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Time for the rest of the gym industry to put customers first
Citizens Advice calls on the rest of the gym industry to give consumers better cancellation rights and make their contract terms more transparent, as the OFT reveals 3 more firms have agreed to do so, following its investigation.
Gillian Guy, Chief Executive at national charity Citizens Advice said:
“There is just no excuse for dodgy gyms locking customers into unreasonable contracts. We helped with over 3,000 problems with gyms and health clubs over the last year. We regularly hear from customers who have been ripped off by deals that have a nasty surprise in the fine print.
“Gyms need to be up front with their customers about what is involved in their membership contracts. Those gyms that still haven’t done so should follow the example of those giving better cancellation rights or risk a consumer backlash.“
Over 3,000 people complained to the Citizens Advice consumer service about gyms and health clubs between April 2012 and March 2013:
over 1300 (1313) of their complaints were about substandard services.
over 350 (362) regarding misleading claims
over 250 (260) issues with cancellation
almost 300 (284) were about business practices.
Tips on what to look out for on gyms are available on the Adviceguide website.
Notes to editors
- The Citizens Advice service comprises a network of local bureaux, all of which are independent charities, the Citizens Advice consumer service and national charity Citizens Advice. Together we help people resolve their money, legal and other problems by providing information and advice and by influencing policymakers. For more see the Citizens Advice website.
- The advice provided by the Citizens Advice service is free, independent, confidential, and impartial, and available to everyone regardless of race, gender, disability, sexual orientation, religion, age or nationality.
- To find your local bureau in England and Wales, visit www.citizensadvice.org.uk. You can also get advice online at www.adviceguide.org.uk
- You can get consumer advice from the Citizens Advice consumer service on 08454 04 05 06 or 08454 04 05 05 for Welsh language speakers
- Citizens Advice Bureaux in England and Wales advised 2.1 million clients on 6.6 million problems from April 2012 to March 2013. For full 2012/2013 service statistics see our quarterly publication Advice trends
- Citizens Advice service staff are supported by more than 22,000 trained volunteers, working at over 3,000 service outlets across England and Wales.