A Big Thumbs UP for the New OFT Rulings on Gym Membership Contracts

•March 21, 2013 • Leave a Comment

This month the Office of Fair Trading announced changes to make gym membership contracts more transparent and fairer. Definitely a step forward and in the right direction as far as I am concerned.

But what does this mean for you? Well the best explanation of these changes made by the OFT was published by the BBC on their website and here is an extract of that article, I found on a blog about gym memberships.

New Gym Membership Rights Courtesy of OFT

The Office of Fair Trading set out new regulations to make gym membership contracts more favourable for all and increase transparency. We think this is a step in the right direction for everyone and thought it would be helpful to post on this change in direction.Here is what the BBC published on their website and outlines the major improvements.soho-gyms

Gym members given new cancellation rights by OFT

Gym members will be able to cancel contracts more easily, following an OFT investigation
Continue reading the main story

Three of the UK’s biggest gyms have agreed to allow their members to cancel their contracts early, should their circumstances change.

Until now many gyms have been notorious for locking people into lengthy contracts.

The three gyms involved are Bannatyne Fitness, David Lloyd and Fitness First.

The new rights will allow contracts to be cancelled if members can no longer physically get to the gym or if they can no longer afford to pay.

This would allow a gym member to end a contract if they suffered an injury, or if they lost their job.

“We were concerned that contracts could unfairly lock people in if their circumstances changed, forcing them to continue paying even if they had lost their job,” said Cavendish Elithorn, of the OFT.

Joining a gym can be expensive, with fees of £500 a year being typical.

Greater transparency
The three gym chains involved have also agreed not to describe memberships as being of “fixed duration”, when they often roll over such memberships into another period.

The OFT says some customers were misled into thinking that a year’s membership would end after 12 months, for example, whereas such contracts are often extended without the customer’s explicit consent.

The companies have also agreed to be more transparent about membership periods and cancellation rights, and for such information to be provided at the time a customer signs up.

The three gym chains concerned, which have more than a million members between them, have all welcomed the changes.

Other gyms are now being investigated by the OFT
“Our contracts have never been greater than the 12 months maximum term, proposed by the OFT,” said a spokesperson for Bannatyne’s.

David Lloyd Leisure said it had simplified the ability for members to join with shorter or longer commitments, and allowed people to switch between the two.

Fitness First said it was going to offer members the option of joining for one year, four months or just one month.

The OFT closed its investigation into another gym company, Virgin Active, in April 2012 after finding no evidence it used unfair business practices. However, Virgin did agree with the OFT to make some changes to its membership policies, including the terms under which people could cancel policies if they lost their job.

The OFT is now continuing its investigation into other gyms in the UK, and will provide an update in the coming weeks.

Consumer advice
The OFT is also giving out advice to consumers who are considering taking out gym membership.

It says they should consider the terms of the contract carefully before signing up.

It advises people to shop around, and to find out what their options are if they subsequently have to cancel their membership.

To read more

Here at our offices we can confirm that at least one of the leisure clubs mentioned in the report has actively taken steps to implement these new regulations and changed their “Special Offers” on all new memberships to reflect this. Click For More Info

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I hope this has made these changes easier to understand, although to be honest you may not need them at the moment. It is however good to know they exist.

How to Get The Most Out Of Your Gym Membership?

•October 20, 2012 • Leave a Comment

There are so many factors to consider when looking for a new gym to join. The estate agent’s mantra “location location location” is worth bearing in mind, but lets face it most of us have other concerns like price, cheaper price and the best deal. While looking for a gym myself I researched many sites and here is a great post from one of the blogs I came across written by Andrew Kitching of The Gym Website fame.

When joining a new gym it is important to not only think of your training needs but also how you can get the most out of your gym membership so that you feel motivated to return on a regular basis to a gym. It is all to easy to get discouraged or just lack the enthusiasm to train if you are not happy at your gym and so here are a few tips to help.

Maximising your gym membership enjoyment

Westerwood Gym and Swimming PoolGyms often have many options available like classes, saunas, jacuzzis, so that it can sometimes pay to checkout these if you are getting to a point where your training program looks just a little more than you had anticipated.

  • Don’t try to do too much too quickly you will only end up hurting yourself. Most clubs will give you a free personal fitness assessment when you join and help you put together an exercise programme.
  • Set yourself achievable goals. Its helps to ask the club staff to advice you a suitable exercise regime to achieve your goals. If your goals are vague you won’t know if you are having any success. Don’t just say I want to lose weight – say I want to lose 2 stones within six months. The staff will be able to tell you whether your goals are realistic and achievable.
  • Ask the staff to show you how to use the equipment. All clubs will show you how to use the equipment when you first join but it’s a lot to take in and to remember. Don’t be embarrassed to ask – you can injure yourself very easily by using sophisticated resistance equipment wrongly.
  • Take part in free classes if your club offers them. Free classes are the best way to get into a routine quickly and you get to meet other members. If you don’t get into an exercise routine within the first five or six weeks of your gym membership then you probably never will.
  • If you are as unmotivated as me you may need to hire a personal trainer. It’s surprising how we will all do those extra press ups just so we don’t look stupid in front of a complete stranger. Sessions can cost anything from £15 to £40 on average and maybe a block of 10 sessions is all you need to get going.
  • If you are not the sociable force make yourself say hello to other members. It’s really important to feel part of the club – if you set yourself apart from the beginning you are unlikely to us the club regularly.
Well I hope these tips help you to get the most out of your gym membership and remember if you have any other tips you think might be helpful then please leave us a comment below – remember these comments are there for all to see and benefit from.
If you want to read more

Gyms in Glasgow

•April 2, 2011 • Leave a Comment

Gyms in Glasgow | Discount Gym Membership

gymsinglasgow_ westerwoodpoolSo you have made the commitment to join a local gym and improve your health & fitness. The first step is to find good local gyms in Glasgow to help you build and design that body you have always aspired to, well hopefully at least.

There area few things to consider when looking at gyms in Glasgow, not least of which is the cost, which is a real issue. With that in mind I have listed some local gyms in Glasgow below that I have looked at together with the amenities they offer and the gym membership costs. Added to this are some links to sites where you will be able to get discounted gym memberships for all these gyms in Glasgow.

Another factor to consider when looking for a local gym is exactly that – is it local to your home or work?

Location is probably the second most important factor (after cost) and actually impacts the cost equation. If the gym is local to your daily commute this will make it more convenient for you and save you time and let’s face it time really is money. When you then consider that the further you work or live from your chosen gym in Glasgow, the more you will have to pay for all travel to (and from) that gym, then these extra costs start to impact the overall cost. So shop around for the best gyms in Glasgow and then choose wisely as it is vital to be happy with your choice if you wish to continue attending regularly and not just the first month.

Whilst those were my primary concerns when looking at the available gyms in Glasgow, there are other factors you will also wish to consider.

o   Opening Hours: What hours is the gym open? Would you like to train early in the morning or later in the evenings after work. Also check bank holiday opening times as this is a great time to exercise for many of us.

o   Exercise Equipment: Does the gym have good quality equipment for what you want to use, for example lots of free weights, bench racks, running machines, cardio machines etc. In the gym’s peak hours do they have enough of these to allow you to train without interruption?

o   Group Fitness Classes: Check if they have group fitness classes and what types? These classes often offer a great motivation to schedule your training as well as getting feedback from experienced teachers. Also is there any extra cost or is this included in your membership?

o   Personal Training Services: Does the gym have certified personal trainers on staff? This is often a great way to quickly get into a routine specially suited to your needs rather than experimenting with all the available machines. Although personal trainers will charge the time (and money) invested will be worthwhile. If you are new to training it will also save frustration creeping in which all to often results in non-attendance (while still paying for membership).

o   Additional Benefits; Like daycare, sports massage, nutritional services and physiotherapy. Hey it’s always really great if you have kids to sometimes be able to take them along (and save those baby-sitting costs).

o   Cleanliness; Check that both in the gym, bathrooms and showers are up to your standard. Actually if you get a chance ask some existing members for their views.

I hope these tips help you evaluate the best local gyms in Glasgow with some confidence. Here as promised is my list of ones that I have checked out.

*** In order to save you time this list shows only the bare essentials, to help quickly narrow down your search. Just click on the gym’s name to see pictures and more info.

To your success.

Gyms in Glasgow

Your nearest discounted clubs

•            Otium Health and Leisure GlasgowOtium Glasgow gym

•               Distance: 0.07 miles

•               Prices from £32.8

•               Main Facilities

•               Gym
Swimming Pool
Spa / Jacuzzi

•            LivingWell Glasgow

•               Distance: 0.54 milesGyms in Glasgow LivingWell

•               Prices from £42

•               Main Facilities

•               Gym

•               Swimming Pool

•               Personal Training

•           Club Moativation Glasgow

•               Distance: 1.32 milesGlasgow gym club Moativation

•               Prices from £30

•               Main Facilities

•               Gym

•               Parking

•               Swimming Pool

•           Triangle Health and Fitness East Kilbride

•               Distance: 6.57 milesgyms in east Kilbride Triangle

•               Prices from £35

•               Main Facilities

•               Gym

•               Kids Club /Creche

•               Swimming Pool

•            LivingWell Strathclyde (Premier)

•               Distance: 8.84 milesGyms_in_strathclyde_livingwell

•               Prices from £46

•               Main Facilities

•               Gym

•               Swimming Pool

•               Personal Training

•            Q Hotels The Westerwoodglasgow gyms Westerwood

•               Distance: 12.88 miles

•               Prices from £40

•               Main Facilities

•               Gym

•               Swimming Pool

•               Personal Training

•           Best Western Gleddoch House Hotel & Golf Club

•               Distance: 13.23 milesGlasgow gyms, Gleddoch hotel

•               Prices from £32

•               Main Facilities

•               Gym

•               Parking

•               Swimming pool

•           Barceló Health and Leisure Club Stirling Highland Hotel

•               Distance: 21.36 milesgyms in glasgow Stirling Hotel

•               Prices from £42

•               Main Facilities

•               Gym

•               Parking

•               Swimming Pool

•            LivingWell Dunblane

•               Distance: 25.34 milesgym in Dunblane Livingwell

•               Prices from £44

•               Main Facilities

•               Gym

•               Swimming Pool

•               Sauna

•           Barceló Health and Leisure Club Marine Hotel

•               Distance: 27.71 miles

•               Prices from £44

•               Main Facilities

•               Gym

•               Swimming Pool

•               Personal Training

I hope you like the discounts on the gyms in Glasgow. Well and a few Gyms in Kilbride, Gyms in Strathclyde, Gyms in Dunblane

 
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