Lawyers Who Protect People from Gym Membership Abuses
We help Ohio consumers end gym memberships due to false promises, failure to cancel charges to a credit card, for failing to honor cancellation requests, and for other illegal acts by gyms. Click here to read about our consumer litigation practice areas.
Check out some of our related articles about gym memberships and other prepaid entertainment contracts:
Ohio law requires gyms, dance studios, and other providers of prepaid entertainment to provide specific forms to consumers when they sign up for the service. The law also provides for specific requirements upon cancellation of the service. If a gym or dance studio does not follow the law, then certain damages are available, including cancellation of the contract and the return of all money paid plus double damages. The law also provides for attorney’s fees, meaning a law firm like ours can work without you having to pay our hourly fee each month.
The biggest problem we see in this area is Ohio gyms failing to stop charging their clients’ credit cards after being given notice that our client has terminated their membership. Some of the largest gyms in Ohio regularly overcharge their clients, fail to honor termination requests, or fail to provide promised training sessions. Common complaints against gyms include:
- People giving written cancellation notices to their local gym locations are wrongly told to send a notarized letter to the corporate office.
- Failing to provide copies of Notice to Cancellation forms at the time the membership contract was signed.
- Neglecting to state the terms of cancellation–i.e, that members could cancel within 3 business days of their first day of service in person or by certified mail.
- Refusing cancellation requests while continuing to charge membership fees.
- Not canceling personal training agreements, or lying about the nature of the services to be provided.
- Requiring long term contracts that are excessive in cost or duration.
- Causing injury due to poorly trained staff.
- Charging additional automatic deductions from members’ accounts after acknowledging receipt of Notice of Cancellation forms.
- Having equipment that is always broken, or never available for use.
Ohio law protects consumers and provides financial compensation to consumers injured by bad business practices. Membership contracts with Ohio gyms are Prepaid Entertainment Contracts under Ohio law, which means gyms must follow specific laws when signing people up for their gym memberships.These companies must provide its gym members with contracts that meet specific requirements.
When these contracts don’t contain these required terms, the entire agreement can be unwound and the consumer can obtain a refund of all monies paid. Consumers can also generally cancel contracts and obtain damages, including having their attorneys’ fees paid, when a gym violates the law. If you have concerns about your gym, it is probably worth talking to a knowledgable attorney about your rights.
When a business that violates the required terms of your agreement, or also does not honor cancellation, a consumer gets double their damages. Attorneys’ fees can also be paid for under Ohio law, meaning our client may not need to pay us directly to represent them.
For example, here is what Ohio law requires in each contract:
1. The contract must state that the consumer signs the contract, and a copy of the contract signed by both the consumer and the fitness center.
2. The fitness center must provide 2 “notice of cancellation” forms attached to and easily detachable from the copy of the consumer’s signed contract. The forms must contain the certain language in ten-point boldface type.
If your gym fitness agreement does not contain this statement in 10-point bold type, irrespective of how the gym has treated you, it may trigger automatic damages for you. This is true even if your gym also refuses to honor your cancellation.
Additionally, a fitness center may not treat you illegally. Their actions must pass the “smell test” in many regards, so if you think their actions just “smell bad,” then it is probably worth talking to one of our attorneys. Call us today at (614) 944-5219.
Finally, if you tried to cancel your Ohio gym membership, but the fitness center didn’t honor that cancellation, you may be entitled to additional damages.
Ohio law protects you from unfair and deceptive practices associated with gym membership contracts. If your gym failed to orally inform you of your right to cancel, or to provide you with duplicate copies of a “notice of cancellation,” refused to honor your cancellation request in person or in writing by certified mail, required you to send a letter to its corporate office, or continued to charge you membership fees or late fees after you cancelled, call us today at (614) 944-5219.
This consumer protection law provides for damages plus for the gym to pay our attorneys’ fees if we win.