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LA Fitness lied to me, and they refused to accept my cancellation (was in debt), I cancelled direct debit, got £200 bill


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Hi, during 2015 I was at University at Brighton and decided to get a gym membership. I went to a few gyms checking prices and commitments and when I went to LA Fitness the guy that eventually signed me up (obviously trying to make a sale) lied to me, he stated that if I moved out of Brighton (which I obviously would do, as Uni does end) that it'd be fine and my account could be closed no hassle. He stated that all I had to do was be 8 miles from THAT PARTICULAR gym.

 

Well I moved back home to Southampton, and went to cancel my membership stating that "yes, I had moved over 8 miles from the gym." That wasn't good enough, and the lady on the phone replied saying that I had to be 8 miles from any LA Fitness in the UK, and that it wasn't their fault or problem that the guy lied.

 

This was awful news, I was in my overdraft and had no job, and I couldn't afford £20-40 a month, I showed proof (with a bank statement) and they didn't accept that. This went on for 2 MONTHS.

 

I decided to cancel the direct debit on my card, and I heard nothing from then until today, I just got a letter from ARCEUROPE LTD saying I owe them £202.40 and have to pay in 14 days. I can't afford that, being still in my overdraft, what do I do?

 

I've already posted this to reddit and they have pointed out that because I cancelled and didn't keep arguing my cancellation that I'm in the wrong and liable to pay the debt.

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Wait wait wait.....

 

Welcome to CAG, you DON'T owe anything except for perhaps one months fee?

 

If you have moved out of Brighton and back to scumhampton (sorry I'm in pompeii!) then your agreement CAN be cancelled.

 

It seems untruths are common practice at this gym.

 

Keep EVERYTHING in writing ONLY and obtain ''proof of posting'' which is free from the PO counter, ensure you keep a diary of events and copies of everything you send.

 

When did you start the gym, and when did you leave?

 

Did you inform them that you were going to be cancelling the gym contract, if so how did you do this, just by cancelling the DD?

 

You can ignore ARC and their arbitrary time limits, these are computer generated missives, and their time scales have no meaning.

Plus they are simply a tin pot DCA, with no powers to do anything other than churn out deforestation and begging letters.

They are NOT bailiffs nor will they ever be.

 

Slick will be along and will advise you what to send the gym, but the OFT, before they became the FCA were very clear in their directions surrounding gym memberships, and moving was definitely one of them.

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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Funny that the start of Scumhampton is starred in this, but not in the email.

 

A big problem is that I deleted my email correspondence between myself and the gym, thinking the matter was done.. I can get definite answers later as my gym buddy will let me know.

 

I called a few times and emailed with a bank statement which they refused to accept.

 

 

What should I do?

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Hi UD,

 

Firstly, see the guide here about cancelling properly - http://www.consumeractiongroup.co.uk/forum/showthread.php?452671-Cancelling-your-Gym-Agreement-Get-it-right-!

 

Have you checked the gym's T&C's carefully to see what is said about moving, and the proximity of other LAF gyms.

 

Ignore ARC for now and stay OFF the phone.

 

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Hi slick,

 

The way I cancelled was stupid, and was technically against the contract, but I felt like I had no choice, they wouldn't accept my cancellation or my bank statement proving that it was putting me into negative money.

 

The terms and condition state that I can cancel if 'I'm suffering severe financial hardship' by calling, I did that and they refused.

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Typical of the gym, all they see is their commission flying out the window when customers leave.

 

Cancelling your DD is proof enough of your intention to cancel the agreement.

The fact that they wouldn't take proof of moving as an answer speaks volumes, however check the contract to see what it says about moving to another gym in your area as slick suggested.

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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The T&C's say that I have to be 10 miles from 'any LA Fitness', but that's not what the reason with me wanting to cancel though, it's because it was putting me into negative money, into my overdraft (which I thought was illegal for gyms to do?)

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Hi UD,

 

With gyms, you need to use any angle you can which is why we need to know how far you live from the Southampton gym.

 

When we have the info we need, we can help you with a letter to send to the gym.

 

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Hi slick,

 

The closest LA fitness to me is 10.6 miles, but that's around a large body of water. As the crow flies it's a lot less.

When I first called up to cancel the lady told me that there was a gym closer than 10 miles to me.

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Hi UD,

 

Assuming you are not a Crow, the relevant fact is the travel distance !! Over 10 miles for the journey, that's a good enough reason for the cancellation.

 

I'd say you have no need to worry about the financial factor. In post #7, you referred to possible "illegal" behaviour for the gym to put you in an overdraft but this isn't right.

 

You can use the gym's T&C's to cancel on the basis of your new address being 10+ miles form the nearest gym.

 

You should write to the gym on this basis so draft a letter and put it here so we can comment and revise if necessary. The letter should be sent to the gym but get a free Certificate of Posting at the PO Counter when you send it.

 

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First of all, sorry for the lateness of this reply, I have had a hectic weekend with no free time and was 90 miles from home. Secondly, thank you so much for this help. And thirdly, I had written out this whole post, clicked send and the 'ticket had expire' :Cry:

 

Dear sir/madam,

 

I recently receive a letter from ARC Europe ltd, saying I had an outstanding balance of £202.40 of my LA Fitness membership.

 

Earlier in the year I signed with LA Fitness because of two reason: 1, how close it was to my university house. 2, because your representative told me that if I moved over 10 miles from that particular LA Fitness (Brighton) that I could cancel hassle free (he obviously lied to make a sale).

When I did eventually move back home and tried to cancel I was told that as I was within 10 miles of an LA Fitness (Southampton) I couldn't cancel, when I stated that the representative told me I could cancel if I moved over 10 miles away I was basically told that it's not their problem and that I couldn't cancel for that reason. ****

I checked the terms and conditions on the matter and saw that another reason to cancel was if I was in "severe financial hardship", I was in my overdraft, had no income and had around £20'000 worth of university debt, and 'severe' is subjective. When I sent proof of that, with a scanned bank statement, to a Jonathan Thiciaz and it was refused. I felt my only option to stop my self being even more in debt was to cancel through my direct debit. And until now thought the matter was resolved.

 

I do not think I owe you anything.

 

Regards,

Kiernan Downie

 

**** BBC's Watchdog wrote, and I quote, "LA Fitness's terms and conditions do not allow you to cancel if you move. However, if a salesperson makes a verbal promise that induces the would-be member to join, then as far as the law is concerned, that is as binding as anything in writing." when they investigated LA Fitness.

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Hi UD,

 

I've tried to make a post many times, only to have it lost due to expiry or whatever - what a wind up !!

 

Your letter is fine and you can send it off to LAF. Get a free certificate of posting at the PO Counter when you send it. Ignore ARC for now.

 

Let us know how they reply.

 

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A letter if possible.

 

Otherwise, you can end up playing email ping-pong.

 

:-)

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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