Gym refund terms and conditions
in Consumer rights
10 replies 289 views
A family member joined 24/7 fitness gyms during the Black Friday sales. Unfortunately it has come to a point where they are unable to attend due to health concerns..primarily chest pains for which they have been referred to get an mri scan.
They requested a refund due to said health concerns but the gym has refused, stating that heavily discounted memberships will not be refunded.
Upon reading their terms and conditions it seems very unfair that only possible reasons for refund are imprisonment, death or bankruptcy.
Is there anything we can do to get a refund for remaining months? We paid via PayPal if that makes any difference.
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Even if you had paid full price, does health issues allow you to cancel for refund?
At the moment, your relative has a health concern that is yet to be diagnosed, and hopefully isn't anything serious. Whilst it's a sensible precaution to not do strenuous exercise if that's what's been advised, until there's an actual diagnosis, they don't know if returning to the gym is impossible - it may even be recommended.
I agree, if someone has died it's surely not unfair to refund the remainder of their membership?
Not too sure about imprisonment - the commonest period is 7 days imprisonment, less than your annual holiday.
But that's not the point. It doesn't matter whether you or I think the terms are unfair or not, they are what your relative chose to sign up to. He agreed to them. He chose those terms rather than other memberships on offer.
Getting back to the gym as soon as he is allowed will be really beneficial to him.
I'd probably take a different route and ask the gym if they can pause the membership until a diagnosis is made. They might be more flexible if they know it's not a straight up cancellation.
I'm not saying there is anything obviously unfair here though, but it may be worth OP reviewing the legislation and associated guidance if they wish to try to construct an unfair contract terms case:
which in turn does reference a gym contract case at the foot of page 91:
Note also, minimum tie-in periods of 12 months were held to be unfair where the consumer could not end the agreement in certain circumstances including medical reasons which stopped the consumer using the gym, or loss of livelihood.
If gyms paid out refunds any time a member had a health concern, pulled a muscle, broke a bone, had a serious illness like flu, etc. they wouldn't be in business for long. The best thing to do here is for your relative to try and negotiate a pause or time extension to their membership. If the request is framed the right way, mentioning that following a diagnosis, long-term membership might be an essential part of his recovery, the gym might be more amenable.
Other than that, he certainly has no entitlement to a partial refund, because the gym is abiding by their own terms (to which he agreed) and they appear fair.
What precise instruction has he received from his GP with respect to exercise? And has this health concern meant he's had to give up work or suffered a loss of income?