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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 44962
Experience:  Qualified Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
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Hi, Im looking at leaving my gym where I have been a member

Customer Question

Hi, I'm looking at leaving my gym where I have been a member for 6 months, paying £55 a month. I don't go enough to justify paying that much, I'm sure it's a 12 month contract. They have closed for a month whilst they carry out refurbishment and I was wondering if I can say they've breached the contract or something? Their not making me pay for the month that it is closed.
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 2 years ago.

Ben Jones :

Hello, my name is XXXXX XXXXX it is my pleasure to assist you with your question today. Does your contract with them state anything about their ability to close temporarily?

JACUSTOMER-ljxvtn7z- : To be honest I don't know, I was going to get a copy as I've lost mine but with it being closed I can't get through.
Ben Jones :

ok let me get my response ready please

Ben Jones :

What you have read on the internet is more or less accurate. It is common for consumers to be asked to enter into a minimum (usually 12-month) contract to use the services of a gym or fitness club. Many people have tried to cancel their membership before the expiration of this term, only to be asked to pay for the remainder of their membership and threatened with debt collectors if they fail to do so.


 


The starting point in such situations is that the club will usually be allowed to impose this minimum membership term on its members and also demand payment for the remainder of the term in the event of early cancellation. Whilst there are certain arguments by consumers that such terms are unfair and unenforceable, as long as they have been plainly and clearly stated in the contract, rather than hidden in the small print, they would be enforceable.


 


There are, however, certain reasons that the consumer can use to try and cancel the contract early, without having to pay for the remainder.


 


One example is a breach of contract by the club. If you were specifically promised certain facilities that have not materialised and you based your decision to join on these, you could claim that the club has breached their part of the contract and as such you could treat the contract as being void. In your case you are claiming the closure is a breach but if they have a clause which allows them to do so and also they are not charging you for the month that could defend such an argument.


 


Another example is if the club was in some ways considered to be unhygienic or unsafe. However, for that to apply it has to be more than a trivial issue.


 


Unless any of the above points apply, you are unfortunately likely to be bound to the terms of the membership and failure to pay could result in the club taking further action to try and recover any fees due. So in the first instance you should try and get the terms to see what you were bound by because this is really a contractual issue where the first reference would be to the contract.

JACUSTOMER-ljxvtn7z- : Can I get back to you when I manage to get hold of the contract and just go through it with you before I finish in this question
Ben Jones :

yes sure, just get back to me on here. You may get automated reminders from the system but just ignore these

JACUSTOMER-ljxvtn7z- : Ok many thanks
Ben Jones :

No problem, will await your reply

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