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LA gym --> Pure Gym -cancellation rights?

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Hi all

 

Wondered if anyone could help re the cancellation of gym membership.

 

LA have been taken over by Pure Gym. As a result of this, my club's pool will be closing on Wednesday so they can fill it in and put more gym equipment in. Essentially this means that the gym will become just another run of the mill cheap gym.

 

I pay through salary sacrifice, and despite sending copies of the correspondence from LA/Pure confirming what is happening, they are refusing to cancel the membership. This is leaving me paying over the odds for a gym I didn't sign up to.

 

The term's and conditions have nothing around this, but surely as the service becomes different to what was originally purchased then there should be a force majeure type clause.

 

I have mentioned I may go to Trading Standards but could do with some advice please guys?

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Hi Notts,

 

1. When did you join the LAF gym.

 

2. When was the takeover by Pure.

 

3. Who is refusing to "cancel the membership".

 

I am confident you can cancel the gym agreement due to the gym failing to provide a key aspect of the service that you previously enjoyed.

 

We'll draft a simple letter for you if you want, when you answer the Q's above.

 

:-)


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Hi slick

 

Joined in April

 

The takeover happened last month, and was due to LA being in Admin previously

 

The refusal is coming from Gymflex who administer the payroll gym membership (I work for a big 6 energy supplier hence helping out in that forum!) - see below the email from them....

 

"Good Afternoon Tim

 

LA Fitness are notifying us of the full club closure with at least 30 days. We are not receiving notice of partial changes made within club whilst they are still open.

 

For annual members the offer of cancellation from LA Fitness is only being offered once the club fully closes, the refund of remaining months will then be returned to your employer so that salary deductions can be amended.

 

Kind regards,

Rachel Hayes"

 

 

The pool closes on Wednesday so as I say from that date on it becomes a cheapo gym, so why hould I pay £30 for a £15 a month gym

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Hi Notts,

 

Can you check the 1st sentence of the text msg above - I doesn't make sense to me at the mo. If there's nothing missing, could you instead tell us what they mean exactly.

 

They are wrong to deny you the right to cancel until the club fully closes. If a key facility such as the pool is closed, and that's a major reason you use the gym, then you can cancel as soon as the pool is closed.

 

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Sorry for the confusion...

 

LA fitness went into Administration and Pure Gym have bought them out from the Administrator.

 

In terms of the email from GymFlex who administer the scheme, what she is trying to say is that the gym hasn't officially gone over to Pure as of yet, despite the fact the Pool, Sauna and Steam Room will be closed from Wednesday, I think she is trying to say that as she hasn't heard anything it's not an issue so the membership carries on on the agreed terms

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Hi Notts and thanks for clarifying.

 

Regardless of anything else, if key facilities that you used are being withdrawn, you have the right to cancel and seek cancellation with :-

 

1. A pro-rata refund for the unused portion of any annual fee paid up-front, or ......

 

2. No further monthly fees payable in the event of you paying monthly.

 

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Hi Slick, thanks for your advice. I emailed them back and haven't heard anything thus far, so I emailed again today - hope you don't mind me copying your reply in my email... I emailed the following:

 

Hi Rachel

 

Further to the below I haven't received a response from you. I have consulted with an expert in these matters and their stance on this is as follows:

 

"Regardless of anything else, if key facilities that you used are being withdrawn, you have the right to cancel and seek cancellation with :-

 

1. A pro-rata refund for the unused portion of any annual fee paid up-front, or ......

 

2. No further monthly fees payable in the event of you paying monthly."

 

Clearly the provision of services form the contract, whether that exists between me and Gymflex or me and LA Fitness, however the scheme is administered is not the primary concern surrounding the contract. As you know the going rate for a gym such as Pure Gym is considerably less than the prevailing rate charges by gyms with greater facilities.

 

Allowing the services and facilities provided to be significantly changed without the option of cancellation of the contract at the earliest possible date of the changes taking effect is an unfair contract terms and would be in breach of the consumer protection from unfair contract terms regulations.

 

In particular, I would like to draw your attention to the following extract from the guidance; I have highlighted the most pertinent areas:

 

 

Group 10: Supplier's right to vary terms generally – paragraph 1(j) of Schedule 2 Schedule 2, paragraph 1, states that terms may be unfair if they have the object or effect of: (j) enabling the seller or supplier to alter the terms of the contract unilaterally without a valid reason which is specified in the contract. 10.1 A right for one party to alter the terms of the contract after it has been agreed, regardless of the consent of the other party, is under strong suspicion of unfairness. A contract can be considered balanced only if both parties are bound by their obligations as agreed. 10.2 If a term could be used to force the consumer to accept increased costs or penalties, new requirements, or reduced benefits, it is likely to be considered unfair whether or not it is meant to be used in that way. A variation clause can upset the legal balance of the contract even though it was intended solely to facilitate minor adjustments, if its wording means it could be used to impose more substantial changes. This applies to terms giving the supplier the right to make corrections to contracts at its discretion and without liability. 10.3 Such a term is more likely to be found fair if: (a) it is narrowed in effect, so that it cannot be used to change the balance of advantage under the contract – for example, allowing variations to reflect changes in the law, to meet regulatory requirements or to reflect new industry guidance and codes of practice which are likely to raise standards of consumer protection (b) it can be exercised only for reasons stated in the contract which are clear and specific enough to ensure the power to vary cannot be used at will to suit the interests of the supplier, or unexpectedly to consumers (see paragraph 11.5) Unfair contract terms guidance 53 © there is a duty on the supplier to give notice of any variation, and a right for the consumer to cancel before being affected by it, without penalty or otherwise being worse off for having entered the contract.

 

 

 

I therefore suggest that you revert to Pure Gym / LA fitness with the above, or ask them to contact me directly.

 

MyChoice - can you please cancel any further payments to Gymflex pending the outcome of this dispute.

 

Kind regards

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Noted and let us know how they respond.

 

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well, lo and behold they have now agreed to cancel!

 

It really goes to show you have to just labour the point sometimes to get what is right!

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Hi Notts,

 

Thanks for the update and CONGRATS on getting this result.

 

:-)


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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