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Old 15.04.2011, 23:43
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moonlight09 has made some interesting contributions
Gym cancellation

Hi folks,
I would need some advices on this:
I subscribed to a gym two years ago. Just after few weeks I got seriously sick and then I had to stop it (this was a pretty good option ... you can stop for as long as you want as far as you call in advance). I kept stopping it for a while thinking I would be able to go there one day but then the recovery took longer and I moved further away so at the end I left it expire without thinking it would have been renewed automatically at the end of the year! I just received a letter saying that the subscription has been automatically renewed as per 15/04 and that I have to pay all year (and it is extremely expensive!). I went to search for my old subscription and the expire date was 30/04/2010 but as I said it lasted longer because I stopped it for a while.
I am going to send tomorrow a cancellation letter with date 15/04/2011 saying to consider the subscription cancelled as per 30/04/2011 (on the contract it is written that you need to cancel 15 days before expire date and on the contract the expire date is 30/04/2010... last year).

Did you have any experience with trying to cancel a subscription a bit late? I would go if I could but I live in another town, I cannot do a lot of exercise following the surgery I had. Also, I will have another "heavy surgery" in September and I am not sure how long it will take for me to be able to go to gym again....

Thanks for your advices in advance!!!
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  #2  
Old 05.05.2011, 16:08
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Re: Gym cancellation

My wife and I had a terrible time cancelling her gym membership at Body Move in Basel. As an aside, I recommend to anyone thinking of joining a gym in Basel to avoid this gym. At any rate, the contract we signed was for a fixed six-month period. So, ignorant of the ways of Switzerland, we simply let the contract expire. Soon thereafter, we recieved a bill for a subsequent six-month period. At this point, we notified the gym by registered post that my wife would no longer like to be a member. The letter was received, no reply, so we figured everything was okay. Six months later, we received another renewal bill along with a collection attempt on the previous unpaid balance. This time, we tried calling the gym and notifying the collection agency of the misunderstanding and that's when the games began...

The gym manager, some guy named Dario (I'll refrain from any expletives), absolutely refused to let us quit. But, instead of being direct with us he resorted to avoiding our phone calls, ignoring our letters, and literally hiding when we went to the gym to confront him. One time, he saw us and quickly shut his office door. The female attendent smiled and told us we needed to come back another day. This game of cat and mouse lasted two months.

Meanwhile, the collections agency kept sending us bills along with outrageous processing fees attached, despite numerous correspondence explaining how the gym was not letting us quit.

Finally, I managed to get a cancellation letter from the gym after sitting inside the manager's office for an hour-and-a-half and refusing to leave. However, by then it was too late as the collections agency filed a report with the Kanton.

Dealing with the kantonal beaurocracy on top of the gym and collections agency was a bit too much of a hassle. We ended up paying around 1200 CHF for a year's membership to a gym that my wife had not used. The collections agency told us after our payment was posted, "This situation happens every year. Sorry for the misunderstanding. We will now close your file."

Moral of the story is: The "situation" that they refered to is the fact that Swiss contractual law allows for automatic renewals, even if the original contract had a specified term, and that many gyms, utilities, etc. like to take advantage of people who are unaware of this.
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Old 05.05.2011, 16:09
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Re: Gym cancellation

I think it largely depends on the gym you belong to. I cancelled my Activ Fitness membership with no problem -- I just sent a letter explaining that I had moved from the area due to work and they refunded me what was left on my membership minus a small administrative fee.

With other gyms I've heard people aren't so lucky. My suggestion would be to go the gym, explain your situation and see if they can give youa contact in the main office that can help you out -- if it's medical, I think you ahve a very good chance of getting some money back.
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Old 05.05.2011, 16:11
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Re: Gym cancellation

Can't you provide a note from your doctor, and speak to the manager and ask him/her to make an exception? That sounds a bit ludicrous, especially if you are going out of your way to explain the medical reasoning behind it.
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  #5  
Old 05.05.2011, 16:36
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Re: Gym cancellation

You need to read the small print on the contract you signed. The industry is well known for automatically renewing contract periods.

I crossed out this clause on the contract, manager said I couldn't do that, I walked away, 30 minutes later call from gym, "We have reconsidered".

During the 12 months contract I developed feet problems (Arthritis) and asked if I could transfer active contract to my son. Answer was: only with a doctor's certificate.

Definitely always cancel a contract one week before the latest cancelling date with a registered letter. Better still don't agree to restrictions.

Good luck, I think you will need it.

Don't take any notice of the debt collectors. But if you get a Betreibung, Persuite, you must apeal within 10 days!

.
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