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Watchdog force gyms to stop unfair joining terms…

Enable Independent IFA’s of Bishop’s Stortford were really pleased to see that Watchdog is cracking down on Gyms tie in policies for customers across the UK.

At this time of year many people join the gym to get fit, but are not made aware of the terms and conditions of their contracts, and so they often get locked into a two years contract, even if they are not using the gym.

The Office of Fair trading has taken one company, Ashbourne Management, who draws up agreements and collects payments from 700 gyms across the UK to court, over unfair terms, and they have also put many other gyms on notice to make their terms and conditions clearer.

OFT spokesman Cavendish Elithorn said: ‘We are investigating a number of companies that operate fitness club chains or provide management services to gyms over concerns about unfair terms or business practices.

‘These include tying consumers into lengthy terms with limited rights to cancel should their circumstances change, and using misleading debt collection practices.’

The judge ruled that Ashbourne Management’s gym contract was unfair as it ties people into a contract for longer than 12 months and allow the consumer to cancel with 30 days notice, without a huge financial penalty.

In light of these changes several gyms have cut their contracts to a maximum of 12 months. If you are considering a gym membership why not look around for one that offers a rolling contract, where you can cancel at any time, such as Just Gyms in Saffron Walden.

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