The Connecticut Department of Consumer Protection is cautioning those looking to make good on their 2020 fitness resolutions to do their homework before joining a gym.
In a statement, Connecticut Consumer Protection commissioner Michelle H. Seagull said that people should carefully review gym contracts and agreements and do some research before committing to anything.
“New Year’s resolutions often involve a goal of better health, and there’s always a spike in the number of people joining gyms and health clubs,” Seagull wrote. “But, sometimes the excitement of working out wears off after a few months, and consumers are stuck in health club contracts that they just don’t use. That’s why we’re encouraging consumers to do their homework, and to be smart before making a commitment.”
The statement offered the following advice to consumers considering signing on with a health club:
Here’s our advice about what consumers should do before committing to a health club:
- Review the contract or agreement. It’s important to know how much you’re paying, when your bill comes, and what the cancellation policy is. Connecticut law requires health clubs to have contracts in writing.
- Do some research. Look for reviews online, and ask current customers about their experiences.
- Make a visit. Make a visit to the health club you’re considering so you can see what equipment and conditions they have. Often times, contracts are offered online, and it can be easy to sign a contract without seeing a location, but we recommend scheduling a time to visit.
The statement went on to offer the following things that consumers should know should they decide to sign a contract:
- Health club contracts can be offered for as long as two years, but not longer. However, any club offering contracts longer than one year must also offer a one year contract.
- Health club contracts cannot auto renew. The only exception is after a one month period. For example, if you sign up for a one month trial period this month, your contract may auto renew for the rest of the year at the end of that period. If the monthly price changes after the first month, that change must be disclosed up front, in writing.
- You have a three day right to cancel. If you sign up for a health club contract, you have the right to inform the health club in writing that you do not wish to continue your contract within the first three days of your agreement.
- There is a Health Club Guaranty Fund. If you have paid for a contract, and your health club closes, you can file an application for the guaranty fund through DCP, and if it is approved, get reimbursed.