If you’ve ever visited a gym to decide on whether to become a member, you’ve probably been a bit surprised at being asked to sign a long-term agreement. Not only is this annoying and expensive, it’s also potentially illegal.
Recent administrative actions filed in New Jersey by that state’s Division of Consumer Affairs alleges twenty health clubs locked their members into contracts longer than three months without first securing proper financial backup that helps assure members can be refunded their membership dues should the club go out of business. In addition, the New Jersey DCA found the health clubs:
- Failed to conspicuously post consumer rights’ notices
- Failed to register their business with the state (required if a business devotes more than 40% of its floor space to physical fitness)
With these blatant failures to comply with a state’s consumer protection laws, it’s important to know if your health club or gym is in good standing. Other common unfair business practices include:
- False advertising
- Bait-and-switch schemes
- Hidden or undisclosed fees, false charges, or overcharges
- Unauthorized electronic withdrawals from your bank account
- Junk faxes, spam texts, robocalls, or other telemarketing abuse
- Harassing you for a debt collection
- Violations of the Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act (FACTA), the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), or the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA)
If you’re a consumer who’s concerned with the business practices of your health club or gym, please contact one our consumer rights attorneys in Chicago to explore your legal rights. You can reach our consumer fraud attorneys online or by calling 1 (888) 517-9115.