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Harlands - CRS back down **SORTED**

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I'll try and keep this short as there is a lot of information.

 

December 2014: asked Gym Etc to cancel gym membership as I was moving about 200 miles away.

They said yes - cancel whenever. All i needed to do ws show proof of new address. Hadn't moved yet but was away all over Christmas, so wanted to cancel before we moved. Showed them estate agent contract on phone - they agreed I could go home and cancel it. Explained I didn't want to leave new address as my boyfriend is in the military (given current climate, this isn't unreasonable at all).

 

From Gym Etc website:

CANCELLATION

 

Relocation: This agreement can be cancelled in the event that your new permanent address is more than 15 miles away from the facility upon receipt of a copy utility bill or bank statement showing the new address.

Long term (over 3 month) illness or injury: This agreement may be cancelled in the event of an illness, injury or medical condition which in the written opinion of a doctor or other suitably qualified medical practitioner prohibits exercise for 3 months or longer upon appropriate proof being provided.

Redundancy: This agreement can be cancelled upon appropriate proof of redundancy from your employer or other loss of livelihood.

Pregnancy: This agreement can be cancelled if you become pregnant upon the appropriate written proof being given.Please note – ANY Cancellation for the above reasons will not be effected until the appropriate proof is provided and received (in writing or via email) by Harlands or the club.

 

 

5th January 2015: First letter from Harlands Group. No contact from Gym Etc.

Said I owed them £25 in admin fees, and had to clear 'arrears' on my 'account', which was now £44.99. This includes £25 admin fee and £19.99 monthly gym price.

 

19 January 2015: Called Harlands (first mistake - should've kept it all in writing). They said they would contact the gym after I explained they said I could cancel it.

 

2 February 2015: Next letter from Harlands. Still no contact with Gym Etc.

My 'account' is now £89.99 - can't work this out at all and there is no breakdown.

 

11 Feb 2015: emailed Gym Etc.

 

They said I had to send proof. They said they didn't say I could cancel it.

I sent my pay slip (blocked out all information including post code and house number). They said they would accept this as a 'good will gesture' and my cancellation would be affected after 30 days, as this was my 'notification'. They said all charges would still stand.

 

I said no. Their terms don't reference a 'cancellation form' or a 'notice period'. They said i was in a '12-month legally binding contract' so I asked for a copy of this contract. They simply send me a link to the terms that I have read about a million times and found several faults in. Mainly, that the 'Please note' section is included within the 'pregnancy' bullet point, so why would I read this?! Proper proofreading evidently isn't their skill.

 

Terms: won't let me post the URL but its under 'terms' at the bottom of the Gym Etc website.

 

They copied and pasted the last point from the 'automatic renewal' paragraph with the about cancellation. I told them putting these separate pieces together doesn't make them match up whenever they want them to. Idiots.

 

Emailed Harlands telling them I owed them nothing, explained everything. This is their reply:

 

We can confirm that we have been in contact with the club who have confirmed that a cancellation has not been agreed. We will need to see a copy of a utility bill or tenancy agreement to prove that you are now at a different address.

 

Your arrears still stand, your membership is still in default. The club have advised you are aware of the membership you signed yourself in to, also the members of staff at the facilities do not agree a cancellation verbally.

 

Please forward us this proof other we will be unable to cancel this contract, please note that further charges may be applied to the account if you choose to ignore this email.

 

I'm treating these as different matters as I never entered into an agreement with Harlands, and I do not have any such account with them.

 

I called Citizens Advice Bureau who advised I write to Gym Etc and say they are in fact in breach of the terms of the contract as they said I could cancel and are now pursuing me for money I do not owe them.

 

Thoughts, anyone?

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nearly every thread here is the same scenario oneway or another.

 

 

I would simple use one of slick132's letters

if you've not sent something similar already

 

 

and forget about it

 

 

harlands nor their powerless dca's can do anything to you

 

 

 

 

dx


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Hi Emma and welcome to CAG

 

I would make sure you supply Harlands with the new address. That way, you can be sure to know what they are doing.

 

The worry is that court action (extremely unlikely) could be taken and you'd know nothing about is, thereby getting a Judgement against you because you failed to acknowledge or defend the claim.

 

Can you tell us when you visited the gym to give notice of your cancelling ?

 

When was the last DD payment made to Harlands.

 

When you read other threads here, you'll find hundreds dealing with Harlands and their actions. Do not worry about them, or their threats, or the admin charges they want to make. We will help you deal with them.

 

:-)


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Hi Emma and welcome to CAG

 

I would make sure you supply Harlands with the new address. That way, you can be sure to know what they are doing.

 

The worry is that court action (extremely unlikely) could be taken and you'd know nothing about is, thereby getting a Judgement against you because you failed to acknowledge or defend the claim.

 

Can you tell us when you visited the gym to give notice of your cancelling ?

 

When was the last DD payment made to Harlands.

 

When you read other threads here, you'll find hundreds dealing with Harlands and their actions. Do not worry about them, or their threats, or the admin charges they want to make. We will help you deal with them.

 

:-)

 

Hi!

 

I went into the gym on the 3rd of December to cancel, and I canceled my DD on the 31st of December, so I wouldn't be paying for January, too. I didn't use the gym over December really as I was away.

 

The DD was always to Gym Etc - I had never heard of Harlands before the sent me a letter. I haven't paid Harlands anything.

 

I've spoken to Harlands and I'm not comfortable at all with giving them the full address - they already have my old home address. Anything that does go to my old address is being forwarded to me by my dad so I do have the letters.

 

I can post the full email correspondence with both the gym and Harlands if its helpful? They don't seem to know what they're talking about and I'm sure there are plenty of things to pull them up on.

 

Thank you!

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Hi Emma,

 

We don't need to see the letters exchanged with Harlands as we've been dealing with them for years !!

 

If you are sure you will get all post sent to the old address, that is fine but you will have difficulty convincing anyone of the move if you refuse to disclose the new address.

 

The gym was entitled to 30 days notice of the cancellation so I think you DO owe them for the Jan 2015 DD.

 

I would write saying :-

Dear sir or madam,

 

I refer to my membership at xxx gym in [Town].

 

I cancelled my direct debit mandate in December 2014 because I was moving away. I showed the gym evidence of my relocation as required by them.

 

I now realise I should have made one final payment for the January payment and offer to pay this to you now. I will not pay you any administration or cancellation fees that you are asking for as these are penalties that are unlawful and unenforceable.

 

If you confirm in writing that you'll accept the amount of £xx.xx in settlement of all that I owe, I will pay you promptly. If you fail to accept my offer within 14 days or you demand any other payment, I will pay you nothing and my offer will be withdrawn.

 

Yours faithfully,

 

:-)

Edited by slick132

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I don't think I owe them anything. I have already cancelled it and they told me it was fine. There aren't any references to 30 days notice in the terms about cancellation. There is about automatic renewal. The part about cancellation simple says:

 

CANCELLATION

 

Relocation: This agreement can be cancelled in the event that your new permanent address is more than 15 miles away from the facility upon receipt of a copy utility bill or bank statement showing the new address.

Long term (over 3 month) illness or injury: This agreement may be cancelled in the event of an illness, injury or medical condition which in the written opinion of a doctor or other suitably qualified medical practitioner prohibits exercise for 3 months or longer upon appropriate proof being provided.

Redundancy: This agreement can be cancelled upon appropriate proof of redundancy from your employer or other loss of livelihood.

Pregnancy: This agreement can be cancelled if you become pregnant upon the appropriate written proof being given.Please note – ANY Cancellation for the above reasons will not be effected until the appropriate proof is provided and received (in writing or via email) by Harlands or the club.

Breach: This agreement can be cancelled if we are in breach of contract including if we do not provide facilities or services you may reasonably expect and we have fallen well below that standard.

 

I did disclose the new address to the gym, both at the time and two weeks ago in writing as they have such an issue with this. They said they would accept this as a 'good will gesture', which to me means they don't play by their own terms anyway, so who is to say the verbal cancellation wasn't a 'good will gesture'?

 

They are now completely denying that I ever had a conversation with them about cancelling it. I'm not going to contact Harlands for now because I don't actually have any agreement with them - I want to settle this with the gym.

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Hi Emma,

 

The gym will not involve themselves any further with your membership and you should deal with Harlands as they handle all the admin for the gym.

 

If your T&C's make no mention of 30 days or a months notice, use a shorter version of the letter :-

 

Dear sir or madam,

 

I refer to my membership at xxx gym in [Town].

 

I cancelled my direct debit mandate in December 2014 because I was moving away. I showed the gym evidence of my relocation as required by them.

 

I will not pay you any administration or cancellation fees that you are asking for as these are penalties that are unlawful and unenforceable.

 

You have no right to demand further amounts from me and, if you do, I'll make a formal complaint to Trading Standards.

 

Yours faithfully,

 

:-)


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I haven't heard from either the gym or Harlands since the 18th. Do you think I can consider this a closed matter? My last emails to them were along the lines of your suggested email.

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Hi Emma,

 

It is good that they've not bothered you since 18th Feb but you should NOT assume they've let it drop.

 

You should expect them to contact you further and let us know when they do, before you reply to them.

 

:-)


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CRS have now been in touch with the following letter:

IMPORTANT – PLEASE CALL US TODAY ON 01444 449165

 

We’ve been employed by GymEtc as your membership remains in arrears despite previous letters being sent to you.

 

As a result of this, our fees totalling £66.50 have been added. Therefore, your account balance now stands at £106.46.

 

WE WANT TO REACH AN AMICABLE RESOLUTION WITH YOU!

 

In order that we can do this, please ring our non-premium rate number. 01444 449165.

 

WHAT ARE THE OPTIONS?

 

1. You want to continue your membership – the clu want nothing more tan for you to get the full benefits of your membership. Providing you can pay your arrears and set up a new direct debit with us for your future payments, then they’re happy to welcome you back in.

You may also be entitled to a discount if you are able to settle your account balance in one payment.

 

2. You believe you’ve cancelled your membership – we understand the numerous reasons why people stop going. We’ll listen to your reasons and do everything we can to resolve your account in line with the terms of your membership.

3. You’re experiencing financial difficulties – we know times can eb tough and therefore have a variety of possible solutions to assist you, including monthly payment plans that you can afford and recommending independent organizations that may be able to assist you in sever circumstances.

We’ll cease further letters for 7 days, so please call us before then.

 

the last email correspondence i had from Harlands was:

Many thanks for your e-mail which has been received by The Harlands Customer Service Team.

 

We will deal with your query as soon as possible.

 

Regards

The Harlands Customer Service Team

 

Thoughts?

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Hi Emma,

 

As per advice to others in the same position with Harlands, I suggest you ignore them for now but keep us posted on further contact from them.

 

They will threaten lots, and add their silly unenforceable fees ............ but they tend to take no serious action.

 

Make a brief formal complaint to Trading Standards about Harlands/CRS as well.

 

:-)

Edited by slick132

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Does anyone think the fact that their trading name is completely different to their registered name will effect the situation? Nowhere in the terms/contract does it say that my membership is with their registered name, which was their old name before they had a rebrand. It says it is with Gym Etc.

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Hi Emma,

 

Are you referring to the gym, or to Harlands/CRS ?

 

:-)


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Hi Emma,

 

Are you referring to the gym, or to Harlands/CRS ?

 

:-)

 

Sorry, I was referring to the Gym.

 

Harlands have ignored 5 emails from me since the 18th of February. I have proof that they received these in the form of a generic 'we'll deal with your query soon' email.

 

I have since had a letter to my old address from CRS (still Harlands). They are still referring to an 'account' and an 'agreement', which I never entered into.

 

I am about to send Harlands/CRSa letter asking for proof of the agreement, all correspondence between them and the Gym regarding my membership, and proof that they have permission to contact me on behalf of the Gym.

 

I have since found out that Gym Etc are actually F X Leisure, who are not covered under the Consumer Credit Agreement Act, even though they refer to this in their terms and conditions.

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Hi Emma,

 

Your gym agreement does not involve any credit so taking this up with the gym is a waste of your time.

 

Do not ask Harlands for proof of the gym agreement as this will only encourage them.

 

I don't know why you've sent Harlands 5 emails. If they chose to ignore your letter in post #7 above, that's absolutely fine.

 

You can't force them to resolve this to your liking or reply to you as you want. But you CAN just ignore their demands and let them see that you know they have no power or authority.

 

They will get the message .............. eventually

 

:-)

 

Just ignore Harlands/CRS for now as communicating with them, or the gym, will not resolve anything.

Edited by slick132

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After writing to them for the last time, they have closed my account.

 

The final letter I received from CRS was:

''We write to you to confirm that we have processed a cancellation of your account as instructed by Gym Etc. We would like to confirm your debt is now closer and no payments are due on your account."

 

Success!

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Hi Emma,

 

Big Congrats on your excellent result !! :whoo: Thread title amended to reflect your *WIN*.

 

It would really help others if you confirm what gym this was about.

 

When did you last write to the gym or Harlands.

 

What did you say to them that resulted in them backing down.

 

:-)


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Sorry for the delayed reply.

 

My final contact with Gym Etc was:

 

30h March 2015

 

Re: Gym Membership

 

I cancelled my direct debit on 31 December 2014 due to moving home, having informed Gym Etc at their premises on 3 December 2014. I provided proof of my new address to Gym Etc in the form of my tenancy agreement but did not leave a copy. They agreed to this.

 

The member of staff did agree to my cancellation verbally. The terms do not state that Gym Etc needs to retain this proof, it simply says they must receive it and does not clarify in what manner.

 

I will not pay you or Harlands Services Ltd any ‘administration fees’ as these are penalty charges and are unlawful and unenforceable.

 

Adding charges, even as implied in the misleading membership terms and conditions, is unfair and amounts to penalty charges. Provision of cancelling the membership due to moving 116 miles away form the facility is completely within the stated terms and conditions, as discussed in email correspondence.

 

However, these terms and conditions are both misleading and unclear, as they do not state who the agreement is with. This is unfair.

 

The average consumer who wishes to cancel is likely to give notice to their gym, as I did on 3 December 2014, providing proof of my address. A member of staff verbally accepted this. Due to the lack of training or awareness of the Gym Etc policy by staff, this has resulted in harassment from both Gym Etc and Harlands Services Ltd.

 

The Gym Etc website does not clearly identity the supplier of the gym facilities in plain and intelligible language and therefore could be interpreted as unfair business practice contrary to the Consumer Protection Act.

 

I have been informed that I did not fill out a ‘cancellation request form’, which Gym Etc is now using as a reason that my ‘cancellation has not been agreed’.

 

The terms and conditions on the Gym Etc website do not do not state that I need to fill out a ‘cancellation request form’, therefore, it is not a legal requirement. In fact, it is never mentioned in the terms and conditions, therefore, I am not legally bound to complete one. Staff also did not inform me of the existence of a ‘cancellation request form’ on the 3rd December 2014.

 

I believe that this amounts to binding me, the consumer, to terms that I had no opportunity to become acquainted with before conclusion of the agreement.

 

I wish you to withdraw all attempts to demand money from me via Harlands Services Ltd or their subsidiary companies forthwith and agree that I cancelled the agreement on 3 December 2014. I also wish you to agree that there is no outstanding debt, balance, arrears, account (which you refer to but I do not believe exists), owed by me.

 

If you disagree with the above, my intention will be to seek a court judgment.

I will ask that the following be considered:

 

1. A declaration that all of your demands, including those of Harlands Services Ltd, are contractually enforceable.

2. Nominal compensation at an amount decided by the court for Gym Etc and Harlands Services Ltd continual harassment.

 

The route I shall take to resolve this will involve the County Court, using the small claims court procedure.

 

I expect a full response within 10 working days from the date of this letter.

 

Sincerely,

 

My final contact with Harlands was:

30th March 2015

 

I am writing to you regarding the letter sent to my previous address.

 

I would like to once again clarify that I do not live at this address and any further correspondence sent there will be considered harassment.

 

Please provide verification of this agreement as I understand Harlands Services Ltd is a third part who provide services to Gym Etc, Congleton. I do not have an agreement with Harlands as you have stated in your correspondence. I also do not have any lawful contract with Harlands.

 

I explained to Gym Etc in December 2014 that I was moving more than 15 miles from the facility and I was henceforth cancelling my membership in agreement with the terms and conditions.

 

The terms and conditions do not state that Gym Etc needs to retain this proof, it simply says they must receive it and does not clarify in what manner. The member of staff that I spoke to did agree to my cancellation verbally. If this is not something that they should be doing, that is an issue they need to resolve internally and with yourselves.

 

The terms and conditions are not only poorly written, but they are misleading and do not refer to an agreement with Harlands. The agreement that I entered into was with Gym Etc, who agreed to my cancellation.

 

I do not owe money to Gym Etc or Harlands, and I object to both parties making up ridiculous charges. Once again, I would like to reinforce the fact that I never agreed to open an account with Harlands and therefore I do not and never have had an agreement with Harlands. The charges you are threatening me with are penalty charges and these are not enforceable by law.

 

If you believe differently, please forward any further correspondence to my email address. I have attempted to contact you numerous times since 18th February 2015, and every attempt has been ignored.

 

I expect verification of your claim to include:

1. A lawful contract or details of an agreement with Harlands, specifically agreement no. 32297318.

2. All correspondence between Harlands and Gym Etc regarding myself.

3. Proof that Harlands has a contract with Gym Etc and that it is valid and states clearly what Harlands are permitted to do on Gym Etc’s behalf. Specifically, proof that they have permission under the Data protection Act and Protection of Freedoms Act.

 

I expect a full response within 10 working days.

 

I will also be sending all previous correspondence to the Financial Conduct Authority.

 

Sincerely,

 

Harlands' reply was:

'We write to confirm that we have processed a cancellation of your account as instructed by Gym Etc. We would like to confirm your debt is now closed and no payments are due on your account.'

 

SUCCESS!

 

I'm aware that I may have used some legal jargon here that I wasn't aware of the meaning of and so it may not make sense, but I knew for definite that the gym wouldn't understand either because their responses were awful. It worked...

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Hi Emma and thanks for the update.

 

I'll go through this later and see if there's anything we can use for other similar cases.

 

:-)


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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.

 

Thanks !:-)

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