Are you looking for a new you in the new year? It’s that time of year when people resolve to get fit and healthy. For many people this leads to joining a gym. In 2017, Better Business Bureau Serving the Northwest and Pacific received more than 90 complaints to fitness centers. The majority of complaints were directed at billing and contract issues. In fact, fitness centers were one of the most complained about businesses in 2017.
Here are some tips on what to look out for before signing up for that gym membership:
Know your needs. Determining your goals in advance will help you select a facility that is most appropriate for you. Are you interested in access to individual exercise machines like a treadmill, stationary bicycle or elliptical? Would you like a robust schedule of group fitness classes and access to a certified personal trainer? What time will you be exercising? What are their hours of operation and peak hours of use? It is also a good idea to check with your physician before embarking on a new fitness regiment, especially if you have a medical condition.
Free trials. Gyms often give a one-week free pass for potential members; this is a great way to see if the gym is a good fit for you and do a self-guided tour of the facility.
Know the true cost. Gyms often use special introductory offers to encourage new members, but the price could go up more than you budgeted once the initial period is over. Make sure you understand what the regular monthly fees will be and what they include.
Check reviews. Read what current and previous members have to say, and see how the gyms respond to complaints. Check bbb.org to find the right gym for you.
Ask about cancellation. Read the contract carefully before signing. What happens if you move or the gym goes out of business? Will your membership renew automatically at the end of the term? Can you get out of the contract altogether and under what circumstances?