It always starts with the best of intentions – signing up for a gym subscription in January. You make a New Year’s resolution to exercise more, hand over your subscription fee and pledge to go to the gym three times a week.
But by February, the novelty’s worn off and you’ve stopped going altogether. If this has happened to you, will you be able to cancel your subscription payments? It all depends on the terms and conditions of your gym contract and how long you’ve signed up for – so let’s see what you need to look out for.
Check your contract
First off, take a look at your contract to see how long you’ve signed up for. You might assume that you signed a 12-month contract but check to make sure – you might actually only be subscribed for six months or you could be still on a trial month. If this is the case, it won’t be as long until you’re able to cancel without any penalty.
However, if you’re signed up for a 12-month contract it’s likely that you’ll be tied in for the long-haul – or else you could have to pay the remaining months that are left on your contract if you want to leave. It’s worth checking the details of your contract though – you might not necessarily be tied in if the contract says you can leave without any penalty.
There are a few reasons when you should be able to cancel your contract early without having to pay anything. If you have a serious illness or an injury that prevents you from working out, the gym should let you quit, but you might have to bring a note from your doctor to confirm you won’t be able to exercise. You’ll also be able to cancel if the gym closes one of its main facilities – a swimming pool, for example. This is because it could represent a breach of contract, so you’ll be able to bring this up with the gym.
Don’t just cancel your Direct Debit to the gym – they’ll chase you for the money and you’ll probably have to pay the full amount.
Even if you’ve been with the gym for longer than your 12-month contract, you might find that you’re still paying for the service every month. This could be a sign that you have a continuous payment authority (CPA) with the gym, where they’re allowed to take money from your account whenever they think you owe them.
If you do have a CPA, you should get in touch with the gym and ask them to cancel the payments. The majority of legitimate companies will accept this – unless you’re still in the contract term – and will cancel your subscription. If they don’t, you’ll be able to speak to your bank and get them to cancel the payments.