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Xercise4less and Harlands vs a teenager


MariusX
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Xercise4less opened a gym in our neighbourhood at the end of winter / early spring this year.

 

Before the gym was opened, a group of people was selling membership in the shopping centre the gym is located in.

 

My 14 yo daughter (who has a junior bank account) signed in.

 

After the gym was opened, she tried to use it, but they refused her to enter, as she was underage. My daughter went to Xercise4less gym with mother and they filled canceling form.

 

Recently my daughter found that she saved less pocket money than she was expecting to. The culprit is Harlands, that I now found is doing admin stuff for Xercise4less. They charge her account £14.99 each month.

 

I believe they should not only cancel her membership but also return sign-up fee and monthly payments they gathered so far, at least.

 

Reading other posts we have not disabled DD yet. What is the best course of action?

 

Unfortunately, I have no dates, my daughter did not receive any paperwork nor proof of canceling form submission, but it seems this is typical for a cunny marketing practices of Xercise4less and Harland.

 

£14.99 monthly is a lot of money for some teenagers (and is for my daughter). Xercise4less & Harlands practices are simply disgusting.

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CANCEL the DD IMMEDIATELY and reclaim all of the previous payments made under the DD guarantee.

 

There is NOTHING they can do to a minor, and if they wish to pursue this then they will find themselves on the end of a very sticky wicket!

 

CANCEL now, today! Lodge a formal complaint with the Gym, and advise them that you will be seeking legal advice with regards to their

practices in signing up minors.

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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In general I agree with the above advice. However, I have a couple of questions to ask you.

 

How did your daughter make the contract? Was it made face-to-face? Did she make it on the Internet? If it was online, then was she questioned about her age and did she disclose the truth or did she say that she was over 18?

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Always good to have a second pair of eyes! (my usual sledge hammer to crack a nut....)

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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Excellent. Unless your 14-year-old daughter is a particularly mature looking girl, it must been clear that she was less than 18.

 

Contracts with minors are void in most cases unless they are for necessary items such as food or education.

 

I would venture to say that a gym contract is not a necessary item therefore the contract is void. The fact that the contract was avoid contract is confirmed by the refusal to let her in because she was underage. In fact it must be clear from her appearance that she is underage. Maybe you can confirm this.

 

Write to Harland's immediately explain to them exactly what has happened and tell them that the responsibility is that of their employee at the shopping centre who persuaded her to enter into a gym contract. I can imagine that the employee was probably on a commission.

 

Tell them that on the basis of this you would like them to cease all collection activities, to write you and confirm that the contract has been cancelled and that they will return all your money.

 

Tell them that if there is any problem, that you will inform trading standards and also that you will begin a legal action to recover your money.

 

Only make this last threat if you're prepared to go ahead with it – but you may find that you will have to.

 

Don't get into anything long winded. If you haven't had your money within two weeks then sue them. If you get any further collection activities, sue them.

 

Suing in the County Court is extremely easy. It is very cheap. Your chances of success here are much better than 95% – but it will never go to court because Harlands would be too embarrassed and they was be put their hands up.

 

If they want to act sensibly about this, they will simply pay you out your money and go off.

 

By the way, cancel all direct debits and other continuous payment orders that you might have made.

 

Do this by telephone with the bank but also make sure it is confirmed in writing – unless you can physically do it on an Internet banking system.

 

If you do do this, then take screenshots of the cancellation.

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Hi Marius and welcome to CAG

 

How many DD payments have Harlands taken ?

 

YD can instruct the bank that the DD's were taken improperly and she should ask that the bank refund these immediately. The bank should do this with no problems.

 

Once you have the DD's returned, YD can write to the gym demanding that the sign-up fee be refunded due to her age at the time.

 

:-)

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Hi Marius and welcome to CAG

 

How many DD payments have Harlands taken ?

 

YD can instruct the bank that the DD's were taken improperly and she should ask that the bank refund these immediately. The bank should do this with no problems.

 

Once you have the DD's returned, YD can write to the gym demanding that the sign-up fee be refunded due to her age at the time.

 

:-)

 

 

Around 8 DD payments. Apparently my daughter didn't read properly her bank statements to discover this just recently. Well, she just turned 15 this September. On the good side - good lesson for her ;)

 

 

Thank you all for your advices. I'm a bit confused whether to go DD refund way (via the bank) or directly to Xercise4less (or Xercise4more ;)

 

I will update the thread on how is the progress.

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Hi Marius,

 

YD should contact her bank and complain that the DD payments should not have been taken due to a dispute with the gym and YD's age.

 

Let us know when the bank has refunded, which they should do without question.

 

If they say there's any problem. let us know.

 

Then we can assist in how you should deal with the gym and Harlands.

 

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  • 2 weeks later...

UPDATE

 

We have found a letter from Harlands dated 2nd MARCH and it says my daughter is on 1 month minimum membership contract and it renews automaticly - basicly it is a monthly rolling contract.

 

On 20th October we went to the gym to hand a letter (below). The manager read the letter and said that as we have cancelled DD in the bank case is closed and membership cancelled. He refused to accept the letter or sign the copy. I went to the Post Office and sent the letter to the gym (signed for letter £1.73)

 

In the bank we have cancelled DD but at the end not requested DD repayment from the bank.

 

I have checked the track record from Royal Mail and letter was delivered on 21st October. Next day we have received a letter from Harlands demanding to contact them to reinstate DD, but it was automatic replay to DD cancellation, so I ignore it.

 

 

I wonder whether I should send another copy to Harlands directly? In Feb/March my daughter was dealing directly with gym so they should sort this out between gym and Harlands IMO.

 

Following advice on this forum I have wrote the following letter:

 

 

Xercise4less

 

 

20th October 2015

 

 

Dear Sir / Madam,

 

In late winter / early spring this year my daughter [...NAME...] (who was 14 year old at the time) signed a contract with your employee on the Westside Plaza premises for gym membership. Xercise4less staff has refused her to enter the gym due to being underage. This confirms that the contract is a void. In the spring my daughter has submitted a membership cancellation form, but you have continued to collect the fees.

 

I will be seeking legal advice with regards to your practices in signing up minors.

 

I have cancelled Direct Debit payments to Harlands for Xercise4less gym membership. I request all the payments, including membership fee to be returned within 14 days of this letter. Will you fail to do so or try to collect any further fees I will sue Harlands / Xercise4less in the County Court without further notice.

 

Please send me a letter with confirmation of my daughter's gym membership cancellation.

 

Further demands from you will be reported to both Trading Standards and The CMA.

 

I request any communication to be in writing. I disagree for any phone calls or text messages to my daughter or myself.

 

 

Kind Regards,

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Hi Marius,

 

The fact that the gym manager refused to sign your copy of the cancellation letter, or even accept his copy, speaks volumes.

 

Have you sent the letter already and did it go to the gym, or to X4L's Head Office.

 

Was that also sent by Signed For delivery.

 

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Hi Marius,

 

The fact that the gym manager refused to sign your copy of the cancellation letter, or even accept his copy, speaks volumes.

 

Have you sent the letter already and did it go to the gym, or to X4L's Head Office.

 

Was that also sent by Signed For delivery.

 

:-)

 

Hi Slick,

 

The letter was sent to the local gym by Signed For delivery.

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Hi Marius,

 

On the assumption that the gym manager may BIN your letter, I would also send a letter to X4L's Head Office.

 

They're more likely to help you than the local manager, who may not have the desire or authority to settle this.

 

Send it to X4L's address here - http://www.xercise4less.co.uk/contacts

 

Save money and get a free Certificate of Posting when you send the letter from any Post Office.

 

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  • 1 month later...

Update.

20th October - a letter (signed for) sent to the local gym. Xercise4Less never replied.

 

19th November - a letter (signed for) sent to the gym headquarters. Xercise4Less never replied.

 

19th November - I have contacted Xercise4Less via facebook page. They replied partly:

 

Xercise4Less:

Hi [...]! Just letting you know that your daughter has been cancelled down with immediate effect. Sorry for the inconvenience.

 

 

Me:

When will you pay back sign up fee and monthly fees you have collected so far? Will you inform Harlands so they will not harass my daughter with their letters, as it seems a common Harlands' practice?

Xercise4Less:

We have made requested with Harlands that there is no contact in the future.

 

No word about returning the money collected for the service X4L failed to deliver.

 

Summary.

My 14 yo daughter signed up for gym membership. Xercise4Less disallowed her to enter due to her age. My daughter (accompanied by her mom) submitted cancellation form. Apparently Xercise4Less did not process the form and Harlands did still collect a few monthly fees.

I have sent 2 letters to X4L but they did not reply. They have partly replied on Facebook and cancelled membership. Xercise4Less is happy to keep the money collected, despite they failed to deliver the service.

 

 

What next.

I wonder whether - playing their own game - I can invoice them with admin fees? I have spent 20+ hours on contacting them, researching on how to deal with them etc.Should I also go to the court and file a case?

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Hi Marius,

 

I referred to telling the bank to refund using the DD Guarantee Scheme in post #9 above. Did this not happen ?

 

If not, do this immediately telling the bank the DD's were taken by a gym that now agrees that fees were not payable. The bank should not argue with you but let us know if they fail to refund quickly.

 

I suspect the gym will be slow to refund the sign-up fee but they may respond if you go back to Twitter.

 

First though, focus on getting all the DD's refunded and let us know when this is done.

 

:-)

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