Gym Membership: 5 Points To Check
One of the most common New Year's resolutions is to join a gym. Before signing up for a monthly, quarterly, or yearly membership, it is important to inquire about the prices and contract conditions. Here are 5 points to check to avoid any unpleasant surprises.
1- Price display
Back to school is a time conducive to making all kinds of resolutions. It's a time of year when many of us want to get back into sports by joining a gym.
However, before subscribing to a gym membership and committing for one or several months, it's important to gather information about the services offered and the prices.
The first of the 5 points to check to avoid any disappointments is, of course, the price. The General Directorate for Competition, Consumer Affairs and Fraud Control (DGCCRF) reminds us that gyms must display the prices, including all taxes, in a visible and legible manner within their establishment for the services they offer.
This obligation is important in order to allow consumers to easily compare between different gyms.
2- Contract compliance
When subscribing to a gym membership, the fitness center manager must communicate to clients in a clear and understandable manner a certain number of information.
In order to be valid, the contract you sign must provide you with the following information:
• the content of the service offered
• the duration of the commitment
• the general terms and conditions of sale
• the cancellation policy
• the internal regulations of the gym, which must also be displayed in the establishment
• the total price including taxes of the services
• the identity of the professional
• the possibility of resorting to a consumer mediator under the conditions provided for this purpose.
3- The exact extent of promotional offers.
To attract new customers at the beginning of the school year, many gyms offer back-to-school deals and promotions.
But be careful! According to the DGCCRF, nearly 25% of the establishments they have inspected make misleading promotional announcements. For example, these announcements do not specify that certain promotions are conditioned on a fixed-term subscription. In other cases, temporary promotions appear to apply to all membership options when they only apply to certain ones...
Another point to check when subscribing to a gym is the exact extent of the promotions offered. Always make sure that the price indicated is what you will pay for the entire duration of your subscription, not just the first month. By remaining vigilant about these different points, you can thwart deceptive business practices and avoid unpleasant surprises.
4- Any registration or administrative fees
You will have understood, it is necessary to inform oneself well before subscribing to a gym membership and signing a contract that commits you for a certain period of time.
Gyms have an obligation to inform consumers, but they do not always scrupulously respect it. If the information provided by the staff does not seem clear to you, do not hesitate to ask specific questions.
The possible registration or administrative fees are another of the 5 points to check, as these fees are generally not mentioned at the time of subscription.
5- Equipment safety
According to a survey by the DGCCRF dating back to 2015, the equipment in fitness centers is generally quite safe.
However, the General Directorate for Competition, Consumer Affairs and Fraud Control has identified some anomalies such as:
• Non-compliance with machine usage instructions
• Usage instructions written in a language other than French (which is not in compliance with regulations)
• Treadmills installed without sufficient safety surface in case of a fall
• Lack of fixation on a pull-up bar.
That is why, before subscribing to a gym membership, it is important not to hesitate to visit the premises and even take a trial class. A free trial class is usually offered, so take advantage of it to assess the condition of the equipment.
To conclude, it should be noted that you are not obligated to take out insurance because fitness centers have insurance that covers the civil liability of their members. In practical terms, this means that you are covered if you injure another athlete. However, you can still take out personal insurance such as Accidental Life Insurance (GAV) to cover your medical expenses if you injure yourself.