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Press Releases

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12/30/2019

Consumers: Know Your Rights When Signing Contracts at Health Clubs

Department urges consumers to be cautious before making a commitment

Monday, December 30th, 2019– The Department of Consumer Protection (DCP) is encouraging consumers to be smart when signing a contract with a gym or health club this New Year. 

 

“New Year’s resolutions often involve a goal of better health, and there’s always a spike in the number of people joining gyms and health clubs,” said Consumer Protection Commissioner Michelle H. Seagull, “But, sometimes the excitement of working out wears off after a few months, and consumers are stuck in health club contracts that they just don’t use. That’s why we’re encouraging consumers to do their homework, and to be smart before making a commitment.”

 

Here’s our advice about what consumers should do before committing to a health club:

 

  • Review the contract or agreement. It’s important to know how much you’re paying, when your bill comes, and what the cancellation policy is. Connecticut law requires health clubs to have contracts in writing.
  • Do some research. Look for reviews online, and ask current customers about their experiences.
  • Make a visit. Make a visit to the health club you’re considering so you can see what equipment and conditions they have. Often times, contracts are offered online, and it can be easy to sign a contract without seeing a location, but we recommend scheduling a time to visit.

 

What consumers should know about Health Clubs:

 

  • Health club contracts can be offered for as long as two years, but not longer. However, any club offering contracts longer than one year must also offer a one year contract.
  • Health club contracts cannot auto renew. The only exception is after a one month period. For example, if you sign up for a one month trial period this month, your contract may auto renew for the rest of the year at the end of that period. If the monthly price changes after the first month, that change must be disclosed up front, in writing.
  • You have a three day right to cancel. If you sign up for a health club contract, you have the right to inform the health club in writing that you do not wish to continue your contract within the first three days of your agreement.
  • There is a Health Club Guaranty Fund. If you have paid for a contract, and your health club closes, you can file an application for the guaranty fund through DCP, and if it is approved, get reimbursed.

 

More information and the application form for the health club guaranty fund can be found on DCP’s website here.

 

If you have any questions, or need to report issues, you’re encouraged to contact the Department of Consumer Protection’s complaint center by emailing dcp.complaints@ct.gov, or by visiting ct.gov/dcp/complaint.

 

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Media Contact:
Lora Rae Anderson
lorarae.anderson@ct.gov
(860) 713-6019 (office)

(860) 247-8711 (cell)

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