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Harlands/X4Less Admins Fees

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Hi everyone and thanks for this great forum! I'm very new to this so sorry if i get some things wrong.

 

Here is a timeline of events:

 

03/08/14: I join the Newcastle branch of Excersise4less, being told it is a rolling contract of £9.99 and that I can cancel at anytime. The same day i head home to find an email telling me that my contract is in fact for 11 months. That's fine, I intent to go anyway.

 

25/08/15: 12 months of not going to the gym later and I start thinking that maybe this membership is a bit of wasted money. I cancel my Direct Debit and cancel my subscription in the gym. They note in the gym that a final payment of £9.99 will need to be taken on 2/9/15 as part of the 30 day notice period. As my direct debit was cancelled with the bank and was established with X4Less I figure they will just reinstate the DD for one final payment before closing the account.

 

02/09/15: No payment is taken, no attempt at any payment is made, bank records show nothing from Harland and X4Less.

 

15/09/15: I received a text from X4L Informing me as follows:

 

"Dear Member. Your account has gone into default due to you cancelling your direct debit. To prevent further charges being added please call us on 01132038602."

 

The number goes to Harlands debt collection and they inform me that I owe them the £9.99 (fair enough) and a £25 admin charge as a penalty. I told them I was not prepared to pay the admin fee, but they wouldn't budge.

 

I don't really know where to go from here. Should I contact the gym direct as see if I can settle the outstanding £9.99 with them? Or should I dispute the matter with Harlands?

 

Point 6 of my contract does state that they can charge a £25 admin fee for returned DDs or cheque. But the DD wasn't returned it simply was never claimed. It also just seems very harsh.

 

Any help would be appreciated. I look forward to the responses.

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Hi King Gurburdas and welcome to CAG

 

When you cancelled the DD mandate, it was not possible for Harlands to use it to take the final payment.

 

I would go into the gym and tell them you want to pay £9.99 by cash or Debit Card. Don't mention Harlands or the cancellation.

 

If they take the payment, brilliant !! That's the best result as you've settled the amount you owe.

 

If they refuse because "there are arrears which must be paid to Harlands", ask them to check their system and confirm the date you visited to cancel. Don't get into an argument if they deny you cancelled - just walk away.

 

Let us know how this goes and we'll then be able to suggest your next best move.

 

In the meantime, stay OFF the phone completely and don't speak to the gym or Harlands. If they text or call you, ignore them for now.

 

:-)


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Ok. I've been to the gym and they wouldn't allow me to clear my outstanding balance of £9.99. You pretty much predicted them word for word slick. They gave me the number for Harlands and The Membership Support line and told me to call them (per your instructions, I have not called anyone).

 

I just don't understand why these charges are there. I was out of my contract and I've never known any other company penalize you for cancelling a DD, and so heavily too.

 

As I said I am more than happy to pay the £9.99, it's the admin fees that i'm not willing to pay.

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Slick will be able to construct a response to Harlands, with an offer of payment for the final months fee of £9.99,

however they won't take you up on your offer, so you end up not paying anything.

This is what is called rapaciousness, blinded by the £ signs in their sad narrow minded quest to line their own pockets.


Who ever heard of someone getting a job at the Jobcentre? The unemployed are sent there as penance for their sins, not to help them find work!

 

 

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Hi King,

 

Without meaning to be critical, you may have been past the minimum agreement period but you failed to give a month's notice as per the T&C's.

 

However, even though you were in the wrong, that does not make their admin fees lawful or enforceable.

 

This should do to send to Harlands :-

 

Dear sir or madam,

 

I refer to my membership at Xercise4Less gym in [Town].

 

I cancelled my direct debit mandate on 25th August 2015 and this was adequate notice of my intention to cancel. I also visited the gym to confirm this in person and they agreed the September payment was all that was required.

 

The payment was not made as I'd cancelled the DD Mandate and offer to pay this £9.99 to you now. I will not pay you any administration or cancellation fees - these are penalties that are unlawful and unenforceable.

 

If you confirm in writing that you'll accept the amount of £9.99 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,

 

Send by written letter and get free proof of posting at the PO when you send to Harlands.

 

:-)


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I'm aware I was in the wrong. I just find the lack of notice about any penalties for Direct Debits being cancelled and the rather steep "admin fees" to be unfair. I wouldn't mind it if I was informed when i signed up. Thanks very much for the letter template though, hopefully this won't go too much further. I'll have it sent off ASAP, if anything happens i'll let you know.

Edited by King_Gurburdas

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Ok, so it's been about 14 days. I've recieved a letter from harlands, it reads as follows.

 

Dear

 

Further to your recent letter to our offices.

 

Unfortunately, we cannot cancel the agreement you hold with Xercise 4 less as they deal with them directly at the branch. You must either contact them in store or over the telephone to cancel the agreement. We strongly advise that you get this confirmation in writing from them when you come to and agreement to cancel, for your own records.

 

You will need to send this information to Xercise 4 Less directly as we do not deal with cancellations.

 

(They then supply the email and phone number for my gym)

 

We will await to hear from them regarding a cancellation.

 

Your sincerely

 

Harlands

 

Thing is I have my signed copy of the cancellation with me, plus when I did contact the gym they told me my account was with Harlands. I'm confused. Any idea what to do next? Or should I just ignore this?

 

Many thanks,

 

King_Gurburdas

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Hi KG,

 

A brief reply to Harlands is all that's needed for now. Get a free Certificate of Posting from the PO.

 

Dear Harlands,

 

I refer to your letter of xxdate.

 

I cancelled the membership at the gym on xxdate and have proof of this.

 

If you agree to waive all admin fees, I will pay you the final monthly fee due of £9.99.

 

You have a final 14 days to accept this offer, after which I will ignore further demands.

 

Yours faithfully,

 

:-)


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First i'd like to thank you guys, you've all been super helpful during this frustrating time and it has really helped.

 

X4less contacted me and we reached an agreement, I paid a far more reasonable sum and the account is not clear and closed down, They assured me that I would not hear from themselves of Harlands again,

 

however I received today a letter from CRSS stating I owe an insane £104.97 (remember this was originally over £9.99). Since i'm all paid up with X4less do I just ignore CRS?

 

I find it maddening how little communication there is between these companies and the sheer unhelpful nature of the staff if beyond belief. I really don't understand how these places can continue to operate.

 

Any help would be appreciated.

Edited by slick132
Spacing !!

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Hi King,

 

I've added para spacing to your post above - solid text blocks are far harder to read.

 

What amount did you agree to pay to Xercise4Less. I hope it was no more than 1 month's fee !! :wink:

 

I'd write to Harlands saying :-

 

I reached a settlement with the gym, who confirmed I would not be contacted by Harlands or CRS again.

 

If you contact me with any further demand, you will be reported to the authorities without further warning.

 

As short and simple as that.

 

:-)


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Sorry about the paragraph, I didn't even notice.

 

I paid 2 months subscription. I felt it was fair considering that I did break T&Cs.

 

I'll send the letter ASAP but I grow weary of the constant back and forth with these companies. How long do these things usually last? I don't think I could stomach anymore.

 

Thanks again for all the help. Is there any point in logging a complaint with them?

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Hi King,

 

Paying 2 months fees is a good deal and you will be seen as acting fairly in the matter.

 

I'm afraid Harlands cases tend to drag on and on ..............

 

............ but ignoring their demands is a good strategy. They threaten lots but do very little and they have no authority. And the court action they threaten so often simply does not happen !!

 

Keep us informed and we'll help you see them off.

 

:-)


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So I got in touch with both Harlands and X4Less to see where I stood. Harlands say they don't know and will check with X4Less but X4Less are telling me I don't need to worry about anythig and can ignore the letter Harlands sent me.

 

Apparently it can take up to 14 days for the email to be sent from one company to the other confirming my account is cleared. Talk about right hand not knowing what the left is doing.

 

So it looks like i'm in the clear now, i'm gonna wait the 14 days and see if Harlands manage to screw up again if so i'll let you know. Otherwise I just want to thank you all again for being such a great help. :-)

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Hi King,

 

Keep us updated ............

 

:-)


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Good news everyone! X4less claim I didn't make any payment and that my account is still in arrears. Good thing I kept my letters and bank statements cause I reckon i'll need them to get this sorted. I really hope some kinda legislation comes into force about how transparent gyms have to be, they seem to operate alot like lending companies did before all those reforms came through.

 

On an unrelated note, if i cancelled my membership but failed to pay for the final month can the company continue the contract or would they only be able to charge for the one month that is unpaid?

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Hi KingG,

 

Did X4Less write to you about this, to say you hadn't make the payment.

 

If the gym agreed to accept your 2 months fees to end the agreement, that's an end to the matter.

 

Seeing post #9 above, it would have been better if you had the gym's agreement in writing, that they accepted the 2 months fee to settle the matter.

 

I assume this was just a phone conversation but please confirm.

 

:-)


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Yes it was a phone conversation. No writing. I have bank statements proving i made the payment though.

Who do I complain to about this, i'm sick of getting ignored by these people when I try and get in touch and having them hound me for money I don't owe.

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Hi King,

 

You should know by now that you need to keep everything in writing. You should have told them you'd pay the 2 months ONLY when they sent a letter or email confirming that this would settle the matter.

 

1. Was it the local gym or the Leeds Head Office that took your final payment.

 

2. Was it paid in person or by card.

 

3. Are you still getting demands from Harlands/CRS.

 

I suggest you write to X4Less confirming matters once you've answered my latest Q's.

 

:-)


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1. It was the X4less membership support team so I have to assume the Leeds head office.

 

2. Paid by card over the phone.

 

3. No, Harlands or CRS have not been in touch... yet.

 

I really just wanted this whole thing over with. It really is stress that shouldn't exist in the first place. How long do these things usually go on for? It's been months already.

 

I feel like such and idiot. They harassed and bullied me and i gave in, I was so eager to end this farce that I forgot to cover my back, and now they money grubbing leeches come back, trying their hands for more.

 

I just worry about it so much, i lose sleep over this stuff.

Edited by King_Gurburdas

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You don't need to worry or lose sleep over this.

 

You've paid your dues, and you have the proof, IMO apart from complaining to the Gym, trading standards and the CMA, then you would do well to ignore any further correspondence from any of them regarding this, don't pay a single bit of notice to their foolish missives.

 

If they think they can con you into paying more money then they're very disillusioned.


Who ever heard of someone getting a job at the Jobcentre? The unemployed are sent there as penance for their sins, not to help them find work!

 

 

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Got an email from Harlands. Oh joy.

 

 

Dear Mr

 

Further to your call to our offices on 26th October 2015.

 

We can confirm Xercise Less are yet to advise that any cancellation has been agreed to for your membership.

 

As you are aware Xercise 4 Less deal with all their cancellations directly in branch, therefore please call : 0191 500 9070 Quote ref : as you have previously given them notice to cancel your membership.

 

We have held you account until 2nd December in order for Xercise 4 Less to be able to update us accordingly regarding the cancellation of this membership.

 

For all Enquiries Call Harlands : 01444 449033 Quote Reference : 2057809

 

Office hours: Monday to Friday, 9am - 5pm

 

Yours sincerely,

 

Harlands

 

Who did I pay then, did they just take my money and do nothing with it? Is my receipt for cancelling my account worthless now? Why are they bare faced lying? Most importantly how do I get my money back and make these people pay for all this unprecedented bulls***.

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You have proof you paid yes?

 

Then it is for them to prove you didn't, NOT the other way round.

 

Don't get drawn into their protracted email ping pong, and most definitely DON'T ever call these chancers.


Who ever heard of someone getting a job at the Jobcentre? The unemployed are sent there as penance for their sins, not to help them find work!

 

 

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I wonder if X4Less misled you and took the 2 month's fees to make up for missed DD's. Would that make sense.

 

Were you told this would end the gym agreement completely ?

 

Or did they say by paying the 2 months fees, you'd hear no more from Harlands /CRS. This could be taken either way depending on what X4Less actually said.

 

Can you recall what was said, as best you can please.

 

:-)


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Yeah. Going to try and not lose sleep. They can't do anything. IMO I've paid them more than I realistically owe.

 

I'm going to go the Citizens Advice to see about filing a complaint with trading standards; the practices at this place are frankly abysmal, hopefully if enough of use file complaints then something will be done.

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