When it comes to contracts and agreement policies, it often seems much simpler to just disregard the fine print and head straight for the dotted line. But is that really what’s best? Do you actually know what you’re signing up for? When it comes to signing up for a health club, it’s not what you know, but what you haven’t been told that can come back to bite you. So to help clear the mud, we’ve come up with a few clauses you should clarify before you sign at the X.
Like any service or product, it’s important to know what you’re actually paying, how much of your monthly payment is going towards to the gym services that you normally use? It’s also important to tally up your monthly payments and come up with a yearly total. A lot of gyms will advertise a low monthly price, but it can add up heavily. All membership costs should be displayed clearly on the first page, including monthly, yearly, and initiation fees.
Activation and cancellation fees are quite common in gym memberships and can cost hundreds of unannounced dollars if you’re not careful. Some gyms will hold you liable if you decide to leave or move out of town, forcing you to either pay a cancellation fee or buy out of your existing contract, which can be very expensive either way. Be sure to ask your gym personnel what your options are in case you were to step away from your contractual agreement. Also be weary of add-on services, you may be paying for services you assume are free of charge.
Contrary to popular belief, January is NOT the ideal month to get a new gym membership. Gym memberships spike significantly during the first quarter of the year. 12 percent of gym members join during January, which is 4 percent higher than any other month throughout the year. February comes in second with a 9% increase in gym memberships. Some big box gyms will also offer different membership packages, restricting you from certain services, locations, and even areas of the gym.
What types of amenities does your gym offer? Some fitness centers will provide juice bars, protein shakes, energy drinks, and protein-enriched snackages. Others go as far as supplying the bathrooms with complimentary lotions and shampoos. Before signing up for gym, it’s always a good idea to check the services section and clarify which are complementary and what may cost you steeply.