It’s fall and in anticipation of the upcoming holiday season (and all the delicious food), I’ve been thinking about joining a gym. But I have questions for myself – including whether I can commit to going on a regular basis to make the membership worthwhile. Do you have the same questions? Well, read on to learn what to ask if you are considering joining a gym.

When you purchase a gym membership, you are entering a type of contract called a continuing services contract. We have more information on this type of contract on our website. These contracts usually also apply to dance lessons, personal training, weight loss programs or karate lessons. At Consumer Protection BC, we are responsible for regulating specific parts of these contracts – including consumer cancellation rights and what information must be in the contract.

Monthly fee plus…what?

When you are signing a contract, take a look to see if there are additional fees such as maintenance fees (sometimes payable all at once or at certain times of the year), or enrollment fees.

Tip: add these fees to the proposed monthly membership cost and see if it still fits into your budget.

How long is the contract for?

Does the contract run on a month to month basis or bind you for a certain period of time (one or two years)? If it’s not a month to month contract, ask yourself whether you can commit to staying with the same gym for the duration of the contract. For example, if you are in school, is there a possibility of you moving to another city at any point? These factors may be important so you can weigh your options.

What is not covered under membership?

The gym you are interested in may have state-of-the-art weight machines…but do you know how to use them or do you need to hire a personal trainer? You may want to check and see what kind of services cost extra. Classes may also not be covered so ask these questions before you sign the contract.

What if I go away on vacation?

You might be planning to go on a trip this winter. Are you able to defer your contract or do you have to keep paying for the membership even if you are out of town? If you have plans to go away a lot, you may want to consider paying for drop-in fees rather than getting a membership.

Wait, what if I change my mind?

You are pumped about your decision to get a membership but what if you realize that you aren’t able to commit to a gym routine? You have until 10 days after you receive a copy of the contract to cancel for any reason. If you do, the business must provide a refund within 15 days of cancellation.

We hope this information helps! For more information about your rights and responsibilities when it comes to gym memberships, please visit our website.


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