The Better Business Bureau received around 9,400 grievances last year about fitness consultants, health clubs and gyms, a 15 percent increase from 2011. However, there are some warning signs to look for before signing any contracts. Article source:
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Every person with New Year goal
Common New Year's resolutions that people make include losing weight and getting healthier. That is why so many gyms and health clubs offer good deals at the beginning of the year. They want to get your business.
It is really hard to get out a gym contract when you realize that you may not really be using it as often as you had hoped. It could be very hard to stop if it is automatic charges. New Year’s resolutions are almost never kept, and reality sinks in pretty fast.
Do not sign up without homework
Before you agree to anything and sign up for a fitness center or club, you need to do a little research. Figure out if it is normally kept clean and if it has everything you could want. You will want to check out the facility by going to Angie’s List or the BBB’s site.
Reading is important
People most often complain with the BBB because they felt pressured to sign for an excellent deal. That is the thing many people complain about.
According to a BBB spokeswoman, "The biggest complaints that we get are people who sign the contract, and they didn't read it. So what the sales person told them and what the contract says are two different things."
The biggest tip to stay away from being taken advantage of, then, is to read and understand your contract thoroughly before signing it. If the salesperson is pressuring you to sign, or using pointed phrases to make you feel guilty, tell them you need the pressure dialed down so that you can digest the document. Otherwise, don't do it.
Saying goodbye to contract
Also, ask them for a duplicate of the facility's cancellation policy, on paper. If it asks you to jump through too many hoops before it stops taking your money, you might want to look elsewhere.
According to Forbes, a man named John Stark was screwed by his fitness center. Evidently, the fitness center just turns the contract to a month-to-month one if you cancel your membership. That was in the fine print and could not be stopped unless he sent a letter to the company head office. He was getting charged $200 a month for a membership even after he cancelled it.
Once you do take the plunge and sign a contract, keep the paperwork someplace secure where you know you can find it, just in case there are any disputes down the road.