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Want to avoid harassment from Harlands


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Dear All,

 

I made a big mistake a few days ago. I cancelled my membership at the gym and was told I would be contacted a few days later by a manager before completing the cancellation. I made the big mistake of then cancelling the direct debit. I only just realised I should have waited for the 30 day notice period.

 

I want to avoid Harlands harassing me? I don't mind paying but I just want to avoid the harassment. I don't want the hassle of sending letters, making calls etc.

 

Can someone please advice me what steps I should take to avoid any harrassment?

 

I've already paid 7 months out of the 12 months, so paying the rest is not an issue, if that will avoid the whole hassle.

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Hello and welcome to CAG.

 

The guys on the gym forum know what to do, please bear with us until they can get here and I expect they will advise. :)

 

My best, HB

Illegitimi non carborundum

 

 

 

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Hi Allkinds,

 

When would the next DD payment have been taken if you hadn't cancelled the DD mandate.

 

If you are still within an initial minimum 12 month m/ship period, you can only cancel if you :-

 

1. Become ill or are injured, thus unable to attend to use the gym for a few months.

 

2. Are made redundant.

 

3. Cannot attend due to work relocation.

 

4. Move home, away from the gym and other gyms in the group.

 

5. Find the gym facilities fall short of reasonable expectations.

 

Do any of the above apply to you or did you cancel for another reason.

 

Let us know and we can then decide how best to proceed.

 

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Yes but it is complicated.

I was always unemployed (since I was a student) but I was receiving a stipend for my studies which has just ended.

 

So it's in effect a redundancy, but it's not technically a redundancy as I was never technically employed.

 

The next DD date would have been on the 12th.

 

All I want to do now is reinstate my contract. How can I do that?

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Hi Allkinds,

 

1. You could cancel on the basis of significant change in your finances, which is similar to redundancy. This would save you £49.95 assuming you're on a £9.99 monthly fee. However, you will have to deal with Harlands and several demands they will no doubt make.

 

2. If you really want to avoid the hassle and can afford to lose £50, you could do is pay the gym direct this month and then reinstate the DD for the remainder of the 12 months.

 

3. Or are you happy to remain a member and use the gym for the remaining 5 months, so the fees would not be wasted.

 

The problem with Harlands is they'll add their admin fees and try to collect them with the DD mandate. So options 2 and 3 run the risk of Harlands wanting to take more than the monthly fee. But this then gives you a way out, by saying Harlands are trying to charge you unlawful penalty charges. You may then have grounds to cancel the agreement on the basis of Harlands breach of their duty to treat you fairly.

 

Come back with your thoughts and we'll help you as best we can.

 

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- Yeah I think option 3 is the one that looks best from this.

- Any idea what admin fee Harlands charges? It will depend on that.

- Is there a way of ensuring that the direct debit only lasts the 12 months. I've heard of cases where it hasn't ended there and people have had hassle after that. How do I ensure that?

- Does it have to be a DD? What if I chose to pay all the money upfront?

- How do I negotiate this with the gym?

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You're very welcome !

 

Harlands will apply a £25 admin fee when they find the DD fails. If you fail to pay this, they will say the a/c continues to be in arrears and will add further admin fees. They will also then write to you as CRS who try to look like a separate DCA but they are one and the same outfit.

 

If you want to go for option 3, I suggest you write to Harlands :-

 

Dear sir or madam,

 

I refer to my membership with Xercise4Less in [town].

 

I have suffered a recent serious drop in income similar to being made redundant. I was forced to review my outgoings and cancelled the DD mandate payable for my Xercise4Less gym membership.

 

I now find that I could pay the fees for the remaining 5 months but I will not pay any admin fees to Harlands for missed fees, cancelled DD mandate, etc.

 

I will pay the fee for May to the gym direct.

 

If you accept this offer and agree not to charge admin fees, I will reinstate the DD mandate for the months of June to September inclusive.

 

This letter also serves as notice to cancel when the initial 12 months membership is ended.

 

Yours faithfully,

 

Send this to Harlands and get a free Certificate of Posting from the Post Office counter.

 

Send or take a copy to the gym with a covering letter saying :-

 

Dear sir or madam,

 

Please find enclosed a copy of my letter send to Harlands today.

 

If Harlands agree not to charge me unlawful penalty fees, I will pay you for May and set up a new DD mandate for the remaining months of the 12 month membership.

 

Yours faithfully,

 

If Harlands refuse to accept your offer and want to charge admin fees, then I would leave the DD cancelled. I know you don't want the hassle of Harlands or CRS chasing for money but, in my opinion, they may well do this anyway.

 

If you agree, send the letters asap.

 

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Hi Allkinds,

 

Harlands really are nothing to worry about. They have no power or authority and they basically just huff and puff, but they won't blow your house down !!

 

You could liken them to a fly buzzing round you in summer - annoying but harmless.

 

If you want to avoid them, why not go and speak to the gym. Take a letter saying :-

 

1. I cancelled the DD mandate for personal reasons.

 

2. I am willing to remain a paying member for the rest of the 12 months.

 

3. I can pay the May fee now.

 

4. I can reinstate the DD mandate to pay for June onwards.

 

5. This letter gives notice to cancel when the 12 months minimum term ends.

 

If Harlands then try adding admin fees due to the cancelled DD mandate, let us know and we'll help you as necessary.

 

:-)

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Thanks Slick, there are a few options as I see them:

 

1. Ideally I would like to ONLY pay the May fees (and not the remaining months) by cash to the gym. No more DD or payment for remaining months. Is this feasible, and if so how is the best way to go about it?

 

2. If the above is not a feasible option, I would like to pay the fees for May as well as June-September by cash in one lump sum to the gym, no DD. If this is feasible, how do I go about it?

 

3. If neither is feasible and I have to go the DD reinstate route I would like the path of minimal admin fee and hassle from Harlands. If so Im guessing your last post would be the best option, correct?

 

Sorry I have so many questions, I don't know anything about these things. This is a big lesson for me. Never try to crooked path.

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Hi Allkinds,

 

Referring to your options above in order :-

 

1. This could happen but only if Harlands insist on charging admin fees, which you will challenge.

 

2. Visit the gym to offer them full payment. But you need their agreement in writing that payment of this will settle all amounts due for the gym agreement.

 

3. You should aim to pay NO admin fees at all.

 

You need to start somewhere and move this forward. The suggestion in post #11 is probably the best way forward so do this.

 

Insist on seeing the gym manager so they can accept or reject your proposal and make a note of the name of who you leave the letter with.

 

Keep us informed ...............

 

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Yes. Correspondence by email will be adequate evidence.

 

Insist on getting the manager's contact email if (s)he's not available.

 

Take a 2nd copy of the letter and get a staff member to sign and date it as proof of receipt when you leave it.

 

I'd address the letter to "The Manager, Xercise4Less, [rest of the address]".

 

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Ok so I spoke to the gym head office with the aforementioned request, and they initially said they will charge an admin fee of 20 GBP over and above the fees for 5 months. I said I can't pay this.

 

They agreed that they can complete the payment without any admin fee. BUT it has to be over the phone. Not with Harlands but with themselves. I asked them to send me an email confirming all this. Here is the email they've sent me.

 

----------------

Good Afternoon A****,

 

Thank you for your recent contact. In regards to your current situation a final payment of £49.98 is required to close your account. Once this has been received there will be no further cost to your account.

 

Upon receipt of this payment your direct debit agreement with Harlands will be closed and you will be able to use our facilities until 09/10/2015.

 

Kind Regards,

L*** ***

------------------

 

The email is from the "[email protected]xercise4less.co.uk".

 

Can someone please confirm is this is enough/ok and that its safe for me to complete the transaction on the phone? Mind that this is not Harlands but Xercise4less head office who can be reached directly without any wait/extra charges.

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Hi Allkinds,

 

I suspect the gym had no right to charge the £20 on top of the monthly fees and THAT is why they dropped that demand so quickly.

 

The email is adequate to close the matter with the gym direct so make that payment to X4Less asap. One small point - shouldn't the payment be £49.95 ?

 

I would reply to the gym's email and keep copies of the exchange for future use if needed :-

 

Dear xxxxxx,

 

Further to our phone conversation on 5th May, I will make the agreed payment of £49.95 direct to Xercise4Less shortly.

 

The DD mandate has already been cancelled and I assume you will ensure that Harlands do not chase me for any membership or admin fees.

 

Yours sincerely,

 

Allkinds

 

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I would not worry about paying by phone. The gym will be happy to take the full amount and I would not expect them to try to take any amount on top.

 

If they take any amount in excess of what you agree (check your bank a/c in a few days), tell the bank to reverse the transaction immediately.

 

Record the call so you have proof of what was said.

 

If you really don't want to pay by phone, tell the gym you need their bank a/c details so you can pay immediately by bank transfer.

 

:-)

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Thanks. Bit of an issue.

 

Since then I've tried calling them, nobody is answering. Also I sent them that email asking for sort code and acc number, but no reply. I know it has only been a day and I'm being patient but I have my payment due by 9th so I hope they respond sooner than later.

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Hi Allkinds,

 

I would keep calling them and, as I said before, I'd pay the final amount by phone to save time and trouble.

 

But keep chasing them for bank details if you want to pay by bank transfer.

 

:-)

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Hi Allkinds

 

Do you mean you've now paid the £49.95 and can enjoy the facilities until 9th October ?

 

Did you get the bank details you wanted or did you pay by phone.

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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