Otium Planning Group is a contemporary sport and leisure consultancy providing services in planning, facility development, management and funding for the sport, recreation and leisure industries…read more
Singapore fitness clubs hit by complaints
Singapore's consumer watchdog has flagged two fitness clubs for the high number of complaints filed against them over the past three years.
The Consumers Association of Singapore (CASE) reported that members' issues with California Fitness and True Fitness made up more than three-quarters of 86 complaints involving fitness clubs filed in 2013.
35 complaints were against California Fitness, which opened its first club here more than 10 years ago, and 31 against True Group, which owns the True Fitness chain.
The two clubs have not fared better this year: Out of 29 complaints filed against fitness clubs as of April, nine involved California Fitness and 13 were against True.
However, the total number of such complaints fell from 95 in 2011 to 86 last year.
CASE Executive Director Seah Seng Choon explained that disagreements over membership fees made up most of the complaints.
Some involved consumers who wished to terminate their memberships because of medical or personal reasons but were either not allowed to do so, had to pay a termination fee or were refused a refund.
Others had their membership renewed automatically without their knowledge, or were pressurised by staff to sign up for a longer package than they had wanted.
In the light of complaints, True Fitness is understood to have made its membership termination policies more flexible.
A True Fitness spokesperson explained that from January last year to May this year, True approved 315 membership suspensions due to medical reasons, said the spokesman. Five members were also given refunds after they terminated their True memberships.
The fitness chain has about 40,000 active members across 11 True Fitness and True Yoga clubs.
3rd January 2014 - STATE GOVERNMENTS SINGLE OUT FITNESS SECTOR FOR CONSUMER WARNINGS
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