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Bannatynes Cancel Membership Within First 12 Months


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Hi All,

 

Just had a quick read of the other threads but haven't found anyone in this exact situation.

 

Background:

I signed up to Bannatynes back in Nov 18. Living in Edinburgh and starting a new job in Livingston (right next to the Bannatynes) I was delighted to find that both gyms were in the same "tier" for cross usage. I was given the tour by the membership girl who told me all about this and advised me to sign up online (weird? they're usually very pushy to get you to sign there and then).

 

When I went to do so I noticed that it was £3-4 cheaper per month to sign up at Edinburgh as opposed to Livingston, even though I would be using Livingston more often... no brainer. I signed up to a 12 month membership.

 

I then used both gyms without fail for around 2 months until mid January when attempting to enter the Livingston gym for the first time in 2019 I was told rather abruptly that Livingston price had increased and in turn they had gone up a tier, therefore I was not allowed entry as I was a member in Edinburgh, which is a now lower tier.

 

I was told if i wanted to continue using Livingston I would have to upgrade my membership at an additional cost of £10 per month.

 

I called head office and received the following response:

 

Thank you for your recent call in relation to the cancellation of your membership in relation to your membership with our Edinburgh Health Club.

The contract agreed upon joining is for a minimum period of 12 months with a cancellation period of 1 months written notice, therefore we are unable to cancel memberships within this term until the 31/10/2019.

 

I have enquired regarding the tier change and how this has affected you, however all members upon joining must take the responsibility to read and understand terms and conditions in which it states that the cross usage policy can change at any time.

 

We appreciate your circumstances but please be advised that as the monthly subscription fees are due irrespective of usage or changes to personal circumstances, excluding medical reasons or redundancy, relocation does not constitute premature cancellation of the membership.

 

Having read their terms and conditions, I then went back to them with the following:

With regards to: "I have enquired regarding the tier change and how this has affected you, however all members upon joining must take the responsibility to read and understand terms and conditions in which it states that the cross usage policy can change at any time."

 

This is simply not true. I have just had the pleasure of re-reading your terms and conditions, (found here: LINK ) and there is no mention of either cross usage or tier changes.

 

Interestingly, looking at Section 10F:

10. Alterations or Variations.

(a) This Membership Agreement or the Club Rules may be revoked, supplemented or altered by the Proprietor at its discretion and

 

the Proprietor shall give the Members reasonable notice in advance of such changes by posting a written notice on the Club Notice Board or on its website.

 

If the changes affect any fee or charges which a Member is liable to pay the Proprietor shall provide written notice at least 14 days in advance of the changes being made, either by

posting to the website,

the online membership portal or

by email to the last address that the Member has provided.

 

Where the change to the Terms and Conditions is otherwise material

(such as where there is a significant change in the level or type of facilities offered by the Club, or the location of the Club is changed), the Member can cancel his or her membership by giving one complete calendar month’s written notice to terminate the membership within 30 days of receiving written notice from the Proprietor.

 

(b) Members who do not wish to accept an increase in subscription may cancel their membership by giving written notice.

The written notice period shall in all cases be not less than one calendar month.

 

If such notice would otherwise expire before the initial period of membership, it shall be deemed to expire on the last day of such initial period of membership.

 

The Member giving notice must continue to pay subscriptions at the rate current immediately prior to any proposed increase until the end of such notice period.

The Proprietor will refund any subscriptions that have been paid for by a Member for any period after the expiry of the notice.

I have highlighted the key points which apply to this situation.

 

Firstly, I received no written notification of the fee changes at the Livingston which in turn took it out of tier 9, no longer allowing me access via cross usage, contrary to the "sales pitch" I was given by the staff onsite in Livingston when I visited to enquire about joining in October 2018.

 

The first I was informed of the change was when attempting to enter the Livingston gym on 17/01/19 where I was told I would need to increase my membership (pay more per month) in order to be able to use this gym.

 

Secondly, this would count as a significant change in the level or type of facilities offered and therefore I can cancel by giving one complete calendar month's written notice to terminate the membership and would like this email to count as my written notice to terminate. Giving a final date of 28th Feb 2019.

 

I would also request that as a gesture of goodwill I am still allowed to use the Livingston gym until this date at no extra cost. Please let me know if this would be possible.

 

I look forward to receiving confirmation of my contract termination.

 

 

They have now replied to me by telephone and essentially told me the following:

 

  • Cross usage is offered as a gesture of goodwill. Tiers may be subject to change without notice;
  • Written confirmation did not need to be provided as I am a member at Edinburgh not Livingston;
  • My notice to cancel has been refused as this does not come under any of their "valid reasons to cancel"
  • They have offered a reduced "upgrade" of only £5 per month extra

I have been more than fair with them on the phone and said I am happy to give one months notice and pay any reasonable admin fees. They have escalated this to their manager who has declined my offer to cancel.

 

I am now not sure what to do next. It seems I have the following options:

  • Not upgrade and only use Edinburgh (not practical);
  • Upgraded and continue using Livingston (don't want to pay any extra);
  • Cancel DD and face the consequences (unsure exactly what could happen);
  • Try to claim I am relocating outside a 15 mile radius of any gym;
  • Repeatedly break gym rules until they cancel my membership.

Any advice would be much appreciated.

 

Thanks,

Craig

Edited by dx100uk
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Hi Mabon and welcome to CAG

 

Firstly, do you WANT to cancel (we'll help if you do and avoid admin fees) or do you want to try and continue m/ship at either gym without the uplift in m/ship fees (less likely to succeed) ?

 

Do NOT deal with this by phone any more. You need a papertrail.

 

There should be little or no consequences if you cancel IMHO.

 

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gym membership cant harm your credit file nor have any gym done court for many years now

a DCA when you get the silly letters are NOT a BAILIFF

and have

ZERO legal powers to do anything on any debt, let alone a Gym one.

 

dx

please don't hit Quote...just type we know what we said earlier..

 

if everyone stopped blindly paying DCA's tomorrow

the biggest financial industry in the UK, DCA;s -  would collapse overnight.

 

DCA's view debtors as suckers, marks and mugs - that's why they will never tell you they are not bailiffs and have absolutely zero legal powers on any debt.

 

 

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Further thoughts .........

 

In simple terms, it looks to me like they've allowed you to use both gyms, then increased the charges without giving you notice.

 

I suggest you can cancel WITHOUT notice and without admin fees on the basis of them increasing the charges.

 

Don't offer to pay a month's notice or any admin fees until we've had a chance to give this full consideration.

 

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Thanks Slick123 and d100uk.

 

Sorry I should have made clear - I now want to cancel and be completely done with Bannatynes.

 

I agree they have changed the access but deep in their websire it does state that cross usage is a gesture of goodwill, however there is no mention of this at all in their T&Cs....

 

Again to be clear, I could stay on the same price I am paying (no increase) but only allowed to use Edinburgh gym.

 

They have offered the £5 increase (as opposed to the initial price given of £10) per month to continue using Livingston. So technically there has been no increase unless I voluntarily upgrade by £5 to keep using Livingston.

Edited by mabon92
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Hi Mabon,

 

I'd use the fees uplift as your reason to cancel the agreement after they denied you access in mid-January.

 

Did you use either gym since that date and, if so, on what date ?

 

And when was the date you last used either gym ?

 

I'll be back later to suggest a letter to send.

 

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Hi Mabon,

 

I'd use the fees uplift as your reason to cancel the agreement after they denied you access in mid-January.

 

Did you use either gym since that date and, if so, on what date ?

 

And when was the date you last used either gym ?

 

I'll be back later to suggest a letter to send.

 

:-)

 

I agree but they will probably repeat that the cross-usage of Livingston was a gesture of goodwill and was not part of my contract. They will then also say that the increase fee is optional and I can decide to pay the same and remain only a member of Edinburgh (no access to Livingston).

 

They let me in on the day mid-Jan but I haven't used either since.

 

Thanks, your help is much appreciated!

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Hi Mabon,

 

Never mind what they may probably repeat. What they told you by phone counts for nothing and you can put your case to them in writing.

 

It doesn't have to turn into a debate - you could offer to pay one final monthly fee at the old rate to use the gym for the last month. Or you could cancel the DD mandate immediately then write to them.

 

Please confirm :-

 

1. Date the last DD was taken by them.

 

2. Date you last used the gym.

 

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Then I would cancel the DD mandate NOW to avoid them taking another pay't.

 

Letter to the gym (typed and posted - get free Certificate of Posting at the PO when sending) :-

 

Dear sir or madam,

 

Membership at Edinburgh and Livingstone gyms

 

I refer to my membership started in November 2018 which enabled me to access both gyms until I was denied access to Livingstone in mid January. I was told I would have to pay an extra £10 per month to use this gym which is a significant change to the terms which applied previously.

 

For this reason, I told the gym and Head Office I wanted to cancel as I am not prepared to pay the extra being demanded each month. Head Office told me by phone that I couldn't cancel until the initial 12 months had expired but this is wrong due to the gym significantly changing the terms of our agreement.

 

My DD mandate has been cancelled and I will pay you nothing more. If you make further demands or use a 3rd party to make such demands, your actions will be reported if a harassment complaint is necessary.

 

I will only deal with this matter in writing so do not try to discuss this by phone.

 

Yours faithfully,

 

Send this to the gym you joined or to the Head Office.

 

Keep us posted.

 

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Thanks for this Slick,

 

What should I expect back from them?

 

I have had the continual "debt recovery" letters before with regards to a private parking fine that were continually ignored and eventually went away.

 

Can you please also confirm this will not affect my credit history in any way?

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Gyms stopped being reported by CRA's in 2011 after The OFT v AMSL case - https://www.consumeractiongroup.co.uk/forum/showthread.php?320766-Ashbourne-Management-Services-Ltd-Contracts-longer-than-12-months

 

This is nothing like a parking fine or penalty.

 

"What Should I expect back from them ?" - they'll tell you you have right to cancel before Nov 2019 and, if you fail to pay as suggested, it'll be passed to ARC(Europe). In truth, they'll make demands and add admin fees but there's nothing more they will do because they don't have the right to enforce collection.

 

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I have now received the following email from the "manager" who i asked to speak to last week:

 

Good Afternoon,

 

Please accept my apologies that I’ve not been able to contact you since your conversation with Jess from the customer support team on Thursday.

 

Are you able to provide me with a convenient time I able to speak to you on my return to the business on Monday?

 

Should I sent the letter back to him in reply via email?

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cant see any harm but just add that yo will not respond to any email or phone calls everything in writing only from now on.

 

as regards post 11 and the private parking fine...no such thing they cant fine you.

please don't hit Quote...just type we know what we said earlier..

 

if everyone stopped blindly paying DCA's tomorrow

the biggest financial industry in the UK, DCA;s -  would collapse overnight.

 

DCA's view debtors as suckers, marks and mugs - that's why they will never tell you they are not bailiffs and have absolutely zero legal powers on any debt.

 

 

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Sorry I wasn't around last night.

 

Was the email from the gym in response to the letter you posted, or did you email the gym ?

 

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Sorry I wasn't around last night.

 

Was the email from the gym in response to the letter you posted, or did you email the gym ?

 

:-)

This was the “manager” who was meant to call me back on Thursday.

 

I have replied to him with a copy of the letter and will also drop a hard copy into the gym later today.

 

i will keep you posted on their response!

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Ok.

 

If he calls to discuss by phone, tell him you require a written response in case you need to take further action.

 

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Hi All,

 

Just had a quick read of the other threads but haven't found anyone in this exact situation.

 

Background:

I signed up to Bannatynes back in Nov 18. Living in Edinburgh and starting a new job in Livingston (right next to the Bannatynes) I was delighted to find that both gyms were in the same "tier" for cross usage. I was given the tour by the membership girl who told me all about this and advised me to sign up online (weird? they're usually very pushy to get you to sign there and then)....

 

UPDATE:

I have received a reply from the Customer Support Manager who has not only "agreed" to cancel, they have issued a partial refund for January as well.... happy days!

 

The full copy of my letter can be found below for other to use:

 

Dear Sirs,

Membership (membership reference number [-------] at Edinburgh and Livingston gyms (the Membership) I refer to the above Membership and to correspondence with staff at your Livingston gym.

The Membership started in November 2018 and was entered into with a view to accessing both the Edinburgh gym and the Livingston gym (together, the Gyms). I was advised that the Gyms were on the same ‘tier’ and that membership of one would enable to also access the other.

This suited my purposes perfectly as my residence is in Edinburgh while my place of work is in Livingston. It was for this reason that I elected to choose Bannatyne Health Club and Spa over other such health and fitness service providers in and around Edinburgh.

From November 2018 until January 2019 I regularly accessed both gyms and paid my monthly membership fee, per the terms of my membership agreement.

In mid-January, I attempted to access the Livingston gym but was denied entry. On querying this, I was informed that the ‘tier’ of the Livingston gym had been increased, and that moving forward I would be required pay an extra £10.00 per month to use the Livingston gym.

I considered this to be a significant change to the terms to which I had previously agreed. On that basis, I informed staff at the Livingston gym, and then subsequently also Head Office, of my intention to cancel my membership, citing the reason as my not being prepared to pay the extra £10.00 per month.

I was informed by Head Office, during a telephone call, that I could not cancel until the initial 12 months of the Membership had expired. I refuse to accept this position.

As already explained, there has been a significant change to the terms to which I originally subscribed. I specifically entered into the Membership on the understanding that I would have access to both gyms. For reasons entirely out with my control, this is no longer possible. I will therefore not be continuing the Membership and I will accordingly pay nothing more. My DD mandate has been cancelled. If you make further demands or use a 3rd party to make such demands, your actions will be reported if a harassment complaint is necessary. I will only deal with this matter in writing so do not try to discuss this by phone.

Yours faithfully,

XXXX XXXXX

 

Big thanks to Slick and dx100!!

Edited by mabon92
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Excellent result and thanks for the update.

 

If you can manage any Site Donation, it will help us be here for the need people in need, thanks.

 

:-)

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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Excellent result and thanks for the update.

 

If you can manage any Site Donation, it will help us be here for the need people in need, thanks.

 

:-)

Already done :) thanks again!

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