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Esporta Gym...3 months to cancel membership?


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Can esporta legally make you give 3 months notice to cancel a membership, even when youve been a member for over a year??? On top of this I didn't get 3 training sessions as promised when I initially joined. There is more to story but some general feedback would be great.

 

Thanks :confused:

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Do you sign a new membership yearly?

 

Was it on your original agreement?

 

Do you have a copy if not tell them you want a copy.

 

I would say 30 days written notice should be enough.

 

3 months is rediculouse.:eek: but im not legaly trained

 

I would just send written letter with 30 days notice.

 

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Hi, can you give a little more info please? Like, the contract you signed for membership, did it have the three training sessions included in it?

The reason I ask is that if they havent given what your entitled to in it they are in breach of contract so no notice would be needed.

If this is whats happened then you can write to them informing them of their breach and as such you are terminating the contract with immediate effect.

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Hi

 

I signed a membership document and apparently it was in the terms and conditions to give three months notice. The original membership included 3 free training sessions designed as a fitness programme that was not followed through. When I told them I wanted to cancel and I found out it was 3 months, I said I thought this was excessive especially in consideration that they didn't keep their part of the contract. I tried to resolve the situation by going in to see them, sending emails etc.

I said I would give 1 months notice, they said they wanted two. It was left by them sending me an email saying a manager will look into it and get back to me....6 weeks later I still had no response on the matter, So I just cancelled my d.debit instead of them ignoring me and taking my money.

I received a letter today saying I owed one month of £78 plus £15 charge??? for cancelling my d.debit???? I done all I could to resolve it and they neglected my steps to come to an arrangement. What i'm concerned is that they will black list me if I delay and challenge it???? :x

 

Thanks 4 your replies ;)

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SEems to me you owe them nothing, they are in breach of contract not you. I would send them a letter pointing this out, send it recorded delivery and keep a copy for you records just in case.

Friendship costs nothing but its rewards can be priceless. Do not judge, as you will not be judged but if you can, try and assist where possible.:smile:

everyone is entitled to MY opinion!:D

I offer my comments without prejudice or liability.

If you found my advice helpful, please click the scales at the top.

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I have a concern as with out being shown how to use the equipment you are not allowd into the Gym, at the point you are shown round the gym the 1st training session is written up, it tells you which equipment to use and for how long for the result that you wish to obtain.

 

There fore this could be classed as the initial trainng session.

 

Have you used the gym often, you would normally train on the level set for a few weeks or months and then be assessed again ( free training session again) once you finish your time with session ones advice you would report back to trainers who would work you through session 2.

 

Taken from thier web page.

On Track #1: Meet your own Personal Trainer who will assess your current fitness level and discover your own personal objectives before developing a personalised programme focussed on boosting your cardiovascular fitness as well as developing your core strength.

 

You would normaly now go and book your self in for an other appointment

 

On Track #2: You should already be noticing a difference in how fit you feel, and how much more energy you now have as a result of your initial progress. Having achieved a basic level of fitness you’ll be ready to progress toward your main fitness goals – building into your programme a range of extra alternative cardiovascular and core strength exercises - possibly some alternative classes too - bringing in more variety to help keep your programme fresh and keep you motivated – plus also you will be able to tell your Fitness Advisor which exercises worked best for you – possibly get some extra coaching and tips on techniques and where you might be going wrong.

 

Most Gyms are set up so you make the appointments and approach the trainers when you are free and to book in.

 

On Track #3: By the time of your 3rd On Track session you should really be gaining confidence in your new-found fitness – and be starting to see real results from your programme. This session is mostly about finessing your programme – to give you more alternatives so that you have a range of different programmes to use – plus it’s a chance to check and monitor your progress and modify the programme accordingly

 

Did you have a membership card of which you logged what you had done on each visit.?

 

Im just thinking of anyway that they could get out of this.

 

And They can not charge you for cancelling your direct debit, unless of course it cost them £15 and we know about charges to costs etc just like the banks.

 

Also how was your email worded, were you inquiring as to the length of notice needed or was it an actuall letter of cancellation?

 

As i say just trying to cover all angels, you dont want this biting you later.

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If you've been with the gym for over a year, then it shouldn't really matter ... you shouldn't need to cancel the contract, unless there's some weird small print in the original contract.

 

Most gyms when you sign up, you sign for a one year contract ... once that is up you can leave whenever you want with no notice.

 

Check your original contract and see how long you were originally signed up for.

 

Im with the LA Fitness chain of Gyms, and signed up for a year contract, now my contract is up, about a year ago ... but I still go, because my contract expired it has now automatically gone onto a roll-on contract, where I just pay month by month. I can cancel it at any time, without any notice, I full filled my contract.

They tried to tell me I would need to take out another year long contract, but I said I wasn't willing to do that, so they let me take it on a month by month basis.

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Would it not be considered to be an unfair contract if you are required to give that much notice to cancel your contract? I'm sure there are plenty who remember the early mobile phone contacts which also had similar terms. They were ultimately told that the terms were unfair and they had to revise them to 1 months notice. I'm sure the same angle could be used against Esporta.

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Surely though, if one signs up to a 12 month contract, then after 12 months the contract ends, notice or no? It would be rather cheeky of a company to put one on another one without one's further permission...?

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I'm with Virgin Active Gym... I signed a 1 year contract, but if I don't cancel it by 14 days before it expires I automatically get another 1 year contract. I don't want to cancel at the moment, but I did think it was a bit unfair when I joined... so 3 months in some ways is not so bad!

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I was with JJB Gym, paid cash 6 months at a time, saved the first payment then saved the 2nd, I just won't let any business dictate to me how they want my custom , i have money and thats the bottom line so they usually take it in the end.

 

I still find it so hard to believe how businesses trip people up and tie them in.

 

What ever happened to customers welfare.:(

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thanks for all your replies :)

I've sent them an email asking them to send me a copy of my contract with my signature on it. I said if I don't receive it. i'll assume you don't have it! Whether I get a response is another matter! They have already agreed I didn't receive my training session but they still think I owe them £78 I have been given a name at head office, so i'm taking it to the next level. The issue I think I am going to make is the fact it is unreasonable after a years contract, to expect me to give 3 months notice when 1. I didnt get my training programme (good point blue lagoon, great research skills there. They have worded it well so it may be hard to push that point :rolleyes: ) 2. After making steps to sort it out and come to an arrangement they didn't get back to me when I have an email stating that 'a manger will look in to it and get back to me...' 6 weeks later, no contact was made so I cancelled the d.debit. Maybe I can class that as professional misconduct? negligence, ignorance, definitely not worth paying 78 quid for.......will keep you posted.........

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t. stance if you never got your first training session which advises you how to use the machines you must report them immediately regarding health and Safety they are not allowed to neglect that part of your care.

 

sorry not up on the governing body or complaint people for this, but i know some one will have an ideal. I strictly was not allowed to set foot in my gym untill i could have this session and i waited 5 days and the lad explained how seriouse it is.

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  • 3 months later...

What happened with this in the end? I was doing some "research" for an issue with a similar gym policy, and came upon some OFT 'recommendations'.

 

http://www.crw.gov.uk/Undertakings+and+court+action/Publish+Public/790_1.htm

 

OFT has concerns that, where the member has already completed the 12 month Commitment Period, requiring him to give a further 3 month’s notice if he wishes to cancel the contract is excessive."

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  • 2 weeks later...

Well spotted. Companies love to say 'its in the contract' but the contract has to be reasonable to be legal imho

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jampot - I went round the block a few times and pressurised them to point where they where they were sending everything I asked for like copies of contracts, emails etc. I ended up paying 2 months instead of three.

I noticed on the contract that I hadn't ticked the box allowing them to send me mail etc and brought up the point that they have been sending me promotional text messages etc. which was a breach of my contract. I hadn't kept any of these junk texts as proof, so I dropped it in the end, but it may be a good point for people to use in the future if in the same position. I made them go out of there way and challenged their self important job roles, so I feel a bit better . It's funny as my partner has now cancelled and they have only given her 1 months notice??? I called them up the other day and the membership is still 3 months cancellation after 12 months. The link you provided was interesting regarding the price increase and legally having the right to cancel as you sign your contract to a particular price. Another good point that people could use, but it mentions you have to do it in a month after the increase.

 

Anyhow hope this info is helpful. PS. Watch out for those junk texts, it's a breach of contract if you haven't ticked the box! :)

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  • 2 months later...

I am having similar problems and it seeems so do many others:

 

http://www.reviewcentre.com/reviews72105.html

 

Anyway, I joined in Aug 06, went 4 or 5 times (never had any trianing or even shown how to use any of the equipment). I call them in July this year 3 times and on the last occasion left a message giving account details and giving 1 months notice. I heard nothing from them, no call back as I requested or any leeters. I therefore cancelled my direct debit after 12th monthly payment had been made.

 

Last week, I got a letter (funny how NOW they contact me) saying direct debit was cancelled and they need payment plus 15 fine for costs of direct debit. Yesterday, I then received a letter saying that they understand why I cancelled it as I did complete 12 payments, however, I did not give 3 MONTHS notice. They sent me a contract to show this. That is when I then decided to come on internet to investigate !

 

Anyway, I found this on the OFT website, basically saying 3 months is unfair notice.

 

http://www.crw.gov.uk/Undertakings+and+court+action/Publish+Public/790_1.htm

 

Anyway, I will now read through contract and write back to them. I think I will start of by saying they were in breech of contract as no-one showed me any equipment or did any training with me, therefore they actually owe me £820, that should get their attention !!

 

EDIT :SORRY didn't see this link was already posted !

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Good luck, Simon.

 

Next Gen are threatening debt collectors, as I'm adamant I'm not backing down on this one.

 

I gave 3 months notice, which they claim to have not received, which by the time I found this out, we were already a couple of months down the line. Nonetheless, I told them my next payment would be my last, and I'm sticking by it.

 

I raised the matter with Consumer Direct who have passed to Trading Standards, and I'm going to call them back today and discuss it.

 

Different gym, but same issue...

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yes, stand by your rights. I didn't even give 3 months notice, but I am challenging that 3 months is an unfair contract, not whether I gave right notice or not. The thing is, I don't care about having a fight, and will just go to court. If they send any debt collectors on me I will sue them.

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I had a very similar issues with FF. I gave my 1 month notice again no reply to my letter but when I cancelled the DD I was called & told I owed a further month. Started getting letters from Debt Collectors etc so I took it up with Trading Standards who persued it for me - luckily I had kept my receipt & a copy of my contract when joining & it turned out that I owed them £17 (as I joined in the middle of feb but cancelled my DD after Jan had been paid) & not the £56 that I was getting threatening letters for. Amazing though how these gyms will not respond to letters or telephone calls until you stop paying & even though I asked for a breakdown of the £56 on numerous occasions I was told that it was all membership fees so it just goes to show they'll will try & rip you off for every penny they can get!!!

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Profile Fitness Ltd t/a Lorraine Blake Fitness Clubs (Informal Undertaking Obtained effective 17/03/2003)

 

that is an interesting one... it predates the Esporta one (2004) but is evidence that a club demanding 90 days notice, when they are only required to give 30 days notice to the member, is 'unfair'. The club in this instance actually changed their contract as a result (down to 60 days).

 

Slightly contradictory though, as it also says:

"The club has introduced a new 'rolling membership' contract with no minimum membership period. The OFT takes the view that in such contracts it is reasonable for clubs to request a long period of written notice. This is because longer notice periods provide more flexibility for members overall, while protecting clubs from the consequences of sudden cancellation by members."

 

From what I can make out (and don't take this as gospel)

 

1) the club and the member should have the same rights to terminate, and the same notice period

2) the method of service of notice should be the same (that is something I can only infer from the UTCCA)

3) a long notice period can be 'fair' if it forms part of a rolling contract

4) if the member serves an initial period (core term) of 12 months, a long notice period can be 'unfair'

 

In my situation, 1, 2 and 4 are all valid. A 3 month notice period is in force, even after I completed a 12 month minimum term. In addition, my club can terminate immediately (for certain things), give 1 month's notice (for other things) and 3 months for the remainder. As a member, I can ONLY give 30 days notice for everything except price increases, where I can give 1 month...

 

And to cap it all, they can deem notice served on ME simply by posting a letter. I have to wait for them to receive AND ACKNOWLEDGE a letter before they agree it is served. I definitely think that is unfair, although I haven't had confirmation of that yet.

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Oh, and the Bannatyne ruling:

 

"The Company has introduced two new terms with which we have some residual concerns with them. Accordingly, we have reserved our position on them, pending receipt of complaint evidence. Term 6(d): This term now makes clear that a member may give 3 months' written notice to terminate a contract at any time after the end of the 9th month from the start of membership. We consider that, although members are able to end their memberships on expiry of the minimum period of 12 months, 3 months is still a relatively long period of notice to give both before and after the expiry of 12 months, and may have the effect of an excessive cancellation period."

 

Bannatyne Fitness (Informal Undertaking Obtained effective 15/03/2005)

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  • 3 weeks later...

Just a quick update, I emailed them and said they were being unfair, and that I was told I was only tied in for 12 months when joining.

 

I explained that I had never even been shown how to use any of the equipment (no wonder I only went 4 time sin first 2 weeks and never gain).

 

I also told them I was prepared to go to court.

 

Today I received a letter from ARC Europe, demading payment in 10 days or they will take me to court. Emailed Esporta again, thanking them for activating debt collectors!

 

I then contacted ARC and asked if they could waver the 10 day period I have to pay, and go straight to court proceedings, I think this threw them a bit and they "will get back to me". I don't care if it goes to court, what happens if I lose; I get a CCJ against me, so what ?

 

I don't seek or use credit, have a fixed mortgage for whole term, so credit rating means nothing to me.

 

people might find this of interest from another forum

 

"

1. on 20th Aug 2007

My wife has just won a seven month battle with Esporta. She completed her 12 months agreed membership then tried to cancel. Esporta refused and insisted on 3 months notice, this was in the small print on the back of the membership application form. We took legal advice and refused to pay on the grounds that she had applied for and signed a credit agreement for 12 months only and fulfilled this. The extra 3 months meant that it became a 15 month agreement therefore this is an unfair term in the contract with reference to the "Unfair Terms in Consumer Contracts Regulations 1999". Esporta of course didn't accept this and tried a few tricks, said they never received the letter (but banked the final payment enclosed !) Then they passed the "debt" which they inexplicably inflated to around £600, to a credit collection agency - ARC Europe Ltd. Numerous threatening letters followed saying that court proceedings would be commenced if the debt remained unpaid. They then sent two solicitors letters stating that proceedings had commenced. We held out re-confirming the debt was disputed and we were prepared to argue this in court if necessary (our legal advisors said they were very unlikely to go to court as it would cost them more than the debt - also if we won it would set a precedent for everyone else in the same position - so not in Esporta's interest).

No court summons was ever received. Then started numerous harassing phone calls to my wife from ARC at our home and her work number which she found very embarrassing. We logged the time date and name of each call for several weeks. Next, on legal advice we wrote to ARC, copying in Esporta head office and our local Trading Standards stating that they were in breach of "Office of Fair Trading" guidelines, if a debt is disputed it should only be pursued by legal means, not by harassment. We referred to "Section 40 of the Administration of Justice Act 1970" which makes it a criminal offence to harass individuals for money not due, or disputed. Trading standards have powers to intervene using the "Protection from Harassment Act 1977" in such cases. Only then did we receive a letter from ARC trying to defend their actions and stating that on this particular occasion the debt would be written off with no further action to be taken! Now we are checking my wife's credit report via Equifax to make sure that no "bad debt" has been recorded against her credit file. If it has we will have to contact the "Information Commissioner" to get it removed. It has been a long and stressful process but by sticking with it and the legal advice received we have finally won through. "

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  • 2 months later...

Well, I have now had 6 calls from debt collectors, each time I have tld them I WANT to go to court. I have explained to them, I am doing this on moral grounds not financial. Fortunately, I am very OK for money so, the costs do not bother me, I am making a stand on principle due to the amount of people these guys have extorted money from.

 

I have recently had 2 letters from the debt recovery solicitors trying to buly me "you MUST pay NOW", "we are about to staet court proceedings" etc. I just laugh, as I have told them, I WANT them to take me to court, I WANT to have my day, state my case; both moral and the legal points I have on my side. I WANT to inform the court of everyone on here who is basically being bullied and extorted.

 

I am hoping I can get it to the High Court, where, if I win, it means every person in the last 5 years who has paid this "illegal" extra 3 months money, will be entitled to claim it back by law.

 

I made a final call to them, and told them, I want to go to court, stop sending letters, and please don't back down (I really am not doing it so they back off, I really want to go to court). I alrady have a 20 page defence file I have written.

 

Also, it seems they like to threaten that you will get a CCJ against you and be black listed. I have found out, that even if you lose, if you pay up within 1 month, you do not get any of this against you. So I cannot lose really, I go to court (hopefully) and if I lose, I will pay the same day, all it will cost me is an additional £70 in fees. Well worth a day in court in my books. So, hopefully the next letter I get, will be from the County Court giving me a hearing date, if not, I am tempted to sue them instead for the full 1 year membership, so at least I will get someone listening to me!

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