The Weekly Gripe

Fitness First cancellation policy complaint

I joined Fitness First and was told that my gym membership would be for a minimum of 3 months.  At the time I was advised that to cancel, I had to give at least one month's notice.

Well I tried to go to the gym regularly, but in the end had to give up.  I just do not have the required levels of motivation and I have in fact lost more weight since just by running round the block!

Anyway, I posted a letter dated January 6th and I also sent them a copy of the letter on the same day as an email attachment.  I've just received a letter from Fitness First today (February 16th) querying the cancellation of my direct debit mandate because my membership is 'still active'.

Fitness First cancellation policy could have been clearer I telephoned Fitness First and was told that - contrary to what I was told verbally when signing up, the actual notice period required was a ‘calendar month’.  So effectively the month’s notice only kicked in from the 1st February and that meant that I therefore still owed a fee for the whole of that month!

What a greedy, money-grabbing, unclear cancellation policy that is!  It has just confirmed my impression of the company as one seeking to 'maximise profit and minimise input', including poor customer service and an unclear explanation of membership terms and conditions.  I am fed-up with being the 'victim' with these big, faceless, greedy companies.

By: Alaneroberts


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Paul1985

Guys, I am a ff member. I am a migrant from mainland China. To be fair to say, until the time I called ff to cancell membership, the staff there were quite friendly, and the pools are good. But ff's 4 weeks cancellation policy, which I was not loudly told when joined it, I believe from my legal knowledge, most probably, it should be seen as illegal against consumer law. Especially when a member is even not on a long term contract. I personally was paying the higher rate by direct debit every two weeks as I was told I could cancell anytime. I remember, a few years ago, a similar case in China ended up with the defeat of a gym, as the judge ruled, generally gym should not charge consumers for days not used, and a tiny print on contract when emphasizing the 4 weeks notice period is misleading and hence invalid. This was in in China. I was satisfied with almost all things in Australia in regards to law. But this 4 week notice policy does make me believe ff is not doing things properly as i thought it would this time. My email paulho333@hotmail.com This is the first post I did online in life. Funny!
5th Sep 12 03:09

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Stalag 14

jobby...'It's political correctness gone mad!' The war cry of the thwarted bigot Not so, just that some of us don't see offence in every remark, unlike the Loony Left Guardian reading, sandal creeps. When school children are given a record, because of an innocent remark, that happens to be overheard by one of the aforementioned you know the world has gone mad.
23rd May 12 07:05

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Greg Jones

FF are flat out liars. They said they had WI FI, no cost, at Tysons....a complete lie. They said they had towel service for free....well after 2 weeks they took that away. They say you are guaranteed satisfaction, and yet, they won't even refund my pre-paid last month's fee. What a rip - off? Do yourself a favor beforehand, don't even think about joining that so called club...what a den of liars and thieves.......terrible.
22nd May 12 03:05

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Kenny (Site Admin)

miserablemoaninggit - temporary situation there. New site will allow you to page through old comments. Yes I know, where is it then?? It's nearly there - still testing!
20th Jun 11 06:06

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miserablemoaninggit

I notice that it is now not possible to see the 'older' comments. I suspect this may be for reasons of 'space', so to speak, but it would have been nice to be kept informed. This seems to apply to the other gripes also.
20th Jun 11 06:06

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Big Ron

I work for them and yes it's all about the $$. Think about it, there are nearly 350000 members in australia, and the company has a membership attrition of 47% per year so basically every 2 years they have lost every single member and replaced them again. If each can have their membership drawn out an extra week that's an extra $25.00 (average weekly membership) x 350000!! That's alot of extra coin in their pockets. Go to a small local gym or an Anytime Fitness, they are franchised so the owners do what's right by the member and don't just screw em over...
20th Jun 11 01:06

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Jaime

That's what happend to me too. I make a cancellation on 22 of April but more than 20times call I made and wrote a letter of complaint then only the person in charge called me back and make a cancellation on May 13th and mean I have to pay up till 30 of the June. It's really money-grabbing.
13th May 11 02:05

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miserablemoaninggit

Fitness First are basically in the gutter of the 'gym street', so to speak. Judging by many of the comments on this gripe, a nasty head office staff who have been trained to essentially be fraudulent in order to obtain money from people, including setting up direct debits without permission, giving out misleading information, and ultimately setting out contract conditions that are simply designed to 'milk money' from customers, rather than setting out a business where the customers come first, and there is genuine regard for their welfare. There is clearly a disconnect between the way the contracts are presented in the gym and the actual conditions that are set out in the small print. Yes, it is the responsibility of the customer to read the small print, I accept that. However, joining a gym can be a difficult decision, and the way the gym initially shows a great interest and, indeed, 'human warmth' in their potential customer can be very disarming. Of course, once joined, Fitness First has very little interest in them except in maintaining a steady stream of revenue; unfortunately, they do not equate maintaining this stream with good facilities, good customer service or basic regard for the well-being of their customer base. A disgusting business, to say the least!
19th Apr 11 10:04

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Anon

Fitness first use every dodge lie untruth half lie,on holiday,left early,just left,who did u speak to,I really want to help,change the person u speak to,sweet talk,head office this,head office that,I will call you back,not back,not in,left message,cal back,on holiday,not back from holiday,say one thing & do/say something to keep u on hold.
18th Apr 11 11:04

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grumpyoldwoman

Well I suspect that MikeP just took the opportunity to have a joke about the word "golly", which we all know has two meanings.
16th Feb 11 06:02

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different anon

Grumpy old woman, you might have realised but Mike clearly didn't or he would not have made the remark about gollies and political correctness. There should be no embarassment involved in simply not knowing something.
15th Feb 11 05:02

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grumpyoldwoman

Anon, I think we all realised that; Margarette was trying to be polite.
15th Feb 11 10:02

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