What are the terms of any introductory offers? Gyms often use special introductory offers to attract new members. Just make sure you understand the terms and what the price will be once the introductory period is over.
Will my membership renew automatically? Many times people who joined a gym didn’t realize that their contract would renew automatically and that they would have to take specific steps to cancel their contract often linked to certain timing and put in writing.
How can I get out of my contract? Getting out of a gym contract isn’t always as easy as getting into one, so make sure you understand what steps you would need to take to cancel your membership. Under New York State law, you may cancel your contract without penalty within three days from the day you signed it by giving written notice in person, or by submitting certified mail, return receipt requested. Make sure to keep a copy of your cancellation letter and the return receipt or obtain a confirmation for your cancellation.
What happens if I move? Gyms have any number of different policies when it comes to how moving will affect your membership. It might depend on how far away you’re moving and if they have other locations nearby.
What happens if you go out of business? Ask the gym to explain what will happen to your money if it suddenly goes out of business. In New York State, the Department of State regulates the health club industry. The health club services licensing includes rights of cancellation and other protections for consumers should a club go out of business.
Before signing up, BBB says do your research.
Visit bbb.org. Before signing a contract, research the gym at bbb.org to see its BBB Business Review. This will show any history of complaints, consumer reviews or additional information that can help in making a decision. If you don’t see a Business Review, ask BBB to develop one.
What is your budget? Most facilities charge an upfront membership fee to join and a monthly fee thereafter. In addition, some fitness centers charge an additional fee for certain classes or amenities. It is important to decide beforehand what amount you can comfortably devote to physical fitness. Regardless of the length of a contract, ask if you can pay monthly.
Check out the gym at the time you know you want to go. You wouldn’t buy a car without a test drive, so head to the gym for a tour when you are most likely to go. Make sure the number of people there at that time will not limit your productivity. Also, check the cleanliness of the equipment and the locker room area. See if the gym equipment is in good condition and maintained properly. Make sure the facility has the equipment and classes that interest you.
Do not give in to sales pressure. Walk away from clubs that pressure you to sign a contract on the spot. BBB recommends taking a sample contract home to review before making a decision to give you time to read all of the finer details of the contract. Make sure the contract lists all services and fees, and any promises made by the salesperson. Find out what is included in the monthly fee and what will cost extra.