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The OFT recognise that gyms also need to protect themselves from sudden cancellation and don’t consider 3 months to be excessive where you have a ‘rolling’ membership (i.e. However, as with the imposition of a minimum term, this must be plainly and clearly expressed in the contract.
So what is an unfair term and what just bad customer service?
Whenever you can, be clear about what is allowed and what's not.
And while gyms could be allowed to impose an initial 12 month minimum term, consumers should be in no doubt on reading the contract that this would be the case. A three month period is commonly the length of time required, which may seem unfair as it then ties you into a further 3 monthly payments.
For example, there's a difference between, "All right, you can have a biscuit" and, "You can have one biscuit, but that's it." The first option doesn't rule out another biscuit.
The second option lets your child know exactly where she stands.
For years, the OFT have been keeping a close eye on health and fitness clubs with specific reference to the fairness of their gym membership contracts.
Typically, consumers have been required to sign agreements which commits them to a 12 month minimum term, which absolutely ties them in to making the monthly payments for that period.
Most services also encourage members to add photos or videos to their profile.