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  • FIRST POST
    • fuzzgun19
    • By fuzzgun19 15th Jan 20, 2:01 PM
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    fuzzgun19
    Gym membership unfair charge for cancelling
    • #1
    • 15th Jan 20, 2:01 PM
    Gym membership unfair charge for cancelling 15th Jan 20 at 2:01 PM
    I’m asking about this for my son, he has had gym membership for the last 3 years but is now out of work and cannot afford it any more.
    He didn’t have money for the direct debit so cancelled it through the bank.
    Now the gym has emailed him saying he’s overdue, and have added a £25 ‘fee’ on to his usual monthly payment.

    He tried calling to explain, but they just said it’s in t&cs and they’re not altering it.

    The company is Harlands. Surely £25 charge is excessive?
    He wouldn’t have cancelled the DD if he knew they would charge him for it.
    Is there any way to contest the charge?
    I Hate Jobsworths!!!
Page 1
    • jeepjunkie
    • By jeepjunkie 15th Jan 20, 2:09 PM
    • 1,705 Posts
    • 1,496 Thanks
    jeepjunkie
    • #2
    • 15th Jan 20, 2:09 PM
    • #2
    • 15th Jan 20, 2:09 PM
    Why on earth would he just cancel the DD!? The contract will have to ended formally in accordance with the T&Cs.
    • LittleVoice
    • By LittleVoice 15th Jan 20, 2:15 PM
    • 8,481 Posts
    • 6,057 Thanks
    LittleVoice
    • #3
    • 15th Jan 20, 2:15 PM
    • #3
    • 15th Jan 20, 2:15 PM
    I’m asking about this for my son, he has had gym membership for the last 3 years but is now out of work and cannot afford it any more.
    He didn’t have money for the direct debit so cancelled it through the bank.
    Now the gym has emailed him saying he’s overdue, and have added a £25 ‘fee’ on to his usual monthly payment.

    He tried calling to explain, but they just said it’s in t&cs and they’re not altering it.

    The company is Harlands. Surely £25 charge is excessive?
    He wouldn’t have cancelled the DD if he knew they would charge him for it.
    Is there any way to contest the charge?
    Originally posted by fuzzgun19
    Get him to read the t&c.
    Check what notice he has to give them to terminate the contract.
    If he has to pay both the regular subscription and the £25 (not excessive IMHO), I hope he makes use of his membership until it is properly cancelled according to those t&c.
    • fuzzgun19
    • By fuzzgun19 15th Jan 20, 2:23 PM
    • 7,506 Posts
    • 61,566 Thanks
    fuzzgun19
    • #4
    • 15th Jan 20, 2:23 PM
    • #4
    • 15th Jan 20, 2:23 PM
    The notice was 30 days.

    So nothing we can do about the excessive charge then.
    I Hate Jobsworths!!!
    • whiz90
    • By whiz90 15th Jan 20, 3:01 PM
    • 3 Posts
    • 6 Thanks
    whiz90
    • #5
    • 15th Jan 20, 3:01 PM
    • #5
    • 15th Jan 20, 3:01 PM
    hiya,

    gym membership employee here so hopefully I can offer a little insight.

    it's quite rare to have an 'admin fee' as such added on top of a direct debit collection letter, however from a quick google of Harlands it seems that your son's gym has outsourced all their membership administration to them, hence the £25 fee being added by Harlands so they make extra money from going to the effort of reclaiming the money for the gym, (despite the fact that's what they're being paid to do, its cheeky I know.) many gyms don't have the resources to chase lost money to such an extent, any threats of going to debt collectors could likely be empty however it's never worth finding out.

    unfortunately your son would have signed his name to agree to all of this when he signed the contract so there is nothing you can do i'm afraid. unless you think it's worth going to the effort of asking the gym for the original paperwork he signed to make sure he was sold the product truthfully and signed the paperwork correctly.

    my best advice to try and reclaim the lost money would be to see if they would knock £25 off the joining fee out of goodwill if he ever decided to return to them. you both might be annoyed with the gym and not want to return to them due to current circumstances but it might be something worth thinking about for the future.
    • SSD92
    • By SSD92 15th Jan 20, 3:04 PM
    • 28 Posts
    • 78 Thanks
    SSD92
    • #6
    • 15th Jan 20, 3:04 PM
    • #6
    • 15th Jan 20, 3:04 PM
    If Harland's is Xercise4Less, I had similar issues a few years back. Cancelled the direct debit after I'd been a member for over a year, naive on my part and ended up having to pay the remainder of the membership. Lesson learnt, always read T&C's, but the fees for Harland in terms of admin fees are quite excessive but unfortunately, they don't budge.
    • DCFC79
    • By DCFC79 15th Jan 20, 3:13 PM
    • 35,622 Posts
    • 22,488 Thanks
    DCFC79
    • #7
    • 15th Jan 20, 3:13 PM
    • #7
    • 15th Jan 20, 3:13 PM
    OP I hope you have explained to your son not to cancel the direct debit with the bank.
    • EssexHebridean
    • By EssexHebridean 15th Jan 20, 3:21 PM
    • 9,896 Posts
    • 50,305 Thanks
    EssexHebridean
    • #8
    • 15th Jan 20, 3:21 PM
    • #8
    • 15th Jan 20, 3:21 PM
    We see these threads pop up fairly regularly - the lesson for anyone reading here is that you often cannot just stop paying for a contract - even one which has rolled over past its original term - by simply stopping the DD with your bank. If you fail to tell the other party in that contract, they will continue to try to collect the DD as usual as they simply don't know to do otherwise - and that may lead to an extra charge being applied to the account. ALWAYS read the T's & C's and follow those to the letter - then any charges raised subsequently can be reasonably queried.
    MORTGAGE FREE 30/09/2016
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    • fuzzgun19
    • By fuzzgun19 15th Jan 20, 3:37 PM
    • 7,506 Posts
    • 61,566 Thanks
    fuzzgun19
    • #9
    • 15th Jan 20, 3:37 PM
    • #9
    • 15th Jan 20, 3:37 PM
    hiya,

    gym membership employee here so hopefully I can offer a little insight.

    it's quite rare to have an 'admin fee' as such added on top of a direct debit collection letter, however from a quick google of Harlands it seems that your son's gym has outsourced all their membership administration to them, hence the £25 fee being added by Harlands so they make extra money from going to the effort of reclaiming the money for the gym, (despite the fact that's what they're being paid to do, its cheeky I know.) many gyms don't have the resources to chase lost money to such an extent, any threats of going to debt collectors could likely be empty however it's never worth finding out.

    unfortunately your son would have signed his name to agree to all of this when he signed the contract so there is nothing you can do i'm afraid. unless you think it's worth going to the effort of asking the gym for the original paperwork he signed to make sure he was sold the product truthfully and signed the paperwork correctly.

    my best advice to try and reclaim the lost money would be to see if they would knock £25 off the joining fee out of goodwill if he ever decided to return to them. you both might be annoyed with the gym and not want to return to them due to current circumstances but it might be something worth thinking about for the future.
    Originally posted by whiz90
    If Harland's is Xercise4Less, I had similar issues a few years back. Cancelled the direct debit after I'd been a member for over a year, naive on my part and ended up having to pay the remainder of the membership. Lesson learnt, always read T&C's, but the fees for Harland in terms of admin fees are quite excessive but unfortunately, they don't budge.
    Originally posted by SSD92
    Thanks both for the supportive advice.

    He was 17 when he joined, and when he phoned them today they admitted no one reads the t&cs, and just basically said they don’t care he can’t afford it.

    So, yes lesson learned and looks like we’ll be paying it.
    I Hate Jobsworths!!!
    • zx81
    • By zx81 15th Jan 20, 3:38 PM
    • 24,794 Posts
    • 27,681 Thanks
    zx81
    Make sure he cancels it properly if he doesn't want it to continue, or he will be charged again next month, plus another admin fee.
    • EssexHebridean
    • By EssexHebridean 15th Jan 20, 3:50 PM
    • 9,896 Posts
    • 50,305 Thanks
    EssexHebridean
    Make sure he cancels it properly if he doesn't want it to continue, or he will be charged again next month, plus another admin fee.
    Originally posted by zx81
    yes - this - and don't assume that the conversation with them on the telephone will have done the trick, either!
    MORTGAGE FREE 30/09/2016
    SOA CALCULATOR (for DFW newbies): SOA Calculator
    • ben-dover
    • By ben-dover 15th Jan 20, 4:20 PM
    • 23 Posts
    • 14 Thanks
    ben-dover
    I had the same thing about 5 years ago, strangely roundabout the time I started putting weight on.

    I wrote to the gym cancelling my membership, then cancelled my DD. but the letter got 'lost' first thing I knew about it was a letter stating I owed 2 months gym membership fee and some charges. after many failed attempts to sort via the 'agency' I called the gym and managed to sort it out stating that quite a few of my friends were in fact still members and with puregym just opening up just around the corner it wouldn't take much effort for them to move to a cheaper gym resulting in a about a loss in revenue of about £90 a month. Probably a !!!! trick but I played by the rules and they still tried to screw me over.

    maybe your son also sent a letter that has got 'lost' and he would like to re-join the gym in the future but perhaps one that looks after customers a little better?
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