Gym membership

edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in Health & Beauty MoneySaving
8 replies 1.1K views
treenotreeno Forumite
4 Posts
edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in Health & Beauty MoneySaving
Hi all,

I signed up for Virgin Active Twickenham back in Jan 2011 (my dad paid as I was under 18 and no real income at the time). I signed up for a 12 month contract that would switch to a 1 month rolling contract afterwards. Went to uni in October so had no real use for the gym so my dad cancelled his direct debit in November. The payment for December obviously did not go through. Anyway, I went home at Christmas to find a letter saying we owe them a months membership and that my membership had been suspended until arrears settled which is fair enough because I think the contract specified that we needed to give them a months notice of cancellation. So I just told my dad that they were after £80 and went back to uni.

My dad is pretty slow at getting things done and he only just rang them up last week to find that they were demanding 3 months membership even though the direct debit was cancelled in November and they suspended my membership in December! So they want the membership for 2 extra months for which not only did I not use the gym, I also had no access to as my membership had been suspended. Him being a softy paid up and told me but I have to think that that can't be right. Surely they can't charge for months when my membership was suspended?

I have sent them an email asking them to cancel my membership and send me a copy of the contract we signed so I can have a look at it. Does anyone think I have a case for the extra 2 months membership (£160!).

Cheers!

Replies

  • TimBearTimBear Forumite
    808 Posts
    Stopping making payments does not mean that the contract is cancelled. If the DD was cancelled without informing the gym that you actually want to end your agreement with them, then I'm afraid they have every right to expect payment from you.
  • TimBearTimBear Forumite
    808 Posts
    Should also have that with regards to the suspension, think of it this way - if you do not pay your mobile phone bill, your provider will restrict your phone so you can not use it. You are still liable for the outstanding balance, though, and it doesn't mean your contract has ended.

    The fact you can't use it (gym/phone/whatever) is neither here nor there really; they're just limiting any further financial damage to their company.
  • TimBear wrote: »
    Should also have that with regards to the suspension, think of it this way - if you do not pay your mobile phone bill, your provider will restrict your phone so you can not use it. You are still liable for the outstanding balance, though, and it doesn't mean your contract has ended.

    The fact you can't use it (gym/phone/whatever) is neither here nor there really; they're just limiting any further financial damage to their company.

    Thanks for the reply. That is why I thought it was reasonable to pay for the month of December as I didn't notify them in November. I can't however see why they should be paid for the months of January and February as they were providing no service to me whatsoever.

    If you're comparing it to a SIM only plan, then if I cancelled the direct debit for it, I might expect to pay them for one month as you are billed after usage, but I certainly would not expect to pay for any subsequent months if I had no minutes, texts, etc..

    My point is the contract was for £80 per month for them to provide a service. As soon as they stopped providing that service I can't see why they should be paid any further amounts?
  • TimBearTimBear Forumite
    808 Posts
    I work for a service provider and I have these conversations all the time with people...if you sign an agreement for x months with a provider, be that gym, phone, anything, you can't just stop paying in the middle of that term and think that's the end of it. Even when you come to the end of the term, as you know, you need to give a notice period - something you did not do until three months after you decided you no longer wanted to be a member.

    I do see what you're saying about them restricting the facilities to you, but to be honest I don't think you'll have much luck getting them to refund you anything that has been paid.
  • edited 26 February 2013 at 4:39PM
    cleggy.cleggy.
    1.7K Posts
    edited 26 February 2013 at 4:39PM
    perhaps there is a 3 month notice period to end your contract?...and you could have used the gym right up to the end if you'd given that notice and continued paying for those 3 months ?

    I don't know. Your story is common and on this site a lot with various gyms that are direct debit payment. It's one of the reasons I only pay cash up front for my gym so such mishaps never happen to me.
  • Fire_FoxFire_Fox Forumite
    26K Posts
    Part of the Furniture 10,000 Posts Name Dropper Combo Breaker
    ✭✭✭✭✭
    treeno wrote: »
    Thanks for the reply. That is why I thought it was reasonable to pay for the month of December as I didn't notify them in November. I can't however see why they should be paid for the months of January and February as they were providing no service to me whatsoever.

    If you're comparing it to a SIM only plan, then if I cancelled the direct debit for it, I might expect to pay them for one month as you are billed after usage, but I certainly would not expect to pay for any subsequent months if I had no minutes, texts, etc..

    My point is the contract was for £80 per month for them to provide a service. As soon as they stopped providing that service I can't see why they should be paid any further amounts?

    Just because you don't expect that doesn't mean it is not perfectly legal and quite possibly all explained in the terms and conditions of the contract you signed. Given it's Virgin are the terms and conditions on the website?

    You remain in contract until you properly cancel, not everywhere accepts e-mails, you need to follow the correct protocol. They are not providing a service because you are in arrears! When you catch up you will be able to use the facilities again, generally as soon as payment is processed (so immediately if you pay in cash).

    "We all know that circumstances can change, so we try to be as accommodating as possible.
    Is time a factor in your decision to leave – is the freeze option suitable? This will enable you to keep your membership open whilst giving you a bit of time.
    Do you need motivating with your exercise routine – can we help by asking one of the fitness team to look at your programme?
    Are finances part of the decision? We have many different membership types and it may be possible for you to change to a cheaper membership option?
    Are you moving – is there another Virgin Active gym close to where you are relocating to?
    We don’t want you to go but if cancelling is the only suitable option, if you are on a flexible membership or are at the end of your commitment period, simply complete a 'Just Before You Go' form at your home club, email your club’s member services department or complete the online form. You’ll need to let them know by the 17th of the month before you wish to cancel so they have enough time to process your request*
    * Your notice period to end your membership will depend on your type on contract. Holmes Place and Esporta package memberships require a longer notice period to our usual 17th cut-off.
    If you are on a contracted membership and still in the commitment period, we will do our best to help. We all know that circumstances change, so we try to be as accommodating as possible. Discuss your circumstances with your club and we’ll do everything we can to help
    ."
    http://www.virginactive.co.uk/contact
    Declutterbug-in-progress.⭐️⭐️⭐️ ⭐️⭐️
  • I also have a problem with my gym, I signed up for a half price promo a year and a half ago(3 year contract). When i signed up i was told if i moved out the area i could cancel my membership without paying a fee. I have since moved 14 miles from the gym so phoned the company lyle hill ltd and asked if i could cancel my contract. I was asked how far i had moved so told them it was 14 miles only to be told it had to be 15 miles for me to cancel it for free. I now have to pay £274 to cancel it. Can they make me pay this even though I wasnt told about mileage at the time. I have since recently found out it was a credit agreement i signed up for and not just a standard DD
  • Fire_FoxFire_Fox Forumite
    26K Posts
    Part of the Furniture 10,000 Posts Name Dropper Combo Breaker
    ✭✭✭✭✭
    allant1981 wrote: »
    I also have a problem with my gym, I signed up for a half price promo a year and a half ago(3 year contract). When i signed up i was told if i moved out the area i could cancel my membership without paying a fee. I have since moved 14 miles from the gym so phoned the company lyle hill ltd and asked if i could cancel my contract. I was asked how far i had moved so told them it was 14 miles only to be told it had to be 15 miles for me to cancel it for free. I now have to pay £274 to cancel it. Can they make me pay this even though I wasnt told about mileage at the time. I have since recently found out it was a credit agreement i signed up for and not just a standard DD

    What does your contract and other paperwork say about cancellation/ moving out of the area? You don't have to be told verbally, it's your responsibility to carefully read anything you sign. It's not fundamentally unreasonable IMO to define 'out of the area' as fifteen miles or more.

    OFT thinks such long contracts are unfair, however with a credit agreement you have effectively paid for the full term up front so that complicates matters. Generally contracts should be cancelled in writing not by telephone: you might try quoting the legal ruling in the OFT v. Ashbourne at them.
    http://www.oft.gov.uk/OFTwork/consumer-enforcement/consumer-enforcement-completed/ashbourne/ams-qanda#.UXRmU7WpuSo
    Declutterbug-in-progress.⭐️⭐️⭐️ ⭐️⭐️
This discussion has been closed.
Latest MSE News and Guides

Avro Energy and Green cease trading

What it means for your gas & electrity

MSE News

Energy mythbusting

What really makes a difference?

MSE Guides

Free £6 Amazon credit for some

When you add £50 to gift card balance

MSE Deals