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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
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I entered into a gym contract online 4 days ago. I used

Customer Question

Hi,
I entered into a gym contract online 4 days ago. I used the gym twice and decided to cancel. Having researched the 14 day cooling period I was under the impression you could cancel despite having used the gym as long as you pay for the days you used it.
I contacted the the gym with this information and asked to cancel the membership however they have refused and pointed to a section in the terms and conditions that states:
'In relation to members joining online and to whom the distance selling regulations apply, from the date of being accepted as a member he/she shall have a period of 7 days within which to cancel their membership if they change their mind.
This right of cancellation shall be lost as soon as a member enters the club.'
Does this override the consumer regulations? If it does and I can't cancel, does the reason I wanted to cancel (i.e not happy with the service) come into play? Or is there any other way I can get out of the contract?
Thanks in advance for any advice.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Jo C. replied 1 year ago.
Hi.
Thank you for your question. My name is ***** ***** I will try to help with this.
Did the contract offer a cooling off period?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Yes, 7 days although they have said since that in practice they offer 14 days. Would a link to the T&C's help?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
http://www.bannatyne.co.uk/healthandfitness/downloads/12%20month%20Membership%20Agreement.pdf
Expert:  Jo C. replied 1 year ago.
If this was four days ago then surely you are in time?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I am but there main point is that I used the gym twice and so my rights to cancel no longer apply
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
*their
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
'This right of cancellation shall be lost as soon as a member enters the club' - this part in their t&c's
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Considering the reason I want to cancel is because the weights machines I wanted to use were too busy on both occasions at a time I want to use the gym so couldn't complete my workouts. They haven't bothered to ask why I want to cancel. Just seem interested in taking my money
Expert:  Jo C. replied 1 year ago.
Sorry, I see what they mean.
They are not offering contractual rights. They are just acknowledging general distance selling rights.
That is basically a correct assessment. If a consumer begins to use the service during the cooling off period then the cooling off period is no longer available. That is the position of the distance selling legislation. It is actually seven working days rather than seven days so they are wrong on that point but it doesn't change the important issue here.
Generally speaking, a contact cannot contain a term that seeks to void the law but that is not what they have done here. All they are doing is reasserting the law which is not helpful particularly but is not unlawful.
If you do cancel then whether or not they would sue is another matter. It depends whether your contract is to them or to an insurance company who have paid already. If so, they will pursue you I'm afraid.
Sorry if that is bad news.
Can I clarify anything for you?
Jo
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
So the fact I wasn't happy with the service accounts for nothing? How do I find out about the insurance company? If they have used one or not?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I read on Which that the cooling off period does still apply but that you need to pay for what you have used?
Expert:  Jo C. replied 1 year ago.
Just ask them to explain that. There is no reason they shouldn't.
Or you could try to ascertain who you are paying.
I wouldn't be able to comment on what is on Which. The position of the law is that if you start using a service during the cooling off period then the cooling period is lost.
It is always possible that companies may choose to allow an escape but if they contest it that will be the outcome.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I have already asked that I just pay for what I used but they have refused. I am furious. Looks like I will have to keep the contract and somehow make sure it costs Bannatynes as much as it has cost me. haha.
Expert:  Jo C. replied 1 year ago.
You can always make an offer in full and final settlement of a lesser sum.

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