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Virgin Active not honoring cancellation form


McPete
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Hi all,

 

I’m hoping someone here could give me a little advice on the below.

 

In summary, I signed a 12 month membership contract with Esporta (which was subsequently bought out by Virgin Active). This contract had a 3 months cancellation notice period.

 

I went into the gym a week ago to enquire how to cancel (this is after the original 12 months) and they advised to fill out a form and that my gym membership would be cancelled on the last day of the month and that no further monies would be taken.

I completed the form, wrote the date they advised (30th April) as the last date of membership and the receptionist signed the form as well.

 

I've just received an e-mail advising me that I need to give 3 months notice. Am I entitled (by law) to demand they stick with the date they have signed on? Does this signed form now override the original contract?

 

Any advice you could give will be greatly appreciated, even if it’s not what I want to hear :-)

 

Many thanks,

 

Pete

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Hi McPete and welcome to CAG

 

Or should I say, congratulations on making your first post, after being a CAGger for nearly 5 years ! :wink:

 

Personally, I think the requirement for 3 months' notice is unfair when you've already completed the minimum m/ship period of 12 months in your case.

 

Did the Esporta T&C's specify 3 month's notice. Or was this added when Virgin took over.

 

Am I entitled (by law) to demand they stick with the date they have signed on? Does this signed form now override the original contract?

 

The law would only come into play if the matter was brought before a court and that is not likely to happen.

 

I'd write to Virgin saying:-

 

I refer to your email saying I must give 3 months' notice and continue to pay monthly until July.

 

The gym staff told me the final date and they signed the form, which I accepted in good faith. Accordingly, my DD mandate has already been cancelled.

 

I consider your requirement for 3 months' notice, after I have completed the minimum membership period, to be unfair to me as a consumer.

 

Accordingly, I will not be paying you anything further and any demands made by you may be referred to the OFT.

 

See how they respond.

 

:-)

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Hi slick132,

Thank you for your response and warm welcome.

The three month period was on the original contract with Esporta (no new terms were added/changed when Virgin took over as far as I'm aware).

The issue I have with cancelling the direct debit is that I am currently on a "joint" membership, whereby I was added to my girlfriends existing membership, and as such, the direct debit is collected from her account. I believe she may be liable for the payments as well. As such, I don't want this to end in them sending this to a debt collector to chase her for the money,

My thinking was, send a letter, similar to that which you have suggested and then if they continue to collect the money, wait for the 2 months and then take the matter to the small claims court myself. Do you have any thoughts on if this would work/be successful?

Many thanks,

Pete.

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Hi McPete,

 

The trouble we see all the time in dealing with gyms and their admin co's is that often it is far easier to just pay what the gym wants and let the matter rest.

 

If you argue about the cancellation terms, it's likely to go on for months. As this is a joint m/ship paid for from YG's a/c, it's likely that Virgin will continue to take what they want using the DD mandate. They'll take what they want or, if your GF cancels and amends the DD mandate, they pursue one or both of you for the final pay'ts.

 

As the 3 month's notice period was set out in the Esporta T&C's, not added or required by Virgin, your argument that you should rely on the final date on the signed cancellation, is weak. You were aware of the 3 month requirement and the mistake by the gym staff when you cancelled doesn't override the original terms .

 

You don't have good grounds to pay up and then seek a refund through the County Court. Remember, taking a case to court as the Claimant means YOU have to prove your case. The Defendant only needs to cast adequate doubt on your claim and you'll lose.

 

If it was just down to you, it would be your prerogative if you chose to cancel the DD earlier. But it'll be YG who would have money taken or endless demands and penalty charges added.

 

My advice is to abide by the terms you signed up to, pay what's required and avoid all the kerfuffle that will follow if you argue about the final payments.

 

:-)

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