Gym membership cancellation

You should think carefully before signing on the dotted line - remember a gym membership is still a legally binding contract.

If you want to cancel your contract, the only way to guarantee you're not penalised for doing this is to cancel within any cooling-off period.

For more information, see our guide on how to cancel a contract without being penalised. 

Don't forget that if you want the contract to begin straight away, you waive any cooling-off rights you have.

Contract terms

It is important to be aware of what your contract outlines.

Agreements should be clear. Take the time to read the contract through to make sure you understand the terms.

The agreement you signed may commit you to remaining a member for a certain amount of time, and if this is the case, you may not be able to cancel and then stop paying.

Make sure you're aware of any minimum terms before you sign a contract.

You should also check your contract for any notice periods you may need to give to cancel.  

Unfair terms

The date you entered your gym contract decides which piece of legislation applies.

Under both pieces of legislation unfair terms can include terms that allow the trader to unilaterally change the characteristics of the goods or services without good reason.

But, the Consumer Rights Act also requires all key contractual terms to be prominent - so if the cost or contract length were not made clear they could be deemed to be an unfair term.

In 2011 the High Court ruled that terms which locked people into a gym contract for longer than 12 months was likely to be unfair.

The OFT also secured the following commitments  -

  • extended rights for members to cancel their contracts should their circumstances change, such as suffering an injury or losing their job
  • greater transparency about key membership features, such as initial membership periods and cancellation rights, and for those to be provided upfront as part of the sales process
  • a commitment not to describe membership as being of a fixed duration if it works on a rolling contract basis after the initial membership period has expired

Some terms cannot be challenged, in particular terms that set out how much what you are buying will cost.

So, you wouldn't be able to argue the price of your gym membership is unfair if you find out you could have got the same package much cheaper elsewhere.

Only a court can decide what constitutes an unfair term in gym contracts.

If you believe your gym membership contract to be unfair, you can use our step-by-step guide to cancelling your gym membership.

You can also use our template letter to cancel a gym membership due to an unfair term

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