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Harlands & Xercise 4 Less


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Hey guys,

 

I've recently cancelled my DD paying £9.99 a month to Harlands on behalf of Xercise 4 Less as I don't use the gym any more and it's after my initial 12 month contract period was up. I never got any confirmation after my initial period was up that they renewed my contract or otherwise so I figured I'd be on a month-by-month payment.

 

I got a letter today stating that I owe:

 

"£9.99 outstanding subscription

£9.99 cancellation period

£25.00 default fee"

 

So, £44.98 to cancel?

 

"If you do not call us by 18 December 13 you will be charged a further £25 administration fee"

 

I'm willing to pay what I owe in terms of 'outstanding subscription' but in my eyes that's pretty much all I owe.

 

Any help is appreciated, thank you.

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Hi Kaveri and welcome to CAG

 

You would not normally get any notice that the 12 month initial minimum period was over but your are right to expect the agreement then reverted to a rolling monthly agreement.

 

However, you should have given them a month's notice of your intention to cancel and paid a final month's fee.

 

I have no idea why they have charged a "cancellation fee". This is not normal and I would not pay it. Nor should you pay any amount they impose as Default Fees.

 

I suggest you write to them by RM Signed For delivery, or get a free Certificate of Posting from the PO when you send it :-

 

Dear sir or madam,

 

I refer to your letter of xxdate.

 

I now accept that I should have given you a month's notice when I cancelled by DD mandate. Accordingly, I am willing to pay you £9.99.

 

However, I will not pay you any Default Fee as this is an unenforceable penalty which bears no relation to any loss suffered by you or the gym caused by any transgression on my part.

 

Also, I do not accept that I have to pay a cancellation fee of £9.99.

 

When you confirm that you will accept my offer to pay a further £9.99 in settlement of all monies due from me in respect of my gym agreement, I will pay you promptly.

 

If you continue to make demands in excess of this, your actions may be reported to The OFT.

 

Yours faithfully,

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So I received a reply:

 

"Further to your recent letter, we can confirm that all cancellations must be handed into the gym, We can not accept cancellation here in this office."

 

"Xercise 4 Less require written one month notice for their records, in regards to the outstanding balance we can advise you that you agreed to the terms and conditions of the membership which explain the administration free for any unpaid direct debit."

 

"Your one months notice is taken from the date the gym receive your letter, therefore your November installment is due, in addition to the December's payment; failure to hand in notice before the 28th of December may result in further changes being applied to your membership"

 

"Please hand in your one month written notice into the club in order to set up cancellation"

 

"We hope this has brought some clarity to the situation"

 

No idea what to do next, they mention the admin fees but nowhere on THIS letter does it have any sort of invoice.

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Hi Kaveri,

 

I have no idea why Harlands are saying you cannot cancel by writing to them. After all, they administer all aspects of gym m/ships.

 

Also, the Penal Order made by Mr Justice Kitchin in the 2011 High Court case of The OFT v Asbourne Mgt Svs Ltd confirmed that one can cancel a gym m/ship in various ways.

 

Before I draft your response, please confirm the date you cancelled the DD mandate.

 

Harlands refer to the date of 28th December - was this the normal payment date each month or was it the day on which you joined the gym.

 

:-)

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Hi Kaveri,

 

I have no idea why Harlands are saying you cannot cancel by writing to them. After all, they administer all aspects of gym m/ships.

 

Also, the Penal Order made by Mr Justice Kitchin in the 2011 High Court case of The OFT v Asbourne Mgt Svs Ltd confirmed that one can cancel a gym m/ship in various ways.

 

Before I draft your response, please confirm the date you cancelled the DD mandate.

 

Harlands refer to the date of 28th December - was this the normal payment date each month or was it the day on which you joined the gym.

 

:-)

 

That's what I was thinking, surely the cancellation would have to go through them anyway?

 

I cannot remember the exact date and I never received confirmation from the bank or anything but it was at the beginning of December., they took the payments out of the 28th of every month.

 

Out of interest, what are the various ways to cancel a gym membership in accordance to that case?

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Hi Kaveri,

 

The manner in which one can cancel m/ships is mentioned in s.16(ii) of the Penal Order made against AMSL here - http://www.oft.gov.uk/shared_oft/consumer-enforcement/ams/order.pdf

 

I'll be back in a mo to draft the letter for you. Just need to move the post made by LeeWallerus above into a new thread.

 

:-)

Edited by slick132
typo

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Reply to Harlands :-

 

Dear sir or madam,

 

I refer to your letter of xxdate.

 

You handle all admin matters relating to my gym membership, so it is wholly reasonable for me to tell you that I wished to cancel, instead of having to tell the gym.

 

Accordingly, my letter of [date you sent the letter in post #2 above] is adequate notice of cancellation and I have no need to contact the gym.

 

My views are based on the Penal Order made by a High Court Judge, Mr Justice Kitchin, in his 2011 Penal Order made against Ashbourne Management Services Ltd.

 

If you believe I should pay a "Cancellation Fee", please confirm where this is referred to in the gym's T&C's that I signed.

 

I will then consider what amount, if any, I owe to Harlands.

 

Yours faithfully,

 

You may think my stance is a bit strong but I fail to see why Harlands should make demands from gym users that actually alienate the gyms from their customers.

 

Once they respond, I will consider what you need to do next.

 

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The funniest thing is, on the initial letter it gives me a number to call if I want to cancel my subscription and that number is Harlands! Then the next letter they say I can't cancel through them. Absolutely ridiculous.

 

Thank you for your response, I've sent the letter off, let's see how much I owe them next time around.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Here's the latest reply:

 

Thank you for your most recent letter.

 

We are writing with regards tio your membership with Xercise 4 Less - Doncaster

 

As previously advised, Harlands are unable to accept your cancellation as we simply collect payments on behlaf of Xercise 4 Less.

 

It is the clubs' policy that they require one months notice in writing and it does state the following information in the clubs' Frequently Asked Questions;

 

If I no longer want to be a member of Xercise4Less, how do I cancel my membership?

 

"It's very simple, if you have fulfilled your commitment to the membership you have joined on, then simply place your 30 day cancellation notice in writing to the relevant club. There is no need to cancel your direct debit with the bank, we will do everything for you, making life as simple as possible. If you wish to have confirmation of any amendments to your account at any stage please contact your relevant clubs' Operations Manager"

 

As you can see, Harlands do not take part in the initial cancellation process. Only when the club receive your notice do they then inform us when to collect your final payment.

 

If you would like to dispute this procedure, you will need to contact Xercise 4 Less in Doncaster

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Ignore their prattle. They dont get a say so. All they want is their share of the money. They dont care how they get it.

Any advice i give is my own and is based solely on personal experience. If in any doubt about a situation , please contact a certified legal representative or debt counsellor..

 

 

If my advice helps you, click the star icon at the bottom of my post and feel free to say thanks

:D

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Hi Kaveri,

 

Send the gym the following letter and send a copy to Harlands.

 

Harlands have said they cannot accept gym cancellations even though they administer your membership admin. This is contrary to the High Court ruling of The OFT v Ashbourne Mgt Services Ltd.

 

In any event, I cancelled the DD mandate on xxdate and I am prepared to pay one month's fee for the notice period thereafter. However, Harlands were also demanding a cancellation fee and a default fee (£9.99 + £25.00) in addition to the final month's payment. They have no right to demand, and I will not pay, these amounts.

 

Once I hear from Harlands that they'll accept the final fee of £9.99 in settlement of all amounts due, I will pay them. Because of their intransigence in this matter, they have just 14 days to accept my offer to pay the £9.99, after which my offer will be withdrawn and I'll pay nothing, either to you or to Harlands.

 

It is ridiculous that Harlands administer your gym memberships but they say they can't accept notice of cancellation. They could easily communicate this to you. It looks like they are trying to delay cancellation so they can continue to make demands and add on their charges.

 

Finally, I would like to know why Harlands are demanding a £9.99 cancellation fee. Is this mentioned on your membership Terms and Conditions ?

 

If you have the m/ship agreement, can you check and see if a cancellation fee of £9.99 is mentioned. If it is, leave off the last paragraph. In any event, I would not pay it so leave the rest of the letter as it is.

 

:-)

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  • 3 weeks later...

So what I've gathered from this episode is that Harlands are essentially legalised thieves.

 

Xercise 4 Less got in touch with me by phone today, they explained that I only have to pay £19.98 (as is required) and to ignore anything that Harlands send through. I got this confirmation through e-mail as well before I paid anything.

 

Before the gym contacted me, Harlands did send me another letter adding on more fees that I owe and the amount was up to over £80.

 

Hopefully this matter is dead and buried now but we'll see.

 

Thanks a lot for your help guys.

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Hi Kaveri,

 

I still don't get why they want £19.98 - does this include the questionable cancellation fee.

 

1. Did you get any reply from the gym about a "cancellation fee".

 

2. Have you checked the M/ship T&C's to see if mention is made of a "cancellation fee".

 

I still feel you only owe £9.99 unless there's something I'm missing.

 

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There is a mandatory "one month's membership" cancellation fee which on my contract was £9.99 so I owed the month in which I cancelled plus another month. Shady. It is in the T&C's though.

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Hi Kaveri,

 

Can you confirm :-

 

1. The date you gave you joined the gym.

 

2. The date the DD was normally paid from your a/c each month.

 

3. The date you gave the gym notice to cancel.

 

:-)

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I didn't give the gym a notice to cancel, I just cancelled the DD which I thought would be enough considering I was on a rolling contract.

 

The first payment was taken in June 2012 and I paid on the 28th of every month.

 

Harlands have sent a letter demanding their fees that amount to £54.97 saying that the "default fees are in the T&C's and therefore enforceable" (bs?).

 

"In addition to this, the recent High Court ruling regarding The Office of Far Trading and Ashbourne Management is not applicable to your agreement. Not only was the ruling against Ashbourne Management and not Harlands, as we are a completely different company, the ruling was in relation to fixed term agreements over 12 months and the fair cancellation policies of these agreement. Harlands practice fair cancellation policies within all membership types and strictly adhere to cancellation guidelines"

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Hi Kaveri,

 

I'm afraid Harlands do not yet understand the concept of Legal Precedence - when a case is heard in a higher court which sets legal precedent for other cases with the same or similar principles.

 

When you cancelled the DD mandate, that has been ruled (in the AMSL case) to be sufficient to give the gym or admin company notice of your intention to cancel your agreement.

 

Please tell me the date you :-

 

1. Cancelled the DD mandate with your bank.

 

2. Sent the letter in post #2 above.

 

:-)

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