These are difficult days for both businesses and consumers. Many fitness studios (gyms, yoga, martial arts, etc.) have either closed their doors for now or have tried to move classes online to video streaming platforms. If you have a membership with a fitness studio and this situation sounds familiar, here are your rights.
Your rights if your fitness studio has closed or moved to online classes:
By law, if a fitness studio has closed its doors or changed the services offered during the COVID-19 pandemic (i.e. moving classes online), consumers are within their rights to cancel their contract. This is considered a “material change” by the supplier.
So, if your gym or fitness studio has closed its doors or you’re not satisfied with online classes (if that’s an option), you are within your rights to cancel your membership.
Your first step
The first thing you should do is contact the business and find out what your options are. Many businesses are trying to be flexible and work with their customers to reach a solution. Some fitness studios may be willing to pause memberships, extend memberships to account for time lost or extend expiry dates on things like 10 class passes. Explain your situation to them, what the law says, and try to come to a solution together.
Before you cancel
Take some time to consider if you will eventually rejoin the studio before you cancel your contract. Keep in mind, if you decide to rejoin, you will be subject to any initiation fees or price changes set by the business at that time.
Simply put, if you cancel, expect to be treated like a brand-new customer because your previous contract would be null and void.
How to cancel your contract
To cancel your contract because the fitness studio has either closed or changed how they offer their services, print off and fill out our cancellation form and send it directly to the business in a way that allows you to get proof of delivery, like registered mail, fax or email.
Keep copies for your records and be sure to follow up with the business. It is always a good idea to confirm a contract cancellation. The law gives the business 15 days to respond.
It’s possible that the business isn’t aware of your cancellation rights. If that’s the case, you can refer them to section 1 of the Consumer Contracts Regulation (that speaks to the definition of a continuing service contract) and section 25 of the Business Practices and Consumer Protection Act (which talks about cancelling a continuing services contract).
Still having trouble cancelling or getting a refund? Please contact us directly and we will do our best to help.
Let’s all be kind to each other
Remember that your fitness studio is likely trying to stay afloat and attempting to continue to provide a service to their valued customers. With this in mind, while you have the right to cancel, please remember to be kind to the business owner if you decide that cancelling is the best thing for you.
Did you like this? You might like these posts too!
- The Canada Emergency Response Benefit: What you need to know
- 5 ways to stay active at home and outside while physical distancing.
- How to report COVID-19 price gouging
- Work out the details of your gym contract before signing!
Look through all our COVID-19 related information on our website.
Where do we fit in?
Yes, we are a provincial regulator. We are responsible for some very specific transactions in BC. We aren’t experts on COVID-19. We won’t – and shouldn’t – ever give medical or legal advice. But we are in a unique circumstance right now and we want to help people navigate the current reality. We don’t have all the answers, but we will do our best to share information from reliable sources, put it in ways that are easy to digest and understand, provide referrals and help you navigate this situation.
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 www.consumerprotectionbc.ca.
97 thoughts on “Has your fitness studio temporarily closed? Here are your rights”
Thanks for the info. I would have preferred you put the “be kind” entry first.
I’ve been a member at Fitness World for 20 years. I only pay $18 a month. I wouldn’t consider cancelling my membership. I’m not sure if they won’t be charging me my fee or not through this. Probably not. But, I wouldn’t want to see a gym go out of business because of my $20 a month.
Hi Susan, thank you for your feedback!
What do we do with regard to Steve Nash Fitness World? They’ve filed for bankruptcy. They have not been charging me, but I’m wondering if I still have a membership and if they will manage to reopen. They have not updated members. I’m good to stay with them but if they don’t reopen soon I will need to get a membership elsewhere.
Is there a way to get them to make some kind of announcement so members know what is going on?
There us no way to contact them.
Hi Joanne, there’s no way for us to make Steven Nash Fitness World make an announcement on their reopening plans. However, as the situation is constantly changing, I would suggest keeping an eye on their website for the latest updates.
I too have a membership with fitness world and my monthly fee is very reasonable. I just noticed a charge to my credit card so this was how I noticed they are now back in business under new ownership. My issue is, they have also charged a small fee Which was charged to my account the day after my monthly fee was charged. I’m assuming this must be a COVID fee but I was never advised or authorized for this charge. Can a company make new charges to your account without advising you? I have tried calling head office but no answer. As far as I’m concerned this is not a good start to any business a bit shady in my opinion. Advertising you are now open and having to charge additional fees would have been a better way to contact members that you are back in business.
Hi Alison, thank you for leaving us a comment here. We would like to take a look at your situation a bit closer. Can you please submit a formal complaint on our website? Here’s a link to access the page and one of our team members will get in touch with you.
If you haven’t resolved this issue it may be similar to what I experienced. When Fitness World re-opened there was a pro-rated charge for the partial portion of the months they were open. I’m my case it was just under half of my monthly dues.
Hi Susan, I attempted to cancel my membership with Movati and was told that Covid was beyond their control. I was given the option to put my membership on hold. The fact remains I never had access to a gym for the period I wanted. Now, since time has passed I no longer have the need or want to go to a gym (Covid).
Is there anything I can do?
I feel like that gyms should give customers an option to cancel
Hi Wendy, thanks for getting in contact with us. Gym cancellation cases are all individual and unique so we would like to take a look at your original contract and get more detailed information from you. Would you able to fill out our complaint form online? Once submitted, one of our team members will get in touch with you. Here is the link to our complaint form. Thank you, Wendy!
The company has filed for bankruptcy you realize that?
I would suggest including in such articles the idea that cancelling memberships or contracts increases the likelihood that the business will not be able to survive. Yes, it’s one’s right to cancel the membership, but there are even more downstream impacts than mentioned here. Re the example in this article, if you seek to rejoin the fitness studio later, it may not actually be possible because the business may not be able to reopen due to the withdrawal of client support while they pivoted to online services.
As a consumer it’s easy to feel like the studio or gym are taking your money, but if everyone is refunded then the business can not pay their rent. There may not be a studio or gym to rejoin when things go back. Your small monthly fee could be the difference between a local business surviving and closing its doors forever.
I truly don’t care about that. If I submitted my cancellation in time, they had 30 days to proceed and 4 months after the fact they continue to debit my account and charge me for services I’m not receiving and I’m not interested in, that’s theft.
In 4 months they haven’t got back to me. No email, no phone number, no letter. They simply chose to ignore the cancellation and use covid as an excuse.
“We haven’t proceeded with cancellations because of Covid”. So what? Everybody else is dealing with Covid in their best possible way. That’s no excuse to be negligent and ignore your customers like they’re not even there.
The contract doesn’t accept cancellations by fax, or email.
They want an extra 30 days of charges when you finally decide to leave. Why should I pay for a whole month that I don’t want or need, just to line their pockets a bit more.
Nobody really needs a month to cancel an account and stop charging for something. And if they can’t, that’s also their problem, not mine. Why should I pay for their incompetence?
Do I want to support a business that’s only interested in taking advantage of me in whichever way possible?
Is that the sort of business I want to support with my money? NO.
Hi Peter, were you able to sort out the extra one-month charge with your fitness studio? If not, please feel free to submit a complaint form on our website. Here’s the link to the form.
Peter, consider that these closed fitness studios have little to no staff, no money, and hope to reopen and honour loyal members glad to support a small bc business. Have empathy.
I fully understand your frustration Peter!! My son joined a gym last year and they have continued to take their monthly charges off my credit card. When you phone the message said not to leave a message as it wouldn’t be returned. The doors are locked and the head office’s message said that after a year is up the gym will automatically renew your contract so either way we are being screwed. I phoned head office and was told that they would stop payment but was also told it was temporary and needed to contact the gym directly. Honestly I understand your feeling of being robbed each month. Visa has put in an inquiry with the gym but it’s up to the gym if they decide to fight it. When I read the article above it does state that we have the right to cancel if the service is unavailable so when I listened to the message just today from the gym I noticed they had changed their message to say that limited services were still available. I’m sure that was to cover their backs. If there is a solution to this I would love to know it. I am putting a call into the Better Business Bureau also tomorrow to see if they can help.
Hi Terry, sorry to hear about your situation. Would you be able to give us more details by submitting a formal complaint form? We may be able to look into it for you. Here is the link to the form and we look forward to hearing from you!
I emailed my studio that closed/switched to online (for an added fee) and I referenced section 25, and they are saying “We are not offering refunds at this time”.
I am wondering how to reply now. Should I repeat myself? They seem like they’re just ignoring what I am telling them.
Hi Taylor, thanks for reaching out to us here. Did you use the cancellation form we linked to in the post? If not, I would recommend doing that. If they have not changed their response to you or offered you a refund within 15 days, you can submit a complaint to our office. Thanks!
I purchased a tryout at a yoga studio during the summer. I end up purchasing an annual from the studio. Due to the pandemic, when school started, my 11 years old son did not want to go back to attend school physically. It was very hard for an eleven years old to go back to school and all playgrounds are closed and there’s no recessed or talking to friend’s etc… etc.. I had a very hard time dealing with him not having any motivation and he keep asking to do social distance and home study.
With all that said, my annual has not be used yet. I am still using my tryout. I reached out to the owner and expressed to her that I would not be able to come practice, I would have to be home and be attentive to my son’s home schooling. She would not offer my money back and told me whenever I want to come back to practice, then she will active the account. I expressed to her, the way things are going. We all know it’s not anytime soon everything is going to get back to normal. I even told her to charge me a penalty fee. Am I pretty much stuck with her keeping my $900 knowing my son is so young and I cannot leave him home alone. Please advice or any suggestions. Ty
Hi Lily, thanks for posting your question. Generally speaking, you can cancel your contract if you move away (more than 30k from the facility) or you are physically unable to participate. We have outlined the details on this page of our website so take a look. You may want to use the form that’s there and see if you can cancel your membership. If you have any further questions, please feel free to contact us via phone or email. We would be happy to help!
Sue them in Supreme Court!
That’s the only language they understand.
“We are not offering refunds at this time” translates to “we are violating section 25 of the Act” shamelessly and right on your face.
It is not your problem if they are offering refunds at this time or not. You have the RIGHT to a refund. If they can’t or won’t, that’s their problem, not yours.
I love it when suppliers treat the law as something optional that they can choose to ignore if they feel like it.
Covid doesn’t remove legal liability and their duty of care to you.
It’s one thing, if someone is researching this, to provide this information to people. It’s quite another to be spreading fear and concern by targeting people through ads that you’re running, encouraging them to rush to cancel their memberships. What happened to “we’re all in this together”? It’s not at the fault of the studio for “interrupting service”, they’re doing it for the collective good of humanity. This is disgusting.
Hi there, thanks for your input. We are by no means trying to spread fear. We’ve been getting calls from consumers who are unsure who to turn to in these situations, and we’re doing our best to inform people about their rights. If you read the article, we’re also not encouraging people to cancel their memberships. The advice we’re offering is for people to work with the gyms to come to a solution together. While I understand many businesses are struggling financially right now, many consumers are as well. Thanks!
I’ve been a member of Steve Nash Fitness World for 20 years and have tried to contact them by phone, through their website contact forms and directly by email with no response so have tried again with the form on this page. I’ve also paid extra to my bank for temporary stop-payments. Thank you for the information on this page.
Covid is not a temporary situation. I prefer not to ‘donate’ to SNFW thinking my $18/month will somehow save this company! It’s unfortunate but so is the way SNFW is treating staff and members.
What do you advise doing about Vail, an American company operating Whistler Blackcomb resorts not refunding pre-paid daypasses that were unused before they shut down the resort?
Hi Kate, if the passes you purchased are multi-day passes, they would be covered under the laws around continuing services contracts in BC as the service provided is on an continuing basis across multiple days. In this case, you can follow the contract cancellation steps outlined in this blog post.
If the passes you purchased are only valid for one day, they would not be covered under the laws around continuing services contracts and you will have to refer to the refund/cancellation policies set out by the business.
For both cases, we recommend reaching out to the business directly first to see if their customer service team offers any alternative solutions. I hope this helps!
Is this the same for pre-purchased fitness packages where the service is in sessions rather than months/years? i.e. a package of 5 private training classes?
Yep! It would be the same for multi-class passes like what you described.
I Purchased a 10 class yoga pass over a year ago and only used 2 passes, on my purchase receipt it states that the passes are valid for one year from purchase date, the studio is still closed due to covid, am I able to get a refund for my remaining passes?
Hi April, thank you for contacting us. Your case is a bit hard to determine because of the pandemic but one thing we can recommend is to go back to the business and see what they can do. I’m not sure about a refund but they may be able to give you an extension on the time period for you to use. If the business refuses the extension, please do let us know. You can submit a complaint form on our website. Good luck, April!
Hi Kevin, Can you confirm if two-day Whistler Blackcomb pre-paid day passes considered multi-day. I see your comment implies more than one day would be considered multi-day. But just want to confirm. Thank you.
Hi Lin, thank you for contacting us. If your pass is for multi-day use, it’s our understanding that the contract will fall under continuing services contracts similar to gym memberships. If you would like more information on this, you can access our website here. If you would like us to review your specific situation, please feel free to submit a formal complaint form here. Thank you, Lin!
Not sure if this is the same situation, but I registered my daughters on a volleyball camp through Academy Volleyball and obviously they did not go ahead. The owner later offered a refund or credit to further camps. Myself and my girlfriend both requested refunds three times now. We have not had our emails returned. Any advice?
Hi Shiela, great question! In your case, we’d recommend following the contract cancellation steps outlined in this blog post and start by sending the owner a cancellation form.
Hi Amanda, thank you for posting this article on memberships–it’s very helpful! I am hoping you can answer my question about event organizers who have received our money already to participate, but are now cancelling their events due to COVID. In particular, this is a company that organizes dance competitions, & is now announcing it is closing its doors and cancelling all events. They have already received our fees in full, and apparently, are not offering any refunds. Please advise as to what our options are. Thank you!
Hi Bonnie, if you paid the fees by credit card, I would suggest contacting the credit card company to request a reversal of charges. As dance competitions are not included under continuing service contract laws, the contract cancellation steps outlined in this blog post would not apply to your case. I hope this helps!
thanks Kevin for your reply..
unfortunately the fees were paid via cash / cheques, & not by credit card—does this basically mean we don’t really have any other course of action?
Hi Bonnie, you may be able to go though the Civil Resolution Tribunal if the organizers are unwilling to issue a refund.
Thanks for this article, it’s very informative.
My question is can I still cancel my annual gym membership if my contact’s cancellation policy indicates the gym will still charge on the remainder months of my 12 months contract? Unfortunately my situation has changed, I have no work plus I am worried and doesn’t feel safe going back to the gym where it’s closed space. The said gym is planning to reopen on June. Thanks!
Hi Ivy, if your gym is currently closed due to COVID-19, you may follow the steps outlined in this article to cancel your contract.
My son’s martial arts academy closed the second week of March due to Covid-19. They said they would continue charging their monthly fees and just add on time to the end of everyone’s contract. They finally started offering online classes on April 26th which we tried once but they will not work for us since my son needs more direct interaction due to his ADHD. We are in a contract paying monthly via credit card until September but I have asked to be let out of it due to the material change of service referenced in the blog. My first request was on April 27th and I have emailed them daily since May 5th and sent the notice of cancellation form on May 6th but they refuse to let me out of the contract and stop charging my credit card. I submitted the complaint today to consumer protection BC as per advice above but the next payment will be applied to my credit card on June 8th. Am I within my rights to call my credit card company and ask for them to stop payment on all future charges by the martial arts company?
Hi Melanie, we recommend following the process through our website so that we can look into the situation for you. If you’re looking for a faster method, you can try talking to your credit card company. However, please note that wouldn’t be our process for refunds for this type of contract issue.
Great resource, thanks loads! Quick question, on your “Start a Complaint” page, which service should I pick from the list if the complaint is about the gym declining my request for membership cancellation and refund?
I sent them the cancellation form (from your website), they said ‘No’ and 15 days have passed.
Hi George, thank you for reaching out to us! You can select the “recreation services” category.
I had contacted my kickboxing membership Gym during when they were closed to say that I wanted to cancel due to the circumstances, and see what options I had but they said there was nothing to be done. They have recently re-opened and I am now seeing this information, so I feel kind of frustrated and still don’t feel safe going to this gym right now. Is there anything I can do?
Hi there, if you have the communications between you and the gym where they denied your cancellation request saved, then you may open a complaint with us.
I signed up my 16-yrold daughter for personal training sessions at Club 16 prior to covid and it is being paid off as a Finance Plan monthly. They have currently re-opened the gym but have not yet re-started the Personal Training sessions. My daughter does not want to return due to the covid risks but they advise that the contract is Non-cancellable. They have allowed 2 month freeze on payments and no expiration date on the training. Do i still have rights to cancel?
Hi Julie, thanks for your question! It’s our understanding that you will be able to cancel your contract under “material change”. Please read the blog post above carefully – all the information you need to know to get the process going is there. If you have any other questions please let us know here or contact us directly.
My daughters dance studio went to online classes due to covid but continued to charge full rates. We chose not to participate and notified the studio ahead of time. The studio has now told us we are no longer able to attend the studio. We have paid for dance competitions that my daughter can no longer attend and the studio is refusing to refund these fees. The studio is not responding to emails and the dance competitions will not refund families directly.
Hi Randy, thank you for contacting us. We would like to get more detailed information about your situation and the contract (if you had one). Would you be able to submit a formal complaint to us so we can look into this further? Here’s the link to the form you can fill out online. Thank you and hopefully, you will be able to solve this quickly.
Thank you Shoko for your reply. I plan to file a complaint in the future. We are currently looking for a new studio for my daughter to compete at. My wife is concerned if we file a complaint now the studio owner might disrupt this process. Is there a time limit on when I must file my complaint
Hi Randy, there’s no time limit to submit a complaint about a business. However, have you followed the cancellation steps we outline in this blog post? If you haven’t already, I would start there first. We need to see some documentation that there was an attempt to cancel using our form (shared above) and any communication with the business is helpful to us to. I hope this helps and best of luck!
I have paid my personal trainer in advanced in my local gym, but now the gym is still remain closed by law, and I don’t want to wait anymore. Can I ask for a full refund for the leftover classes? I paid another 20 classes and only used 2. What should I do if they refuse to refund?
Hi Michelle, we would recommend following the steps outlined in the blog post. If you go through that process and are still unable to secure a refund you can contact us for help. Ensure you document all the steps we outline here and keep track of your communication with the business. Thanks!
Hi! I and my boyfriend are with a gym. The gym recently reopened and start to charge our monthly fee. We understand it’s hard for gym business at this time, but we are still not willing to go to to the gym because, first, we don’t feel safe during the pandemic, and also, the gym let go the gym trainer that we’ve been training to.
We tried to ask to cancel the membership, but the gym wants a $300 penaty fee for each of us, which is almost the same as if we pay for the rest of the contract fee. In this situation, do we have right to ask for no penalty cancelation?
Hi Sunny, thanks for reaching out to us here. Businesses are allowed to change their prices, however there are instances when you are within your rights to cancel your contract. Here’s a link with the three different legitimate reasons to cancel: https://www.consumerprotectionbc.ca/consumer-help/cancelling-a-gym-membership/. I can’t speak specifically to your case, because I don’t know the exact situation. What I would suggest you do is go through the three options and see if any of them apply to you. If so, you can follow the steps outlined in that link I shared. I hope this is helpful and best of luck!
Thanks in advance for your efforts assisting us all on these matters.
I have been a member of a large gym here in the lower mainland (not Steve Nash). They returned to operations in mid-June.
I last attended the gym the day before they were ordered closed by the Ministry of Health. My bi-weekly credit card charges ceased after that point. They began again on Jun 17th.
I wrote an email a few days later after noting the charge. I explained that since I will be 70 years old in October I felt that – even with additional COVID protocols in place – the chance that I would suffer a severe case at my age precluded my continued use of the facilities. In addition, our agreement when made was based on a certain level of access to the facilities. Due to protocols things like setting appointments, scheduled time slots and other changes were material to my ability to even go – should I feel safe. This is material to our common understanding of the agreement when made. It is not their fault, but still it is the case.
I made those points in my email. A staff member replied ignoring the points listed above and stating that they would apply a 2 month cancellation fee as per the original contract. I disagreed, replying that I believed they were no longer able to provide the services/products as agreed to by both parties. In addition they had been closed for three months.
In my view this closure period functions as a cancellation and I opposed their rights to charge a 2 month cancellation fee given the change in offered services/products.
I contacted my credit card company and based on my description of events they have reversed the first charge on Jun 17th. However, they have continued to apply another charge and expect they will continue to do so.
Amanda, do you believe that at least in terms of BC consumer law, my position that the material change in offered services and my legitimate health concern preclude them from charging this cancellation fee?
I would add that they did not send email notification that they had reopened or indeed even provide a guide to their new access protocol rules. Had I not looked at my credit card account I would not have even known they had reopened.
I would appreciate your thoughts.
Hi Don, thank you for taking the time to write to us. It would be helpful to review your original contract so we can look into this further. Would you be able to submit a formal complaint through our website? The link to the form is here. Alternatively, you can contact us by phone. Our toll-free number is 1-888-564-9963 and we take phone calls Monday-Friday 8:30am to 4:30pm. Thank you again for contacting us.
I have just completed the formal complaint process as you suggested. My description was longer than the allowable character limit however.
As to your question about the agreement. I don’t believe I ever received a copy of any kind. I have searched my records and can find neither physical or electronic copies.
This is Trevor Linden Club 16. I cannot find an example on their website. However, here are a couple of pages of policies:
Thank you for the additional information, Don!
Hi there, I am a member of goodlife fitness and I am trying to cancel my membership without penalty (based on the guidance here).
They are advising me they are unable to make changes to my membership until I receive email notification 14 days in advance of your Club reopening, and as such they will not respond to me.
Are they legally allowed to do this?
Hello, thank you for contacting us. We would like to know more about your specific situation and the contract in detail so we can further help you. Would you be able to submit a formal complaint through our online form? Here’s the link to the form, once it’s submitted, someone will get in contact with you. Thank you.
I am not sure If you can assist with this issue, but I am looking for some information regarding gym charging additional fees that I originally did not consent to when I signed up.
As a result of Covid, the gym I attend is now requiring us to register online for our sessions. We are only allowed to register for three sessions in a row and for no longer than an hour. They are now putting a policy in place where if you don’t show up for your session (regardless of the reason) they will charge your credit card $10.00. They are also now charging $5.00 if you don’t cancel your gym session within 4 hours if you can’t make it – which is what I have a problem with. I feel like it’s promotion people to come to the gym when sick. Are they allowed to charge these fees? When I signed my contract it was for authorization to take off the monthly membership fee, not these additional fees. Is there anything you suggest I do?
In addition, I am not able to utilize several aspects of my membership as a result of Covid, but am still paying the premium price. Does this fall under the cancellation piece you were speaking to in your post?
Any help you can provide would be greatly appreciated.
Hi Tracy, thank you for posting your question here. Would you be able to submit a formal complaint so we will be able to take a look at your contract? There are a few things you have mentioned that could qualify as material change but we would like to see your contract first. You can access our online complaint form on our website here.
Hi, Can I still cancel my annual gym membership if my contact’s cancellation policy indicates the gym will still charge on the remainder months of my 12 months contract? I have 6 months left in the contract and gym is open Now (as it was closed for few months before). But I cannot compromise the immunity of the person I am living with which has low immunity so do not feel Safe going to closed space (also considering that cases are rising now in BC again).
My Gym is not allowing me to cancel and asking penalty amount instead, Thanks!
Hello – each gym contract is quite different so we would like to take a look at yours if possible. Would you be able to submit a formal complaint to us? You can do so on our website here and someone from our team will get in contact with you soon.
I was a member of UFC gym Coquitlam. Unfortunately due to the pandemic, they have permanently closed and Fitness World has taken over.
I have paid my yearly membership in full in Feb 2020 and also bought some personal training sessions. My total costs would be a little over $1000. To be honest, because Fitness world is not MMA affiliated, and they do not offer kickboxing, I’m no longer interested in continuing my membership under them.
I am also working as a frontline worker and dealing with vulnerable patients, so I am definitely not eager to go back to the gym given the circumstances.
I have tried reaching out thru their email support but have not gotten any response.
My question is, should I fill out the form and submit it to them? And is there a good chance I can still get my money back?
Thank you so much.
I have just checked their website, and under FAQs, here is what I found:
Unfortunately, we cannot issue a refund as the Notice of Intent under the Bankruptcy & Insolvency Act prohibits us from doing so. To find out more information, please go to http://www.bowragroup.com/snfwfitnessbcltd
Please advise me on what I should do.
Hi Heidi, thank you for sending in your question. Since your question involves Steve Nash Fitness World and it’s gone through a bankruptcy, it is a bit more complicated. Would you be able to submit a formal complaint form so we can take a closer look at your original contract? You can click here to access the form. Thank you so much!
I want to cancel my membership with club 16 Trevor Linden, since now I have to book an appointment to use their facilities and there is usually no spot available at the time that I can go, and also I do not feel comfortable going there due the pandemic. I emailed them to cancel my membership and they want to charge me 2 payments for canceling . I would like to know if these charges are fair.
Hi Mary, thank you for leaving a comment here. Cancellation fees may have been in your original contract but that would be something that’s helpful for us to see. Would you be able to submit a formal complaint to us along with your contract? Here’s the link to our complaint form. Thank you, Mary!
The yoga studio that i go to permanently shut down because they couldnt meet the government’s guidine to reopen. I have a new membership with them, paid in full and barely used it. Is it possible for me to get a refund? Ive tried contacting them but they arent responsive.
Hi Tina, thank you for contacting us. Because you are dealing with a business that has closed permanently, we would like to know more details. It would be helpful to know if the business has claimed bankruptcy or another business has bought it etc. Would you be able to submit a formal complaint to us using our online form here? Thank you!
I was a member with Fitness World as well. It turns out the location that I was able to use is not going to re-open and their other locations are not convenient for me.
They began billing my monthly dues again when they re-opened some of their other locations.
I was able to cancel my membership in person.
Do I have any recourse on the 2 1/2 months dues I was charged when the only location I used never re-opened and Is now permanently closed?
Hi Kevin, thank you for contacting us! This does sound like a situation where you can cancel your membership and receive a refund. We have a form for that on our website (here’s the page) so please fill it out and follow the direction listed on the page. After sending it off to Fitness World, if you’re still having trouble getting a refund, please contact us. I hope you will be able to get your refund quickly!
When Fitness World closed locations then ceased operations, I was under the illusion that my contract with them would have ended as well.
My PAP’s stopped around March/April and I thought that was it. However, I just checked my bank statement and on September 22 they took 3 separate debits. It’s been impossible to get hold of anybody. Their website doesn’t list a phone number to any head office or accounting dept. and the contact button does not work.
I called the gym and somebody finally gave me a generic email address, to which I’ve sent 2 emails explaining the situation and have gotten no reply.
Is this even legal?
Hi Jason, thank you for contacting us. Unfortunately, we do not oversee all aspects of gyms or fitness studios – our organization does not license this industry. Having said that, we oversee very specific aspects related to fitness contracts and a consumer’s right to cancel these types of contracts in specific situations. One thing we can suggest is to contact your credit card provider or financial institution to explain the situation and see if there is any possibility of chargebacks or stop payments. If you are still unable to get your money back, please submit a formal complaint to us with your original contract. You can do so on our website here. Thank you, Jason!
I contacted Bowra Group who handled the sale to Fitness World and was told that I needed to go in person to one of the open locations and complete a Cancellation Form. I did that today and the form included a request to refund the amounts taken from my cheque account. I am also going to request my credit union to put a stop on any further payments.
Hopefully this will resolve the issue.
Hi Kevin, sounds like you have taken very smart steps to resolve this issue. I hope you will get a refund quickly and if you have any updates, please let us know here!
So far I have not heard a thing from Fitness World. I received an email in reply to an email query tat I had sent in prior to completing my cancellation form at the Lougheed location. The email contained a telephone number which I called and left a voicemail. I tried to follow up today as I had not received a reply but the phone just rang; not even the option of leaving another message.
Not sure what my next step should be.
Hi Kevin, thank you for following up. I know that the process seems to be taking a while. Other than going to the location and inquiring about your claim, I don’t know that you have anything else you can do at this point. Were you able to stop payments through your credit union?
Yes, I put a stop payment on the monthly debit
Poor/lack of communication from Fitness World or SNFW.
As many people like me are surprised to see a charges for your member fees for Fitness World. We received NO communication what so ever.
We thought that with SNFW filed for Bankruptcy and closed it door due to covid, thus our contracts are null and void right? Wrong.
What I read today makes sense of this crazy situation. SNFW filed for creditor protection as reported in the article that I will post at the end.
In a quick summary, SFNW sold its assets which includes Memberships contracts to Fitness World and we are still under contract with the new/former Fitness World owners.
With poor and I mean really poor communications from Fitness World, you still need to contact them and cancel your contract if you want to.
Thanks to Ross McLaughlin from Consumer Reporter, CTV news and Espe Currie, Associate new Producer, McLaughlin On your side in putting this article of information.
I hope this helps.
Be safe everyone!
Hi Bob, thank you for posting this information! I’m sure this is helpful to everybody else who has had similar issues.
I submitted a written request with the form to cancel my gym membership but they are saying my contract requires 30 days notice therefore will still charge me the next billing cycle. They are also not going to provide a refund although I understand the changes had occurred months ago. You now have to reserve time slots to visit which are limited, and the group classes, which are part of my premium membership, are now online.
Hi Eva, okay would you be able to submit a formal complaint form online? We would like to get a bit more details and someone from our team will get in contact with you. Here’s the link to the complaint form. Thank you!
Consumer Protection BC this article is shameful. You’re encouraging individuals to help drive our small fitness facilities out of business during a time when those facilities are barely able to stay afloat. You need to rewrite this article to show your empathy and support first, before advising consumers of
Contract loopholes that screw over small businesses only bent on helping our community. Shame
Hi Sam, thank you for leaving a comment here. We do understand that small businesses, especially fitness studios are having a hard time right now. That is why in this post (and in any other posts we write about dealing with businesses) we encourage consumers to first contact the business directly to see if they can work something out (pausing memberships or extending punch card passes in this case). We have also written about being kind to each other in this post as we believe that is important during this difficult time. As for what we’re sharing about contract laws, they are written in BC laws and we are not suggesting any loopholes. If you’d like more information, please take a look at this page on our website. Thank you, Sam.
I purchased a set of 20 spin classes back in March and have only used 5 so far. The gym I go to has been closed for a few months. They said they could extend the expiration date of the passes once they reopen but I am moving an hour away so I would prefer a refund. Is that an option?
Thank you in advance!
Hi Melanie, thank you for contacting us! Sounds like you may be able to get some money back due to your change in the situation but do you know if it’s more than 30km away? If so, you can use our form online to request a refund. Our form is located on this page and please read through the details under “my situation has changed…” and use the form there. If you have any questions or do not hear back from the business after a few days, please feel free to contact us!
Hi I have been a member of fitness world since nov 5 monthly fees were 17 the payments were taken out of my ex hubby’s account on a visa . During the covid they closed which they still took the monthly payments ? With no refunds or credits He tried to cancel but it wasn’t till the end of nov that the card expired which I did not know. During their reopening sometime time in sept I attended the gym . In January they said the card had expired do I have another card ? I asked how much is owing they said 48$ it’s not in my original contract . I asked what about the payments they took while closed ? They had no answer. I said I’ll have to make a call cos I never paid the dues . Can I just walk away ? As far as I’m concerned if I stop going they have had their money for dec and one week in January.
Hi Christine, if you would like to cancel your membership, you need to do this in writing. If your membership is still active, the gym has the right to collect the membership fee and they may send the unpaid bills to a debt collection company. You can cancel your membership using our form on our website. Take a look at this page and click on the third box to open, then fill out the form to send it to your gym. If you have any problems cancelling or getting your money back for the period they were closed, you can submit a complaint to us here. I hope you will be able to sort this out quickly!
I booked a 20 class card for a Hot Yoga studio near me last year. Obviously it has been closed for some time, but has recently reopened, although they no longer run any classes in the mornings or the weekends (when I was able to attend) and none of their classes are hot (which was why I booked with them). I have reached out to cancel the class card and have been told ‘we don’t do refunds’. Do I have a claim to pursue here? Usually I would wait for the studio to hopefully reopen in full in the future, but as my visa runs out in several months, I want to ensure I don’t leave it too late. They have only mentioned I could transfer the credits to someone else, but that isn’t an option. Any advice would be appreciated.
Hi Rosanna, I think the shift the yoga studio made can be considered “material change” and you should be able to cancel your membership. In this post (just scroll up to look at the main content), we explain how to cancel your contract so please read it through and fill out the form. If you have any questions or still unable to cancel, please feel free to contact us.
Hi! I have a membership with Fitness World and my location has temporarily closed. My membership was only valid for one location, which is the only location that is really convenient to me anyway given my schedule, but Fitness World says that I’m not allowed to cancel, as my contract says that I agree to use another location if mine becomes unavailable. I have no idea if my agreement actually says that, as I never received a copy. Am I still allowed to cancel my membership, or does the agreement prevail over law? Thanks in advance!
Hi Joss, thank you for contacting us. It would certainly be important to take a look at the contract if they actually shared it with you. Having said that, if they didn’t provide it to you that is a violation of the law. Can you please send us a formal complaint online as we would like to get more details from you. Here is a link to the online form. Thank you so much, Joss!