Monday, December 27, 2010

Let Me Go!

Have you ever tried to get out of a multi-year gym membership? They don’t make it easy.

We rejoined (Skyline) Sport & Health Club a year ago because I wanted to work with a trainer and it was so convenient. I thought nothing of signing a 3-year contract for $69 a month that allowed my husband and me access to the gym, the pool, and all sorts of classes.

I did some good work with my trainer Emily for about 6 months. And then I returned to physical therapy at another facility, where I am currently working with an excellent trainer. I now have everything I need for my workouts in the comfort of my own home. I no longer need a gym membership.

I dashed off my little email to explaining all this and expecting they might charge us a penalty, but that they would let us out of the 3-year contract.

But no, I got a very emphatic response from Jessica at S&H saying we had no choice but to pay for the remaining 2 years at the full rate. A phone call to her indicated that a doctor’s note or a military transfer were the only two escape routes. I can’t in good conscience ask a doctor to say I am unable to use the S&H facility and a military transfer is out of the question. Upon further questioning, she said that a private citizen relocating to another city would indeed have to pay. She sent us a copy of what was supposed to be our contract and it was someone else’s (unsigned) contract. That gives you an idea of what we are dealing with at corporate.

I say that policy really sucks! Especially considering we were previously members of that same club for at least 25 years, during many of which we paid and never darkened the door.

You might wonder how I could be so stupid to sign up again, given our past track record. I think it was the lure of $69, which in today’s economy does sound like a bargain. But it’s only a bargain if you cash in and get something for your money.

I would welcome any advice you might have about how to get out of this situation, which will currently not resolve itself until the end of 2012. I would rather not lie to these people, but I think it is in their best interest not to let me stew for the next 2 years. (And it is in my best interest to get it resolved because my husband’s blood pressure is rising!)


Blogger kvn299 said...

Well, I would start by demanding they prove they have the contract. If they can't prove it exists, they can't enforce it.

Or, you could trying going "up-the-chain" but I doubt you'd get far.

1:55 PM  
Blogger Barbara said...

Kevin -- On the third try, they did send us the right contract although it says $59 per month. None of those we've called at the top of the chain have chosen to call us back. The reviews of S&H on Yelp are less than complimentary.

3:48 PM  
Blogger karen said...

Good luck! Maybe it's hopeful that they don't seem to have a contract actualy signed by you??

8:30 AM  
Blogger e said...

Ouch! I'd get a doc's note and see what they do. You could also demand back payment since you've been paying $69 per month and your contract says $59.

5:52 PM  

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