Belfast Telegraph

Wednesday 20 August 2014

High time costly gyms are shown OFT muscle

News that two of the UK's biggest gym companies have been forced by the Office of Fair Trading to make contracts clearer and make cancelling easier are long overdue.

The gym membership model which is still used by both LA Fitness and Dave Whelan Sports is one which dates back to the huge boom in keeping fit and gyms in the late 80s and early 90s. Then you could easily find yourself tied into a year-long contract ostensibly to help persuade you to train more but in reality was a nice little earner for the gyms. How many eager beavers signed up to the gym after the Christmas excesses only to find their ardour with working out didn't last beyond January?

Try and cancel a contract then, as this lazy correspondent did, and you'd be hit with the fees for the rest of the year.

But that's changed in recent years as the likes of Pure Gym and its ilk offer short-term monthly contracts. The increased options, combined with the latest ruling, should mean less of us are paying a fortune for a place to shower.

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