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Hi

 

I joined a well know gym three months ago after reading that they operate a creche facility within the building. My wife and I went along to view the gym and it's facilities and decided it would be worth the £76 per month joint membership. At the time we expressed our absolute need to use the creche as we have no other means of visiting the gym without childcare. We were told that the creche is fantastic and we'd be fine. Our son was teething at the time and was screaming the building down, so we were pretty eager to sign, pay and get away. Rather stupidly we listened to the membership salesman when he told us that the terms and conditions were 'fine' and contained 'no dodgy bits', we signed up and left.

 

In the 3 months we have been able to visit the gym twice, due to not being able to get our son into the creche. They never answer the telephone, and if they do answer it they tell you it's fully booked. We tried to cancel our contract with the gym explaining that we can't visit as a result of the creche and can't warrant spending £76 per month to visit the gym once! They have written back to us stating that we signed the terms and conditions which explain that they will not be held responsible for the creche (plus cafe, sauna, etc).

 

Can anyone offer any advice regarding this situation? They want the remaining annual membership paying. I have contacted Trading Standards today, but they basically said that if we signed the terms and conditions we're stuck.

 

Any advice will be greatly received!

 

Thank you

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Two views to this, as I can see...

 

As you told them that the creche was extremely important to you in order to use the gym, it would be held that this was an expressed term of the contract and was used to invite you to enter into it.

 

However, as you point out, there is a disclaimer pertaining to the fact they will not be held responsible for the closure/inability to use the sauna, the creche etc.

 

So there are two points which are conflicting.

 

However, if the creche is not available/closed down, this would put the member at an unfair disadvantage and the club in a much more higher bargaining situation, and therefore this could be construed as an unfair term under the Unfair Terms in Consumer Contracts Regulations.

 

See this leaflet by the OFT:

 

http://www.oft.gov.uk/NR/rdonlyres/87B329CD-6762-438C-B3E1-5702D9972465/0/oft380.pdf

 

It relates to unfair terms in gym membership contracts, and has a part in there about creche's in gyms.

  • Haha 1

Lived through bankruptcy to tell the tale! Worked in various industries and studied law at university. All advice is given in good faith only :)

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  • 2 years later...

IMHO disclaimers like that are not worth the paper they are printed upon and they are very challengeable in court.

 

If you specifically joined this particular gym because of the creche facilities and they are NOT in fact available they would have a hard time pushing this through court.

 

I would personally give 1 months notice and stop paying.

 

Be aware that they will set DCA on you and threaten to take you to court but as happened in my case - I just kept saying - "Fine take me to court - im happy to defend my position" and they eventually went away.

 

Even had the cheek to write to me on the anniversary of my joining to say that they noted I was no longer a member and would I consider rejoining!!!

Opinions are offered in good faith based upon personal experience and research. Before making any irreversible decisions the opinion of a qualified, registered and insured legal professional should be sought.

 

If my advice or information has assisted you in any way - please click my scales.

 

thanks

 

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