Guest post from featured writer James Harper. We enjoy the tips we receive from James and thought that we would feature his post below.
What Happens At The End Of Your Membership?
As sneaky as it sounds, this trick is actually quite common these days (and isn’t confined to the fitness industry) – when your membership expires some gyms will automatically renew it. This means that if you haven’t opted out of the membership, you will now be tied in for another year (or however long the membership period may be).
To avoid falling for this tactic, ask the sales rep at the fitness centre if this is in the terms of the contract. In fact, whatever they say, check the contract yourself, because some salespeople are happy to lie to customers if it secures them a sale.
Does The Gym Take Care Of Its Changing Rooms?
While certainly not an embedded rule, a gym that doesn’t take care of its changing rooms is likely to be one that doesn’t take care of its members. Often when a prospective member is taken on a tour of a gym the changing rooms are brushed over or simply ignored – this is because the gym is interested in showcasing their fancy facilities and top of the range equipment – the things that they believe will get people to sign on the dotted line.
You should insist that you get taken around the changing facilities, and be allowed more than just a quick peep round the door. As well as looking for cleanliness, you should ensure that there are a good amount of lockers and cubicles. If the facility doesn’t supply enough good quality lockers it shows that either they haven’t thought things through properly, or that they simply don’t care about their members and keeping their belongings safe. Additionally there should be enough cubicles to go around; if the gym isn’t supplying them, it can suggest again that they haven’t thought properly about their member’s needs.
Are You Being Pressured Into Joining?
The best gyms will not pressure people into joining their facilities since they know these tactics are underhand, unfair and will eventually lead to a poor reputation. Companies that encourage their sales staff to apply the pressure are generally the ones who will put clauses into the contract that state it will be renewed in full after the initial contract period expired.
Ideally you want to avoid facilities like this. They are only after your money and are unlikely to offer members the on-going help and assistance they need in order to achieve results.
Gyms that have more honest contracts and sales tactics are likely to be the places that actually care about helping their members. If they’re not employing sneaky tactics in order to keep members paying each month, then they need to offer a service, and get their members results, so that they want to keep paying for their membership.
What Happens If The Facilities Change Or The Company Goes Out Of Business?
Again it might seem sneaky and immoral, but many gyms will include clauses in the contract that state should the facilities or services they offer change, then members are still fully liable for their membership. This can even apply should the gym close entirely – this is very common for gyms that are part of a chain. If the gym closes you are forced to go elsewhere, even if it is twenty miles away.
This is something you should always look out for since the gym could change anything about it – they could close the swimming pool, take away the treadmills or even remove the changing rooms (including all facilities for lockers and cubicles) – and you would still be liable for your membership.
If this is stated in the contract, it may be worth looking elsewhere. However, you can always request for the contract to be redrawn to meet your requirements. Remember that the gym wants you to join, so if you walk away they are highly likely to pander to your requests.
This post was written by James Harper on behalf of Prospec. James writes on many subjects including health and fitness.
Do you have any things your fellow readers should look out for when joining a gym? Or, do you feel that they should get home exercise equipment and skip going out to exercise? Let us know by commenting below.