In recent posts and cancellation guides we've discussed how most gym companies require contracts for new members before they are able to use their facilities. We all know how difficult it can be to escape a gym contract after you've signed one, and if you cannot join without signing a gym contract, how do you join a gym?

Why Are Gym Contracts Required?

Contracts are usually required to retain a certain amount of income when people don't use the facilities, or forget about their memberships. Gym companies often rely on people forgetting (or neglecting) to use the gym because they are able to increase profits on someone not using equipment, or taking up a locker. It's a win/win situation for gym companies.

How Do I Avoid Signing a Gym Membership Contract?

Unfortunately, you usually can't. If you find a gym that requires no contracts, is close to your home or office, and is a clean and up to date facility – congratulations! You should consider yourself lucky. However, if the gym you really want to join requires a contract there are a few things you CAN do to protect yourself:

-READ THE FINE PRINT. All of it. Every time.

-Make a copy of the contract for yourself. KEEP THE CONTRACT IN A SAFE PLACE.

-Sign a short-term contract. If you're really not happy with your gym membership, 6 months to 1 year is not a long time to wait it out and try another gym.

Help! I've signed a Gym Contract and I Want OUT!

As discussed in many of our posts, cancelling gym memberships is often a long and arduous process. Many gym companies require the following for a gym membership cancellation:

-A cancellation letter sent by certified mail. If you don't do this, the gym company can claim they “lost” your letter because there is no proof that you sent it.

-An in-person consultation. This is usually so they can 1. Make you feel badly for cancelling your gym membership or 2. Push you into prolonging your contract.

-Notifying your bank/credit card company of your recent cancellation and sending them a copy of your gym cancellation letter. Note! This may result in you having to cancel your check and/or debit card.

If you've exhausted all resources, are fed up with the lack of customer service at your gym, or simply want to save time and money before it's wasted, CancelWizard offers cancellation services. If you've joined a gym and now you want to cancel your membership, let CancelWizard do it for you.

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