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ARC Europe - DW Sports

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Hi all :)

 

Woke up to a letter today from ARC law. Basically, I started working nights about 3 months ago which meant I could no longer attend the gym (since the friend who always drove me there worked days). I called my gym to cancel, but they requested it in writing. This was the last day of the month, and they also asked for a month's notice, which could have potentially meant being charged on the 1st while the letter was on its way and then the "notice" month being the following one. My monthly fee was £29.95 so this would have worked out at about £60.

 

Either way, I cancelled at my bank instead, got a letter from DW sports demanding the £29.95 which I ignored, and got another letter from ARC today demanding both the membership fee and a £15 admin fee. It looks like a partial mail merge with the standard threats of taking me to court in 10 days if I don't pay them.

 

My first thoughts on the matter were that it's unlikely that anyone would actually take me to court over £45, but is there any chance that it would happen, perhaps based on the fact that they could force me to pay their legal fees if I lost?

 

Secondly, my initial contract with the gym began online. They took payment details, charged me for the rest of that month, etc. The membership began on their website which makes NO attempt whatsoever to explain any of the terms or conditions of the contract. When I first arrived at the gym I had to fill in some forms, which were mainly about my health, but may have included a contract which basically said I have to give them a month's notice. Even if so, demanding proof of me being on this contract from ARC can't hurt, can it?

 

Thirdly, I was going to pick on their admin fee of £15, which seems entirely arbitrary given that it has all the hallmarks of an overused legal company mail merge. Is asking them for a breakdown of this cost, or the method by which it was calculated, a good idea? What about asking for the identity of their solicitors?

 

Basically, I just wanted to know what my options are. I dealt with ACS law in the past and thus am not even slightly intimidated by their legal "threats" - are this company the same or is it a better idea to just pay them the money?

 

Thanks :)

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Hi Lolwut,

 

It's unlikely that they'd take court action for £30 although, if they stack on further penalty fees or monthly m/ship fees, it could add up and make court action worth a try. However, if you tackle them sensibly, they should crawl back under their stone in time. The worry is that they may register adverse credit entries against you, so you need to keep a check on your CRA file.

 

The sign up process for most gyms is a shambles but it is always your responsibility to be aware of what you're agreeing to. If this info is not readily available to you, this could count against the gym as regards contract enforceability.

 

Re their admin fee, never mind asking for a breakdown. It's an unlawful penalty charge and is not enforceable.

 

When did you join the gym.

 

What was the initial m/ship period.

 

Were you past the initial m/ship period when you called them.

 

Have you confirmed your cancellation in writing yet. If not, it may be wise to do this now anyway, quoting the date when you called them to cancel. Send this by Recorded Delivery.

 

8-)


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Thanks for the help :) There's no initial membersihp period as far as I know, and if there is one I was definitely past it - I'd been going for around 9 months. I've not confirmed my cancellation by post yet so I'll do that tomorrow. If I just offer to pay the gym in my cancellation letter do you think they'd accept that? I'd rather not have this affect my credit rating. That being said, would that one thing really be such a bad thing? I'm not aware of how credit ratings work because I've never really borrowed or owed anything.

 

thanks again :)

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Hi LolWut,

 

It would be wise to try and maintain a good credit rating if you can. You never know when you might need it in the future and it shows your history going back 6 years.

 

Send in the cancellation letter and see how they respond.

 

Don't be surprised if they say you've signed for a minimum of 12, 24 or 36 months. If they say this, you can ask for proof in the form of a contract or agreement signed (or consented to online) by you.

 

8-)


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