2016 is here and if you have listed “getting fit and healthy” as part of your new year’s resolution, you may be considering signing up for a gym membership. A few months back, we had an inquiry question from a consumer who signed up for a gym on a tablet and was wondering if her digital signature was legal. In this blog post, we’ll share the answer to that question as well as some other important information about signing up for a gym.
So is a digital signature a valid signature?
YES – it is valid. However you want to make sure that you are aware of the following points:
- First, you may want to make sure that you are aware of all the details of the contract, including cancellation rights, before you sign whether on paper or tablet. This step is important because if you don’t see the proper cancellation rights in the contract, (example: cancellation for health reasons, residential or business relocation, or major change in the services) you may not want to enter the contract in the first place.
- Second, by law you must receive a copy of your completed contract within 15 days. If you are signing your contract on a tablet, it’s likely that your contract will be emailed to you so ensure that you are providing the correct email address. To cancel, you have 10 days from the day you received the contract and receive a full refund.
When you purchase a gym membership, you are entering a type of contract called a continuing services contract. These contracts usually also apply to dance lessons, personal training, weight loss programs or self-defence classes. 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. If you are thinking of cancelling your gym membership, visit the “cancelling a gym membership?” section of our website.
We hope this blog post can assist you in making an informed decision!
Joining a gym? Here’s why you should “sweat” your membership, first
If you have a gym membership, check out this blog
Work out the details of your gym contract before signing!
13 thoughts on “Is a digital signature valid for my gym contract?”
Thank you. :))
Hi Roelien — The law we oversee speaks to gyms having to give you a copy of your signed contract, but it doesn’t speak to how long a gym has to keep their copies. If you could give me a little bit more information about your situation, I can try to see if you have grounds to cancel. Just for some background, consumers are only allowed to cancel their gym contracts under very specific situations — they’re outlined on this page on our website: https://www.consumerprotectionbc.ca/hfb-help-for-businesses/regulated-activities/continuing-service-contracts I hope that helps!
What if the gym lost my original signed contract? Can i still be held liable for fees for the months I didn’t go?
I have a personal training contract with a gym and I only signed it because I wanted to continue training with my trainer. They have since fired her and want to replace her with someone else. Is this enough to cancel the personal training as a material difference? I don’t want the new trainer.
Hi Bec, thank you for your question. The regulations don’t specifically address that situation, but I would suggest sending the form to the business anyway. Here is a link to it: https://www.consumerprotectionbc.ca/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2017/06/To-cancel-your-contract-because-of-your-change-in-circumstances-fill-out-this-form..pdf. They will have 15 days to respond. Please feel free to give our office a call if it doesn’t work and we can access the situation from there. Best of luck!
thank you for sharing this. I realize that digital signature is now widely applied to people to facilitate their cooperation without face to face. hope this will make all efficient.
Great article! a digital signature has been proven by the success and its convenience when used. Of course this is valid. This gives ease between the owner of the company and the customer. stiply.nl
I signed up for a 10 day trial at a gym in Richmond. They were not specific to me on certain things. They did not mention it to me that after the 10 days it will automatically go to a one year term. They said to “just try the 10-day trial for $30 dollars as its a father’s day special going on and decide on membership later”. They made me sign three times on a digital panel but I never read any terms and conditions or it was not shown to me. I assumed these are the formalities for this trial period. They took my credit card for the $30 dollar payment for the 10 days trial. But without my consent, they took the credit card details to take money for monthly payment. On top of that, I have not received a copy of any contract or agreement to my email. I went there 1 day in the last one month. After the first day, I decided not to proceed with it as I have some health issue and it got worse. But never bothered to inform them as I was on trial.
Last week I received a call from them saying “my credit card declined and my monthly fee is due and to pay the amount immediately”. I repeatedly told them they made me sign up for a 10-day trial. They never told me its an agreement or a contract for the 1-year membership. But they are arguing that I have signed the policy and automatically after 10 calendar days after my trial time, they started my term for 1 year.
I don’t have a copy contract in my email. Thye have not sent it to me. What are my options to get the membership cancelled?
Hi Geethu, thanks for your question. You have 10 days from the day you receive a copy of your contract to cancel for any reason. If you did not receive a copy of your contract, then you may be within your rights to cancel. I think we may need more information from you in order to provide you with additional information. Would you be able to give our inquiry centre a call? Our phone number here is 1.888.564.9963. Thanks!
I belong to a kickboxing studio that let us know a day in advance that the studio was closing for maintenance. They also informed us that they would keep us updated on the progress. After 2 weeks all communication stop to all the clients by owner and staff. It is now 6 weeks and the facility is still closed. They are still charging people for their dues and getting no service. Also no one is answering questions. All of people are
Canceling their cards due to no response from managements as the 6 weeks have passed. Today we got an update that the facility will happen early Dec. what are my rights as a consumer to cancel due to lack of communication and not providing service . I am expected to keep paying and not get the services I paid for? Please advice my rights to cancel . Also no contract was given when I signed up. I have asked for a copy and still being ignored on the situation.
Hi Regina, thanks for reaching out to us here. You also may be interested in visiting this section of our website: https://www.consumerprotectionbc.ca/consumer-help/cancelling-a-gym-membership/#. If the gym has changed the services offered or has closed, it’s my understanding you are within your rights to cancel your contract. Follow the steps on the link I provided under “The gym or business has changed the services offered” and use the form there to do so. If you have any issues, or want clarification, please give us a call at 1.888.564.9963. Thanks!
I asked to see the contract before signing up for personal training. They only showed me the first page. They made me go through two different trainers, no showed, etc… and I want my money back. None of the terms of cancellation were disclosed to me. They want to force meet go through mediation, but they fraudulently presented the contract to me. Do I have a position to get my money back? They refuse to call me back and have not replied to my letter. Their mediation services are 300 miles away…
Hi Ann Marie, thanks for your question. I think we may need more information from you in order to assess the situation accurately. Can you give our inquiry centre a call at 1.888.564.9963? Please have your contract information on hand so we can provide assistance as efficiently as possible. Thanks!