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Old 02.05.2014, 13:37
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Fitness Club Fees

I took a 6 month fitness club membership out approx years ago, cancelled membership in accordance with terms of contract, it was the summer so I did my exercise outdoors. I rejoined the the club 4-5 months later, again for 6 month in autumn 2010 and again cancelled in accordance with terms of contract in spring 2011.

Last month I received a letter informing I did not pay the 700CHF for the second membership. I find this very strange as I would have expected that I would not have gained access to the club for the 2nd membership period if it showed up on my account that I had not paid.

Unfortunately, I changed bank accounts some years back and therefore do not have a record on my statement. Although I have a hunch I paid at reception in cash. I keep most receipts for purchased goods but after a certain time it's reasonable to throw them away.

Can their accounts department really be so far behind that they wait 3.5 years before noticing I did not pay?

I did not appreciate the tone of the letter either, starting with "we grow tired of waiting the payment".

Is it possible I can claim I have thrown away the receipt and they must have made an error in their accounting ?
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Old 02.05.2014, 13:45
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Re: Fitness Club Fees

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I took a 6 month fitness club membership out approx years ago, cancelled membership in accordance with terms of contract, it was the summer so I did my exercise outdoors. I rejoined the the club 4-5 months later, again for 6 month in autumn 2010 and again cancelled in accordance with terms of contract in spring 2011.

Last month I received a letter informing I did not pay the 700CHF for the second membership. I find this very strange as I would have expected that I would not have gained access to the club for the 2nd membership period if it showed up on my account that I had not paid.

Unfortunately, I changed bank accounts some years back and therefore do not have a record on my statement. Although I have a hunch I paid at reception in cash. I keep most receipts for purchased goods but after a certain time it's reasonable to throw them away.

Can their accounts department really be so far behind that they wait 3.5 years before noticing I did not pay?

I did not appreciate the tone of the letter either, starting with "we grow tired of waiting the payment".

Is it possible I can claim I have thrown away the receipt and they must have made an error in their accounting ?
If you don't have any proof that you paid it, you are going to be in for a difficult time, especially if you paid the full CHF 700 in cash to the reception, and even then you don't have a clear memory of it.

The fact that they write "we grow tired of waiting for your payment" suggests that this isn't the first time they have contacted you on the subject. How many times have they chased, and when was the first time they contacted you for this?

3 years is a long time ago but if they started chasing you in, say, 2011, you can't really say they are slow with their accounts.
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Old 02.05.2014, 14:04
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Re: Fitness Club Fees

What surprise me is that this is the first contact from them 3.5 years.

Off course there is a possibility I never paid back in 2010, but I would have expected some kind of late payment reminder 2-3 or 6 months. In my past experience of such fitness clubs, I have swiped in at reception to be gently reminded by the staff that current membership has expired by a few days. Said fitness club had an electronic system of this type.

This is a one-off club, not a big chain and I have heard one of the big fitness club chains is opening up a big new club in the same street. The cynic in me wonders if they are trying it on with people who left the club many years ago, especially ones who have paid cash
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Old 02.05.2014, 14:11
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Re: Fitness Club Fees

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Unfortunately, I changed bank accounts some years back and therefore do not have a record on my statement.
You can still call up your former bank and ask to issue your statements from any of the last 5 years. I should cost you about 35.- to 50.- (depending on a bank) and you'll have the printouts in your hands about a week later.

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Can their accounts department really be so far behind that they wait 3.5 years before noticing I did not pay?
Yes, unfortunately it can. This year tax authorities sent a letter to a friend of mine, saying that they've noticed he hasn't paid his tax in full in 2010... Needless to say, he had to pay the outstanding amount.

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I did not appreciate the tone of the letter either, starting with "we grow tired of waiting the payment".
Don't take it personally. Very often it's the electronic claims system that words things this way, so there isn't a 'human touch' in there at all. I once had an accident and received a letter from my employer referring to it as a "claim no 123" and what should be done. There was no word of "we are sorry you suffered a major injury and would like to help you." I had a chuckle!

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Is it possible I can claim I have thrown away the receipt and they must have made an error in their accounting ?
Here's where asking nicely might play in your favor. Don't write any emotional letters back. Instead go and have a chat with the front desk staff or a manager, if possible, and try to sort things out nicely. It might be that their acc dept made a mistake, so it's def worth asking!

Best of luck!!!
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