What rights do I have for canceling my gym membership?

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What rights do I have for canceling my gym membership?

I joined a gym 9 years ago; paid through auto-debit. I have not been there for 2 years. I joined because the gym was across from my work office -that office has closed. Also, my account changed – so auto-debit was rejected. I assumed it would auto-cancel for non-payment after all this time. Wrong. I said I do want to cancel – lots of red tape, but they said no cancellation until all past due amounts are paid. Can a gym really have you pay forever with no responsibility to confirm intent? Can they garnish my wages if I don’t pay. What can we do to change these contract laws?

Asked on September 29, 2011 under General Practice, Washington

Answers:

MD, Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

Unfortunately, you had an agreement with the gym and this is considered a contractual arrangement. You had the responsibility to inform the gym of your intent to cancel the membership and to ensure all of your bank accounts are up to date and not automatically billing. So, you can try to mitigate this by contacting the corporate office and explain that the gym should have contact its member if the auto debit was rejected. For all they knew you could have died or moved away to another state or country. Talk to the local consumer protection bureau in your state and see if that bureau can help you and find any loopholes in this billing situation.


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