Exercise! - Gym Advice Needed!




View Full Version : Gym Advice Needed!


vmo1
12-15-2008, 04:33 PM
I'm in huge need of some gym advice, hopefully this is an ok place to start the thread. This summer, I signed a 1 year contract with a gym near me which was great since I could walk there. I loved it. I went to go workout last Monday only to find signs posted that they had moved and changed names! I had no idea whatsoever they were even considering it until I tried to go, I worked out the previous Friday and there was no sign of moving. The new location is very inconvenient for me, in a basement and extremely dirty and unpleasant. I have very severe mold and dust allergies and the first day I was there I had to leave after 5 minutes because I was not breathing, and only managed to make it through workouts the rest of the week with lots of allergy pills, water and taking a lot of breaks to go outside. I talked to the owner who promised they were going to clean and he didn't want to lose me as a client, etc so I said I'd give him a trial period. Now I realize of course that gyms aren't always impeccable and I can't expect them to sterilize everything, get all new, etc for me however this is beyond filthy. There are cigarette butts littering the floor, and pure filth everywhere. I feel that a week and a half should be enough time to at least sweep, clean mats and make an attempt at improving the situation. The equipment has to be wiped down every time it's used because it all has such a thick coat of dirt which seems to be coming from the ceiling. It has gotten no better at all. I really hate this gym and am looking at another one. Here comes the advice part. I paid for a full year when I signed the contract. No where in the contract does it address them moving or changing names, let alone doing both. I feel that I signed a contract with the old gym, not the new one and should be entitled to a refund on my remaining time since I want to leave. I'd love to get some other opinions on this before I tell the owner I'm leaving the gym. I can't really afford to just say fine, here's 6 months of money and just walk away. They are honoring the contracts signed under the old location but I feel like I should have some choice in this matter, if I want to stay, sign a new one otherwise get reimbursed. If you think I'm right in asking for money back, how do you think I should approach the owner? He is definitely one to strong arm people and I want to do this cleanly and grown up, not resorting to stamping my feet. Thanks so much!


bethbeth
12-15-2008, 06:26 PM
Ouch, that really does stink. There is no excuse for being really dirty. They should have been able to clean it well before it opened.
I don't have any legal advice for you, except to read the contract you have really carefully and know what it says before you go in for a meeting.
And like you said, be mature and be ready for them to be really pushy.
If you are meeting with them and they are being really pushy, I would mention that I would like to speak with my lawyer and then talk with them again next week. Even if you know you will not see a lawyer, it might show them that you are serious and not giving up easily. It will also give you some time to regroup and come up with a new strategy.

vmo1
12-15-2008, 06:35 PM
Thanks Beth! I've gone over the contract so many times I feel like I could recite it! It doesn't mention a thing about moving. To complicate matters more, the owner is involved in multiple other law suits for similar things so I'm not sure bringing up a lawyer would change his mind but I love the idea of using that for a chance to regroup without getting immature about things. Hopefully it won't come to that!


JulieJ08
12-15-2008, 06:44 PM
Thanks Beth! I've gone over the contract so many times I feel like I could recite it! It doesn't mention a thing about moving. To complicate matters more, the owner is involved in multiple other law suits for similar things so I'm not sure bringing up a lawyer would change his mind but I love the idea of using that for a chance to regroup without getting immature about things. Hopefully it won't come to that!

I was just about to say something is fishy about them moving into a basement ... but I see now it is all consistent. I wouldn't believe a word that comes out of the man's mouth.

KristasMom
12-16-2008, 01:30 PM
Small claims court?

PhotoChick
12-16-2008, 02:20 PM
Don't threaten with a lawyer unless you really mean to contact one. Seriously, every pissed off client - whether valid or ridiculous - throws around the "I'm gonna call my lawyer" phrase and it just makes people who know better laugh. Getting a lawyer involved would probably cost you more for an hour of his time than for the whole amount in question and the owner probably knows that and will just roll his eyes. Threatening an lawyer for even $500 is not going to make any difference and it's just going to immediately make anyone you're talking to get hugely defensive and refuse to compromise.

And from a business perspective, once someone has threatened a lawsuit, the owner is no longer under any obligation to negotiate. Once you bring a lawyer or a lawsuit into a situation, you've basically shut down any other alternative.

The thing that I think puts you in a tricky position here is that you didn't go to the gym for 6 months. It's not like you signed the contract 2 weeks ago and then they moved w/out notice. Businesses move all the time. Commercial property gets sold. Leases expire and new terms can't be negotiated. If you had been going every day (or at least a few times a week) then you might have known that the move was upcoming. But not going for 6 months and then being upset that they moved "w/out notice" ... I don't think you have any case there.

The cleanliness factor IS an issue and I think the one thing that you have a good cause to want to cancel. I would simply say that to the owner. Tell him that you've given it a good trial and you simply cannot work there because of the state of the facility. Tell him (don't ask, don't waffle, just be polite and firm) that you want to cancel your contract and get a refund of the remaining 6 months. Have a letter in writing stating just that. Again, don't list all the details, just a simple, 3 or 4 sentence letter stating that due to allergy issues in the new facility you are cancelling your contract and you wish to be issued a refund in the amount of $$$ for the remaining 6 months on your contract.

Good luck with the situation.

.

Vahla
12-16-2008, 03:50 PM
Perhaps some kind of medical note from a doctor also about your allergies and things, might ease things with cancelling as it's for a very good reason and you obviously haven't just 'changed your mind'

vmo1
12-16-2008, 10:05 PM
Thanks again for the great advice. PhotoChick, I think I may have been unclear. I have been going to this gym 5 days a week almost every week since June 21st when I signed the contract. When I did go to the new gym I was approached and asked if I knew of the move and when I said no to the other members they replied they had no idea until they read the signs, so I was not the only one.

Jules88
12-17-2008, 03:11 PM
Tell him you are a struggling student and have no money. The money you paid for the membership you had to work for really hard and saved up over the last year. Get a dr's note saying that you cannot work in unclean environment because of your health condition. And your condition can worsen. Its easier to get a drs note than a lawyer. I would go to a lawyer last just because they cost so much money. Play the poor me card, I think that should work. Good luck and dont give up