Gyms agree to allow earlier cancellations

Bannatyne Fitness, David Lloyd Leisure and Fitness First Clubs will offer better cancellation rights to their members following an OFT investigation.

Three fitness and health clubs have agreed to change their contract terms to offer improved cancellation rights to their members, following an investigation by the Office of Fair Trading (OFT).

Bannatyne Fitness, David Lloyd Leisure and Fitness First Clubs have all agreed to the following changes:

  • extending rights for members to cancel their contracts early if their circumstances change in such a way that attending the gym becomes difficult or unaffordable, for example through losing their job or suffering an injury;
  • a commitment to not describe membership as being of a fixed duration, if the contract automatically continues on a rolling basis at the end of the initial membership period;
  • improved transparency about key membership features, such as initial membership periods and cancellation rights. These need to be provided up front.

The OFT’s investigation into gym contracts was sparked by a previous High Court ruling against Asbourne Management Services, a gym management firm, back in 2011. Members had been locked into contracts for unfair periods of time and without adequate cancellation rights. The OFT believed others may be behaving in a similar way.

The OFT now has a section on its website dedicated to your rights when taking out a gym contract. It says it is continuing to investigate other companies in the sector.

If you want to keep the cost of getting fit to a minimum, be sure to check out The frugal guide to gyms.

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