Published On: Fri, Jan 10th, 2014

Commentary… Attorney General Morrisey offers advice to consumers in choosing right fitness center or gym

Morrisey said consumers should do their research before signing contract with a fitness center

Attorney General Patrick Morrisey this week offered advice for consumers on choosing the right fitness center or gym during the New Year.

“Many people throughout West Virginia will be joining fitness centers as a part of their New Year’s resolutions to lose weight and get in better shape,” Attorney General Morrisey said. “While it’s a good goal to improve your health and get in shape, sometimes consumers get into situations they cannot afford while being locked into a long-term contract.”

Here are some tips to help consumers choose the right fitness center to fulfill their New Year’s resolutions:

• Check with our Office’s Consumer Protection Division and the Better Business Bureau for complaints against fitness centers in the area.

• Make sure the monthly fees fit within your set budget.

• Do research on the facilities before signing a contract. Visit the facility and make sure that the gym fits your fitness needs.

• Ask your friends and family for recommendations. Relatives can provide you with their experiences with gyms they have joined.

• Read the entire contract before signing. Make sure that you understand all of the fees associated with being a member, including but not limited to, enrollment fees, monthly fees, and potential late charges.

• Understand the terms of the membership. Does it automatically renew at the end? Is the contract month-to-month or a longer-term contract? What are the cancellation fees if you should move away or wish to terminate the contract?

“Success stories happen every year with regards to loved ones improving their overall fitness levels,” Morrisey said. “Consumers should just be mindful of the agreements and contracts they enter before they sign a contract and join a fitness center.”

If you have questions or concerns about joining a fitness center or want to find out if a particular gym has had any complaints, please contact the Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Office at 1-800-368-8808.