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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
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Experience:  Qualified Solicitor
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I joined a local gym (L A Fitness, Kettering) many years ago

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I joined a local gym (L A Fitness, Kettering) many years ago and have been paying £36 per month since I started. A couple of years ago the gym was taken over by Sports Direct. I was sent a letter about the change of ownership. What I have just found out is that the gym offers 2 types of membership - Gym & swim @ £19.99/mth and Gym, swim and classes @ £24.99/mth. Surely I should have been informed of these memberships with the option to join one of these and my monthly payment adjusted accordingly. I contacted Sports Direct head office and was told to contact my local gym. This I did and they replied as follows:"Thank you for your enquiry, We are able to transfer you to one of our new contracts here in club, however you would be taking on a new contract with us with new terms and conditions. Currently you have full access to the facilities on a No-Contract membership with One months cancellation notice.We can transfer you to either;Gym and Swim - £19.99 PCM
Gym, Swim and Classes - £24.99 PCMBoth of these options are a 6 month contract with 3 months cancellation notice and are subject to a £20 Transfer fee"Am I entitled to claim back any over payment that I have made since Sports Direct took over from L A Fitness as I wasnt informed of the different memberships at the reduced costs?RegardsLisa

Hello, my name is***** am a qualified lawyer and I will be assisting you with your question today.

Legally it would be quite difficult to claim any ‘overpayments’ because in reality you did not overpay but simply continued your original contract which they would have had to honour. When they took over any existing contracts would have automatically transferred over to them and they would have carried over on the same terms. Therefore, even if they did offer a different, cheaper deal, by your continued membership on your existing contract you would not have been overpaying as your old contract would have automatically continued to exist and simply transferred over. You could have sought to end that and re-join on one of their new contracts but that would have been a voluntary act on your part and legally they would not have been required to directly give you that option – you would have had to find that out for yourself.

They could of course offer to reimburse you for this but this would be a goodwill gesture on their part and to be honest you have nothing to lose by pushing for this. But if they refuse and you wish to take this further down the legal route – I would advise against it.

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