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Gym Membership Overcharging


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Hi There,

 

I'm hoping can somebody help with this.

 

I have been a member of the same gym for nearly 2yrs, in September last year i upgraded to 'national' membership so i could use any in the country, at an additional cost of £6pm (As i visited a gym during lunch which was 15miles+ from home).

 

A few months ago all of the gyms in my region were taken over by another company, as such my national membership ceased to be 'national' yet remained at the same price (as the takeover company are only small).

 

Having had a chat with a "sales" person, they have stated they will alter my membership to the lower price but will not refund any overpayments for the last few months.

 

Is there any legislation i can throw at them in order for them to refund this? I haven't come across this kind of thing before but i would expect they cannot do this?

 

Many Thanks :)

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I don't believe so, as most Gym memberships are organised on the basis of an annual fee that is then paid monthly. If yours is not (genuinely a monthly commitment) - then you should certainly insist that as they could not provide the service you paid for for those months, you are due a refund. If they do not agree to a refund or compromise solution, you should threaten to leave.

 

However if annual, then you would have paid annually for a 'national' service that is now no longer available, so as this clearly is to your detriment, you should use this as your leverage to get a refund, or to terminate.

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Thats the one i have, 12-month subscription paid monthly.

 

Six months in they've lowered the tier yet expect me to pay for the higher tier (which no longer exists).

 

I know people have gotten out of mobile phone contracts when terms have been changed that they do not agree with, am i able to use a similiar idea in order to get my money back?

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The price you paid was correct for the time you entered into the contract, so if the fee was £200, then this was the annual fee you had to pay to be a member. If the fees were revised a few months later, then you would benefit from the reduction at the next renewa. Because it is this amount you are payinf off monthly, it doesn;t mean that your monthly rate sgould fall.

 

If the firm isn't willing to compromise as part of their commitment to 'customer satisfaction' there really is nothing you can do - it is the luck of the draw. Some people with a different joinging/rejoining date may not have been inconvenienced as much, but intevitably, that's life.

 

A letter to the club administrator, pointing out how this has caused you to lose out by £XX might be worth a shot - they can only say no....

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I think you should keep pushing for a while yet. You were paying for a national service and the new company no longer provided that service. If the original contract had included national usage as a free extra then the new company could have withdrawn it but they were charging a set extra fee for that sole purpose and no longer providing what you'd paid for.

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The gym in question is Fitness First and there are many different types of membership so i'm not sure whether there is an 'annual fee' as such more of an agreement to pay X per month, though i will check later.

 

The contract states that i have signed up for the 'national' membership though and they are not providing this regardless of whether or not there is an annual cost, i am simply not receiving the service i have signed up for.

 

I'm astounded they can do this and get away with it.

 

Shall try and see somebody at the weekend and hope i get someone reasonable, i don't actually think i've ever seen the manager there mind!

 

Many Thanks for the help buzby.

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I think you should keep pushing for a while yet. You were paying for a national service and the new company no longer provided that service. If the original contract had included national usage as a free extra then the new company could have withdrawn it but they were charging a set extra fee for that sole purpose and no longer providing what you'd paid for.

 

Well it wasn't a free extra it was the actual membership i had signed up for, they had varying levels of membership and i chose one which gave me the use of every gym of theirs in the country.

 

Since being taken over i can now only use the one (see above) as opposed to every single one i signed up for.

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they have stated they will alter my membership to the lower price but will not refund any overpayments for the last few months

 

I don't understand their thinking for doing one without the other. By lowering your monthly membership cost they are effectively admitting they don't provide the service you have paid for.

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