Viewing 22 posts - 1 through 22 (of 22 total)
  • Gym Taking Overpayments!
  • Premier Icon benmotogp46
    Free Member

    A friend of mine (no, really) gave her three months notice of cancellation to her gym (ROKO) back in January and after giving notice paid for the months of January and February. Along came COVID so the gyms were closed and everyone’s direct debits were frozen.

    Come 25th July when the gyms have re-opened, my friends direct debit had by this point been cancelled since March (four months) so they are now chasing her up for the third months payment, which would have been March, and asking it to cover the month of August.

    Surely as the notice was given and the membership was due to cease from the end of March it should be the gym that miss out as it is they who have closed and thus not providing a service to its members, albeit given no choice.

    The gym have argued that the three months notice of cancellation must be paid during “active months” that the gym is open. For example, if the gym were to close due to a fire, payments would be frozen but you would still need to pay any “active months” left of the notice period whenever the gym would re-open.
    So, if the gym closed due to major damage and didn’t open for another two years, would they then be chasing members for the “active months” of outstanding payments for the notice period some two years later? I don’t think so.

    Anyway, my friend did pay the final balance of August as she was concerned about the letters and the clear threat of a debt being passed onto a third party and those costs increasing if not paid.

    This doesn’t sit right with me. Any thoughts on the matter appreciated.

    Ben

    Premier Icon frankconway
    Full Member

    Unless the gym stated an ‘active months’ clause in the Ts & Cs in place in February then they’re trying it on – and appear to have succeeded.
    They may have since amended their
    Ts & Cs.

    Premier Icon IHN
    Full Member

    The gym have argued that the three months notice of cancellation must be paid during “active months” that the gym is open.

    Is this in the membership contract? If so, fine, if not, then they’re making it up as they go and can do one. Thing is, she’s paid now, so just one to chalk up to experience.

    Premier Icon martinhutch
    Full Member

    If I read that right, she has not paid more than her agreed notice, or ended up forking out for membership at a time when the service has not been available. So I’m not sure where the ‘overpayment’ bit comes in.

    Premier Icon benmotogp46
    Free Member

    “So I’m not sure where the ‘overpayment’ bit comes in.”

    Perhaps not an overpayment as such, but none the less a payment that probably shouldn’t have been made as the cancellation period was completed and it was just unfortunate for the gym that they were forced to close. Without trying to be harsh to the gym, it should have been their loss.

    I’m happy to be corrected, I just wanted to have more of an understanding if they were within their rights to do this or if they are shafting people over.

    Premier Icon Flaperon
    Free Member

    Your friend has the advantage here thanks to the Direct Debit Guarantee.

    Her bank must refund the incorrect payments when she tells them and it’s up to the gym to prove that they were justified.

    Would have thought that the letter of cancellation and proof of the final payments from the bank statement would easily suffice.

    Premier Icon GlennQuagmire
    Free Member

    The gym isn’t taking overpayments – they asked for 3 months notice which has now, due to Covid, covered the months of January, February and August. Seems quite fair to me.

    Your friend could have used the Gym during this time, should she have wished.

    Premier Icon hugo
    Free Member

    We had a similar thing where we cancelled a block of swimming lessons. 1 week later there was a COVID shutdown here and they tried to segue our cancellation into their vouchers/online sessions alternative they were giving for these people.

    No chance. Already cancelled, not my problem any more.

    In this case it was the gym’s hard luck. If they had great legal advice when it came to creating the contracts, then they could have gotten away with an “active” months clause. No clause? Then, jog on.

    I’d have some sympathy but most gyms are awful when it comes to pausing or cancelling memberships after job loss, injury, etc and are the Kings of terms and conditions.

    Premier Icon DickBarton
    Full Member

    Tend to agree – she was to pay 3 remaining payments and only paid 2 of those, so being asked to pay the final one is right…don’t think it is overpayment, just closing off the final outstanding fee as per the arrangement she agreed to.

    Premier Icon nealglover
    Free Member

    Can’t really see that the Gym have done anything wrong to be honest. She needed to PAY for three months after giving notice, and now she has.

    Without trying to be harsh to the gym, it should have been their loss.

    Why ?

    Your friend has the advantage here thanks to the Direct Debit Guarantee.

    Her bank must refund the incorrect payments when she tells them and it’s up to the gym to prove that they were justified.

    According to the OP the final payment wasn’t made by Direct Debit as this was cancelled in March, so that’s not going to help.

    Premier Icon flicker
    Free Member

    You and your friend are wrong. The T&C’s were for three months notice, you pay your three months and you have access to the gym for those three months. Taking covid out of the equation would you be happy if the gym had to close for another reason but still expected you to pay whilst you couldn’t use the facilities? This way if you only pay during active months you still have gym access.

    Seems perfectly logical and fair to me.

    Premier Icon Ewan
    Free Member

    Can’t really see that the Gym have done anything wrong to be honest. She needed to PAY for three months after giving notice, and now she has.

    Without trying to be harsh to the gym, it should have been their loss.

    Why ?

    Eh? They had a contract – three months notice. That would be march not august? Unless they have a decidedly odd clause in their contract about ‘active’ months then the contract is the contract. Think about it the other way round? If the consumer had decided not to use the gym for a month then they’d still have to pay. The fact that covid put the gym in a difficult position is not the OPs problem either legally, or morally in my view.

    Premier Icon flicker
    Free Member

    Eh? They had a contract – three months notice. That would be march not august? Unless they have a decidedly odd clause in their contract about ‘active’ months then the contract is the contract. Think about it the other way round? If the consumer had decided not to use the gym for a month then they’d still have to pay. The fact that covid put the gym in a difficult position is not the OPs problem either legally, or morally in my view.

    …an ‘odd’ clause that actually allows you to use the facilities you’re paying for? I don’t know about others but I like to use what I’m paying for.

    I’d suspect in pre-covid times most people would object to paying for something they can’t use.

    It would also be their choice to not use the gym, keyword being choice.

    Premier Icon Ewan
    Free Member

    It would be odd for a notice clause. I’m assuming the OP didn’t get charged for the final month as the facilities were unavailable – if not that’s presumably a breach of the contract in itself. Perhaps I misunderstood the OP, but i thought, they had two months of normal notice period, then a month of no use of the gym due to covid – that makes up the three months of notice period doesn’t it?

    Premier Icon flicker
    Free Member

    No the gym didn’t take the final month as the facilities were closed. They’re now open and want to take the final payment.

    Premier Icon benmotogp46
    Free Member

    To be honest, I’m not sure who is right or who is wrong, hence asking the question. I’m merely just intrigued to see what peoples thoughts are on the matter.

    It just seems a little unethical to me.

    To look at it another way, after a four month absence, if one decided to rejoin another gym and pay for the first month of August, why should they have to make two payments (the other being the previous gym), just because the gym have had to close. It’s not the customers fault or issue that the gym has had to close during a notice of cancellation….

    Premier Icon Kamakazie
    Full Member

    What if she had emigrated in April? Would seem unfair to pay for a service you cannot use through no fault of your own.
    If they planned this, I’d expect a reasonable business to have notified her when they paused the payments, that this was temporary and that her final payment would be taken when re-opened.

    This would also avoid any issue that she would get a membership at an alternative gym, knowing she still had 1 month left at the old one.

    That said, the idea that you have to give 3 months notice for this sort of thing is ridiculous and designed for them to make money off people who forget to cancel early. What is the justification when they can revoke access to the site immediately?

    Premier Icon martinhutch
    Full Member

    My view would be that, in normal times, she would have paid the three months to the first business, and then started paying again when she wanted to rejoin another gym. And wouldn’t have batted an eyelid over the idea of giving the first gym what she owed them.

    The rather unexpected events this year shouldn’t just be used to look for loopholes in contracts to avoid paying something you agreed to do.

    I’m in a similar position with my climbing wall. I owed them April’s money to complete my contract, and am waiting for them to take the cash now they’ve reopened, even though I’m not going near the place. Never crossed my mind that I could have avoided it – probably because I know the guy who founded/runs my wall, whereas gyms are just faceless organisations with no actual humans involved 🙂

    Premier Icon Ewan
    Free Member

    I don’t see how this is a loop hole or not paying what you owe? The OP had a three month notice period, they fulfilled their side of the contract by giving this notice. The fact that the service wasn’t available in the final month is a separate issue, that was dealt with by the gym by not charging for a service they were unable to provide.

    Unless the contract had a clause that said the notice period was three ‘active’ months (which seems very unlikely to me, given the contract was likely to be generic and written prior to covid) then the OP fulfilled their legal and moral obligation by giving the correct notice. The gym can’t unilaterally change a contract just because their circumstances changed.

    Premier Icon Ewan
    Free Member

    My local climbing gym paused my membership, but said I could have cancelled at any point in the lockdown (as that’s what the contract said). They’ve now restarted it (I probably do need to cancel it now as the wife got pregnant so we’re not going for a while).

    Premier Icon twinw4ll
    Free Member

    Why t f would they need three months notice? Is it going to take them 3ms to find a new customer. The lesson here is read the terms and conditions and if they have c****** things like this in then find another gym.
    I’ve been frequenting gyms for 40 years.

    Premier Icon sadmadalan
    Full Member

    Used to work in a gym and while the contract is three month notice, there is very little effective remedy that they can do if you decide not to pay. Just cancel the DD and you membership will cease. Yes they could pass the debt onto a collection agency, but that is a small risk and if it does happen just pay them the amount.

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