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Zeebeedee

Help with la fitness

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After reading lots about these I am getting the impression they are complete cowboys.

 

I cancelled my gm membership in the local gym due to moving more than 11 miles away from the nearest la fitness. I handed a written letter in and was told this was fine. However today I got a very very aggressive call from a firm threatening to take me to court,for the full amount owing. When I pointed out it had been cancelled under one of there get out clauses stated above he was very rude and still issued threats. I am looking to get a mortgage in 6 months so I don't want a ccj against my name. Can they issue a ccj under the circumstances? How do I get these clowns off my back? The contract was 2 years which I have been reading is classed as unfair anyway.

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Hi Zeebeedee and welcome to CAG

 

I'm sending you a PM about your username - please respond.

 

I assume it was the lovely ARC Europe that called you - am I right.

 

If they call again, refuse to answer any security Q's. If you do this, under the Data Protection Act, they are unable to discuss anything with you. And, if they proceed with the call anyway, they're in Breach of the DPA and can be reported to the ICO.

 

Tell them to put anything they have to say in writing as you'll discuss nothing by phone. Also record the call if you can and tell them you're doing this. They have no authority and cannot demand that you speak to them.

 

ARC are highly unlikely to take any serious recovery action. They are not likely to use a default or take court action. Basically, they're full of hot air !!

 

To enable us to advise you properly, please confirm :-

 

1. When you joined the gym.

 

2. When you wrote to them confirming your move.

 

3. If you used Recorded Delivery or email to cancel.

 

4. Why you feel 11 miles is too far to travel to the gym.

 

:wink:

Edited by slick132

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Hi PW and welcome to CAG

 

I'm sending you a PM about your username - please respond.

 

I assume it was the lovely ARC Europe that called you - am I right.

 

If they call again, refuse to answer any security Q's. If you do this, under the Data Protection Act, they are unable to discuss anything with you. And, if they proceed with the call anyway, they're in Breach of the DPA and can be reported to the ICO.

 

Tell them to put anything they have to say in writing as you'll discuss nothing by phone. Also record the call if you can and tell them you're doing this. They have no authority and cannot demand that you speak to them.

 

ARC are highly unlikely to take any serious recovery action. They are not likely to use a default or take court action. Basically, they're full of hot air !!

 

To enable us to advise you properly, please confirm :-

 

1. When you joined the gym.

 

2. When you wrote to them confirming your move.

 

3. If you used Recorded Delivery or email to cancel.

 

4. Why you feel 11 miles is too far to travel to the gym.

 

:wink:

 

I joined the gym in June of last year on a two year contract. I handed in a written letter around a month ago. I am a manual worker, I could be 10 miles away from home when I finish my day, so that would mean 10 miles home to clean p then 11 miles to the gym then 11 miles afterwards!

 

The horrible man I spoke to on the phone told me that part of the terms and conditions was optional to la fitness, when I asked him to confirm that in writing he turned nasty!

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Would they have to register a default on my credit file before attempting to get a ccj, just worried about them getting a ccj in my absence

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Hi ZBD,

 

You didn't say whether or not it's ARC who called you.

 

Make sure they have a current address to write to you. Otherwise, you could miss mail that they send to you.

 

Can you check the small print on the m/ship agreement to see what is said, if anything, about cancelling if you move home. Let us know what it says.

 

The contract being for 2 years is not necessarily grounds for the agreement being invalid. That depends on the T&C's of m/ship, which is why I've asked about T&C's about moving home.

 

It's very unlikely these days that a default will be registered or that any court action will follow. Their m/ship agreement would form a poor basis for taking such action. If that DID happen, it's important that you get any documents quickly, hence why I say you should give them your new address.

 

Also, we'll be here to help if they were to take any such action.

 

:wink:


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11. TERMINATION BY YOU

11.A DURING THE INITIAL TERM

11.1 You may terminate your contract during the cooling off period being the first 14 days of the Initial Term for any reason.

11.2 You may terminate or freeze your contract during the Initial Term if one or more of the following criterion is met and you supply independent appropriate supporting documentation (e.g. Doctors note confirming you are no longer fit to exercise or a utility bill from your new home):

(i) You have lost your job due to redundancy, contract termination or are suffering from severe financial hardship.

(ii) You have sustained an injury, long term illness or become pregnant.

(iii) You’re moving away and there is no LA fitness with a reasonable distance from your new home or workplace, as a general rule we use 10 miles as a guide for reasonable distance.

 

Can't remember the name I got a missed call from a mobile number when I rang it back it was in regards to la fitness, is it worth ringing arc to see if they are dealing with it and provide my new address.

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Hi ZBD,

 

Looks like you are in the clear by virtue of the T&C's item 11.2(iii).

 

Do not call the gym or ARC as this will get you nowhere. I suggest you send LAF's Head Office a letter as follows:-

 

Dear sir or madam,

 

Please note my new address as above.

 

I have already notified the [TOWN or CITY] gym by a letter handed into the gym on xxdate that I have moved away and can no longer attend the gym [and I enclose a copy of that letter for reference].

 

My cancellation is allowed under 11.2(iii) of your Terms and Conditions.

 

My membership may also have been invalid in any event due to it being a 24 month contract.

 

I trust you accept my cancellation and you need to immediately stop ARC Europe from contacting me any more.

 

I should add that ARC have been extremely rude in their contact with me. If they contact me further making demands and/or treating me rudely, I will report the matter to the OFT. I will also hold LA Fitness responsible for the DCA's actions if I have to take any action about this matter.

 

Yours faithfully,

 

Send this to LAF's Head Office by Recorded Delivery.

 

If you have a copy of the letter that you handed in to the gym, enclose a copy of it as per the red bracketed sentence above.

 

:wink:


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It was ARC Europe that contacted me. I received an email from them today asking me to get in touch.

 

Ill send that letter fist thing tomorrow. Thank you. If you ever need any plumbing or heating advice feel free to ask as that's my area of expertise.

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Hi ZBD,

 

Ignore ARC completely for now and send the letter to the gym's HO.

 

From your 1st post

 

I handed a written letter in and was told this was fine.

Did you keep a copy of this letter, or not ?

 

:wink:


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Hi ZBD,

 

Ignore ARC completely for now and send the letter to the gym's HO.

 

Did you keep a copy of this letter, or not ?

 

:wink:

 

I'm sure I did somewhere ;-)

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Received a very strange letter today quite sneakily worded.

 

It reads

 

Thank you for your recent communication

 

The documentation you have provided is sufficient to apply a cancellation to your membership. A cancellation will be applied from today's date with the required months notice. This means your final payment is due on or around the last working day of February.

We have no reason to believe your contract was invalid if you can provide evidence to support this claim we would be happy to investigate this matter further.

 

Your cancellation can only be successfully completed once you have brought the arrears on your account up to date. Your account is currently in arrears of 733.70 however you are required to make a payment of 165.00 to close your membership. You can forward a cheque blah blah blah.

 

Please note arc credit complete idiots mamagment will continue to contact you blah blah blah

 

I think it's worded in a sneaky way hoping you will still send the full amount. I worked out I originally canceled this membership in September and at 33 a month this makes up the 165 so why even mention the higher amount, yet more dirty tactics.

 

My initially thoughts are to file this letter away for safe keeping and completely blank all contact from now on and IF they take me to court produce the documents.

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Hi Zee,

 

In post #3, you said you may have written your cancellation letter in December but, in your post above, you say it was last September. Have you now found the copy letter that confirms this.

 

Can you confirm when you last paid them by the DD mandate and when you cancelled by writing to the gym.

 

The figure they suggest is now due of £733 will be based on the balance due for the rest of your 2 year m/ship.

 

Ignore them for now, as you suggest.

 

:-)


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I worked out it was September by ordering bank statements and reading through them, sadly I never kept the original letter but I remember roughly what it said. I remember cancelling the direct debit the week after handing the letter in to the gym.

 

Why mention the higher amount if all that they say is owed is 165?

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Hi Zee,

 

After the AMSL High Court ruling, it is acceptable for you to give notice of cancellation in various ways including a letter or simply the act of cancelling a DD Mandate.

 

All that is relevant here in you case is when you did either of these things, to give the gym notice.

 

If you cancelled the DD mandate in September and handed a letter in a week later, then you can safely say you cancelled in September and needed only to pay once in October, to conclude your business with the gym.

 

Did you pay the gym for October - if not, then I can draft a quick letter for you to send to ARC, offering to pay £33 for October and bring this matter to a close.

 

:-)


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Yes the direct debit was cancelled in september and no futher payments where made. I

Thank you once again ill send it as soon as you draft it..

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Letter to ARC:-

 

I refer to your letter of XXdate.

 

I have no idea why you suggest the cancellation is accepted now, in February 2013.

 

My DD mandate was cancelled in September 2012 and that, alone, was adequate notice of my cancellation. I also handed in a letter to the gym afterwards confirming why I had to cancel. Either of these actions are adequate in telling you that I was cancelling my gym membership. Precedence for this is here - The Office of Fair Trading v Ashbourne Management Services Ltd & Others [2011] EWHC 1237 (Ch) (27 May 2011).

 

However, I now realise I should have given you a month's notice (again, as per The OFT v AMSL). Therefore and without prejudice, I now offer to pay you one month's fee of £33 in full and final settlement of all amounts due from me regarding this gym membership. This offer is valid for 14 days only, after which it is withdrawn.

 

If you accept my offer, I will pay the £33 promptly to close the matter.

 

If you fail to accept my offer within 14 days or write demanding any higher amount, I will pay you nothing further.

 

Yours faithfully,

 

:wink:


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Latest response

 

La fitness has no association with any party involved in the Ashbourne case and while offers services in the same sector does not accept that any part of the judgement against Ashbourne finance relates to any buisness conducted by la fitness.

 

We recognise that the judgement is complex and that further review may be necessary but at this stage feel that your initial agreement with us is valid and required to be fulfilled as originally agreed at la fitness

 

Our terms are not seen to be unfair and are currently applied through cca regulation. On this basis we feel that moving forwards, until otherwise notified the contract between yourself and la fitness is valid as agreed.

 

Inline with our terms and conditions all termination requests must be received via our member services team and any termination request received via any other channel will not be accepted. The suspension of your direct debit does not process a termination (spelt wrong speaks volumes!!!) on your membership account.

 

As previously stated in our letter dated 20.02.2013, your account is currently in arrears of 733.70 however you are required to make a payment of 165 to close your membership.

 

What's the next step? Is it now time to file these letters in a safe place and ignore them.

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You should reply to this :-

 

I refer to your letter of xxdate.

 

I have never suggested that LA Fitness was involved in the AMSL High Court case.

 

However, because Mr Justice Kitchin's ruling on the case was made in the High Court, it sets precedents which can be applied to similar cases.

 

Applying the ruling to my membership with LAF, I am confident that my cancellation made back in September 2012 gave proper notice of my cancellation, according to a High Court judge.

 

In my last letter to you, I offered to pay one month's fee as notice if you accepted within 14 days. You did not so that offer is withdrawn.

 

I reserve the right to ignore further demands from you, although they may be referred to The OFT as a formal complaint about ARC's activities.

 

Yours faithfully,

 

See what comes back. Once they realise that you're not intimidated by their actions, they'll move on to weaker prey.

 

:wink:


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