Latest News

Back to Latest News back


Victorian consumers urged to understand terms and conditions of gym memberships

Victorian consumers urged to understand terms and conditions of gym memberships
January 2, 2013

Victorian Consumer Affairs Minister Michael O'Brien has urged consumers could take to ensure they are well informed before signing up for fitness club memberships.

With the post-Christmas period traditionally the busiest time of year for the fitness industry, as many people put 'getting in shape' at the top of their New Year's resolutions list, the Victorian Government is urging potential members to fully understand the terms and conditions before buying a gym membership,

Minister O'Brien stated "it is a good idea to check the club is registered with the industry's national peak body, Fitness Australia, which represents more than 26,000 exercise professionals, service providers and suppliers across Australia.

"Consumers should also make sure they shop around compare equipment, facilities and programs at several clubs."

Consumer Affairs Victoria received more than 200 complaints about gym memberships in the 2011-12 financial year. The most common involved contract cancellation rights, contract termination fees and refund rights.

Minister O'Brien urged "it is important to check the fine print and make sure you fully understand your contractual rights and obligations.

"Think about what sort of membership will suit you and be aware of what you can afford once you've signed up, it can be difficult to withdraw if you change your mind."

Gym and fitness centre contracts are covered by laws prohibiting unfair contract terms. This means providers should ensure their contracts do not contain terms that:

• Result in memberships being automatically renewed;
• Allow them to vary any aspects of the service they provide; or
• Make it difficult for consumers to terminate their membership, or penalise consumers for doing so.

Minister O'Brien added "be wary of 'special offers' and high-pressure sales tactics (and) insist all conditions and services are presented to you in writing, including what happens if you cancel, and take the time to read them.

"It's a good idea to take the information from each club away to compare and review at home."

Before taking out a membership, Victorians are urged to:

• Be wary of pre-purchasing memberships for a new club that isn't open yet;
• Ask whether you can suspend the contract for a holiday or illness;
• Make sure you understand the terms of a free' trial or introductory offer;
• Ask whether you can transfer your membership if you move house; and
• Check what rights you have to suspend your membership.

For further information visit


Asking a small favour
We hope that you value the news that we publish so while you're here can we ask for your support?

The news we publish at is independent, credible (we hope) and free for you to access, with no pay walls and no annoying pop-up ads.

However, as an independent publisher, can we ask for you to support us by subscribing to the printed Australasian Leisure Management magazine - if you don't already do so.

Published bi-monthly since 1997, the printed Australasian Leisure Management differs from this website in that it publishes longer, in-depth and analytical features covering aquatics, attractions, entertainment, events, fitness, parks, recreation, sport, tourism and venues management.

Subscriptions cost just $90 a year.

Click here to subscribe.


supplier directory

The Complete Guide to Leisure Industry Products & Services.

See the directory see all



Gladstone Health & Leisure (Gladstone MRM Pty Ltd Australia) is a leading supplier of leisure management and fitness software and is endorsed by leading health and fitness professionals and…

read more

Access / Billing / Fitness / Technology / Venues



Quayclean are a national cleaning and waste services partner with proven results in the understanding and delivery of cleaning needs and challenges faced by facilities including; major venues and…

read more

Aquatics / Hospitality / Surfaces / Venues


WATERPLAY Solutions Corp

Whether your goal is increasing your centre's revenues or creating an engaging environment, why not add play to your project? If you're looking for stylish aquatic play features, kid-tested…

read more

Aquatics / Attractions / Play / Recreation / Waterparks


Hydrocare Pool Services

Hydrocare Pool Services Pty Ltd offer 30 years of experience in aquatic industry features, products and water treatment. Hydrocare Pools has undertaken water treatment for aquatic centres and…

read more

Aquatics / Attractions / Play / Recreation / Technology


Pico Play

Pico is a global leader in Total Brand Activation. We specialise in engaging people, creating experiences and activating brands. Leveraging a track record in experience design that spans half a…

read more

Attractions / Consultants / Design / Recreation / Venues



Vticket Pty Ltd is the Australian and New Zealand distributor for Gateway Ticketing Systems Inc., the world leader in high-speed access control, admission control and ticketing software for the…

read more

Attractions / Security / Technology / Ticketing / Venues



Geoff Ninnes Fong & Partners (GNFP) is a structural, aquatic and civil engineering consultancy with broad experience in the design of new municipal and institutional swimming pools, hydrotherapy…

read more

Aquatics / Consultants / Design / Venues


get listed with our suppliers directory

Get your business noticed in our targeted directory. Viewed by 10,000 industry professionals per week!

list your business