Business Bureau serving Eastern North Carolina offers advice to consumers
resolving to join a gym in 2012.
In 2011, BBB received more than
200 complaints and approximately 10,000 inquiries regarding local exercise
fitness programs and health clubs. Fitness facilities were in the top ten types
of businesses with the most complaints for the majority of 2011. The most
common complaints received dealt with contract disputes and billing issues.
“It is important for consumers to
read the fine print on the contract to make sure they understand what they are
Toby Barfield, president and CEO of BBB serving Eastern
North Carolina. “Also, keeping a close eye on their bank
statements will ensure that they are not getting billed more than they should
BBB recommends consumers consider
the following tips before joining a gym:
bbb.org. BBB maintains reports on
businesses across the country. Before signing a contract, research the facility
your budget. Most facilities charge an
up-front membership fee to join and a monthly fee thereafter. It is important
to decide beforehand what amount you can comfortably devote to physical
around. Ask friends and family to
recommend facilities, and pick a couple that appear to align with your fitness
goals and budget. Visit each club on a day and time that you plan to use it to
see if you like the equipment, classes, amenities and cleanliness of it. This
will also give you a sense of how crowded each club will be at the times you
are wanting to access the equipment.
not give in to sales pressure. Walk
away from clubs that pressure you to sign a contract on the spot. BBB
recommends taking a sample contract home to review.
the contract. Make sure the contract
lists all services and fees, and any promises made by the salesperson. Find out
what is included in the monthly fee and what will cost extra.
details. It is vital to understand
how long the membership term is. Some facilities give customers several days to
reconsider after signing the contract.
advice on selecting a gym to join in 2012, visit bbb.org.