Are you busy with life or have you recently moved away? Reorganising your finances and the gym is just too expensive to justify paying monthly for it? Or are you injured and unable to workout for an extended period of time? If so, find out how to get out of a gym membership without incurring costly exit fees.
With any contract, you can always contact a contract lawyer who can review the agreement and provide advice regarding your rights and obligations.
How to get out of a gym membership
1. Read your contract
In order to know what are your rights under your gym membership, it is advised to request a copy of the contract. This allows you to so you can review the fine print. As gym contracts are normally binding legal documents, it is important to have a copy of this in a safe place. Your gym should be able to supply you with your contract. Chain gyms may also have their membership terms and conditions on their website.
Once you have got a copy, make sure you read it thoroughly, especially clauses relating to termination. Some contracts will stipulate fixed exit fees and terms concerning early cancellation if you are locked in for a defined period, including:
- A set fee regardless of how far into the contract you are;
- A fee that decreases the longer you are contracted in;
- Exceptions to paying any exit fees; and
- Penalties if you do not pay your membership fees.
If you are having trouble understanding the terms within your contract, as the wording can be quite convoluted and confusing, don’t be afraid to seek clarification from your gym’s staff.
2. Know the loopholes
Many gym contracts will allow you to terminate the agreement with no penalties if you meet certain requirements. Depending on your gym’s agreement, some of these requirements may include:
- Moving to a new address that is 25kms away from the closest branch;
- Sustaining an injury that may prevent you from exercising for a period of time, for example a broken bone;
- If you are within a grace period; or
- Any other reason that you may need to satisfy before being able cancel at no cost to you.
With most of these examples, you will most likely need to provide evidence such as a doctor’s certificate, or your new address on a form of identification such as on your driver’s license. If you don’t meet any of your gym’s requirements and still want to cancel, you may need to negotiate with your gym’s staff or management in order to have the exit fee waived or lowered.
Sometimes cancelling may not be the best option, especially if you are expecting to rejoin the gym in the near future. Some alternatives that may be present for you could be:
- Freezing your membership, so you can resume your membership at a later date;
- Transferring to another branch of your gym that is closer to you if you are moving; or
- If your gym provides different membership options, there may be a cheaper option available to you that is suitable.
If you are experiencing significant legal issues with a contract, it is always advisable to speak with a contract lawyer.
Need help? Contact a LawPath consultant on 1800 LAW PATH to learn more about customising legal documents, obtaining a fixed-fee quote from our network of 600+ expert lawyers or to get answers to your legal questions.