How To Cancel A Gym Membership Contract
In 2017 a survey of over 1,000 gym members revealed that people were wasting £558m annually on unused gym memberships.
11% said that despite paying an average of £47 a month – or £564 a year – they hadn’t stepped foot inside a gym for a year. 21% said they had visited just 3 times, which meant each visit cost them £188.
If you signed up to a gym filled with good intentions and the goal of firm glutes and rock-hard abs but haven’t actually manged to haul your ass there what can you do?
1. Cancel the contract
Have a look at the contract you signed. Some gyms have what’s called a rolling contract which means as long as you give them 30 days’ notice you can cancel your membership at any time.
Unfortunately, many gyms make you sign up for a minimum of 12 months and they do this because they know a large proportion of people will go to the induction session and then never turn up again. If this is the case with your gym membership, then your options are limited.
You could cancel your Direct Debit with your bank. But note that you won’t have actually cancelled the contract; you’ve just stopped paying, which means that you’re likely to get letters requesting the outstanding balance, debt collectors at your door, or even a court order. You could also end up with a default marker on your credit file, which could hinder you from getting credit or a mortgage in the future.
If you think the gym has not upheld their side of the contract, for example the gym is dirty or too crowded or unsafe then you might have a get-out-of-jail card by claiming they are in breach of the contract. But be prepared to have a fight on your hands with someone who’s a lot more hench than you.
If you have an illness or injury that prevents you from going to the gym, or your circumstances have changed so you can’t afford to pay, then Citizens Advice has some information about how you could cancel your contract using terms from The Competitions and Markets Authority.
2. Go to the gym
If you can’t get out of your contract and the thought of large men turning up at your home fills your puny body with dread, then your other option is to start going to the gym.
Think about what motivated you to join up in the first place. Was it to lose weight, increase your stamina and energy levels, or (more likely) attract a hot work colleague with your six-pack and big guns?
Try and get into that mindset again. For most people actually making the journey to the gym is the hardest step on the road to fitness. Once you’re there and the endorphins kick in and you realise nobody cares that you don’t really have a clue what you’re doing, then you should start to feel better. If you able to get into a routine you may even start to feel addicted to going. Although it’s all too easy to get out of the habit if you miss even a couple of sessions.
If you don’t enjoy the weight room, see if there are classes you can attend instead. They can be a lot more fun and sociable and you’ll look forward to going back and meeting your new friends. And going for a beer afterwards.
If spin, pilates, or barre, isn’t your thing, have you got a workmate who’ll go with you? Or maybe even a few of you? Add a friendly competitive element by setting up a leader board, but remember, don’t overdo things just to keep your name at the top.
3. Suck it up
If you can’t get out of the contract and you really can’t bear to put on your gym shorts, then you’re going to have to write off the money each month and learn a harsh lesson. Make sure when your contract does come to an end you cancel in time. You will probably have to give notice even before the year is up otherwise you will pay for yet another month.
If in the future, you get the sudden urge to join a gym again, stop and think. There are certain times of year when gyms know that people are in that mindset and go full throttle on their marketing. New Year and early spring when people start wondering if they can get beach body ready in time for a week in Ibiza, are prime times for gyms to hit people with enticing offers such as cut prices for the first couple of months.
But don’t think of how much you will be forking out each month. Calculate your yearly expenditure. A £50 a month membership will set you back £600 over the course of the year – just think what you could have done with that money instead. An awful lot of fun in Ibiza, for example.
There is another way
If you do like the idea of going to a gym occasionally but don’t want to be tied down to a contract then take a look at Hussle.
Hussle (formerly PayAsUGym) is a marketplace for over 2,300 gyms, pools, spas, and health clubs across the UK, that offers single and multi-use passes, classes, and contract-free memberships.
Hussle has pay-as-you-go day passes, or monthly passes so you can go as often as you like. You simply book online, or via their app, and show a passcode you receive at the reception of your chosen gym. They also offer a FitFix pass which is a bundle of day passes at a discounted rate.
And if you want to take a gym buddy with you, Hussle offers a £10 bonus for each friend you refer under their referral scheme.
Single-use gym passes bought from Hussle are always at least 10% cheaper than when bought directly from the gym with the average discount set at about 33%. And be aware that Hussle’s monthly passes are paid for under a rolling contract but you can cancel at any time.
Click here to sign up to Hussle.