For many it’s a repeat of other New Years that have come and gone. Following a joyous and filling holiday season…the result is a thicker waist line and a promise to drop those pounds quickly and forever!
So to start…it’s back to the gym – but wait – the Better Business Bureau reports nearly 4,000 people filed complaints against health clubs and gyms in 2016. “Considering the expense, consumers should treat their gym membership like any other major purchase and do their research before they seal the deal,” says Steve J. Bernas, president and CEO of the Better Business Bureau serving Chicago and Northern Illinois.
Bernas notes, “The number and type of complaints are much the same as last year. Consumer issues range from billing and collection problems to overall unhappiness with the contract. And because there is little change there is an apparent need for concern.”
One incident that contributed to complaints in Chicago in 2016 was David Barton Gym at 600 W. Chicago Ave. in River North deciding to shutter their facility in December. It’s a cautionary tale, leaving members out in the cold and wondering if they will ever see membership refunds. The company was F rated by the Better Business Bureau and Bernas urges consumers to “Please check out business ratings and reviews via ourwebsite before you make your purchases.”
Deciding where to work off those excess pounds can be a difficult choice so consumers should check the complaint history for each gym or fitness center that interests them athttp://www.ask.bbb.org/andadditional information on selecting a gymcan also be found on the BBB website.
Whether this is the first time you feel the need for a fitness resolution, or you’re renewing an old one, to avoid setting yourself up for failure; and to be sure you’ve made the right choice – ask yourself these questions:
1. What are my fitness goals?Determining your fitness goals in advance will help you select a facility that is most appropriate for you.
2. Is this location convenient?If the gym is across town, you’ll be less likely to work out.
3. Can I really afford this every month?Monthly gym fees add up and, after any introductory periods are over, the price could jump higher than your budget can handle. Do the math before you join and make sure you can afford a gym membership.
4. Am I feeling pressured to join?Do not give in to high-pressure sales tactics to join right away. A reputable gym will give you enough time to read the contract thoroughly, tour the facilities, and make an informed decision.
5. Did I get everything in writing?Read the contract carefully and make sure that all verbal promises made by the salesperson are in writing.
ABOUT BBB:For more than 100 years, Better Business Bureau has been helping people find businesses, brands and charities they can trust. Consumers and businesses can search business reviews and ratings on more than 5.3 million businesses and Charity Reports on 11,000 charities, all available for free atbbb.org. The Council of Better Business Bureaus is the umbrella organization for the local, independent BBBs in the United States, Canada and Mexico, as well as home to its national programs on dispute resolution, advertising review, and industry self-regulation.