January 15, 2015
By Jessica Cardwell, director of client relations at TrustDALE
When I was 17-years-old, I became a gym rat. It didn’t happen overnight—when I began, I didn’t know the first thing about gyms. I toured one of the bigger chains and fell in love with the phenomenal equipment and the cute salesman. I called and begged dad to let me join, only to be heartbroken with a resounding no and a gentle reminder about dog-and-pony distractions that lead to vague long-term agreements.
Years later, I find myself blogging about how consumers can join a great gym without fear. Follow these steps to help keep from getting scammed.
- List what you want in a gym
- Consider: location, hours of operation, environment, age/variety of equipment, amenities, fitness classes, etc.
- Make a sliding-scale budget
- For example, if your max/month is $50, budget for $10. Starting low offers more options and can save you money.
- Read reviews from multiple websites, ask for referrals, read the fine print. Don’t miss anything.
- Review the chains, small-business fitness centers and those that are part of a church or community center. Take your time and see what they all have to offer.
- Take a tour. Ask questions. If something doesn’t feel right, it probably isn’t.
- Discuss contract and payment
- Read everything. Ask them to explain anything.
- Make sure the end-of-contract date is stated clearly and that you can refuse auto-renewal.
- Ask about deals for new members and if you can get your initiation fee waved. See what kind of discounts they offer for students, veterans and seniors.
- Auto-payment is rarely worth the headache. Check reviews to see if there are recurrent issues regarding unauthorized charges.
- Get a signed copy of your contract
Have any questions? Email Jessica at firstname.lastname@example.org!