Gym refund terms and conditions

in Consumer rights
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5Rivers795Rivers79 Forumite
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Hi Guys. 

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. 

Thank you. 

Replies

  • born_againborn_again Forumite
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    What is the membership period you signed up for?

    Even if you had paid full price, does health issues allow you to cancel for refund?
    Life in the slow lane
  • Aylesbury_DuckAylesbury_Duck Forumite
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    5Rivers79 said:
    Hi Guys. 

    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. 

    Thank you. 
    To play devil's advocate, why is that unfair?   If the terms of the promotion was that refunds would not be offered for anything other than those reasons, all they're doing is abiding by those.  It's possible the normal tariff is more expensive but with greater flexibility or shorter notice periods.

    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.
  • 5Rivers795Rivers79 Forumite
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    5Rivers79 said:
    Hi Guys. 

    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. 

    Thank you. 
    To play devil's advocate, why is that unfair?   If the terms of the promotion was that refunds would not be offered for anything other than those reasons, all they're doing is abiding by those.  It's possible the normal tariff is more expensive but with greater flexibility or shorter notice periods.

    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.
    To me it seems unfair because a health condition could arise other than dying. Chest pains on exertion imo constitute being unable to use the facility. Hopefully the health issue is minor but till that is ascertained, membership can not be used. 

    To me those terms and conditions are unsatisfactory and unfair. One cannot foresee future health conditions surely? 
  • elsienelsien Forumite
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    5Rivers79 said:
    5Rivers79 said:
    Hi Guys. 

    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. 

    Thank you. 
    To play devil's advocate, why is that unfair?   If the terms of the promotion was that refunds would not be offered for anything other than those reasons, all they're doing is abiding by those.  It's possible the normal tariff is more expensive but with greater flexibility or shorter notice periods.

    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.
    To me it seems unfair because a health condition could arise other than dying. Chest pains on exertion imo constitute being unable to use the facility. Hopefully the health issue is minor but till that is ascertained, membership can not be used. 

    To me those terms and conditions are unsatisfactory and unfair. One cannot foresee future health conditions surely? 
    The time to question that should probably have been before signing, not several months down the line.
    All shall be well, and all shall be well, and all manner of things shall be well.

    Pedant alert - it's could have, not could of.
  • AlderbankAlderbank Forumite
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    To play devil's advocate, why is that unfair? 

    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.

  • Gavin83Gavin83 Forumite
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    As unfair as it may seem the health concerns of your family member are not the gyms problem. They agreed to the terms when registering and they don't allow for cancellation in such circumstances. Therefore I don't really see any way for them to wiggle out of this. It may well be the discounted rate has less flexibility than the full rate and it may even be the reason it was discounted.

    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.
  • eskbankereskbanker Forumite
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    Alderbank said:
    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.
    But it's not necessarily just about what's in the terms, if a case can be made that the terms are objectively unfair by reference to the unfair contract terms provisions in the Consumer Rights Act:

    https://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2015/15/part/2/enacted

    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:

    https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/450440/Unfair_Terms_Main_Guidance.pdf

    which in turn does reference a gym contract case at the foot of page 91:

    https://www.bailii.org/cgi-bin/markup.cgi?doc=/ew/cases/EWHC/Ch/2011/1237.html

    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.

  • edited 15 February at 5:50PM
    Aylesbury_DuckAylesbury_Duck Forumite
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    edited 15 February at 5:50PM
    5Rivers79 said:
    5Rivers79 said:
    Hi Guys. 

    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. 

    Thank you. 
    To play devil's advocate, why is that unfair?   If the terms of the promotion was that refunds would not be offered for anything other than those reasons, all they're doing is abiding by those.  It's possible the normal tariff is more expensive but with greater flexibility or shorter notice periods.

    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.
    To me it seems unfair because a health condition could arise other than dying. Chest pains on exertion imo constitute being unable to use the facility. Hopefully the health issue is minor but till that is ascertained, membership can not be used. 

    To me those terms and conditions are unsatisfactory and unfair. One cannot foresee future health conditions surely? 
    I disagree.  Pumping iron or running on a treadmill might not be possible/recommended/viable, but light exercise on a treadmill is probably perfectly feasible, so the facility is useable.  I doubt that absolutely all of the facilities there are now entirely unusable.  If your relative has been told not to undertake any activity at all - even walking - then it's likely they'd be receiving emergency treatment immediately, rather than being referred to an MRI scan.

    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?
  • 5Rivers795Rivers79 Forumite
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    5Rivers79 said:
    5Rivers79 said:
    Hi Guys. 

    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. 

    Thank you. 
    To play devil's advocate, why is that unfair?   If the terms of the promotion was that refunds would not be offered for anything other than those reasons, all they're doing is abiding by those.  It's possible the normal tariff is more expensive but with greater flexibility or shorter notice periods.

    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.
    To me it seems unfair because a health condition could arise other than dying. Chest pains on exertion imo constitute being unable to use the facility. Hopefully the health issue is minor but till that is ascertained, membership can not be used. 

    To me those terms and conditions are unsatisfactory and unfair. One cannot foresee future health conditions surely? 
    I disagree.  Pumping iron or running on a treadmill might not be possible/recommended/viable, but light exercise on a treadmill is probably perfectly feasible, so the facility is useable.  I doubt that absolutely all of the facilities there are now entirely unusable.  If your relative has been told not to undertake any activity at all - even walking - then it's likely they'd be receiving emergency treatment immediately, rather than being referred to an MRI scan.

    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?
    No physical activity till the issue has been found. The gym has refused to pause membership as this was the first question that was asked. 
  • elsienelsien Forumite
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    5Rivers79 said:
    5Rivers79 said:
    5Rivers79 said:
    Hi Guys. 

    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. 

    Thank you. 
    To play devil's advocate, why is that unfair?   If the terms of the promotion was that refunds would not be offered for anything other than those reasons, all they're doing is abiding by those.  It's possible the normal tariff is more expensive but with greater flexibility or shorter notice periods.

    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.
    To me it seems unfair because a health condition could arise other than dying. Chest pains on exertion imo constitute being unable to use the facility. Hopefully the health issue is minor but till that is ascertained, membership can not be used. 

    To me those terms and conditions are unsatisfactory and unfair. One cannot foresee future health conditions surely? 
    I disagree.  Pumping iron or running on a treadmill might not be possible/recommended/viable, but light exercise on a treadmill is probably perfectly feasible, so the facility is useable.  I doubt that absolutely all of the facilities there are now entirely unusable.  If your relative has been told not to undertake any activity at all - even walking - then it's likely they'd be receiving emergency treatment immediately, rather than being referred to an MRI scan.

    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?
    No physical activity till the issue has been found. The gym has refused to pause membership as this was the first question that was asked. 
    None? Not even walking or house work?
    All shall be well, and all shall be well, and all manner of things shall be well.

    Pedant alert - it's could have, not could of.
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