Thursday, 17 March 2011

I Practically Went to a Spinning Class

My friend S. called me today for advice about her gym.  You may be wondering -- as I was-- why in a million years any one would call me, of all people, to ask a question even tangentially related to any physical activity of any sort.

Stay with me, it'll make sense in a second.

She is leaving her gym after almost 20 years, and moving to a new gym closer to her house, her kids' school, her grocery store, her bank, and probably even her pediatrician, her tailor and her dog groomer's.  

But when she called the gym to tell them she was leaving, they said that she had to give 30 days notice AND that the notice had to be given on the first of the month.  So that would mean that today's notice was only valid as of April 1st, and that she would therefore have to pay them for the entire month of April.  And she is supposed to start the new gym as of April 1st.  She doesn't want to get stuck paying for both gyms in the same month.  Even for someone as physically fit as S., that would be a bit much.

So this is the plan I gave her:

1.  Call the gym and ask for a copy of the contract she signed when she originally joined.

2.  Check if the contract says anything about 30 days and first of the month.

3.  If it does, and she signed it, then she doesn't have much of a choice other than to honor her commitment to this gym, and ask the new gym if she can delay her membership by a month.  Even in this scenario, I would send a formal letter to the gym notifying them of the membership cancellation and the last date of payment.

4.  If the contract doesn't say anything about the 30 days or the first of the month, then send them a formal letter terminating her membership at the gym effective immediately.

5.  If it says 30 days notice but not first of the month, then assume that she can give formal notice today, and assume that last day of payment is 30 days from now (pro-rating the days in April).

6.  Do not call them to discuss this.  All discussion should be in writing, with a confirmation of receipt either by sending a fax, email or registered letter.  Come to think of it, I don't think I mentioned this point - S., I hope you are reading this...

7.  Notify her credit card when the last payment is going through.  If the gym tries to charge her credit card after she has terminated her contract, she can dispute the charge and send a copy of her correspondence to the credit card company as proof.

8.  Keep copies of all letters and the contract with both gyms.  She may need them later.

So with my complaint department skills, I helped S. figure out how to handle her potentially overlapping gym memberships.

Do you think this counts as a workout?


  1. funny she didn't ask me for advice. Maybe because I've never stepped into a gym. And yes, this totally counts as a work out.

  2. one last piece of advice - S should read the new contract and make sure she won't have the same issue when she moves to her next gym.
    IS (a huge fan of yours)