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Alice H
Alice H, Solicitor/Partner
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 2850
Experience:  Partner in national law firm
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Health club in Breach of promise?

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"For Alex Hughes"

I have cut and pasted my question (and your answer) below from four months ago.

Here is my new question at the top:


I have recently made a spa day visit to the gym without any incident. I saw and but did not speak to the spa director. I then tried to book another and received an email saying "that I may not use the spa under any circumstance" and phone message that my visit was being declined. I am enraged!. I was a member of the gym for three years and being able to stay in touch with many members and some of the staff is important to me. Since the membership termination I have had a successful spa visit and then this "declined" spa day. No other factor has changed. Is this "random discrimination" lawful?. I have reviewed all letters and emails and recorded conversations and can find no mention of a lifetime ban before the declined spa day (NB the money was returned promptly). Local trading standards have said in email that none of this is covered by their enforcement. The consumers association (CAB) has said that the spa's refusal to give information about the membership termination is "potentially an offence". Is the second declined spa day lawful?. My guess is that the spa meant to ban me for life and forgot to say so. But this is not the literal meaning of the words they used. Is this second declination lawful?. I am considering making remarks about them on social websites, if I say I have the opinion of a solicitor that they have broken contract law and also the CAB remark "potentially an offence" would I be libelling them and likely to receiving a writ or other legal sanction from them?. I have no intention of saying anything untrue!.


The original question from four months ago:


My health club has written to me to say they are terminating my membership with immediate effect. I went to see the manager who said she was concerned about the "way I treat other members" and that my behaviour may have cost the club 20 memberships!. I have no clue what she means and I am taking extreme offence. I asked her to outline what her concerns were. She said "I am not going to tell you because I do not have to". I wrote to her superior [a Director] who replied in writing "I uphold the action taken. My decison is final and I see no value in continued contact." I am shocked bewildered and offended. I have been a member for three years and have no clue what the problem is. Mistaken identity perhaps?. I have some vouchers for treatments at the club which she said she would honour. So I still have some contact even though my membership is terminated. Can I force her to say what the problem is?. The club has CCTV, so any tangible allegation can be contested. CCTV does not tell lies. Do I have any right to demand / force better explanation or reinstatement from from my health club?. I feel deeply insulted and betrayed (three years!). The club is private part of the Donnington Valley hotel. The membership terms do allow them to termite without reason.

You said they are in breach of contract.


Thanks for your question.

I'm a little unclear. Why is it discrimination to refuse to take your booking?

Are you saying that they do not have the right to pick and choose their customers?

Please clarify.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

I booked a spa day with them which went well. And then another day they declined the spa day saying it was because of the terminated membership. No factor had changed between one spa day and another. If they felt they had made a contract to honour one day yet under precisely the same circumstances another day they "declined" stating a reason which applied before both events. So one day a contract is acceptable and another it is not. If their criteria is rational then either both bookings would have been accepted or refused. Do they have a right to be non rational in choosing their customers?.


The stated reason does not logically follow and also has been applied randomly. Can they reasonably claim that I should have inferred a lifetime ban and never booked any spa days?. It is not the literal meaning of the words they have used. If I had realised they were banning me for life I would have been faster in seeking legal advice as it is much greater insult and inconvenience than the membership termination. If someone has made a false accusation(s) about me I need to know about it so I can respond to it. I deny any wrong doing.


I understand the point you're making but what do you want to achieve here?

Its not a breach of contract to say they will not accept future bookings from you. Can you have a look at their terms and conditions of booking and see if there's a clause which says they reserve a right to refuse spa bookings?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

If I am going to issue a letter of claim over the original termination, I clearly need to know if there is any other legal issues. I do really want to know who? if anyone? told them lies sufficient fro them to terminate membership. I still have no details on this. Could it be a mistaken Identity?. No details so no way to judge. I think the only paper copy terms and conditions I have refers to membership. I'd have to research on line lastminutedotcom to answer your question properly. There is a fitness prize worth approx £200 I would have won in October 2014 if they had not ended my membership. Members get rewarded for logging their exercise. I was number five in the gym's whole history. I still have a great sense of injustice as I not done anything "wrong" in the gym to warrant the termination. If I could at least get spa day access I could keep touch with people I have known for three years. Perhaps one might be able to tell the reason for termination?. Someone has an enmity for me!, who?, why?


You should write to the gym a lodge a formal complaint about their behaviour.

Simultaneously you should send a letter of claim as per the Civil Procedure Rules setting out the following:

(1) your full name and address;
(2) the basis on which the claim is made (i.e. breach of contract);
(3) a clear summary of the facts on which the claim is based;
(4) what you want from the gym (i.e. an explanation for refusal of entry and evidence upon which decisions have been made and reinstatement of your membership);and
(5) if financial loss is claimed, an explanation of how the amount has been calculated.
The letter should also –
(a) list the essential documents on which the claimant intends to rely (e.g. note of records of alleged incidents, telephone logs, correspondence);
(b)request a response within 14 days; and
(c) identify and ask for copies of any other relevant documents which you wish to see.

Once you have this information you can then take stock of your position to see whether there is a claim worth pursuing. Based on the outline you've given me so far, its difficult to say either way but once you receive a response to the letter you can come back to me for further guidance.

When you write the letter make sure you make reference to the Civil Procedure Rules, that your letter if a 'letter of claim' and you are complying with the Pre-Action protocol.


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