Kelsey* and her partner signed up at a new gym. She soon realized she did not want to continue with the gym and tried to cancel her membership. She had not yet been given a copy of the contract, so she was within her rights to cancel.

The gym refused to accept her cancellation and battled with her for three months before sending her unpaid fees to collections. “I was receiving threatening emails and phone calls, sometimes in the early hours of the morning,” says Kelsey. “It was a stressful and concerning time for me.”

After posting about her experience on Facebook, a neighbour of hers advised Kelsey to call Consumer Protection BC for help with cancelling the contract.

It turned out that the gym had never given Kelsey a copy of the contract, as required by law. She was within her rights to cancel.

“[The investigators] went to bat for me against this business which thought it could bully me into paying for a contract that I didn’t have,” says Kelsey. After corresponding with Consumer Protection BC, the gym accepted the cancellation, waived all charges and ceased all collection activity.

Kelsey hopes when other people hear her story, they will be inspired to stand up for themselves in similar situations. “If you feel as though your back is up against a wall and there’s no way out, contact Consumer Protection BC and don’t give up. They’re not just there to hear complaints, they’re there to help you.”

*Names changed to protect the privacy of the individuals involved.

Curious about your rights when it comes to gym memberships?

Contracts for services that are ongoing and physical in nature are known as continuing services contracts. By law, you have cancellation rights with these types of contracts. Read more about your cancellation rights.

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About Consumer Protection BC

We are responsible for regulating specific industries and certain consumer transactions in British Columbia. If your concern is captured under the laws we enforce, we will use the tools at our disposal to assist you. If we can’t help you directly, we will be happy to provide you with as much information as possible. Depending on your concern, another organization may be the ones to speak to; other times, court or legal assistance may be the best option. Explore our website at