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Xercise4less/Harlands chasing me for money

edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in Debt-Free Wannabe
21 replies 2.6K views
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  • WhenIam64WhenIam64 Forumite
    1.1K posts
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    Harlands will manage and process the cancellation of your membership upon receipt of a properly submitted cancellation request form either via the cancellation option in your Xercise4Less app or the Xercise4Less
    website.

    Though this looks "reasonable" it is not. It fails to take account of those people who are digitally poor or challenged. As churn/buyer remorse is a problem for gyms plus other impulse purchases, then are attempting to blind people by the small print. Small print terms went out the window years ago.

    If you owe any money for the 30 days, pay it. If you have paid more than the 30 days ask for your money back and if they fail to pay, issue a claim.

    There is a nice class action here for an ambulance chasing solicitor given the way these terms are being applied. Hope someone takes up the challenge.

    http://competitionlawblog.kluwercompetitionlaw.com/2015/10/05/united-kingdom-consumer-rights-act-2015-introduces-new-procedures-for-competition-litigation-including-collective-follow-on-damages-actions/
    Unlike some here, I am not omniscient. If I am wrong correct me. I won't take offence.

    The law is like an ocean - have a swim but don't drown.
  • I sent them this email, as I had just paid them for a month about 3 days prior, so I would owe them a new months fees 3 days from the end of the 30 day notice period:

    Dear Harlands/Xercise4less,

    I have received an email informing me that you are requesting £69.98 in arrears from me.

    I tried to cancel my contract fairly using your online portal, but it found my email address to be not attached to any account.

    Using my right to challenge unfair terms of a contract, I decline to pay your admin fees in this situation.

    I offer £9.99 to cover the 30 days notice which the contract requests for cancellation.

    I await your reply within 14 days of sending this email.

    Any emails outside of 14 days, or any requests for more than £9.99 will be ignored.

    Thanks,

    CainDingle
  • So not even 24 hours later, I get this as a reply:

    "We do regret to inform you that in accordance with the Terms and Conditions of your agreement, we are unable to remove the administration charge that you are disputing.

    One of the Terms of this agreement, which you have agreed to be bound by, is that "if you fail to pay any monies due under this agreement or if any Direct Debit is returned unpaid or any cheque is returned unpaid or if any other form of payment is not honored for whatever reason, you shall pay us on demand fee of £25.00, which we require to cover our costs of seeking to pursue such payment from you."

    As you have cancelled your direct debit instruction you have prevented the successful collection of your due instalment and thus have breached the terms of your agreement"


    They've declined my offer of a months membership and lost their chance to get any more money out of me.

    Do I just wait it out and forget about it now?
  • edited 7 November 2019 at 7:31AM
    WhenIam64WhenIam64 Forumite
    1.1K posts
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    edited 7 November 2019 at 7:31AM
    Do I just wait it out and forget about it now?

    File it. They appear to be saying that a contract with one company (Xercise) binds you to a second contract with another company (known as a stranger to a contract)

    Have a chat with the CAB Consumer Helpline and see if they have others with the same problem. CAB are the gateway to Trading Standards, and this has all the looks of a scam.

    https://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/about-us/how-citizens-advice-works/citizens-advice-consumer-work/the-consumer-rights-act-2015/
    Unlike some here, I am not omniscient. If I am wrong correct me. I won't take offence.

    The law is like an ocean - have a swim but don't drown.
  • Tried doing it through the website chat options to be met with the recommendation that I should pay it.

    I tried the number and the guy wouldn't even touch the situation, referred me to the National Debtline.

    Didn't have time to call it today by the time I'd done all of the above, going to try tomorrow as they are open until 1pm.

    Will let you know what they say.
  • So The Debtline have told me:

    That they have the right to chase me for this money.

    The terms of my contract stated the prices plus the charges they are issuing to me.

    While the mistake was an honest one, and they completely side with me, it was a mistake on my end nonetheless and it's up to me to try and get them to come to a compromise.

    If Harlands want to use the court option, it's a real possibility. As a broken website portal is easier said, hard to prove, they don't advise this option, as I broke terms clearly stated in the contract
  • WhenIam64WhenIam64 Forumite
    1.1K posts
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    as I broke terms clearly stated in the contract

    If they were clearly stated, why didn't you know about them? There is still the issue of Harlands being a second party to a contract. Your agreement was with X4L and as such Harlands have no standing as it wasn't their contract. X4L may be able to mount a claim but Harlands would have to prove the relationship You - X4L - them.

    It is up to you what you would like to do but you should at least be aware of the arguments they would need to apply / convince a court
    Unlike some here, I am not omniscient. If I am wrong correct me. I won't take offence.

    The law is like an ocean - have a swim but don't drown.
  • sourcratessourcrates Forumite, Board Guide
    20.7K posts
    Tenth Anniversary 10,000 Posts Name Dropper Photogenic
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    These type of gym contract disputes crop up on here on a regular basis and in almost every single case it was because the debtor just cancelled the DD in the hope that would cancel the contract, which of course it dosent.

    Its a notoriously gray area of contract law, and i suspect a lot of people either end up paying the debt or ignoring it, this is just speculation on my part as not one poster has ever returned to tell us otherwise, myself I would say Harlands won`t go to court, they rely mainly on threats of legal action, the cost for another thing would be far in excess of what they may recover from you, and they cannot take everyone to court.


    Some interesting reading from the CAG site here :


    https://www.consumeractiongroup.co.uk/topic/403974-help-crsharlands-debt-written-off/


    Make a fuss, it may all just go away.
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  • edited 13 November 2019 at 12:16AM
    CainDingleCainDingle Forumite
    31 posts
    edited 13 November 2019 at 12:16AM
    So Citizens advice basically told me they can't advise me either way; in today's world, they have to remain impartial. They said I can complain to an Alternative Dispute Resolution, but I need to dig up facts to support my case. Also, Harlands can completely overlook this and just demand the money and go down the court route. They did say they would refer my case to trading standards though.

    My next move was to go to the gym to ask for a print out of my file, which proves the date I cancelled my membership to support my claims. The guys behind the desk (the same ones as the last time I went in, coincidentally) basically advised me to forget about the whole thing. They said they've had people sign up to their site multiple times after owing money to an old cancellation, and Harlands never chase it up.

    Also, I got an email from their Area manager (after deciding to complain to xercise4less):

    Unfortunately you are not able to cancel a membership without an active direct debit.
    When you cancelled your direct debit Harlands would have contacted you to reinstate it to avoid charges being placed on the account.
    As you have not followed the cancellation procedure and cancelled your direct debit, unfortunately you will have to resolve this with Harlands.
    Their contact number is 01444 227 141
  • edited 13 November 2019 at 7:36AM
    WhenIam64WhenIam64 Forumite
    1.1K posts
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    edited 13 November 2019 at 7:36AM
    You are going round in circles in the hope that Harlands will do anything other than give you the background to the basis of their claim. They have to prove it, not you to disprove it.

    Forget about it but keep a copy of this for later. This is the hurdle that Harlands will need to overcome. Look at Cancellation Clauses and throw in Hidden Terms for afters.

    https://www.ihasco.co.uk/uploads/resources/RESOURCE_Blacklist_and_Grey_List_of_Terms.pdf

    If you want a third string throw in Misleading and Aggressive Commercial Practices to support the CRA arguement

    https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/721872/misleading-aggressive-commercial-practices-guidance.pdf
    Unlike some here, I am not omniscient. If I am wrong correct me. I won't take offence.

    The law is like an ocean - have a swim but don't drown.
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