If you are looking to get fit and join a gym in the new year, you aren’t alone.
Each January, millions of people crowd into gyms, health clubs, and fitness centers. While it’s exciting to gear up towards a goal, Better Business Bureau of Upstate New York advises everyone to treat this like any major purchases. BBB received hundreds of complaints about gyms, fitness centers and health clubs across North America in the last two years.
Many complaints were related to contract issues. Remember, those who ask the right questions and read the fine print are more likely to be satisfied.
Five questions to ask the gym:
What are the terms of any introductory offers? Make sure you understand the terms and what price the service will be once the introductory period is over.
Will my membership renew automatically? Many times people join a gym but don’t consider what happens when the original contract runs out. Some gym contracts renew automatically unless they are canceled.
How can I get out of my contract?
Getting out of any contract isn’t always as easy as getting into one. Make sure you understand what steps are necessary to cancel your contract.
What happens if I move? Gyms have any number of policies for what happens if you move. It might depend on how far away you’re moving and if they have affiliate gyms you could attend.
What happens if it goes out of business? Ask the gym to explain what will happen to your money if it goes out of business.
Five questions to ask yourself when looking at a prospective gym:
What are my fitness goals? Determining your fitness goals in advance will help you select the most appropriate facility for your needs. If you have a serious medical condition, consult a medical professional when setting your fitness goals.
Is this location convenient? If the gym is across town, you’ll be less likely to work out. Choose a fitness club that is convenient for you from work and home.
Can I really afford this? Monthly gym fees add up and after any introductory periods are over, the price could jump higher than your budget can handle. Do the math before you join and make sure you can afford the gym membership.
Am I feeling pressured to join? Do not give into high-pressure sales tactics to join right away. A reputable gym will give you enough time to read the contract thoroughly, tour the facility, and make an informed decision.
Did I get everything in writing? Read the contract carefully and make sure that all verbal promises made by the salesperson are in writing. What matters is the document you sign, not what you heard.
For more information, visit bbb.org/gym.