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NSW Government Minister warns consumers over getting ‘ripped off’ by gyms

NSW Government Minister warns consumers over getting ‘ripped off’ by gyms
December 26, 2018

Despite consumer complaints over fitness clubs declining in the past year, NSW Minister for Better Regulation Matt Kean has issued a Boxing Day media release warning NSW consumers against rushing into gym contracts in the New Year.

Minister Kean said "getting ripped after Christmas can be more painful than pulling a hammy if consumers get locked into unfair deals."

His statement continued “getting in shape is a popular New Years’ resolution, but some gyms will treat you like a dumbbell and pressure you into a deal that’s simply no good.

“I’ve heard horror stories of consumers being locked into expensive 12 or 18 month contracts – stuck paying for a membership that doesn’t do squat for them.”

The NSW Department of Fair Trading’s offered the following tips on gym memberships:

• Don’t feel pressured by salespeople into signing up on the spot;
• Take time to read the terms and conditions. Take the contract home and read through the fine print; 
• Don’t just choose the cheapest option. Consider a no-lock-in contract, or a six month contract, as the cheapest may turn out to be more expensive in the long run; and
• Check if there’s a cooling off period. If there isn’t, ask for one.

Minister Kean added “don’t box jump to conclusions, always read the fine print and ask plenty of questions before you sign the dotted line. There are hundreds of complaints every year, but we want to ensure consumers are happy and healthy in 2019."

With complaints to NSW Fair Trading about health clubs and gym rising from 435 in 2014 to 587 complaints in 2015, they held at 547 complaints in 2016 and 2017 before dipping to 416 complaints this year.

Nonetheless, Minister Kean has chose to single out gyms while promoting the NSW Government’s Better Business Reforms, which improve transparency in terms and conditions, passed Parliament in October. 

Related Articles

2nd February 2018 - NSW Fair Trading advises consumers to only sign up with Fitness Australia affiliated gyms

1st February 2018 - NSW consumers cautioned over fitness club memberships

18th January 2018 - Fitness Australia’s Bill Moore flags industry challenges for 2018

23rd February 2017 - Fair Work Commission cuts Sunday and public holiday penalty rates

29th November 2016 - NSW Fair Trading Commissioner warns against dealings with gym operator FIT ‘n’ GO

9th February 2016 - Gyms risk breaching unfair terms ban

7th January 2016 - Jetts fitness founder warns consumers not to sign lock-in contracts in 2016

1st September 2015 - Flexible gym contracts improve member retention

4th July 2014 - ACCC warns gyms about ‘No Contracts’ membership advertising

25th March 2014 - Fitness Australia releases national membership contract template, appoints new board member

10th January 2014 - ACCC warns fitness businesses about the term ‘No Contracts’

29th May 2013 - NSW Fair Trading Commissioner reminds consumers of gym membership rights and responsibilities

26th August 2010 - Fitness First provides ACCC with ‘single price’ undertaking

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