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Old 21.02.2017, 18:58
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Re: Gym trying to extort a membership fee

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Just how exactly do you plan to sue them if you don't even have a copy of your contract yet?

You will lose this before you even started.

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And just so you know, this does matter.
Obviously, I don't plan to sue them. And obviously, knowing the 3-month rule matters legally - it shouldn't matter to a decent human being. If I'm saying I'm not in the country and will not be using their gym, the decent thing to do would be to allow me to cancel it, not try to squeeze as much money out as possible.
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  #22  
Old 21.02.2017, 18:59
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Re: Gym trying to extort a membership fee

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Yes, but in order to find it, you have to navigate the menu and know to look for it in the first place - and if I knew to do that I would have just read the freaking contract. Obviously, if I'd known to do that, I would have.
Sorry OP, but I was interested in your thread - also hate these hidden clauses in memberships - as well as unfounded defamation.

But it took me about 3 seconds (really, and I'm getting old, so astounded myself), to look up the said gym - who I've never previously heard about - from your post, and then locate the relevant contractual details)

Personally, I'd advise you to do at least that amount of research before committing to anything for a yearly fee of CHF 500.-
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  #23  
Old 21.02.2017, 19:01
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Could I have a list of those places please?
Sure, I've lived in Estonia, UK, Finland, Switzerland and USA, in that order. While there have been fine print problems elsewhere, they are an exception rather than the rule. Switzerland is very much f****d up in this regard.

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Sorry OP, but I was interested in your thread - also hate these hidden clauses in memberships - as well as unfounded defamation.

But it took me about 3 seconds (really, and I'm getting old, so astounded myself), to look up the said gym - who I've never previously heard about - from your post, and then locate the relevant contractual details)

Personally, I'd advise you to do at least that amount of research before committing to anything for a yearly fee of CHF 500.-
Okay, well thank you for being smart after the fact.

Last edited by 3Wishes; 21.02.2017 at 19:25. Reason: merging consecutive replies
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Old 21.02.2017, 19:04
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Re: Gym trying to extort a membership fee

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Sure, I've lived in Estonia, UK, Finland, Switzerland and USA, in that order. While there have been fine print problems elsewhere, they are an exception rather than the rule. Switzerland is very much f****d up in this regard.
Just how does one get on as a Biotech student without learning to read things closely?
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  #25  
Old 21.02.2017, 19:05
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Re: Gym trying to extort a membership fee

Life on EF is quite simple. If you are right, people will be understanding and helpful. If you are wrong, you will be told to suck it up. Few might even sympathize with you
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  #26  
Old 21.02.2017, 19:06
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Re: Gym trying to extort a membership fee

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Okay, well thank you for being smart after the fact.
No, but don't get me wrong - I do appreciate the advice!
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  #27  
Old 21.02.2017, 19:09
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Re: Gym trying to extort a membership fee

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No, but don't get me wrong - I do appreciate the advice!
That was the point, and believe me - most of us have been there, as yourself - regardless of the country
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  #28  
Old 21.02.2017, 19:17
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Re: Gym trying to extort a membership fee

There is a law against fine print in contracts in Switzerland - Art. 8 UWG. Reply to the club that you consider the automatic contract extension clause invalid based on that law.

I wouldn't pay regardless. It's hardly possible to enforce payments across borders, unless it's a very clear case about big money and they're prepared to spend generously on lawyers, or alimony - many countries are sensitive to those matters. But don't let them know your new address, just in case, so that they wouldn't get any ideas
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Old 21.02.2017, 19:24
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Re: Gym trying to extort a membership fee

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Interesting that they forgot to mention this when I was explicitly asking whether the contract was non-renewed.
Clearly, it's easy to say in hindsight that you should have known. I've had memberships in 3 other European countries, none of which never had a problem beyond a month's cancellation, so no, I didn't expect to have to read the fine print.
LOL, you're weird. Wonder how you manage in general .... there's probably a fully funished, abandoned flat somewhere in Basel ....

However, here's an idea: Maybe somebody else who still lives in Switzerland is willing to take over your contract. Unless the Arial-25 small print says it's "nicht übertragbar" - which I'm sure ZüriRollt will find out within seconds. But even then they might agree with that solution.


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Just how does one get on as a Biotech student without learning to read things closely?
He doesn't pass the exam?
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  #30  
Old 21.02.2017, 19:37
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Re: Gym trying to extort a membership fee

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Life on EF is quite simple. If you are right, people will be understanding and helpful. If you are wrong, you will be told to suck it up. Few might even sympathize with you
Well yes, both. I feel your pain- but I am afraid the contract is clear, and you didn't bother to read it. Proving you were told that it would be renewed would be impossible. Of course if you don't speak French, you may not be aware that there have been dozens of articles about those fitness contract automatic renewal in the Press and on TV, and that all the Consumer Advice organisations in Switzerland have been very active, without success- in trying to do something about it - be it Bon à Savoir or FRC on French side, or Beobacther on German side. The contract is clear - and the part about needing to give 3 months notice or automatic renewal- is not hidden in small print- but takes seconds to find, clear as can be- at a quick glance.

So you have 3 choices- ignore and it will go away more likely than not- but the Poursuite will be against you and will catch up with you if you ever want to come back. Pay up and suck it up and put it down to experience. Or try to negotiate with them a lower price- which may, or may not work. Bonne chance- but yeah, I feel your pain.

Last edited by Odile; 21.02.2017 at 19:58.
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  #31  
Old 21.02.2017, 19:48
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Re: Gym trying to extort a membership fee

I experienced virtually the same thing with a UK gym when I stopped attending due to health issues (one of the well known chains of gyms). I have heard of quite a few similar cases.

It appears to be something that gyms are renowned for. They seem to be banking on the principle that many people get bored and drift away without bothering to cancel their membership.
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  #32  
Old 21.02.2017, 19:50
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Re: Gym trying to extort a membership fee

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However, here's an idea: Maybe somebody else who still lives in Switzerland is willing to take over your contract. Unless the Arial-25 small print says it's "nicht übertragbar" - which I'm sure ZüriRollt will find out within seconds. But even then they might agree with that solution.
Curley - I believe the well-considered posts provided by several members within a short-time period on this thread, took many different aspects into account.

The OP is clearly well positioned to reflect on the entire input, and form an own opinion.

Personally, I've made enough experiences in life to wish that such advice had been there for me over the years .
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  #33  
Old 21.02.2017, 19:53
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Re: Gym trying to extort a membership fee

Write to them stating what you were told: 1 year contract only when you began your membership. State not understanding german as the reason you asked for clarification from them at the time. Do you have the name of the person who you signed the contract with and verbally agreed with you about the 1 year contract?

I got out of a gym contract a few years ago because I was told one month to cancel and not three, which contradicted the written terms which I didn't read as I took his word for it. I had the name of the Gym office guy who told me and he admitted his mistake, so I was off the hook..

Always read and know the cancellation rules of a contract.
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  #34  
Old 21.02.2017, 19:54
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Re: Gym trying to extort a membership fee

This sucks, but legally and morally you have to pay. A contract is a contract and should be honoured, no matter how bad it is.
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Old 21.02.2017, 19:56
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Re: Gym trying to extort a membership fee

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This sucks, but legally and morally you have to pay. A contract is a contract and should be honoured, no matter how bad it is.
That's pretty much what the gym Manager told me
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Old 21.02.2017, 20:02
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Re: Gym trying to extort a membership fee

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Write to them stating what you were told: 1 year contract only when you began your membership. State not understanding german as the reason you asked for clarification from them at the time. Do you have the name of the person who you signed the contract with and verbally agreed with you about the 1 year contract?

I got out of a gym contract a few years ago because I was told one month to cancel and not three, which contradicted the written terms which I didn't read as I took his word for it. I had the name of the Gym office guy who told me and he admitted his mistake, so I was off the hook..

Always read and know the cancellation rules of a contract.
Were "not understanding German" a way to get out of a contract, no expat would be able to rent a flat.
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  #37  
Old 21.02.2017, 20:03
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Re: Gym trying to extort a membership fee

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This sucks, but legally and morally you have to pay. A contract is a contract and should be honoured, no matter how bad it is.
Morally OP is in the right, because salesman told him it was for one year only. Problem, legally, is that it's hardly provable unless that salesman admits his mistake. Which would be unthinkable for Switzerland. Firms screw up all the time here and barely anyone apologizes. Not admitting mistakes is just part of swiss culture
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  #38  
Old 21.02.2017, 20:03
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Re: Gym trying to extort a membership fee

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Write to them stating what you were told: 1 year contract only when you began your membership. State not understanding german as the reason you asked for clarification from them at the time. Do you have the name of the person who you signed the contract with and verbally agreed with you about the 1 year contract?

I got out of a gym contract a few years ago because I was told one month to cancel and not three, which contradicted the written terms which I didn't read as I took his word for it. I had the name of the Gym office guy who told me and he admitted his mistake, so I was off the hook..

Always read and know the cancellation rules of a contract.
Completely agree that should be the next step - a nice email - and in the interests of expanding the market with further ex-pat customers, the gym might like to agree to it .

But Swisstree, have you seen how clear the web-site is (in English)???
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Old 21.02.2017, 20:06
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Re: Gym trying to extort a membership fee

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I experienced virtually the same thing with a UK gym when I stopped attending due to health issues (one of the well known chains of gyms). I have heard of quite a few similar cases.

It appears to be something that gyms are renowned for. They seem to be banking on the principle that many people get bored and drift away without bothering to cancel their membership.
I seem to recall a wise EFer, many moons ago, recommending to write your cancellation letter to the Gym at the same time you join up. Easier to join again and remain at the gym for another year than try to get out of a costly second year membership if you miss the 3 month notice slot..

Last edited by Swisstree; 21.02.2017 at 22:32.
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Old 21.02.2017, 20:15
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Re: Gym trying to extort a membership fee

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Curley - I believe the well-considered posts provided by several members within a short-time period on this thread, took many different aspects into account.

The OP is clearly well positioned to reflect on the entire input, and form an own opinion.

Personally, I've made enough experiences in life to wish that such advice had been there for me over the years .
Indeed, I'm surprised how fast and helpful this forum has been! Clearly it seems not to be an uncommon problem, so hopefully this post will work for other people too.


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So you have 3 choices- ignore and it will go away more likely than not- but the Poursuite will be against you and will catch up with you if you ever want to come back. Pay up and suck it up and put it down to experience. Or try to negotiate with them a lower price- which may, or may not work. Bonne chance- but yeah, I feel your pain.
Yea, I suppose a good way to sum it up. Given that I've left Switzerland, probably negotiations with some diplomacy and compromises will work the best - although I expect I'll still have to pay something. I suppose that is what Dale Carnegie would do.
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