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Roko, Unfair extension of contract.


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Firstly, I am sorry if this is the wrong place to post this. I am new here and a bit unsure as to how it all works. 

 

My issue is with a contract for a gym membership.

 

I took out a 12 month membership in October 2020. I wanted to hand in my notice for this October. I have been informed that I will be able to leave the gym in April 2022.

 

I have made a complaint and made reference to The Consumer Rights act and letting them know that what they are dong is unfair. I Specifically directed them to Schedule 2 Consumer contract terms which may be regarded as unfair A term which has the object or effect of making an agreement binding on the consumer in a case where the provision of services by the trader is subject to a condition whose realisation depends on the trader’s will alone

 

A term which has the object or effect of automatically extending a contract of fixed duration where the consumer does not indicate otherwise, when the deadline fixed for the consumer to express a desire not to extend the contract is unreasonably early.

 

A term which has the object or effect of enabling the trader to alter the terms of the contract unilaterally without a valid reason which is specified in the contract. 

 

Their response was the following:

 

In response to your first email, regarding a cooling off period, looking at your accounts, both you and your partner used the club after signing the membership amendment, before the closure in November and again before the closure in December.  Therefore the cooling off period is not applicable in this particular situation.

 

Please see below a link to our terms and conditions.

 

https://www.roko.co.uk/membership-terms

 

As you will note under Clause 2.3, it states clearly (in italics)

 

‘For the avoidance of doubt, you are obliged to make every monthly payment regardless of non attendance, whatever the reason for non attendance might be, except during suspension of membership with prior notice in accordance with clause 4 below.’

 

Clause 4 only allows suspension for specific reason.

 

The contract therefore is not voided by a pandemic and the contract obligation to pay is not impacted by the fact that a pandemic has been the reason for non attendance, as pandemic is not a contractual reason for suspension.

 

The Club, in recognition of this, have extended the reasons for suspension under clause 4 and ensured that all memberships have been suspended (without the £5 per person fee) whilst the club has been closed due to the pandemic.  Under clause 4.3 and 4.4 it clearly states ‘suspended members must honour their minimum membership period at the contracted rate upon returning from suspension.  Notice cannot be served under suspension’ and  ‘Suspended months do not count towards the minimum membership period’.

 

Once the Club was reopens and the suspension period ends, the contract terms above remain in force in respect of the notice period and the minimum term.

 

Roko have always worked closely with legal authorities and in a recent investigation (Sept 2020) by Trading Standards it was subsequently confirmed that our terms and conditions meet current guidelines and no unfair terms or business practices which affect the collective interests of consumers could be identified. It was also found that the suspension process implemented by Roko during lockdown was fair to members and that cancellation notice provided by members during lockdown does not count towards the notice period of the membership.

 

I hope this addresses the specific legal questions that you have raised in respect of the contract. This is the position advised by our legal team who would be happy to discuss this with you.

 

To reconfirm, I have amended our records as follows to ensure the membership ends at the 12 month mark:

·         First Months’ Notice – 1st February 2022

·         Second Months’ Notice – 1st March 2022

·         Third Months’ Notice – 1st April 2022

·         Final Day In Club – 30th April 2022

 

As previously mentioned, there are a couple of alternative options available.  These are:

 

1)       You can pay a settlement fee to terminate the membership earlier than the minimum contracted period

 

2)      Transfer the membership to a family member or friend who will take over the membership as their own and carry out the remainder of the contract.

 

Any help/advice would be great.  

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simply ignore them 

nothing they can do.

 

 

  • Like 1

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

DCA's view debtors as suckers, marks and mugs

NO DCA has ANY legal powers whatsoever on ANY debt no matter what it's Type

and they

are NOT and can NEVER  be BAILIFFS. even if a debt has been to court..

If everyone stopped blindly paying DCA's Tomorrow, their industry would collapse overnight... 

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  • dx100uk changed the title to Roko, Unfair extension of contract.

so what if they do...

a debt collector (DCA) is NOT a BAILIFF

and DCA's have 

ZERO legal powers on ANY debt no matter what it's type

 

dx

 

  • Like 1

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

DCA's view debtors as suckers, marks and mugs

NO DCA has ANY legal powers whatsoever on ANY debt no matter what it's Type

and they

are NOT and can NEVER  be BAILIFFS. even if a debt has been to court..

If everyone stopped blindly paying DCA's Tomorrow, their industry would collapse overnight... 

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Thank you. That's definitely something to consider! 

Do you think this could be something parliament would chsnge? 

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9 minutes ago, MrSnuffles said:

 

Do you think this could be something parliament would chsnge? 

I suspect that they have other things on their mind

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parliament should ban DCA's totally

sadly as scamming the public on debts that are 99% not even owed in the 1st place or are enforceable is the biggest financial industry there is. but as joe public are mugs what do you expect.

 

If everyone stopped blindly paying DCA's Tomorrow, their industry would collapse overnight... 

 

 

  • Like 1

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

DCA's view debtors as suckers, marks and mugs

NO DCA has ANY legal powers whatsoever on ANY debt no matter what it's Type

and they

are NOT and can NEVER  be BAILIFFS. even if a debt has been to court..

If everyone stopped blindly paying DCA's Tomorrow, their industry would collapse overnight... 

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Agreed. I don't have an issue with paying for a service at all. The ussue for me is that the contract could in theory tie me in to them for years. I am not sure if this type of thing occurs in other areas of consumerism? It could be quite unique to the fitness industry. 

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lots of contracts are exactly the same, i'e telecom ones, you stop using the service because you move home or stop using a broken mobile and they try and bill you for the rest of the term when you weren't or can't even use it- sighting some kind of authority that this is a cancellation fee or clause. It's not it's an unlawful penalty clause, and even OFCOM have ridiculed the practice.

 

Gyms are much the same, spouting all kinds of supposed authority to charge such sums, when in all truth, offering ONE month membership might only ever be the necessary thing to do because you might not have given them 30days notice of wanting to leave them.(which you did) and even when you offer that ...they refused..so you ignore them.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

DCA's view debtors as suckers, marks and mugs

NO DCA has ANY legal powers whatsoever on ANY debt no matter what it's Type

and they

are NOT and can NEVER  be BAILIFFS. even if a debt has been to court..

If everyone stopped blindly paying DCA's Tomorrow, their industry would collapse overnight... 

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😔 looks like im stuck with them. I am a bit wiser to this kind of thing now. Fingers crossed that something will change! 

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why are you stuck with them?

 

do you not understand what i posted above?
 

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

DCA's view debtors as suckers, marks and mugs

NO DCA has ANY legal powers whatsoever on ANY debt no matter what it's Type

and they

are NOT and can NEVER  be BAILIFFS. even if a debt has been to court..

If everyone stopped blindly paying DCA's Tomorrow, their industry would collapse overnight... 

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Hi Mr S,

 

Read other threads here posted over the last year or so.

 

We pretty much advise the same thing - ignore demands from the gym, their admin company, any DCA they use and any legal firm they use.

 

No need to engage with the gym or admin company to discuss or argue your wish to cancel - it'll get you nowhere.

 

If you want to leave the gym now, just give a month's written notice then cancel the DD m,andate .

 

If you want to cancel from October 2021, confirm this to the gym in writing early October, allow the final DD to be taken in October, then cancel the DD mandate.

 

You'll see from other threads that no action is taken to claim money and gym m/ships do not affect your credit records.

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are you currently 'paying' or should be?

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

DCA's view debtors as suckers, marks and mugs

NO DCA has ANY legal powers whatsoever on ANY debt no matter what it's Type

and they

are NOT and can NEVER  be BAILIFFS. even if a debt has been to court..

If everyone stopped blindly paying DCA's Tomorrow, their industry would collapse overnight... 

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then simply write (by royal mail 2nd class only - not ever email..get free proof of posting from any PO counter) and cancel your membership from todays date.

 

generally speaking with most gyms you should give 1 month notice before then cancelling your payment method to allow the one membership payment to be taken

 

however in your case, the 'free' period regarding payment covers that time so cancel your DD too.

 

Roko are much like David Lloyd gyms, they insist, as they elude too in their schedule in your 1st post, to it being 3mts notice, it is NOT 

 

 

 

  • Thanks 1

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

DCA's view debtors as suckers, marks and mugs

NO DCA has ANY legal powers whatsoever on ANY debt no matter what it's Type

and they

are NOT and can NEVER  be BAILIFFS. even if a debt has been to court..

If everyone stopped blindly paying DCA's Tomorrow, their industry would collapse overnight... 

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Thank you I shall give this a go. 

If I had the money I'd take it to court just to prove a point in what they are doing is completely wrong. It feels like I'm being held to ransome! 

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god don't waste money on gyms nor court.

please stop being conned by terms in a contract that is neither legally enforceable nor cast in any type of contract law stone.

 

quite the opposite..gyms have not done court since their miserable attempt to enforce them since 2012, when a judge ruled they were not entitled to any remaining contractual payments until end of contract.

 

dear sir 

with regard to my membership number xxx of gym xxxx at (location)

 

i hereby demand you cancel my contract forthwith.

 

i shall not be entering into any further communications upon the matter by whatever method.

 

thank you for you time

 

 

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

DCA's view debtors as suckers, marks and mugs

NO DCA has ANY legal powers whatsoever on ANY debt no matter what it's Type

and they

are NOT and can NEVER  be BAILIFFS. even if a debt has been to court..

If everyone stopped blindly paying DCA's Tomorrow, their industry would collapse overnight... 

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I like that approach. I can imagine a fine gentleman with a top hat and monocle! "Good day sir... I SAID GOOD DAY!" 

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On 10/04/2021 at 22:26, MrSnuffles said:

I have read a lot on them using debt collectors for this sort of thing. I don't know if anyone on here has had any dealings with them? 

 

Pah ha ha ha, debt collectors, officious members of the public who are paid commission with less legal powers than my cat you mean!

 

I've had dealings with these in the past, when I moved house within the first six months of taking the contract out, they tried all the tricks in the book to try and get their grubby mitts on my money, even telling me to give my membership to a friend, anyhow, once I had ignored the fifth or sixth begging letter they went away never to be heard of again!

 

There is sweet fanny adams they can do, you decide when you want to leave and stop paying them.

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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 am reading more and more about them. I feel like their methods are better suited to countries that have less civil rights than ours!

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I assume the gym will start taking DD's again now as they are opening again.

 

As DX suggests, send them your brief cancellation letter, leave the DD open for them to take 1 further fee from you and then cancel the DD mandate via your bank. Don't expect the gym to do this as they will NOT.

 

Keep us posted.

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Thank you I shall. No word from them yet. I did manage to speak to a solicitor in regards their Ts & Cs. They are of the same opinion that their "blanket" terms are not really applicable to this unique situation. 

Thank you for your help. 

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Jeepers, don't get a solicitor involved just to deal with a gym m/ship. At least not if you need to pay them at all.

 

Let us know when you send or them the letter and post a copy of it here, minus any identifiers.

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We could do with some help from you

                                                                PLEASE HELP US TO KEEP THIS SITE RUNNING

EVERY POUND DONATED WILL HELP US TO KEEP HELPING OTHERS

 

                                            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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