MSE News: Tens of thousands can cancel gym contracts

This is the discussion thread for the following MSE News Story:

"Certain terms of local gym deals, including the minimum contract length have been ruled unfair by the High Court ..."
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  • DaveF327DaveF327 Forumite
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    I'm glad that courts are taking unfair contracts seriously in general.

    In particular, I'm intrigued by item 13 here and am wondering whether this encouragement can be used by drivers who are being unduly penalised by private parking companies who use similar unfair terms in their small print "contracts" which aren't even read by the people who are litigated against in county courts across the country.
  • I_luv_catsI_luv_cats Forumite
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    I fail to understand why gyms require a 12 months minimum contract. It's about time the industry is clamped down on!!!

    I understand with telephony and pay tv services there are minimum terms because the company has had upfront costs (provision of service, equipment, handset etc.) they need to recoup.
  • luvsnailluvsnail Forumite
    27 Posts
    There's a new gym opening up "soon" near where I work. They have gym signs on the outside the building but you can look inside and see nothing but a pile of rubble where, presumably, they're going to start building a gym one day.

    Despite this, the marketers are out in force, with leaflets coming through the door and people with sandwich boards harrassing me in the street. The amazing thing is they want me to sign up for the contract now, and make an up-front payment!

    Seriously, would you feel comfortable signing contracts and handing over money for a gym that doesn't even exist yet?! :eek:
  • edited 1 June 2011 at 12:23AM
    trets77trets77 Forumite
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    edited 1 June 2011 at 12:23AM
    I_luv_cats wrote: »
    I fail to understand why gyms require a 12 months minimum contract. It's about time the industry is clamped down on!!!

    I understand with telephony and pay tv services there are minimum terms because the company has had upfront costs (provision of service, equipment, handset etc.) they need to recoup.

    people start out with good intentions and then cannot be bothered .

    this is still no excuse if you ask me . if a Gym needs to tie you in , ask yourself why ?

    My local independent gym charges
    • No joining fee
    • No fixed contract
    • no cheaper membership for not being able to go after 4pm
    • No fee for classes


    people stay because it is a reasonably priced (flat £35 a month) no strings attached friendly gym . in the evenings it is always busy , and there is always a fair few people in , whatever the time of day .

    proof you can run a successful gym without the nasty contracts . The gym stands on it strengths .

    i would not swap gyms for any chain gym or gym with tie in clauses ect
    Better in my pocket than theirs :rotfl:
  • xgingerxxgingerx Forumite
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    What about other companies, ie Harlands ? would the same apply to them , i know its not helpful for me now as I got a 36 month contract and only have a few months to run so im leaving it, but may help someone else?
    Dmp Mutual Support thread member No 82
  • Boosh31Boosh31 Forumite
    1 Post
    Argh! I have one of these contracts which started last August - lasting a minimum of 36 months. I have not been to the Gym since last November and feel like such an idiot for signing in the first place. Looked into cancelling the contract and read in the t&cs that it was imposible for me to do so without paying all the monthly subcription charges over the minimum period!!

    I've now just read that it is possible to cancel after a 12 month contract and by giving 30 days notice - Do I contact the gym or go direct to Ashbourne? any advice is appreciated! Thanks.
  • Loobie1Loobie1 Forumite
    6 Posts
    I am so glad this has been enforced.
    I took out a contract with the local gym about 3 years ago now over a 36 month period (although at the time thought it was only 2 years). I got pregnant a year into the contract and tried to cancel as I knew I would never use it again but was told that I was bound by the contract and that I would have to pay the remainder of the term owed to cancel. I couldn't afford to do this so ended up paying monthly for something I never used. Anyway, at the beginning of last year we moved house, about 40+ miles away and my friend told me that there is no way I should have to continue paying for a gym I was physically unable to attend so I rang them again and hey presto, I could cancel the contract as I was no longer living within a 10 mile radius of the gym, all with no cost at all to me.
    The company was Ashbourne Management Services Ltd.
  • xgingerx wrote: »
    What about other companies, ie Harlands ? would the same apply to them , i know its not helpful for me now as I got a 36 month contract and only have a few months to run so im leaving it, but may help someone else?
    :mad:

    has any one had the pleasure of dealing with thie roughue company!! they are nothing more than bullies who pride themselves in being able to recoiever just about any debt using ttally unacceptable practices!!
  • mad_fifermad_fifer Forumite
    2 Posts
    just phoned ashbourne and they told me to write in and they will look at it on a case by case basis so let the fun begin
  • techniumtechnium Forumite
    65 Posts
    Hmm this might not be as easy as I was hoping.

    Ive just called and said I want to cancel as not using it and OFT said about the contract and was abruptly told that "IT hasnt been decided yet and wont be until 13th June so theres nothing I can do about it now" I said that I want to cancel now and she said I had to put it in writing and it will be looked at after the 13th and if its decided that OFT are wrong then I will be liable for the full 36 Months of payments!!! I said I will write to cancel it and stop the direct debit to which she replied "do what you want" and put the phone down!!!

    we have 3 contracts at this house (me, wife and daughter) so this would save us a fortune.

    Not sure what to make of this decision on the 13th though.....any ideas????
    Win £2008 for 2008 member No.430

    Started Comping Dec 25th 07 - So far won nothing but early days yet!!! - thinking positively:rotfl:
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