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PaySmart backs Fitness Australia move for correct wording in fitness club membership contracts

PaySmart backs Fitness Australia move for correct wording in fitness club membership contracts
March 22, 2014

FFA PaySmart National Sales Manager Colin Walker has backed Fitness Australia's move to highlight the importance of fitness businesses using correct terminology to describe membership conditions.

Earlier this year, Fitness Australia advised members of advice from the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) about use of the term 'No Contracts', which discussed the importance of fitness businesses using correct terminology to describe membership conditions.

The ACCC's advice was that the term 'No Contracts' in relation to fitness centre memberships may be in contravention of sections 18 and 29 (l) (m) of Australian Consumer Law.

In a comment on the PaySmart website, Walker writes "when it comes to marketing your fitness centre in a competitive marketplace, there's no denying how important it is to showcase your point of difference - how you go above and beyond for your clients, the excellent services you offer and your great conditions and benefits.

"However, when it comes to promoting the terms of your membership, the language you choose must be carefully considered to ensure you're not contravening Australian Consumer Law.

"Every week I meet and talk with any number of our fitness centre clients around the country, and I continue to raise this topic with them to keep building awareness of this important issue.

"The key thing for fitness centres - and other businesses offering member services - to know is that if there's a condition attached to the termination of a membership at their centre - i.e. if you require a 30-day notice period to cancel the membership, you cannot promote your membership as 'no contract'.

"According to the ACCC, the term 'no contracts' can only be used when there are no conditions applied or attached to a membership, including no penalties attached to its termination.

"So while it may not have a punchy ring to it, according to the ACCC, 'no minimum term membership' may be a better way to market your membership.

"As every centre and membership structure is different, it's the perfect time to check that your marketing materials and your membership terms are compliant with Australian Consumer Law."


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