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Commerce WA highlights new rules regarding fitness memberships

Commerce WA highlights new rules regarding fitness memberships
January 4, 2022

Commerce WA, the government department dealing with consumer protection in Western Australia, has reminded operators and the public of new rules regarding fitness industry memberships.

Six months ago, on 1st July 2021, the rules governing Western Australia’s fitness industry changed to provide additional protection for consumers and to capture a wider range of providers that now include personal trainers, group exercise organisers and yoga classes.

After signing-up, members now have up to seven days to cancel a contract without penalty while operators are required to provide transparent pricing requirements to make it easier to compare the value of different fitness services.

Membership agreements must now include a summary statement to help consumers understand their responsibilities that should also state whether it involves an ongoing month-to-month renewal or is a fixed term contract of no longer than 12 months.

Writing in the Geraldton Guardian, Candice Evans, Senior Regional Officer for Consumer Protection - Mid West and Murchison within the Western Australian Department of Mines, Industry Regulation and Safety's Commerce WA division, stated "should you (the member) decide that the fitness service is no longer for you, you won’t need to arrive in-person to cancel your membership. Cancellations can now be made online, with direct debits required to stop immediately.

"The fitness provider is required to notify you before automatically renewing your membership, thus giving you the opportunity to cancel without penalty."

Evans also highlighted the dangers of "fake websites and advertisements claiming to sell fitness gear at bargain prices" - particularly aimed at the home market - advising that Commerce WA's WA ScamNet team "recently heard from two victims who lost $1309 to a scam site calling itself 'AXM Fitness Group' after responding to adverts on social media and classified sites".

More information about this gym scam is available on WA ScamNet’s website at www.scamnet.wa.gov.au

Click here to view Commerce WA's Western Australian Fitness Industry Code of Practice (not to be confused with the Fitness Australia/ActiveAUS Industry Code of Practice).

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8th November 2021 - 22% of Australia gymgoers cancelled their membership due to COVID-19

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7th October 2021 - Chris Wilson Fitness Studio promoted as Perth’s most exclusive gym

9th September 2021 - New Les Mills Global Fitness Report suggests members ready to ‘flock’ back to facilities

5th January 2021 - Queensland Office of Fair Trading targets fitness facilities over contracts

5th November 2020 - Fitness First launches free gym membership for Australians facing job loss

24th September 2020 - Aquatic, fitness and sport facilities headed for membership crisis

15th June 2020 - Survey suggests Australian gyms facing massive membership decline

7th January 2020 - Queensland Government once again singles out fitness clubs for fair trading warning

6th November 2020 - Australian gymgoers spend an average of $79 a month on memberships

4th August 2019 - Gym memberships account for half of Australian fitness industry revenues

29th July 2019 - AI tool dramatically improves fitness club membership retention

9th June 2019 - 85% of fitness club members feel ‘healthier’ for having a gym membership

9th May 2019 - Australians spend up to $250 per month on exercise and wellness

25th September 2018 - Australians wasting $1.8 billion a year on unused gym memberships

16th November 2018 - Fitness Australia releases first-ever National Fitness Industry Code of Practice


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