either way the gym is guaranteed a bihg chunk of your money. They love it when you quit early as they already made their money from you.
You might be led to believe you are signing for a month-to-month agreement but if you read carefully, it may have a length of contract for as much as several years. Some may come with a hefty cancellation fee. Some 3 months notice to cancel. Its in the contract. Read it! That is paying 3 months you might not use. NEVER stop any direct payments or cancel whatever (debit, credit, bank, etc.) account payments are taken from. That is a breach of contract and you might be due for the entire amount imediatly no matter the circumstances.
1) Never sign a contract if you are being pushed at that time. If the salesman says its good for today only, walk. If the Sales manager came over to close you, walk. Ask to take a opy of the contract with you to read at home. If any deal can not be extended at least a day, you probably do not want that deal.
2) If you are a student or senior citizen, mention it as often there are discounts for you.
3) Find out what is stated IN THE CONTRACT if you need to cancel or pause your membership. If you are injured (at the gym or somewhere else) you will want to know what is required so you do not keep paying when you can not workout.
4) If you love the gym but not the contract, go someplace else. Once you sign you are stuck with the terms of what is written in the contract. No matter what the salesperson said to you. One last time: Read the contract BEFORE you sign it! It might take 20 minutes to read but it is 20 minutes well spent.
5) Never pay the entire membership upfront unless you receive a large discount. If the gym closes you lost all money. If the membership gets transferred to another gym (allowed in many contracts) you have no rights or refusal. Nearly all contracts state no refunds of paid fees.
6) If you do sign, keep the contract in a safe place. Retain all records of payments to the gym. Even when your contract period ends you may find the fitness center is still asking/receiving payments.
7) If you are looking at staff or Personal Trainers at the fitness center of your choice be aware they may not be a good choice to get you in shape if they are out of shape.
8) If you only want the carido machines or weight room, ask if there is a discount for only using those facilities. Often by default they charge you for using areas like a pool, locker room, group classes, etc. that actually are billed seperately.
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