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Bannatyne's Gym Cancellation


lawbunny
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Apologies if this has already been addressed. I've had a quick look for any previous threads but couldn't see any.

 

Anyhoo. I gave my cancellation to Bannatyne's gym on 12th june 2009. Cancellation period is 3 months. Shocking, but I agreed to it so fair enough.

 

This morning I got my cancellation confirmation letter which states:

 

"Unfortunately we are unable to action your request immediately due to the contractual terms being a minimum of 3 months notice period. Officially your membership will expire on 30th September 2009."

 

Hmm.... so they're trying to get almost an extra 3 weeks, which would be an extra £22.80. Yes, it's not a lot, but I'm VERY poor at the moment.

 

So I phoned to check about this and was told that apparantly the cancellation is 3 further payment months. And since my direct debit comes out on the 1st each month then I have to pay July, Aug and September.

 

So I checked the "contractual terms" in question. T&Cs state:

 

"The Member may cancel the membership by giving three months written notice to terminate the membership, and such notice may be given at any time after the end of the ninth month from the date of commencement of membership."

 

No mention of 3 payment months there, or any "minimum". Just "3 months". And in the absence of them stating exactly what this means, surely I am entitled to assume it means normal calendar months?

 

Please help! Thanks.

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Providing you did not give your notice to terminate until the 9th month from commencement of the membership then it looks like you can indeed cancel and only pay for the 3 months notice.

 

It's quite common in a 12 month contract to only take cancellations from month 9.

 

I'd write back to them and quote their terms and conditions and point out that June is month 9, you can cancel in month 9 and you only have to pay 3 months which is till September.

 

Mossy

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Sorry, I should've explained. My minimum commitment of 18 months ended over 6 months ago. So I'm well past that.

 

They are basically saying it is 3 payments, not 3 months. So although the notice period is supposed to be 3 months, if you request cancellation 1 day after your direct debit has been taken then your cancellation period is actually 3 months and 29 days. (In my case 3 months and 18 days).

 

Thanks

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I'd argue it out with them and point out it states in THEIR terms and conditions that notice may be given at ANY time after the ninth month, since it makes no reference to month end or payment date then invite them to work out 1/31 of a month if they want to be pedantic.

 

Also point out that THEIR terms and conditions state it is months not payments that there must be 3 of. (unless they have sneaked in a phrase like month or part thereof)

 

Mossy

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Thanks for the help all!

 

I've emailed them pointing all of this out. Got one of those annoying automated replies stating it'll take up to 7 days for a reply. But when I get it I'll update my post.

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  • 2 weeks later...

http://www.oft.gov.uk/shared_oft/reports/unfair_contract_terms/oft311.pdf

 

8.3

The OFT considers that an over-long cancellation notice term may also be

unfair in a contract which continues indefinitely rather than for a fixed

term. Consumers entering such contracts normally expect to be able to end

it a reasonable time after they decide they no longer want or can no longer

afford what is provided under it. If they are required to make a cancellation

decision too far ahead of time, they are liable either to forget to do so when

they need to, or wrongly to anticipate their future needs. In either case, the

effect of the term is the same as that of an 'automatic renewal' clause –

they experience an unintended extension of their payment obligations

Looks like it may be possible to challenge these very long cancellation periods as unfair terms in contracts. Has the OFT given guidance as to whether or not three months is considered an unfairly long cancellation period.

 

Edit: Were the following changes made before or after the OP took out his/her contract?

 

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/money/consumer_affairs/article3211083.ece

 

In the past three years the Office of Fair Trading has forced three clubs, Bannatyne Fitness, Esporta and Lorraine Blake Fitness Clubs, to change their terms and conditions after finding that they locked in people unfairly.

Edited by Annoying Twit
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  • 10 months later...

this is what bannatynes replied when i gave my notice. apparently 05/05/10 to 05/08/10 is not 3 months notice????

 

Hi

 

Your notice came in on 05/05/2010, hence you have not given us full 30 days notice for may. You have notified us already 5 days into the month hence it will not be counted as one month notice. June will be one full month, July one full month and august one full month.

 

Hence your last payment will be in August. This is as per your contract cancellation notice period.

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