New Year, New Gym: Tips on Choosing the Right Membership

Clovis Roundup Staff

New Year, New Me: It’s a saying that a countless number of people use to signify the end of a year and a fresh start for the next, all while tying in their New Year’s Resolutions.

Living a healthier lifestyle (41.1 percent) and losing weight (39.6 percent) were among the top three New Year’s Resolutions for 2016, with weight related resolutions constantly among the top every single year.

Gym memberships see a huge increase in January with many gyms offering free trial periods, discounts and introductory specials if you sign up with that New Year’s special. While that is an enticing way to get new clients, especially when their resolution is weight related, make sure you know exactly what you are signing up for.

Better Business Bureau Serving Central California & Inland Empire Counties has a few tips and things to look out for when signing up for a new gym membership.

Read the renewal policy: Some gym contracts automatically renew, or require a written notice to cancel 30-60 days before your contract expires. Make sure you understand how to cancel or approve a new contract and keep track of that date.

Know the terms after the introductory offer ends: Many gyms lure new members by using an introductory special, discounts, or free months. Be sure to read the fine print and know exactly what the payments will be after the special ends.

Know how to get out of your contract: Whether you’re moving away, you can’t afford it anymore, or you just want out of your contract then make sure you know exactly what to expect. Some gyms charge early termination fees for breaking your contract before your renewal date. Be sure to read the contract carefully so you know what steps to take in case you do have to cancel; that way you aren’t left with an unpleasant surprise.

Don’t allow the gym to automatically withdraw money from your checking account: Always use a credit card or electronic bill pay instead to avoid the risk of the gym withdrawing money after ending your contract.

Don’t give into high-pressure sales tactics: Take your time when choosing a new gym and don’t feel pressured to sign right then and there. Any reputable gym or fitness club will give you plenty of time to thoroughly read your contract, give you a tour of the facility, and answer any questions you have.

Ask what happens if the gym suddenly closes: Some gyms have closed up shop and still taken customers’ money. Ask the gym to explain to you what would happen if they ever did go under.

Get everything in writing: If an employee at the gym promises you something to entice you then make sure to get it in writing that way there is no dispute later on. Also, always read the fine print in your contract and know exactly what you are signing.

Before signing up with any gym or weight loss program check the company out at bbb.org. If you have any problems or issues with the service feel free to provide us with a customer review about your experience.