You certainly had a good resolution! But you soon realize that you will not be able to make it to the gym. You wish to be reimbursed? The Law offers some special protection regarding your gym membership.
Can I get a refund for a gym membership?
Yes, provincial Consumer Protection Acts require gyms to cancel your subscription and refund you if you have not exceeded one tenth a certain portion of your subscription. If you cancel within the time limits, the gym can only make you pay a portion of the subscription price. Other purchases related to your subscription, such as the locker or yoga class, must also be cancelled under the same conditions.
You must hand in a written application to the gym to obtain a refund.
How long will it take for the gym to reimburse me?
The gym must reimburse you within 10 days following the cancellation. Otherwise, you can act against the latter.
What do I do if the gym is unwilling to reimburse me?
If you are within the time limit prescribed by the Act and the gym won’t reimburse you, we suggest that you write a demand letter and send it by registered mail. The demand letter will demonstrate the seriousness of your initiative and the registered mail will ensure that you have proof that the gym has been made aware of your request.
NOTE: Gyms and training centres in schools and universities are not subject to this Act. However, you can learn about their particular refund policies, which must also be respected.
Other methods of cancelling a membership contract
If the contract does not contain all the information below, you have the right to ask a judge to cancel the contract. The contract must contain:
The merchant’s license number;
Your name and address as well as that of the merchant;
The place and date of the contract;
The description and subject of the contract (which is included);
The beginning and end date;
The total cost of the membership;
The payment method;
A declaration stating that the contract can be cancelled.
Finally, the merchant must give you a copy of the contract. In addition, the contract cannot be of a duration of more than one year.
Practical Tip 1: Always ask about the refund policy of the gym you are attending and make sure to get a detailed explanation. Apply quickly for a refund as soon as you can see that there is little or no chance that you will use it.
Practical Tip 2: If your rights are not respected, you can draft a demand letter. It is an effective way to ask that your rights be respected and it is cheaper than hiring a lawyer.