Patricia Pearl - Small Claims Procedure - A Practical Guide


An excellent guide for the layperson in how to use the County Court - a must if you are intending to start a claim.

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  1. #1
    Basic Account Holder mh2286 Novitiate

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    Default LA Fitness Cancellation BS

    Could really do with some help on this one. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

    My friend who was already a member wanted me to join LA fitness, so I went with him to the interview/induction type thing they take you through, you know, where they explain what they can offer basically. I asked if I could do a 3 or 6month contract or something like that because I expected to leave to go travelling later in the year. The woman told me that they only did 12 month contracts but it wouldn't matter because leaving the country was a valid reason to cancel the contract. I asked specifically if I would have to pay any fees and she just shook her head and said no. Sounds good I thought, so I joined.

    Anyway, now the time has come to leave and they are telling my i have to pay 100. Obviously I was annoyed and explained to them that I had been told that there wouldn't be any charges. They said I shouldn't have been told that but unfortunately the fee still stands.

    The funny thing is though, I don't recall ever signing anything. I was told I would be sent a contract in the post but I have received nothing. All she did was take my card away for a while and set up the DDicon. I didn't even sign anything for that. My friend who joined at the same time says he hasn't had one either. Is this normal? Is there some other way that I am legally tied into a contract where I haven't signed anything?

    I've just written a letter (see attachment) which I plan to send to their head office telling them that I'm not going to pay their fee and that since I haven't signed a contract I have zero legal obligation.

    Is this a good idea? Am I missing something? Please advise.

    Thank you for you time

    Attached Files

  2. #2
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    Default Re: LA Fitness Cancellation BS

    Hi Mh and welcome to CAGicon

    Your letter looks fine but will no doubt be ignored by LAF's HO.

    My only concern is that you may be travelling and not able to continue to deal with any ongoing dispute. This could even lead to a Default being registered against you for the alleged debt.

    So I suggest you take steps for someone to monitor post and let you know, by email, what the gymicon's HO are doing about this.

    You don't want to come back and find a Default on your CRA file or (highly unlikely) a CCJ if they took court action which was not acknowledged and defended.

    Send off the letter and see how they reply. No prizes for guessing what they'll say.



    Link 1. OFT Debt Coll'n Guide - http://www.oft.gov.uk/shared_oft/business_leaflets/consumer_credit/oft664.pdf
    Link 2. Checking your credit Agreement - http://www.consumeractiongroup.co.uk...greements.html
    Link 3. Interest Tutorial - http://www.consumerwiki.co.uk/index....erest_Tutorial
    Link 4. OFT Guide re s.78 CCA1974 Requests - http://www.oft.gov.uk/shared_oft/business_leaflets/consumer_credit/OFT1272.pdf

    Any help and advice is offered in good faith, based solely on my own knowledge and on experience gathered from this site. I am not qualified to offer legal or financial advice, which you should seek from an expert before making any important decisions. My opinions are therefore offered without liability.

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  3. #3
    Basic Account Holder mh2286 Novitiate

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    Default Re: LA Fitness Cancellation BS

    It should be able to get my mother to monitor the post. I'm not leaving the country until July 19 but I suspect they won't get interested in this untl after the end of July when they top getting there money.

    Have you heard of them not physically issuing contracts before? I really don't understand this.

    If they do put a default on my record how easy is to remove and how will it affect me. Does it last for ever or will it expire. I don't really understand credit ratings.


    Thanks


  4. #4
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    Default Re: LA Fitness Cancellation BS

    Hi Mh,

    See here about LAF not issuing a contract document - http://www.consumeractiongroup.co.uk...=1#post3410757 They seem to have an in-house sign up facility which they probably use to their advantage.

    Yes, they'll only kick off when you miss a payment they want.

    If they register adverse credit data against you, it can stay on file for 6 yearsicon. However, if there's a dispute about whether you owe the amount in question, you can notify the CRA's that the debt is disputed. You can also set about getting the adverse data removed altogether but this can take time.

    If adverse data remains on your CRA records, it can seriously affect your ability to get credit or make credit more expensive with, for example, higher interesticon rates on credit cards.



    Link 1. OFT Debt Coll'n Guide - http://www.oft.gov.uk/shared_oft/business_leaflets/consumer_credit/oft664.pdf
    Link 2. Checking your credit Agreement - http://www.consumeractiongroup.co.uk...greements.html
    Link 3. Interest Tutorial - http://www.consumerwiki.co.uk/index....erest_Tutorial
    Link 4. OFT Guide re s.78 CCA1974 Requests - http://www.oft.gov.uk/shared_oft/business_leaflets/consumer_credit/OFT1272.pdf

    Any help and advice is offered in good faith, based solely on my own knowledge and on experience gathered from this site. I am not qualified to offer legal or financial advice, which you should seek from an expert before making any important decisions. My opinions are therefore offered without liability.

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  5. #5
    Basic Account Holder mh2286 Novitiate

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    Default Re: LA Fitness Cancellation BS

    Thanks for that link. I read the part where someone said that basically they set up a 'credit agreement'. Is this legally binding? It sounds scary. Do you think I should give 30 days notice and pay next months fee, or am I right in believing that since I haven't signed any contract I don't legally have to give any notice. I'm still baffled by this whole thing really. It seems so underhanded and shady and I have know idea what the legal ramifications of all this are. How are they able to issue a default on my CR? Don't they have to demonstrate that I've signed a contract to do that? The biggest thing I'm worried about is being take to court and having to cancel my trip half way though and come home early. I'll be able to keep a close eye on my mail and send replies but what happens if they take me to court? What's the procedure? I know you say it's unlikely but I just want to know what would happen worst case scenario.

    Thank you for your help. I appreciate your advice.


  6. #6
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    Default Re: LA Fitness Cancellation BS

    If you haven't yet sent the letter, include the following paragraph.


    .......... point have I ever signed any legally binding document, or any document for that matter, which stipulates I should pay any cancellation fees.

    If you have a contract on which you are relying, please supply a copy of it. I was told I would be sent one but this never happened.

    I now consider the matter closed, however, should ..........


    If the letter has already been sent, send a second letter to deal with this. You need to see what they have and what they're relying on.

    I read the part where someone said that basically they set up a 'credit agreement'. Is this legally binding? It sounds scary. Do you think I should give 30 days notice and pay next months fee, or am I right in believing that since I haven't signed any contract I don't legally have to give any notice.
    To my knowledge, there's no credit agreement involved.

    If there's no signed contract, you are not bound to give any notice.

    If there is a contract which you agreed to on their in-house computer system (eg, by ticking a box), you still have grounds to argue your case for leaving without penalty. In this case, it would be reasonable for you to give a month's notice.



    Link 1. OFT Debt Coll'n Guide - http://www.oft.gov.uk/shared_oft/business_leaflets/consumer_credit/oft664.pdf
    Link 2. Checking your credit Agreement - http://www.consumeractiongroup.co.uk...greements.html
    Link 3. Interest Tutorial - http://www.consumerwiki.co.uk/index....erest_Tutorial
    Link 4. OFT Guide re s.78 CCA1974 Requests - http://www.oft.gov.uk/shared_oft/business_leaflets/consumer_credit/OFT1272.pdf

    Any help and advice is offered in good faith, based solely on my own knowledge and on experience gathered from this site. I am not qualified to offer legal or financial advice, which you should seek from an expert before making any important decisions. My opinions are therefore offered without liability.

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  7. #7
    Basic Account Holder mh2286 Novitiate

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    Default Re: LA Fitness Cancellation BS

    I was never presented with a tick box or shown anything on a computer screen. I noticed once when I was leaving the gymicon that they were showing a group of people (who were obviously about to join) this touch screen thing which looked as though it was meant as means of signing people up to contracts quickly. But this wasn't there when I first joined. I've made those changes to the letter and will send it today.

    What would you anticipate there response would be and how would you suggest I deal with it? From what I've seen on here, most of the responses are somewhat predictable and I want to try and have a few response letters already written up so I don't have to keep writing new ones when I'm on the road. I will have a netbook with me so I can keep in fairly regular contact with my home address and get letters sent out/received etc.

    Thanks again for your help.

    Matt


  8. #8
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    Default Re: LA Fitness Cancellation BS

    Hi Mh,

    There's no point in trying to predict what they'll say although I'd expect them to basically ignore your assertions and continue seeking payments.

    We'll see soon enough.



    Link 1. OFT Debt Coll'n Guide - http://www.oft.gov.uk/shared_oft/business_leaflets/consumer_credit/oft664.pdf
    Link 2. Checking your credit Agreement - http://www.consumeractiongroup.co.uk...greements.html
    Link 3. Interest Tutorial - http://www.consumerwiki.co.uk/index....erest_Tutorial
    Link 4. OFT Guide re s.78 CCA1974 Requests - http://www.oft.gov.uk/shared_oft/business_leaflets/consumer_credit/OFT1272.pdf

    Any help and advice is offered in good faith, based solely on my own knowledge and on experience gathered from this site. I am not qualified to offer legal or financial advice, which you should seek from an expert before making any important decisions. My opinions are therefore offered without liability.

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  9. #9
    Basic Account Holder mh2286 Novitiate

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    Default Re: LA Fitness Cancellation BS

    I received a letter from LA fitness today (see attachment). It basically ignores my letter and just demands I set up a new DDicon.

    I realised that I forgot to put the date on the letter I sent. I sent it through registered mail, so shall I just resend my last letter with a photocopy (see attachment) of the post office receipt so they can't claim to have not received it?

    Any advice as to what I should do next would b much appreciated, thanks.


    Matt



    edit

    Ok, looks like the attachments are stupidly small, any idea how to alter this?

    The letter reads:

    We have recently received notification from your bank that you DD has been cancelled therefore preventing us from taking any further payments. When you joined you signed into a minimum 12 month agreement which is still active, meaning you are unable to cancel your membership at this point.

    Please would you contact the above number as soon as possible so that we can arrange for a new DD to be set up. Alternitavely you can complete the DD Mandate below and forward it to the address above.

    Failure to rectify this problem will result in your membership incurring arrears and may prohibit you from using the club.

    Attached Images

  10. #10
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    Default Re: LA Fitness Cancellation BS

    Write back saying:-

    I refer to your letter of xxdate.

    You have totally ignored my last letter which I realise was not dated but was sent to you on xxdate by Recorded Delivery.

    In case you have mislaid it, I enclose a further copy with the date written on it.

    Please address the issues raised in my letter and reply accordingly.

    If you continue to ignore my assertions and demand payments, I will refer the matter to the fosicon without further notice.


    Send by normal mail if you want to save money but get a free Certificate of Posting from the PO when you send it.



    Link 1. OFT Debt Coll'n Guide - http://www.oft.gov.uk/shared_oft/business_leaflets/consumer_credit/oft664.pdf
    Link 2. Checking your credit Agreement - http://www.consumeractiongroup.co.uk...greements.html
    Link 3. Interest Tutorial - http://www.consumerwiki.co.uk/index....erest_Tutorial
    Link 4. OFT Guide re s.78 CCA1974 Requests - http://www.oft.gov.uk/shared_oft/business_leaflets/consumer_credit/OFT1272.pdf

    Any help and advice is offered in good faith, based solely on my own knowledge and on experience gathered from this site. I am not qualified to offer legal or financial advice, which you should seek from an expert before making any important decisions. My opinions are therefore offered without liability.

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  11. #11
    Basic Account Holder mh2286 Novitiate

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    Default Re: LA Fitness Cancellation BS

    Thanks slick, Ill send that off tomorrow.

    Just out of interesticon, what is the procedure for referring them to the fosicon? It says in that little drop down info thing that I shouldnt bother. Am I just writing this to show I mean business?

    Thanks for your advice.


  12. #12
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    Default Re: LA Fitness Cancellation BS

    As a general rule, you should never threaten to do something unless you intend to actually do it. So saying "I'll take court action within 14 days" when you know you won't, is a waste of everyone's time.

    You can refer the matter to the fosicon by writing a brief summary of your complaint and enclosing copy documents.

    We know the FOS can be painfully slow so this is not a good move, for instance, with Credit Card charges claims. With these, going to court is a better option mostly.

    However, in a case like yours, the FOS is a reasonable option.

    In the meantime, see how they respond.



    Link 1. OFT Debt Coll'n Guide - http://www.oft.gov.uk/shared_oft/business_leaflets/consumer_credit/oft664.pdf
    Link 2. Checking your credit Agreement - http://www.consumeractiongroup.co.uk...greements.html
    Link 3. Interest Tutorial - http://www.consumerwiki.co.uk/index....erest_Tutorial
    Link 4. OFT Guide re s.78 CCA1974 Requests - http://www.oft.gov.uk/shared_oft/business_leaflets/consumer_credit/OFT1272.pdf

    Any help and advice is offered in good faith, based solely on my own knowledge and on experience gathered from this site. I am not qualified to offer legal or financial advice, which you should seek from an expert before making any important decisions. My opinions are therefore offered without liability.

    If I've been helpful, please click my scales.
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  13. #13
    Basic Account Holder GeeKaush Novitiate

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    Default Re: LA Fitness Cancellation BS

    Also word of advice. Call consumer direct. I did that and they said if they do have enough people complaining they will take action! The number is 08454 04 05 06


  14. #14
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    Default Re: LA Fitness Cancellation BS

    Quote Originally Posted by GeeKaush View Post
    Also word of advice. Call consumer direct. I did that and they said if they do have enough people complaining they will take action! The number is 08454 04 05 06
    yeah good luck with that!


  15. #15
    Basic Account Holder mh2286 Novitiate

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    Default Re: LA Fitness Cancellation BS

    Received a letter today, not sure what to make of it:

    I am contacting you in response to your recent letter regarding your membership. I have looked into the issues you have raised and my response is as follows;

    I am sorry to hear you are unhappy with the service ou have received from LA Fitness, I can assure you we do endeavour to provide the best possible service at all times and therefore apologise if you feel this has not been achieved.

    Unfortunately we are unable to action your cancellation request at this time as you are still within your initial term until 11/01/2012.

    We understand that member's circumstances do change therefore we allow our members to cancel within their inital term due to moving more than 20 miles away from any of our clubs. This is offered as a gesture of good willicon, proof is required as well as a cancellation fee as the agreement is being broken.

    In regards to your comments regarding the contract, there is no signed contract as this offer was actioned and agreed to through our website by entering all of your personal details and agreeing to the onine terms and conditions. Please be advised confirmation of the contract and terms and conditions are sent to your email address once the online application is completed.

    As your direct debiticon has been suspended we will be unable to apply for your next payment due at the end of July, to reinstate this in line with the agreement please contact Member Services on 08447707700.

    If you require any further information please do not hesitate to contact.




    At no point have I ever been shown any terms or conditions nor have I ever ticked any boxes. All I can assume has happend is that when she took my card away she just quickly ticked all the boxes herself on some computer in the back. This is so gross. They've never sent me any email.


  16. #16
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    Default Re: LA Fitness Cancellation BS

    I got the same letter today! With the Same message. Maybe they send batch mails to everyone? Let me know what you are going to do from here. Im so confused and I dont want to pay for a 12 month contract that I wont use


  17. #17
    Basic Account Holder mh2286 Novitiate

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    Default Re: LA Fitness Cancellation BS

    word for word? They are so underhanded. I can't believe they are claiming I agreed to this 'online'. I did absolutely no such thing. It's such a dirty trick. They know I won't be able to prove that it wasn't me who actually ticked the box so its just perfect for there needs of trapping people into misleading agreements with hidden fees. So angry!


  18. #18
    Basic Account Holder GeeKaush Novitiate

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    Default Re: LA Fitness Cancellation BS

    Not exactly word for word although some paragraphs are just the same. Yes I am really angry and I have lost 40 pounds which now I couldnt care less about but I Do not want debt agencies behind my back sending me letters home to pay thr monthly fee. Like you I didnt tick anything myself. The instructor quickly flipped through the pages and didnt ask me to read anything. Worst gymicon Ever


  19. #19
    Basic Account Holder GeeKaush Novitiate

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    Default Re: LA Fitness Cancellation BS

    The trick is I told them I was either leaving the country or moving to wales (because I actually am). Hence the paragraph in your letter that states that people who move away from a 20 mile radius can cancel is missing in my letter. Again another one of their silly tricks to keep me tied to their contract


  20. #20
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    Default Re: LA Fitness Cancellation BS

    Hi all

    very interesting reading and from what I have read think you should go down the route of being miss sold this contract by there salesperson also who was it that entered your detail onto there online signup because if this was done by the salesperson without your knowledge or even viewing this contract then this has been miss sold I would speak to trading standards and CAB



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