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LA Fitness Cancellation Dispute ***RESOLVED***

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Used a 3-day trial at the end of Oct at the Oxford LA Fitness branch - gym seemed okay.

 

Spoke to a "membership advisor" after this - was given 2 membership options £40/month (1 year) or £47/month (2 years).

What she didn't tell me was that this was for the premium membership plan for access to 57 clubs as opposed to the standard option for 1-club access - only found that out recently when I realised my card colour was different to everyone elses I saw go in :(

 

Anyway, I told her I was a student and couldn't afford those prices for the whole contract and (some time later) asked if I could cancel after 3 months because i'll be abroad travelling for 1 month (Feb). She assured me this was okay as long as I email customer services my flight details and give 1 months notice.

 

Went home - phoned them up and gave my card details. Was told nothing about any T+C's/ Health and Safety/Contract/Agreement both in store and over the phone.

 

Received a confirmation email giving details:

 

To arrange an induction of your club, please phone 08431701038 during normal opening hours, see www .lafitness. co.uk for your specific club.

During your induction you will be requested to sign a membership agreement, this will allow you access to the club. Upon your first visit you will be able to pick up your membership card, please bring a form of identification.

 

Ticked Accepted Terms and Conditions = True

 

VERY IMPORTANT INFORMATION

If you want to read the terms and conditions for this membership please click on the following link...join. lafitness. co.uk/docs/LAF-Agreement-Form.pdf

 

CANCELLATIONS

PLEASE NOTE: The normal cooling off period of 7 days does not apply as you were signed up in club by a sales advisor.

This is an Automated email. Please do not click 'reply' to this message, as emails to this mailbox are not read.

 

After signing up, read some reviews about the gym - most were very negative and regarded troubles cancelling - got me worried so I emailed customer services asking for confirmation that what I was told in store was correct and I could cancel after 3 months due to travelling plans - his reply (below) :

 

This is fine.

 

Please see below part of our member pledge which cements this.

 

‘Moving away

If you’re moving away and there is no LA fitness within a reasonable distance from your new home or workplace, we will cancel your membership upon receipt of documentation that demonstrates your relocation. We understand everyone’s circumstances are different, but as a rule of thumb we use 10 miles as a guide for a reasonable distance.’

 

When you do receive your flight details please forward them to my email address, please leave a calendar months notice in order for the cancellation to take place.

 

1 month later, sent customer services my flight details - reply was basically you're not relocating permanently so you can't cancel. After telling him that was the agreement I made in store - he said it was a verbal agreement so i've got no proof etc etc. Replied saying that he himself confirmed the agreement for me quoting that first email he sent me but still no luck... he just apologised 'if there had been any confusion down the line' and that this 'would have always been the outcome'

 

 

Wondering if I can just send them a letter saying i'm cancelling then cancel my direct debit since I never agreed to anything or signed anything so this 'contract' is non-existent since they don't care about any verbal agreement and nothing was ever put to paper? Is this okay? Anyone got advice?

 

Thanks in advance,

 

Amo

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Hi Amo and welcome to CAG

 

Another example here of "Tell the customer what they want to hear, and then deny the option to cancel when we feel like it !! "

 

I assume you don't want to continue m/ship when you return from travelling in March 2013 ?

 

I should also say to you that it was your responsibility to check the T&C's when you were sent the email. You could then have argued that the T&C's do not reflect what you agreed by phone. You could have used the 7 day cooling off period to cancel.

 

However, the guy you emailed cannot have it both ways. He's wrong to say, "It was a verbal agreement and you have no proof."

 

The whole m/ship agreement was verbal (by phone) and you made it clear you couldn't afford those fees for a whole year. Therefore you signed up only on the agreement that you could cancel when you went travelling in Feb 2013.

 

I suggest you write to the gym by Rec'd Del'y saying :-

 

Dear sir or madam,

 

I refer to recent email exchanges about the membership that I agreed to in October 2012.

 

I made it very clear when agreeing to membership that, as a student, I could not afford that level of fees for a year.

 

I was assured that, when I went off travelling in February 2013, I could cancel my membership with 1 month's notice. Accordingly, that is what I will do.

 

I hereby give you notice that I wish to cancel my membership in February 2013 and, after the February payment is made, I will cancel my direct debit mandate.

 

It was suggested that my agreement about cancelling was only verbal so I have no proof. If you have recordings of phone calls, no doubt you can access this and check exactly what was agreed between me and the staff member. If you want to rely on what was said, kindly provide me with a recording of the conversation.

 

I signed on the basis of what was said and agreed and I expect you to stick to that agreement.

 

Yours faithfully,

 

Change dates, etc to reflect anything that I've got wrong and let us know how they respond.

 

:-)


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Thanks for the reply slick

 

I sent emails to the CEO and various other big names in the company, with similar info to my first post, and got this response from one of them recently:

 

"Dear Amadeus

 

Thank you for your email.

 

I have taken some time to review your email below, obtain feedback from the team at LA Oxford and your membership notes. I am sorry to hear that you are unhappy with your recent experience with LA Fitness Oxford.

 

We have reviewed all membership transactions within LA Fitness Oxford in recent months and this is the only case we can find where a customer has been unhappy with the term so the transaction that has taken place. We would also note that the terms of our Member Pledge are available for all potential members to review at any stage during the membership joining process or if not to their requirements, to cancel their membership within the initial cooling off period.

 

Having reviewed the details of your membership I have been unable to corroborate the details of the information you have suggested have been given in relation to your membership. As you have been away on temporarily it will not be possible at this time to cancel your membership within its initial membership term.

 

Kind Regards

 

Mark Stevenson

 

Senior Member Services Manager

LA Fitness Member Services"

 

Does this change anything? Or do you reckon I can still send a letter to the manager of the branch with your letter template?

Just felt a bit unsure now since it sounds like Mark has been in touch with the manager there and so they'll probably know that Mark hasn't given the go ahead to cancel... :/

 

 

Edit: Also the phone call I made with them was basically just me telling the guy on the other line my card details and some basic personal information - nothing else. Does the simple act of me telling them my card details mean that I am agreeing to their T+C's or member agreement..?

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Hi Amo,

 

Can you confirm how many times you used the gym after the free trial offer.

 

I suggest you adapt my letter in post #2 above and send it to Mr Stevenson, referring to the email rec'd from him.

 

You can also add to the email as follows:-

 

...........kindly provide me with a recording of the conversation.

 

I must also point out that I never signed anything on your gym premises. I assume your phone sales advisor ticked to say I agreed to your Terms and Conditions. I never had an induction, never received any health and safety instruction or information and I was never asked to sign any membership agreement.

 

I wanted to join on the basis of what was said and agreed and I expect you .............

 

:wink:


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Hi, thanks for the reply.

 

Since the trial, i've been using the gym like 2-4 times each week since the start of Nov.

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Hi Amo,

 

I guess a risk of the strategy here is that the gym could say that, if you're now saying there's no signed membership agreement, they may say you can't continue to use the gym. If that happens, you can stop paying immediately.

 

In any event, send the letter to the gym and see how they respond.

 

:-)

Edited by slick132

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His reply:

 

Thank you for your email.

 

I cannot support your request at this time without further evidence confirming the agreement that you have made with us. Please supply further details to support this so that I may investigate matters further. Should you not have further evidence, our cancellation processes have been noted below and I will be unable to bring your membership to an end prior to the expiration of your contractual agreement with LA Fitness.

 

Kind Regards

 

Mark Stevenson

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I suggest a reply as follows :-

 

Dear Mr Stevenson,

 

Membership Cancellation

 

Thank you for your email of 7th December.

 

Do you have a recording of the phone conversation which I had with your sales adviser. This will assist in seeing (or hearing) what was said in the conversation regarding my inability to pay the monthly fee over a full year, hence my need to cancel in February.

 

Please forward to me a copy of any such recording, together with any document signed by me which relates to the gym membership.

 

Yours sincerely,

 

Amo

 

Let us know the response. :-)


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Thanks for the reply

 

But i dont think asking him to listen to the phone call will help much

The call conversation went roughly as follows:

 

Me: Hi, i spoke to Christina earlier about a 12 month membership @ £40/month and phoned to sign up

Guy: Hi, yep that's fine, I'll just need to take your details

Me: *gives card details etc*

 

End of convo pretty much

 

I sent him this email earlier:

 

Dear Mr Stevenson

 

Here's the email I sent to customer services 1 day after joining to confirm whether my verbal agreement with the in store sales person was okay:

 

Dear Sir/Madam

 

I just signed up for a 12 month membership earlier today at LA Fitness Oxford after explaining to a membership advisor there that I only intended to use the membership for 3 months then cancel it because I will be going abroad in February for a month. I was assured by the membership advisor that I would be able to use the membership for 3 months (from November till January) and then cancel the membership before February, provided I give 1 months notice and show proof of my flight details.

 

I wanted to confirm if this is indeed okay and that I had not misunderstood the membership advisor? And will not be charged for further membership after I cancel it after 3 months?

 

Yours sincerely,

 

Amadeus

 

The response was as follows:

 

Hi,

 

This is fine.

 

Please see below part of our member pledge which cements this.

 

‘Moving away

If you’re moving away and there is no LA fitness within a reasonable distance from your new home or workplace, we will cancel your membership upon receipt of documentation that demonstrates your relocation. We understand everyone’s circumstances are different, but as a rule of thumb we use 10 miles as a guide for a reasonable distance.’

 

When you do receive your flight details please forward them to my email address, please leave a calendar months notice in order for the cancellation to take place.

 

Many Thanks

 

Matthew Tichiaz

 

 

I see no reason in which I cannot cancel the membership in January as was agreed and confirmed to me. Should you have any written evidence suggesting my agreement with LA Fitness is contrary to this, I kindly ask that you provide it to me.

I have also attached the document Christina used to explain the membership plan to me, clearly showing that she knew of my intention to go travelling in Feb and to only use the membership from Nov '12 till Jan '13.

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Hi Amo,

 

........... I was a student and couldn't afford those prices for the whole contract and (some time later) asked if I could cancel after 3 months because i'll be abroad travelling for 1 month (Feb). She assured me this was okay as long as I email customer services my flight details ...........

Sorry, I thought this was a phone discussion. Was this discussed face to face at the gym ?

 

It looks like they're trying to deny cancellation because your absence is just temporary and they're suggesting you could only cancel if you moved away or were travelling for a significant time.

 

However, this does NOT change what you discussed and what was agreed at the time - that you could cancel after 3 months when you went abroad because you couldn't afford that level of fees for a whole year.

 

:wink:


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Please give something if you can. We all give our time free of charge but the site has bills to pay.

 

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Yay! Finally got them to let me cancel :D Thanks for all your help slick :)

 

 

"Thank you for the below.

 

The information below is accurate and I do appreciate how you would expect this to be case in viewing your membership as you have done when purchased.

 

While I stand by the points I have made I also understand your own frustrations that you believe you have purchased a product from us in good faith that is now not being agreed and understood by both parties as expected.

 

On this basis I will accept your notice to cancel for February 28th 2013, with your last Direct Debit being at the end of January 2013. I do not feel it is in either parities best interests to continue a dispute in regards to this matter and hope that these actions today on a Gesture of Goodwill basis will bring matters to a close in a more amicable fashion for you.

 

Kind Regards

 

Mark Stevenson"

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Hi Amo,

 

Blimey, I wish the other gyms would respond as reasonably as Mr Stevenson here at LA Fitness. :whoo:

 

One day, the gyms will realise that treating customers with respect will, in the end, earn them more respect and income.

 

Delighted that you have achieved this result, so you can set off on your travels without a dispute looming over you.

 

Bon Voyage for your trip in 2013. :plane:


We could do with some help from you

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                                            Have we helped you ...?  Please Donate button to the Consumer Action Group

 

Please give something if you can. We all give our time free of charge but the site has bills to pay.

 

Thanks !:-)

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