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Freedom-Leisure downgrade fees

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Hi all,

 

I am a member of a Freedom-Leisure gym and last week received an email regarding a price hike so I was initially going to go ahead and cancel the membership altogether.  After speaking to them, a downgrade made more sense as apparently the membership I was put on covered multiple gyms and not just the one I go to although I was never given the option of a 1 gym only membership but thats another story!

 

The basics:

Membership goes from £44 (47 after hike) to £19.99

£30 downgrade fee

1 Month fee at the hiked price for the 1 month notice period and as the increased price starts on the 1/4, I end up paying the £47 for 1 month.

 

Was a little annoyed as I've only recently joined it having paid the £30 joining fee but felt there was no choice.

 

Got home, had a look at the terms and a few things stand out... first of all:

"4.3 You may change membership categories twice within any twelve month period.Any subsequent changes may be liable to an administration fee"

 

This to me reads I can change the category twice without charge however a third or more could face a fee. - Do I assume correctly here?

 

The guy did mention there is no upgrade fee which annoys me further as surely the same "administration" happens for down and upgrading but anyway...

 

The next bit in the terms is nothing about a 1 month notice aside from:

7.1 Subject to the provisions in the Membership Agreement, you may cancel your Direct Debit membership at any time by writing to the Freedom Leisure Centre Manager at your home site (the site at which the membership was taken out) and giving a minimum of 31 days notice prior to your next Direct Debit payment.Your membership card should be returned by this date

 

BUT - this is under cancellation.  I am not cancelling the membership but simply going back to 4.3 which is to change the category.

 

 

Full terms and conditions are here: http://bookwkg.freedom-leisure.co.uk/K2bookings/content/custom/terms/MemTerms.pdf which match the ones I signed for on signing up initially.

 

Let me know if I am going off-track here in which case I'll just suck it up and/or cancel it altogether if it bugs me that much but it's fairly clear-cut?

 

Thanks in advance :)

AJ

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Hi Aj,

 

Difficult to say for sure without seeing the full T&C's but I agree with you about term #4.3 - there should be no admin charge for the first 2 changes.

 

Initially I suggest you have a calm discussion with your gym manager, pointing out that you weren't told of the multi-gym option or that a cheaper single-gym option was available. Could he/she therefore allow the cheaper m/ship to be applied as soon as possible without the 30 day wait and with no admin fee.

 

Otherwise, you have 2 options :-

 

1. Cancel and pay nothing more due to unfair treatment when you signed up. Use the gym up to when you've paid up until.

2. Remain a member and pay what is being demanded, because you want to remain a member of this gym.

 

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Thanks Slick - I was about to send an email to the club but maybe you're right and a chat with the manager is the way to go.

 

Thanks for your advice and if you do get bored, the T&Cs are linked in the original post :)

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Yes, try a chat first and let us know how it goes and what you're thinking of doing as a result.

 

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Hi, just a quick update...

On the months notice and then downgrade, they have put cancelled this when I stated the terms do not mention anything about a notice period on changing of membership.  He agreed and apparently its now on the downgraded fee from the next payment.

 

On the downgrade fee, again I pointed out the fact it says I can have two changes and then there is an admin fee - He looked (or acted) fairly shocked and got a brand new t&c out from his desk to find the same on there.

It was circled, my name added to it and they're looking into it.

I was expecting an answer by now so tomorrow evening I will chase this up once I am back in the gym.

 

 

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Okay - keep us posted please

 

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Hi again, just got the formal response - Not sure what to think of it all as it feels like they're saying something on the lines of : Yup, we messed up so lets invent a reason such as the terms and conditions only apply to certain memberships but we'll make that bit up as we go along and we won't tell you any of this either.

 

Response:

I am just writing in regards to our conversation the other day about the downgrade fee for the £19.99 membership.
I have spoken to my area manager in regards to this and they have informed me that this membership will have the downgrade fee because it is a special offer membership that only our site offer. It is also because this is only on for a limited time for a set number of memberships and all have either a downgrade fee or a joining fee if they are not currently a member. Should you have downgraded to one of our other memberships that we run across the company then you would have been able to downgrade free of charge.
I am sorry for the confusion and any issues this may have caused.
Please feel free to contact me should you have any further questions.


 

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I'd write back by email (if that was how they last wrote to you) saying :-

 

Thank you for your email of xxdate.

 

Your own T&C's suggest I can make 2 changes without incurring admin fees and I suggest you allow the change with no admin fee or I may cancel the membership without notice due to your breach of contract.

 

Please respond in writing only, so I have proof of our exchanges.

 

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