Did anyone see the news article about gym membership last week? Apparently over 17,000 customers have complained about restrictive gym memberships which resulted in the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) investigating the whole thing! When they announced their findings last week they ruled that “long-term gym contracts are unfair and unenforceable”.
Whilst the implications of this ruling are hard to anticipate, it would seem to be a fairly damning assessment of the gym industry which has traditionally relied on monthly membership subscriptions. However, there are always two sides to every story! The OFT investigation seemed to focus completely on gym memberships which is not really a fair assessment of the overall gym industry and forgets one big factor – CUSTOMER CHOICE!!!!
Gym membership is fantastic value for money if you are a regular gym goer. However, over the past couple of years gyms in London and the rest of the UK have started to respond to customers requesting more choice and new ways to use the gym. With gym participation levels in the UK around just half that seen in the United States, gym operators have significantly increased their efforts to reduce the cost of fitness and provide alternatives to traditional gym membership to enable more people to take part. That’s why so many gyms in London are already working with payasUgym.com and we think the OFT needs to recognise that.
We think this is a really hot topic and want to get some of your opinions on this! Do you think the OFT are right when they say that gym memberships are ‘unfair and unenforceable’? Or do you think people should take more time to find the right option for them? Do you know of any gyms in London that offer great deals that you would like to see on payasUgym.com?
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Lee S. - Jun 08 6:56 am
I think gyms are starting to realise that they have to be fairer with their customers. I have been a member of a few different gyms in london since i moved here after uni but i cancelled the last one before christmas as i had moved house again a couple of months earlier and was miles from my gym. If you can only sign a 12 month contract there is no way of knowing if you are going to move house or change jobs in that time and the best my last gym could offer me was to freeze my payments for one month but i still had to pay for 3 months even after i had moved!!